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Venus Williams upbeat after loss in Eastbourne quarterfinals

Venus_275 Venus Williams feels good heading into Wimbledon next week despite a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 loss to Daniela Hantuchova in Thursday's Eastbourne quarterfinals.

“It's not the best luck today, but I feel good about my preparation," said Williams, who was playing her first event in five months due to hip and abdominal injuries. “I feel really positive about my matches here. I thought I played pretty good. I thought more than anything I was able to get a lot of great competition. This has been ideal.”

Sister Serena Williams also returned from a lengthy hiatus at Eastbourne, a traditional Wimbledon warm-up. She lost to Vera Zvonareva in Wednesday's second round.

Both Venus Williams and Hantuchova battled a strong wind in the third set, which was tied at 2-2 before Hantuchova took over by sweeping the next four games.

“I was really looking forward to the match today, and really pleased that I was able to win,” said Hantuchova, who advances to a semifinal against Petra Kvitova. “It's obviously nice to see [the Williams sisters] both back. I think they're great for the game.”


Serena Williams seeded No. 7 at Wimbledon

Second-seeded Kim Clijsters withdraws from Wimbledon

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Venus Williams. Credit: Dylan Martinez /Reuters

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