Venus Williams into ASB Classic final after opponent pulls out

Venus Williams didn't have to hit a single shot to advance to the finals in Auckland.
Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- With Serena Williams set to play Maria Sharapova in the Brisbane International semifinals Friday, her older sister Venus advanced to the ASB Classic final in Auckland, New Zealand, on a walkover.

Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles winner and former No. 1 now ranked 47th, was due to play fellow American Jamie Hampton in the semifinals. Hampton was forced to withdraw, however, after suffering a right hip injury during a morning practice session.

Hampton said her decision to withdraw was prompted by the closeness of the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on Jan. 13.

Williams chose Auckland for her comeback after being sidelined by injuries since September. She has also been battling Sjogren's syndrome, an illness of the auto-immune system.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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