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<font size=+1>Tennis-Williams wins through to semi-finals</font>

GOLD COAST, Australia, Jan 3 (Reuters) - World number three Venus Williams faces a possible walkover in Friday's Australian women's hardcourt championships semifinals after a straight sets victory in Thursday's quarter-finals.

The American's scheduled opponent, Russia's world number 39 Nadia Petrova, overcame a shoulder injury to beat fifth-seeded Italian and world number 14 Silvia Farina-Elia 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 in their quarter-final on Thursday.

Petrova battled on bravely after dropping the first three games of the second set and receiving court-side treatment on her injured right shoulder.

Top seed Williams fired off nine aces as she beat Japan's eighth seed Ai Sugiyama 6-2 6-4.

Williams said she had room for improvement, pointing to her nine double faults.

"I don't have to hit the double faults I was hitting today," the U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion said.

"By the time I get to Melbourne (for the Australian Open starting on January 14) I won't be.

"When I'm out there making mistakes, I'm not extremely upset about it. I'm hopefully streamlining for the next match."

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