Venus Williams gets free pass to Auckland final

DAVID LONG
Last updated 16:14 03/01/2014
 Venus Williams
PETER MEECHAM/ Fairfax NZ
VICTORY: Venus Williams reacts to beating Garbine Muguruza in the quarter finals on day 4 of the ASB Classic at the ASB Tennis Centre in Auckland.

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Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams has progressed to the final of the ASB Classic without hitting a single ball after Jamie Hampton pulled out of their semifinal with a hip injury.

Hampton injured herself this morning at training and, on medical advice, decided to withdraw from the tournament  with the Australian Open in Melbourne in mind. 

"It's not chronic," a gutted Hampton said. "I was just warming up this morning and at the end of my warm-up I was taking a couple of extra swing volleys and I jammed my hip.

"I think I'm out of next week (in Sydney), it's still up in the air, but for the Australian Open I think I'll be fine, especially if I take the proper steps for recovery."

Yesterday, Hampton spoke about her excitement at not only being able to play in a semifinal at the Classic, but also having an opportunity to go up against Williams.

"Yes, it's incredibly disappointing, I would have loved to have played," she said. 

"I would have had the opportunity to play such a great champion, to have the opportunity to make the final and win my first title. But that's how the cookie crumbles.

"It's part of the game, it's part of being an athlete."

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- Fairfax Media

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