Venus Williams of the United States returns against Alize Cornet of France during the quarterfinal match at the WTA Hong Kong Open tennis tournament in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. (AP Photo)
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 either Jelena Jankovic or Daria Gavrilova.
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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