Venus goes through to US Open semis
Venus Williams beat Serb third seed Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) to reach her seventh semi-final at US open tennis.sports Updated: Sep 06, 2007 16:25 IST
Venus Williams saved face after the humiliating exit of sister Serena as she beat Serb third seed Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) to reach her seventh semi-final at US open tennis.
The elder sister will now have additional motivation Friday as she faces top seed Justine Henin, who hammered Serena Williams mercilessly on Tuesday.
The victory on Wednesday night was the first for Williams against Jankovic in three meetings. The American won as she played only her second final set tie-break at the US Open, the last coming a decade ago.
"If I play the way I did in second set, then I can get another title," said the 2000 and 2001 winner.
"The second set went so fast, I was hoping the third would go that way. But we went the distance, she's an unbelievable competitor," said Williams, who struck nearly 60 unforced errors.
In contrast to the churlish behaviour of Serena in defeat 24 hours earlier, the gracious Jankovic praised her opponent.
"Well done to Venus, she played unbelievable and deserved to win. She was better at the end. I'm really disappointed but I had such a great time playing.
"I wish Venus good luck for the rest of the tournament."
Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova closed the book on this year's Hungarian success story at the tournament with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Agnes Szavay.
The Russian fourth seed denied the teenager the chance to become the first from her nation to reach the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows and the third Hungarian to move to the last eight at any Grand Slam event.
Kuznetsova, the 2004 winner, will next face sixth-seeded compatriot Anna Chakvetadze, who beat Israeli Shahar Peer 6-4, 6-1.
She had beaten Szavay for the New Haven title less than a fortnight ago when the teenager retired with a back injury.
"I'm here to do my best and I have all chances to win if I play my game," Kuznetsova said. "This gets you under a little bit of pressure, but also, your expectation is higher."
Kuznetsova will use her big-match experience against the 20-year-old Chakvetadze who has never been past a Grand Slam quarter-final, though she reached that stage at Australian and French Opens earlier this year.
"She will be extremely confident because she won a couple of tournaments on hard court, she's an upcoming player," Kuznetsova said. "The difference is that I just have a little bit more experience."
First Published: Sep 06, 2007 11:55 IST