Hantuchova finally beats Venus to reach Eastbourne semis

Daniela Hantuchova beat Venus Williams for the first time in 11 career meetings to advance to the...

Venus Williams. AFP

Daniela

Hantuchova beat Venus Williams for the first time in 11 career meetings

to advance to the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International grass

court tournament on Thursday.

The Slovak overcame difficult,

windy conditions to triumph 6-2 5-7 6-2 and cut short Williams' comeback

before she begins her bid for a sixth Wimbledon singles title next

week.

Playing her first tournament

following a five-month layoff with an abdominal injury, the American had

looked impressive in beating Ana Ivanovic in straight sets on

Wednesday.

Having beaten Hantuchova

in all 10 of their previous meetings dating back to 2001, she must have

been confident of another success in the battle between two unseeded

quarter-finalists but was outclassed in the first set.

The

American fought back from a break down to take the second as the wind

contributed to some wild hitting but Hantuchova, who reached the final

of last week's Birmingham grass court event, soon took command again to

dominate the decisive set.

"I was

hitting the ball well before it got really windy and then it got

difficult for both of us and then it was a question of who had the

mentality to win," Hantuchova told British Eurosport."