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Serena Williams reaches French Open semifinals

Serena Williams celebrates after winning her women's quarterfinal

Serena Williams celebrates after winning her women's quarterfinal match against Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva at the Roland Garros 2016 French Tennis Open in Paris on June 2, 2016. Photo Credit: Getty Images/ MARTIN BUREAU

PARIS - Defending champion Serena Williams survived a fright as she labored into the semi-finals of the French Open with a 5-7 6-4 6-1 victory against Kazakh Yulia Putintseva on Thursday.

The world number one, who will take on Swiss eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky or Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens for a place in Saturday's final, made a mess of numerous routine shots as her opponent took the opening set having made only one unforced error.

The American survived two break points at 4-4 in the second set, which she eventually won when world number 60 Putintseva served a double fault.

The momentum had swung Williams's way and the American crushed Putintseva in the decider, wrapping it up on her fourth match point with an unreturnable serve.


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