- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

KEY BISCAYNE, FLA. (AP) - Serena Williams has retained the No. 1 ranking by beating her sister in the semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Williams defeated older sister Venus 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 Thursday night in their 20th sibling showdown. Each has won 10 times.

Serena needed to reach the final to retain the top ranking she has held since Feb. 2. Otherwise she would have been supplanted next week by No. 2-ranked Dinara Safina.

Serena’s opponent Saturday will be 19-year-old Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

When Serena closed out her victory, she hopped in delight, raised a fist and shouted “Yes!” She then met her sister at the net with a handshake and slap on the back.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Thursday

At The Tennis Center at Crandon Park

Key Biscayne, Fla.

Purse: Men, $4.5 million (Masters 1000); Women, $4.5 million (Premier)

Surface: Hard-Outdoor

Singles

Men

Quarterfinals

Juan Martin del Potro (6), Argentina, def. Rafael Nadal (1), Spain, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3).

Andy Murray (4), Britain, def. Fernando Verdasco (8), Spain, 6-1, 6-2.

Women

Semifinals

Victoria Azarenka (11), Belarus, def. Svetlana Kuznetsova (8), Russia, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

Serena Williams (1), United States, def. Venus Williams (5), United States, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Doubles

Men

Semifinals

Ashley Fisher and Stephen Huss, Australia, def. Bob and Mike Bryan (1), United States, 7-6 (6), 6-4.

Max Mirnyi, Belarus, and Andy Ram, Israel, def. Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer, Austria, 4-6, 7-6 (8), 10-6 tiebreak.

Women

Quarterfinals

Kveta Peschke, Czech Republic, and Lisa Raymond (3), United States, def. Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, United States, 6-3, 6-2.

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