Jankovic humbles Wozniacki, in last four

Serena tops Maroon Group with three wins

US’ Venus Williams makes a forehand return to Svetlana Kuznetsova of  Russia in the WTA Championships in Doha on Thursday. AFP

The former world number one had spent just 95 minutes on court here in her first two matches compared to the nearly six hours of sweat and toil put in by 19-year-old Wozniacki, and it showed in a one-sided contest.

From 2-2 in the first set Wozniacki, who collapsed in agony with cramp near the end of her brutal victory against Vera Zvonareva 24 hours earlier, simply ran out of gas.

She managed to stop the rot when she broke back once late in the second set but there was no way back for the U.S. Open finalist who must now wait for the result of the final White Group match between Victoria Azarenka and second alternate Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

Jankovic, who was ranked number one in the world earlier this year, seemed ready to pack her bags and go home after losing to Azarenka in the season-ending tournament's opening match on Tuesday, so disheartened she was with her form. In her second match of the $4.5 million showpiece event she got a major stroke of luck when Russia's Dinara Safina pulled out after 12 minutes with a back injury.

The cards continued to fall in her favour on Friday as Wozniacki clearly had not recovered from the punishment her body had taken in the previous two days in her three-set victories against Azarenka and Zvonareva. “I didn't really know what to expect from her today,” a sweat-soaked Jankovic said on court. “I saw what happened to her yesterday but I just concentrated on trying to win the match and get through to the semi-finals.”

Jankovic joins Serena Williams, who topped the Maroon Group with three wins, in Saturday's semi-finals with the last two spots to be decided later.  Elena Dementieva can progress with victory over fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, although a Kuznetsova victory would mean calculators would be needed to work out the standings with defending champion Venus Williams still in the frame.
On Thursday, World number one Serena Williams marched into the semi-finals of the WTA Championships on Thursday with a comfortable win over Elena Dementieva while sister Venus kept her title hopes alive long after midnight.
Serena's 6-2, 6-4 victory completed a 100 percent record for the American in Maroon Group and confirmed her as the first player through to the last four at the season-ending showpiece.
Venus, who suffered narrow defeats to Dementieva and Serena in her first two matches, beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 in a hard-hitting clash and must now sweat on Friday's results before knowing whether she will be in action at the weekend. Serena's three wins in three days means the others are scrapping for second spot.

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