Venus reaches San Jose quarterfinals

Williams will take on Greece's Maria Sakkari, who dominated eighth-seeded Hungarian Timea Babos 6-0, 6-1.

Venus Williams, of the United States, hits a backhand to Heather Watson, from Britain, during the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic tennis tournament in San Jose, Calif.   -  AP

Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams held off Britain's Heather Watson 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the WTA hardcourt tournament in San Jose, California.

Third-seeded Williams is the highest seed left in a tournament that saw second-seed Madison Keys follow top-seeded Garbine Muguruza in pulling out because of injury on Thursday.

READ| Keys withdraws from Silicon Valley Classic with injury

Keys, the defending champion, pulled out with a right wrist injury before taking the court for her second-round opener against Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic.

Williams will take on Greece's Maria Sakkari, who dominated eighth-seeded Hungarian Timea Babos 6-0, 6-1.

Williams, who won the title in this event in 2000 and 2002, came back with a vengeance after dropping the second set to Watson. She broke the Briton three times in the final set, dropping just four points on her serve.

“It was a tough match and she played incredible. There were times where I had no answers,” said Williams, who said her goal was to “control the points and enjoy the battle, just get out there and try to do what I know that I can.

“It worked out, thankfully.”

Williams, now the highest-ranked player in the draw, will kick off Thursday's night session against Great Britain's Heather Watson.

READ| Alex wins first ATP Zverev brothers battle, Isner falls

Buzarnescu said she felt the pressure against qualifier Anisimova.

“She's from the new generation, and I'm from the old one, and I knew the pressure would be on me because she has nothing to lose,” the Romanian said.

The other two quarterfinal match-ups were decided on Wednesday, when Britain's Johanna Konta followed up her stunning defeat of Serena Williams with a straight-sets victory over US teenager Sofia Kenin to book a meeting with fourth-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium.

American Daniell Collins will take on former world number one Victoria Azarenka for a place in the semifinals.