Venus makes Dubai semis

Venus Williams continued her return to form as she beat Flavia Pennetta in straight sets to reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.

Williams is looking a lot more like her old self in Dubai, and the seven-time grand slam champion recorded her third successive straight sets victory to motor into the last four.

It was not all plain sailing for Williams in her 6-4 7-5 victory over the Italian, with the American enduring a slow start and nervy finish before eventually getting over the line.

The 33-year-old is desperately trying to get back into the ranks of the world's best, although she admitted she was getting nervy when trying to put Pennetta away.

"I was just thinking, god, what if she comes back and plays amazing," said Venus. "She's very tenacious and has done unbelievable to get back from injury."

"I pray and try a million different things all the time. Serena has been extremely supportive and my family have changed their life style for me. It makes me feel better."

Williams will face former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki for a place in the final, after the Dane enjoyed a comfortable 6-1 6-2 victory over Sorana Cirstea.

And there's still the chance of a first all-Williams final in five years after Serena also booked her place in the last four with a commanding 6-2 6-2 win over Jelena Jankovic.

She will take on unseeded Alize Cornet of France, who overcame Carla Suarez-Navarro 7-5 6-3.