Williams, who went undefeated at this tournament last year and is the No.7 seed this year, had a losing record against Kuznetsova coming into the match, having lost four of their seven previous meetings; but this time she was on the ball, barely missing out on a straight set win but regrouping in the third set, breaking at love in the second-to-last game before serving out the two-hour, 28-minute victory. Highlights: V.Williams vs. Kuznetsova
"The last couple of matches I tried to learn from my mistakes," Williams said. "When I make a mistake, I try to learn from it instead of get frustrated by it." Interviews: Venus Victorious
Williams had lost tight three-setters to Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams in her first two round robin matches and needed to win Thursday to keep her hopes of advancing to the semifinal round alive. Thursday Highlights
"My first two matches were close - one point here or there and I could have three wins instead of one," Williams added. "I guess that's the beauty of round robin. Just win as much as you can. It can get a little frustrating going into a match at 0-2... but I stayed positive." Features: Meet the Maroon Group
Serena Williams has already secured one of the two semifinal spots for the Maroon Group. The last match of that group, pitting Kuznetsova against Dementieva on Friday, will determine who gets the second spot. Should Kuznetsova win, Venus Williams will get the second berth; should Dementieva win, Dementieva will get the second berth.
In the White Group on Friday, Caroline Wozniacki plays Jelena Jankovic and Victoria Azarenka plays Agnieszka Radwanska. The first match of the day pits Wozniacki against Jankovic - if Wozniacki wins that, then Wozniacki and Azarenka get the two semifinal berths, no matter how the second match goes. If Jankovic wins that, then Jankovic gets the first semifinal berth, and Azarenka will need to win her match to get the second semifinal berth (otherwise Wozniacki will get it).
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Check out Venus' Season Highlights Gallery!
Read about Serena Williams' victory on Thursday
Read about Caroline Wozniacki's marathon match on Thursday