Kuznetsova ousts Venus to reach Wuhan Open quarters

Simona Halep of Romania hits a return shot against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan during the WTA Wuhan Open in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. (Chinatopix via AP)

WUHAN, China (AP) Svetlana Kuznetsova ousted defending champion Venus Williams 6-2, 6-2 to reach the Wuhan Open quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Kuznetsova dominated Williams from the outset, breaking the American five times. She improved to 5-4 against Williams.

Williams struggled with her serve in the gusty conditions and had seven double faults.

Simona Halep of Romania also advanced past Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-3.

Halep, showing no sign of the hamstring injury that ruled her out of Tokyo last week, will face Madison Keys of the United States in the quarterfinals. Keys beat Russian qualifier Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.