Venus Knocked Out at Bausch & Lomb

The Associated Press
Friday, April 6, 2007; 10:40 PM

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Venus Williams dropped out of the Baush & Lomb Championships on Friday, falling 6-2, 6-3 to France's Tatiana Golovin.

"I put a lot of pressure on her right from the start," Golovin said. "I was getting everything back. When she kind of came back, I fought through that. It was one of the better matches I've played all season so I'm really happy."

Williams lost the first set in 36 minutes and was down 4-0 before she broke Golovin twice and put together three straight wins. Just when it appeared she would tie the set, Golovin broke her in the eighth game and then held serve for the win.

"We were back on serve so that was nice," said Williams, playing her third event this year. "But those last two games went a lot quicker than I wanted them to."

The eighth-seeded Golovin set up a semifinal against sixth-seeded Ana Ivanovic, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over second-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the clay-court tournament.

"I did not have good success with my serve, but at the end, my serve helped me, which was very important," Ivanovic said.

Both players struggled.

"I think for both of us it was not a good match," Jankovic said. "Today was just one of those bad days when everything was wrong kind of. I played terrible and made so many unforced errors.

Top-seeded Nadia Petrova will face 13th-seeded Sybille Bammer in the other semifinal. Petrova beat fifth-seeded Dinara Safina 6-4, 7-5, and Bammer edged Daniela Hantuchova 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

"It was a long match (2 hours, 2 minutes) and you could see that we were both battling and fighting for every point out there," Petrova said. "But I felt good. I felt strong. The work I've done with my fitness trainer is really showing up."

© 2007 The Associated Press