Venus Williams reaches semifinals at Hong Kong Open

HONG KONG (AP) Venus Williams closed in on a spot in the season-ending WTA Finals by beating Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-1 Friday to reach the Hong Kong Open semifinals.

The third-seeded American, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, won the Wuhan Open this month.

Williams will next meet Jelena Jankovic, who beat Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-1.

''I'm not thinking of winning that match only,'' Williams said. ''My goal here is to win the tournament.''

Angelique Kerber and Samantha Stosur also advanced, and will face each other in the semifinals. Stosur beat Heather Watson 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 while Kerber defeated Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-3.

''I lost my way at the outset but being a three-set match, I didn't let it bother me,'' said Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion. ''It doesn't matter if you don't start fantastic, what matters is how you finish.''

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