Venus versus Serena for WTA final

Defending champion Venus Williams (pictured) and her sister Serena will face each other for the 23rd time in their careers on Sunday in the final of the 4.55 million dollar WTA Championships.


Reuters - Defending champion Venus Williams completed her circuitous route to the final of the WTA Championships on Saturday, beating Jelena Jankovic 5-7 6-3 6-4.

The weary-looking American will face sister Serena, who won the second semi-final against Caroline Wozniacki after the Dane pulled out with a stomach injury while trailing 6-4 0-1.

Venus, who seemed down and out after losing her first two Maroon Group matches here this week but her victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova edged her through to the last four by virtue of sets won, again struggled to find her best form.

She also needed treatment on her knee several times during the match but the seven-times grand slam champion gradually turned things in her favour after Jankovic failed to take her

The 29-year-old is the first player to reach the final at the end-of-season showpiece despite losing two matches in the round robin stage since Amelie Mauresmo in 2003.

"In the first set I couldn't feel the ball and couldn't seem to get a ball in," Venus, who has played four three-set matches here at the Khalifa Tennis Centre totalling nearly eight hours, said courtside. "But this is my last tournament of the year so I'm giving 1,000 percent."

Jankovic, who also enjoyed some good fortune to qualify for the last four when Dinara Safina retired after two games of their White Group clash on Wednesday, broke the Venus serve at 5-5 in the first set and then held her own to go ahead.

Venus appeared to be struggling more than Jankovic in the stifling humidity and served two double faults at 2-2 in the second set to trail 0-40 only for Jankovic to let her opponent off the hook with some wasteful errors.

The Serb then saved two break points in the next game but Venus seized her chance when the a third opportunity arose, pounding away a forehand before going on to level the match.

Jankovic broke serve early in the decider but surrendered her own delivery three times in a row and although she did hang on at 3-5, Venus clinched victory in the next game with a forehand that dropped off the net tape.

"It's disappointing. I had so many chances. I had a lot of break points in the second set but then I let everything slip away," Jankovic, who has slipped down the rankings this year after being number one in January, told reporters.

"That was my last match of the season. Now I go to vacation, and then I can focus on other things than playing tennis."


Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning