Jankovic and Williams sisters reach semi-finals of WTA
Jelena Jankovic crushed leg-weary Caroline Wozniacki to reach the semi-finals, while American Venus Williams joins her sister in the final stages, having reached the last four without hitting a ball.
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AFP - Defending champion Venus Williams reached the semi-finals of the 4.55 million dollar WTA Championships on Friday without hitting a ball
The American, who lost two of her three group matches, joined sister Serena in the last four after Svetlana Kuznetsova had defeated Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-2 in the concluding Maroon Group match.
Under a complicated qualifying system, Venus pipped Dementieva for a last four place despite both players having a win apiece and with the Russian having defeated the American when they met on Tuesday.
However, Venus went through having won more sets over her three outings.
In the White Group, Jelena Jankovic, who made the semi-finals in 2008 just before her elevation to the world number one spot, also made the last four, comfortably defeating US Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-2.
But Jankovic came into her match far fresher than her teenage opponent, the world number four.
The 24-year-old Serbian, defeated in her opener by Victoria Azarenka, had spent just 95 minutes in total on court in two matches after Dinara Safina withdrew through injury from her second tie after only 12 minutes.
In dramatic contrast, Wozniacki needed 5hr 48min to see off Azarenka and then Vera Zvonareva, only surviving the clash with the Russian after overcoming a crippling attack of cramps.
Wozniacki can still make the semi-finals, but she now needs Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, who has replaced the injured Zvonareva, to beat best friend Azarenka later Friday.
"I didn't have anything left," said Wozniacki, who again played with her left thigh tightly-strapped and appeared at her news conference with her leg and stomach iced.
"I couldn't play like I wanted to. I had some pain in my stomach muscle, as well, so I couldn't serve. If you're not a hundred percent, it's tough to win.
"I feel like I deserve to get to the semifinals. But I did everything I could. If I don't get there, it's just bad luck. I still have many more years in front of me. So hopefully I can make it another time."
For Jankovic, who made the season-ending championships as the eighth and last qualifier, thanks to a runner-up finish in Tokyo, it was a third win in three matches against the Dane.
"I wanted to reach the semi-finals and I didn't want to get into long rallies with Caroline," said Jankovic, who admitted she had let herself down in her opening defeat to Azarenka.
"I only arrived on Sunday from Moscow where it was very cold and here it's very hot. It takes time to get used to the conditions. It was a bad day against Victoria.
"But in tournaments like these it's important how you finish, not how you start."
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