Tennis: Shahar subdued by Venus in Madrid semis

American improves to 5-0 in her career against the Israeli with a 6-3, 6-0 victory.

Peer vs venus 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Peer vs venus 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Venus Williams was Shahar Pe’er’s undoing yet again on Saturday afternoon.
The American improved to 5-0 in her career against the Israeli with a 6-3, 6-0 victory in the semifinals of the prestigious Madrid Masters, a week after sending Pe’er packing in the third round in Rome.
“I had a good feeling before the match and I thought I would finally be able to beat her,” said Pe’er, who toiled for over two-and-a-half hours before beating world No. 13 Na Li 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals on Friday.
“It is always difficult to play Venus, but it was especially tough today, maybe because I was both physically and mentally tired.”
Williams, who will climb to No. 2 in the rankings, looked in control right from the start as she secured an early break to go up 3-1. Pe’er responded immediately, earning three break points after firing a forehand pass down the line. Williams saved the first two before hitting a backhand into the net.
Williams eventually found some rhythm on serve, and closed out the first set having broken the Israeli again. The second set was completely dominated by Williams, with the American winning 27 of 39 points.
“She’s a tenacious player. Very talented. Never say die spirit... I was ready for that,” Williams said of Pe’er.
“To play that well against a player like her, I can’t complain.”
Despite the defeat, Pe’er will be very pleased with her form entering next week’s French Open. Pe’er has already reached five semifinals this year and will climb around five places from her current ranking of No. 22 after collecting 450 points as well as 135,500 euros for reaching the last four in Madrid.
The Israeli also added another 19,500 euros to her account after advancing to the semifinals of the doubles tournament in Madrid. Pe’er and Francesca Schiavone lost 7-5, 6-2 to Venus and younger sister Serena in the last four on Friday.
Also Saturday, Rafael Nadal reached another Madrid Masters final when he overcame Spanish countryman Nicolas Almagro 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Nadal is 14-0 on clay this season, winning titles in Monte Carlo and Rome. He has lost only two sets during that run, and is looking for a record 18th Masters title.
Nadal, who will return to the No. 2 spot in the world rankings, will play top-ranked Roger Federer, who beat David Ferrer 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, in Sunday’s final.
AP contributed to this report