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Ivanovic and Jankovic for all-Serbian show in semis

Latest update : 2009-05-25

World number two Ana Ivanovic will meet third seed Jelena Jankovic in the Roland Garros women's semi-finals. Ivanovic defeated Swiss Patty Schneider, while Jankovic won over Carla Suarez Navarro.

AFP - Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic set up an all-Serbian semi-final showdown at the French Open as both scored comfortable straight sets wins on Tuesday.

Second seeded Ivanovic, 20, moved within one match of her third Grand Slam final in the past year by defeating Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder 6-3, 6-2 in her quarter-final.

Third seed Jankovic, 23, then powered past Spanish qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2 to reach her fourth Grand Slam semi-final.

The pair have met six times with Ivanovic winning five of them but it will be their first meeting in a Grand Slam tournament.

"We have played many times before, and we always have tough matches," Ivanovic said of her compatriot.

"I think we have played only once on green clay and never at a Grand Slam.

"It's going to be an interesting match and at least we have one Serbian for sure in the final."

The 20-year-old second seed lost to Justine Henin in straight sets in the final here last year and to Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final in January.

Playing in damp, overcast conditions, Ivanovic broke early to lead 2-0, but the 29-year-old 10th seed, playing in her 48th Grand Slam tournament and 13th straight at Roland Garros, hit back to level at 2-2.

Ivanovic was clearly the more powerful of the two with Schnyder looking to counter by moving the bigger woman around with her looping cross-court groundstrokes.

The Belgrade beauty took the first set 6-3 and she immediately broke to love in the opening game of the second, a deft drop shot winner doing the damage on break point.

Schnyder had three break points on the Ivanovic serve in the following game, but she could not convert any of them and when the Serb went 3-0, there was no way back for her opponent.

Following Monday's defeat of top seed Sharapova, Ivanovic is assured of taking the world No.1 spot for the first time if she lifts the title here on Saturday.

Jankovic had too much savvy for 19-year-old Suarez Navarro who has been playing in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time and who no-one expected to get so far.

Earlier in the day, the quarter-final line-up was completed when two fourth round matches held over from late Monday finished.

Fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova made it three Russians into the last eight wrapping up a 6-2, 6-3 win over Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

Kanepi made it through to her first Grand Slam quarter-final with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in another tie left unfinished on Monday.

"No-one from the Estonia has ever made it to the quarter-finals for women so I am very pleased about that," she said.

"I have been believing in myself that I can beat the top players and I was hoping for a breakthrough sometime."

The two have not played each other on the senior stage, but underdog Kanepi will take heart from the fact that she defeated Kuznetsova in three sets to win the French Open junior girls title in 2001.

Kuznetsova though is in sparkling form dropping just 19 games on the way into the quarter-finals.

"So far I have had it easy for four rounds. I don't know if I have had so quick rounds. I didn't lose more than six games in the match," she said.

"I feel like I have matured as the years go by, and I'm just really enjoying myself here. But it's a box of surprises probably coming."

The two remaining last eight ties will be played on Wednesday opposing Kuznetsova and Kanepi on the one hand and Sharapova's conqueror Dinara Safina against fellow Russian Elena Dementieva on the other.

Date created : 2008-06-03

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