CHARLESTON, United States - Canadian starlet Eugenie Bouchard held off former world No. 1 Venus Williams 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the Family Circle Cup quarter-finals.
Bouchard, an Australian Open semi-finalist who is seeded sixth in the WTA premier level event, saved two set points in the first-set tie-breaker, and rallied from a break down in the third to advance. She will meet either second-seeded Serbian Jelena Jankovic or Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Williams followed her younger sister, world No. 1 and top seed Serena Williams, out of the tournament. Serena was stunned in her opening match by Slovakian Jana Cepelova, who followed up that big win with a 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-3 victory over 13th-seeded Russian Elena Vesnina.
Venus Williams, who won the Charleston title in 2004, held two set points at 6-4 in the first-set tiebreaker, but 20-year-old Bouchard won four successive points en route to taking the set. Although the American broke for a 2-1 lead in the third set, her unforced errors allowed Bouchard to get back into the game.
"In the second set she really started going for her shots," Bouchard said. "I just tried to keep fighting. It was a little bit ugly at times, but I just kept trying to fight through it."
Third-seeded Sara Errani of Italy advanced with a narrow 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5) victory over China's Peng Shuai, who had a set point in each set but could not convert.