Williams faces Konta in Stanford final

Top seed Venus Williams defeated US countryman Alison Riske on Saturday in the semi-finals of the Stanford Classic to set up a clash with Britain's Johanna Konta in the final.

Williams needed one hour and 41 minutes to beat Riske 6-1, 7-6(2) in their second ever meeting, Venus having won their first match in straight sets in Charleston earlier in the year.

In the opening set, Williams started well by holding serve and immediately breaking her opponent's to lead 2-0 and then broke again to lead 4-0. 

Things went with serve thereafter for the 36-year-old to claim the set 6-1 in just 29 minutes. 

The second set was a much closer affair, things went with serve until the fifth game when the 26-year-old Riske was broken but the very next game she broke straight back and then saved five break points to lead 4-3.

Then in the ninth game Williams broke her opponent's serve and served for the match. But there was still plenty of fight left in Riske, who saved two match points to break back for 5-5. Things then proceeded to a tie-break which Williams comfortably won 7-2 to set up a final against Konta on Sunday.   
In the other semi-final, Konta caused an upset when she cruised past Slovak second seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-2 in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

One service break in the third game was all Konta needed to claim the opening set 6-4 and in the second set, breaks in the third and seventh games gave her the set and match 6-2 and a final meeting with Williams.