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Champion Venus closer to Wimbledon hat-trick

  • Story Highlights
  • Venus Williams reaches the Wimbledon semi-finals in bid for a title hat-trick
  • The five-times champion defeats Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2 in 68 minutes
  • Venus now faces world number one Dinara Safina for place in Saturday's final
  • Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva will clash in other semifinal showdown
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(CNN) -- Twice defending champion Venus Williams powered into the Wimbledon semifinals with another impressive display and then said it would be "fantastic" to face sister Serena in Saturday's climax.

Hat-trick chasing Venus Williams acknowledges the cheers after powering into the Wimbledon semifinals.

Hat-trick chasing Venus Williams acknowledges the cheers after powering into the Wimbledon semifinals.

Five-times champion Venus ousted 11th-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2 in just 68 minutes to stay on course to become the first woman since Steffi Graf (1991 to 1993) to lift the trophy in three successive years.

"I really had to play well. It was close at the start of the second set. She's a good grasscourt player so I'm happy just to get through," the American --who has reached her eighth semifinal in 10 years -- told Press Association Sport.

"If it was an all-Williams final that would be fantastic but we still have great players to meet and will have to bring our best tennis to the court."

Third seed Williams has now won 32 consecutive sets at the All England Club since Japan's Akiko Morigami took the second set of their third round match in 2007.

But before a possible showdown with younger sibling Serena on Saturday, Venus will have to get past top seed Dinara Safina.

Safina, who is ranked No.1 in the world despite never having won a grand slam tournament, continued her struggle throughout the tournament by dropping the opening set on her way to victory over unseeded German Sabine Lisicki.

Lisicki, who had already knocked out fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki to reach the quarterfinals, threatened another upset on Centre Court, before the Russian fought back to go through 6-7 6-4 6-1 in two hours and 28 minutes.

Safina, who served a total of 15 double faults, admitted: "I think I was Santa Claus today serving so many double faults. On the practice court I don't serve a single double fault.

"It's not going to be easy against Venus on grass but I have nothing to lose. I want to go out there and enjoy it and show my best tennis. I'm happy that I'm in the semis, I was tough mentally and I think that was the key."

It was double delight for the Williams family on Tuesday, as second seed Serena continued her untroubled march into the last four after cruising to a 6-2 6-3 win over Belarussian teenager Victoria Azarenka.

The two-time champion needed just a little over an hour to see off the 19-year-old eighth seed to set up a meeting with fourth seed Elena Dementieva and ensure that both of Thursday's semifinals will be American-Russian affairs.

Dementieva raced into her second successive Wimbledon semifinal and is now determined to prevent another all-Williams final.

Russia's Olympic champion eased past unseeded Italian Francesca Schiavone, winning 6-2 6-2 and has still not dropped a set so far.

"It was a great experience being in the semis last year but this time I'm going to play a different player and it will be all new," said Dementieva, who lost in the last four to Venus 12 months ago.

"Winning the Olympic gold medal was a really big moment for me and gave me a lot of confidence, so I'm just trying to keep this confidence going."

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