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Barty beats Venus to remain on course for No. 1 ranking

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BIRMINGHAM, England — French Open champion Ashleigh Barty remains on course for the No. 1 ranking after beating seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams 6-4, 6-3 at the Birmingham Classic on Friday.

Barty hit five aces in the 85-minute quarterfinal against former No. 1 Williams and stretched her winning run to 10 matches. The Australian, currently No. 2, needs to win the tournament to overtake Naomi Osaka at the top the rankings on Monday.

Osaka lost to Yulia Putintseva in the second round on Thursday and needs to wait to see if she’ll still be top heading into Wimbledon, which starts on July 1.

Barty next faces Barbora Strycova in the semifinals. Strycova won an all-Czech clash over qualifier Kristyna Pliskova 6-2, 6-4.

Also, Petra Martic saved five match points as she defeated Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-1. The Croatian will face Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan or Julia Goerges of Germany in the semifinals.

U.S. Open purse to surpass $57 million

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NEW YORK — The U.S. Open total purse this year is more than $57 million, the richest in tennis history.

The men’s and women’s singles champion will each receive $3.85 million, and the men’s and women’s doubles champion teams will get $740,000. Those are both the highest payouts in U.S. Open history.

The U.S. Tennis Association said Thursday it worked with the ATP and WTA Tours to determine specific round-by-round prize money levels, and that the payouts for each round are all Grand Slam tournament records.

The payouts start at $58,000 for the first round of singles.

The USTA adds that it will make a payment of $500,000 to each tour to support the ATP and WTA Tour player programs, including pension.

The final major of the year will be played Aug. 26 through Sept. 8.

Venus Williams to play San Jose for second straight year

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Venus Williams has committed to play in San Jose later this month, her second straight appearance in the event.

She will play her opening match of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in the night session July 30 after reaching the 2018 quarterfinals. The seven-time Grand Slam champion is in the field for the 15th time, though the tournament moved from Stanford to San Jose last year.

The 39-year-old Williams will be a wild-card entry in the tournament.