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Serena to face Safarova in Charleston final



Charleston, SC (Sports Network) - A rested Serena Williams overpowered fellow former champion Samantha Stosur on Saturday in the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup tennis event.

The fifth-seeded Williams needed only 59 minutes to post a 6-1, 6-1 victory on the green clay at Family Circle Tennis Center.

Williams broke the second-seeded Aussie in the opening game of the match and earned another break with a forehand winner to go up 4-1 in the first set. Stosur failed to take advantage of both break opportunities offered to her in the sixth game before Williams ended the set with a strong backhand return of Stosur's serve.

The 2008 Charleston winner used an overhead smash to go up 2-0 in the second set and broke again in the fourth game. She converted her third match point to advance to Sunday's final.

Fatigue might have played a role in Stosur's performance. Stosur, who titled here two years ago, had to win two matches on Friday in order to reach the semis. First, she had to complete a rain-suspended third-round match from Thursday and then she outlasted Venus Williams in three sets.

Conversely, Serena played only five games before Sabine Lisicki retired from their quarterfinal match.

Stosur was bidding to become the eighth player to defeat both Williams sisters at the same tournament.

Up next for Serena will be Lucie Safarova, who handled 14th-seeded Polona Hercog of Slovenia, 6-0, 6-0. The ninth-seeded Safarova is the first Czech player to reach the final at this event since Regina Marsikova in 1980.

Williams is seeking her 40th career title, while Safarova is vying for her fifth and first since capturing the crown at Forest Hills in 2008.

Safarova, though, is 0-4 lifetime against Williams.

This week's winner will earn $115,000.

04/07 15:59:43 ET


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