WUHAN, China (AP):Venus Williams did what her sister Serena couldn’t do, beating Roberta Vinci yesterday after saving a match point in the semi-finals of the Wuhan Open.The unseeded Williams won 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4) after Vinci came from 4-1 down in the final set but failed to serve out the match when leading 6-5, 40-30.”Roberta played so well today – she had match point – so it was lucky for me to win this match,” Williams said.The No.15-seeded Italian sliced a backhand into the net on her match point and Williams pounced, hitting a pair of huge groundstrokes in the next two points to break back.Williams ripped a forehand volley to go up 6-4 in the tiebreaker and clinched the victory when Vinci missed a forehand wide.Before yesterday’s match, Williams, who earned her 700th career victory to reach the quarter-finals, had never dropped a set against the Italian veteran – who ended little sister Serena’s chances of a calendar-year Grand Slam in the US Open semifinals.”Definitely watching the match at the US Open, I learned a lot from Serena,” Williams said. “If I could, I’d give my win to Serena at the US Open. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.”The former top-ranked American will face fifth-seeded Garbine Muguruza in today’s final. Muguruza beat sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber 6-4, 7-6 (5).”It was a really tough match and I had to struggle today,” Muguruza said. “Venus is a legend. I’ll have to go out there and do my best to win against her, and I think it’s going to be a great final.”
Simon will miss the Islanders’ final 15 regular-season contests and the entire postseason, if the club gets that far. If the team plays fewer than 10playoff games this year, the suspension will carry over to next season. Statsny tops mark: Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny assisted on a first-period goal Sunday, giving him a point in 18 consecutive games and setting the NHL record for the longest points streak by a rookie. If Chris Simon plays again for the New York Islanders, or for anyone else in the NHL, it won’t be until next season. The NHL hit back hard Sunday, suspending the Islanders forward for a league-record 25games. Simon will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs as punishment for his two-handed stick attack to the face of the New York Rangers’ Ryan Hollweg in a 2-1 loss Thursday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!