SPORT

Venus in quarterfinals

Stanford July 25 Top seed Venus Williams defeated fellow American Meghann Shaughnessy 6-4 6-1 here on Thursday, avenging a loss here last year to reach the quarter-finals of $565,000 WTA hardcourt event.

Shaughnessy defeated Williams here last year, the only major setback for Venus on her way to the US Open women's title. Williams is currently ranked second in the world, trailing only her sister Serena, the Wimbledon and French Open winner.

Venus Williams has won four titles this year and captured the final here two years ago, beating Lindsay Davenport in the finals.

Next in Williams' path is Anna Kournikova, the 21-year-old Russian beauty who has never won a WTA title. Kournikova defeated Indonesian qualifier Wynne Prakusya 6-1 6-4.

Kournikova, who was rated a career-best eighth as recently as May of last year, has slid to 54th. She ousted eighth seed Anna Smashnova of Israel in the first round before dispatching the qualifier from Jakarta in the second.

Having lost 12 of her past 15 matches before arriving here, Kournikova won her first consecutive victories since February, when she reached the semi-finals of the Mexican Open to equal her best showing of the year.

Kournikova, 18-19 for the year, crashed out of Wimbledon and the French and Australian Opens in the first round.

Also advancing was Lisa Raymond, who beat fellow American Marissa Irvin 6-1 6-4 to book a quarter-final date with third seed Monica Seles.

The results: Venus Williams bt Meghann Shaughnessy 6-4, 6-1; Anna Kournikova bt Wynne Prakusya 6-1, 6-4; Lisa Raymond bt American Marissa Irvin 6-1, 6-4.

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