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Venus to face France's Razzano in Tokyo final

Tokyo, Oct 5: Venus Williams survived a scare before seeing off Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 7-5 to reach the Japan Open final today.

The Wimbledon champion faces fifth seed Virginie Razzano in the Tokyo final after the Frenchwoman's battling 4-6 7-5 6-3 win over Italian Flavia Pennetta.

Former world number one Williams, who won last week's Korea Open title, fought back from 4-2 down in the second set with some blistering shots too hot for her 17-year-old opponent to handle.

Top seed Williams broke for a 6-5 lead with a backhand drive-volley and promptly closed out proceedings with a booming first serve after one hour and 38 minutes.

''Two finals in two weeks actually feels good,'' a smiling Williams told reporters.

''Seriously I thought'' 'Is it possible? Can I do this?' But it is possible. It's exciting.'' Wozniacki smiled sheepishly when asked about leading Williams 4-2 in the second set.

''I thought I was close to winning the set,'' said the 2006 junior Wimbledon champion. ''But then Venus started smashing shots into the corners and I couldn't really do anything.'' Williams, whose victory was her 19th in 21 matches since winning her sixth grand slam singles title at Wimbledon, will be aiming to clinch her 37th career title in tomorrow's final.

Razzano, who won her first WTA Tour title in Guangzhou last week, had to dig deep against Pennetta and was helped by a string of errors from the eighth seed in the deciding set.

''I never feel intimidated,'' said Razzano, looking ahead to the final. ''Venus is a girl -- the same as me at least. Last week I won and this week I'm in a final so it's good for me.''


Story first published: Friday, October 5, 2007, 14:06 [IST]
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