Venus Williams answered a tough challenge from Eugenie Bouchard today in the Tokyo quarterfinals, but emerged the winner, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. Williams beat Mona Barthel in the opening round, and easily got past a visibly ailing Victoria Azarenka in the second. Before knocking out Bouchard, Williams defeated Simona Halep 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Next for Williams is Petra Kvitova, who has also had a very good week in Tokyo, beating Belinda Bencic in the second round (Bencic got her first tour win, over Daria Gavrilova, in the opening round), Madison Keys in the third round, and Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals.
In the other semifinal match, Caroline Wozniacki will play Angenique Kerber. In Tokyo, everything old is new again!
Kerber, by the way, reached the semifinals today by knocking out 2012 runner-up (and 2011 champion) Agnieszka Radwanska.
In Ningbo, top seed (and Tashkent champion) Bojana Jovanovski reached the semifinals with a win over Johanna Larsson. She is joined there by Guangzhou champion Zhang Shuai, who defeated Yvonne Meusburger 6-3, 6-0.