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In a major setback, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams suffered a crushing defeat against World No. 15 Elena Vesnina to bow out of the Indian Wells Masters under the lights of Stadium 1 on Thursday evening.
Elena defeated Venus 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in a last-eight contest that lasted for more than two hours.
"It was a very heartbreaking match," said the World No. 15 after the match. "I know everyone was cheering for Venus. I don't know how I won that game from 0-40, because she was fighting. She was fighting and fighting every game."
Elena will now face Kristina Mladenovic of France for a place in Sunday's final, against whom she has a 2-0 head-to-head record.
Williams, who ended a 15-year boycott of the event last year but lost her opening match, was in pursuit of a first Indian Wells title.
The 30-year-old has lifted two doubles crowns in the Coachella Valley, with Indian ace Sania Mirza in 2011 and Ekaterina Makarova in 2013.
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