Kerber holds off Venus to reach Indian Wells semis

Indian Wells - World No 8 Angelique Kerber denied Venus Williams a second straight Indian Wells semi-final appearance on Thursday, downing the seven-time Grand Slam champion 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 in the quarter-finals.

Germany's Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam winner dominated the tie-breaker to grab a hard-fought first set that featured four breaks of serve.

The German had to fight for the lone break of the second set as Williams saved four break points to hold for 2-2 and saved four more in the sixth game before Kerber finally converted one for a 4-2 lead that would stand up the rest of the way.

Kerber booked a semi-final showdown with red-hot Belinda Bencic, who stretched her WTA match winning streak to 12-0 with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory over fifth-ranked Karolina Pliskova.

Results on Thursday in the BNP Paribas Open WTA and ATP Masters hardcourt tournament (x-denotes seeded player):

Men

Quarter-finals

Dominic Thiem (AUT x7) bt Gael Monfils (FRA x18) walkover

Milos Raonic (CAN x13) bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-3, 6-4

Women

Quarter finals

Belinda Bencic (SUI x23) bt Karolína Plískova (CZE x5) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Angelique Kerber (GER x8) bt Venus Williams (USA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3