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"Yes!" she hollered.
It was the first real test of the tournament for Williams, who lost 10 games after losing a total of 10 games in her four earlier matches. She laughed at herself, screamed at herself, violently shook her uncooperative racket and cocked it over her head, threatening to fling it before she changed her mind.
Williams finally found a way out of her funk — and into the semifinals. She extended her career-best winning streak to 29 consecutive matches.
In a post-match on-court interview, Williams seemed spent.
"I’m very happy to have won this quarterfinal because the whole night I was afraid of my quarterfinal match," she told the crowd in French. "It was a very tough match today, but it’s good for me because, I don’t know, but it’s very good. I am exhausted."
Kuznetsova said strained an abdominal muscle early in the tournament, which hampered her serve, but her aggressive returns kept pressure on Williams.
"I did push her to the limit I think today, even without my serve," Kuznetsova said. "I was serving like, I don’t know, a grandmother."
Williams is the first American woman to reach the French Open semifinals since Jennifer Capriati in 2004. Her opponent Thursday will be 2012 runner-up Sara Errani, who advanced by beating No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 7-6 (6).
Williams is 5-0 against Errani.
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