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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2008, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Stuttgart 2008

Serena Williams returns in Stuttgart

The Associated Press
Monday, September 29, 2008
STUTTGART, Germany: Serena Williams would happily forgo the US$100,000 (€70,000) prizemoney that goes to the winner of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
She'd much rather drive off in the bright red convertible parked courtside.
The tournament gives the winner a choice — either a cash prize or a low-slung Porsche 911 sports car. Williams, returning to action for the first time since beating Jelena Jankovic in the final of the U.S. Open three weeks ago and regaining the world No. 1 ranking, knows which she'd prefer.
"I've been trying for so long to win the Porsche, it's about time to take that 911 home," Williams said on Monday.
Williams lost in the quarterfinals last year, to Svetlana Kuznetsova, and she could run into the Russian again at the same stage this week.
Both Williams sisters are in Stuttgart. Venus is seeded sixth and is in the opposite half of the draw, meaning the sisters cannot meet until the final. The two are also playing doubles. They won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing.
Serena will also be seeking to defend her No. 1 ranking. Jankovic, who won the China Open on Sunday, is only 21 points behind.
"I'm close to gaining the No. 1 spot again, but I'm just trying to focus on playing one match at a time and working on my game," Jankovic said in China. "I would love to come back to No. 1 and end the year at No. 1."
Serena has the same goal.
"The U.S. Open is not the end of the year," Williams told reporters. "I hope to do well in the last tournaments of the year."
The nine-time Grand Slam champion had a first-round bye and will play Li Na in her opener. The Chinese player beat Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 in the tournament's first match on Monday.
Third-ranked Dinara Safina and No. 4 Elena Dementieva also could end the year as No. 1. The pair and Jankovic also had first-round byes.
Dementieva won the women's singles Olympic gold medal by beating Venus Williams in the final.
"But there is still a lot to achieve ... I am still thinking of the No. 1," she said.
Dementieva will play Sybille Bammer of Austria in the second round, while Jankovic meets Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine, who beat Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Bammer beat German wild card Tatjana Malek 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 from a break down in the final set and saved two match points.
Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova are the only top-10 players missing from the indoor tournament.
Last year's winner, Justine Henin, has retired.
http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=16560678

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2008, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Venus Williams advances at Porsche GP
Associated Press
Published: 9/30/2008 1:55 PM
STUTTGART, Germany -- Venus Williams made a successful return to the Porsche Grand Prix after 10 years, advancing to the second round by beating Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-1, 6-2 Tuesday.
"She hit some great shots but my experience helped me," said the sixth-seeded Williams, who made it into the second round in 1998 in her only previous appearance in Stuttgart.
Williams needed four set points to close out the first set, committing a double-fault on one. She then broke serve for 1-0 at love to start the second. Up two breaks to lead 4-1, Williams allowed the German one more game and hit a forehand winner on her second match point.
Williams next plays qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko, who rallied to upset 15th-ranked Flavia Pennetta 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Eight-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska swept past Sandra Zahlavova 6-3, 6-2.
Another qualifier advanced when Tsvetana Pironkova beat teenager Alize Cornet of France 6-2, 6-1. The Bulgarian next plays third-seeded Dinara Safina of Russia, who had a bye into the second round, along with the tournament's other top three players -- Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva.
Marion Bartoli of France advanced by beating Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-1, and Victoria Azarenka wasted a 5-2 lead before overcoming Agnes Szavay 7-5, 6-3 to set up a second-round contest against Radwanska.
The indoor tournament has brought together eight of the top 10 players in the world, with only Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova missing.
Serena Williams, who regained the No. 1 ranking after winning the U.S. Open, plays Wednesday against China's Li Na.
Williams' closest rival to finish the year as No. 1 is Jankovic, who trails by 21 points. Jankovic, who won the China Open on Sunday, will not play until Thursday, when she meets Alona Bondarenko, Kateryna's sister.
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/print/?id=239278

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2008, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Serena Williams aims to win Porsche in Grand Prix return


Wednesday, October 1, 2008
AP




STUTTGART, Germany -- Serena Williams would happily forgo the US$100,000 (euro70,000) prize money that goes to the winner of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

She'd much rather drive off in the bright red convertible parked courtside. The tournament gives the winner a choice -- either a cash prize or a low-slung Porsche 911 sports car. Williams, returning to action for the first time since beating Jelena Jankovic in the final of the U.S. Open three weeks ago and regaining the world No. 1 ranking, knows which she'd prefer. "I've been trying for so long to win the Porsche, it's about time to take that 911 home," Williams said on Monday.
Williams lost in the quarterfinals last year, to Svetlana Kuznetsova, and she could run into the Russian again at the same stage this week.
Both Williams sisters are in Stuttgart. Venus is seeded sixth and is in the opposite half of the draw, meaning the sisters cannot meet until the final. The two are also playing doubles. They won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing.
Serena will also be seeking to defend her No. 1 ranking. Jankovic, who won the China Open on Sunday, is only 21 points behind.
"I'm close to gaining the No. 1 spot again, but I'm just trying to focus on playing one match at a time and working on my game," Jankovic said in China. "I would love to come back to No. 1 and end the year at No. 1."
Serena has the same goal.
"The U.S. Open is not the end of the year," Williams told reporters. "I hope to do well in the last tournaments of the year."
The nine-time Grand Slam champion had a first-round bye and will play Li Na in her opener. The Chinese player beat Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 in the tournament's first match on Monday.
Third-ranked Dinara Safina and No. 4 Elena Dementieva also could end the year as No. 1. The pair and Jankovic also had first-round byes.
Dementieva won the women's singles Olympic gold medal by beating Venus Williams in the final.
"But there is still a lot to achieve ... I am still thinking of the No. 1," she said.
Dementieva will play Sybille Bammer of Austria in the second round, while Jankovic meets Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine, who beat Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Bammer beat German wild card Tatjana Malek 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 from a break down in the final set and saved two match points.
Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova are the only top-10 players missing from the indoor tournament. Last year's winner, Justine Henin, has retired.
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/print/176933.htm

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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Serena falls to Li in seesaw match in Stuttgart

Wed Oct 1, 2008 3:16pm EDT
BERLIN (Reuters) - China's Li Na recovered from a terrible start to pull off a scarcely credible 0-6 6-1 6-4 victory over world number one Serena Williams in the second round of the Stuttgart Grand Prix Wednesday.
Williams, playing her first match at the indoor tournament after receiving a first-round bye, took advantage of a series of errors from her unseeded opponent to take the first set in just 21 minutes.
It looked a complete mismatch at that stage but in the second set Li suddenly found her range, hitting the lines more and more often and putting Williams under increasing pressure.
Williams, who won her ninth grand slam title at the U.S. Open last month, made 11 unforced errors in the second, dropping her serve twice along the way, and despite improving in the third she was unable to re-establish herself.
Li broke for 4-3 in the decider and while Williams saved three match-points in her next service game she was unable to stop her opponent serving out for the match, which she clinched with an ace down the middle.
Li was joined in the quarter-finals by Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who upset eighth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 7-5.
Patty Schnyder of Switzerland earlier overcame Russian fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 4-6 7-5 in an entertaining first round match.
Serving strongly throughout, the 29-year-old Schnyder set up match-point when Kuznetsova marginally overhit a return and clinched it when the Russian's attempted backhand winner drifted wide.
http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?...49080920081001

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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Williams world supremacy threatened after Chinese star defeats her


STUTTGART, Germany (AFP) — China's Li Na claimed a famous scalp on Wednesday when she defeated world number one Serena Williams 0-6, 6-1, 6-4 here at the WTA tournament and pretty much cost the powerfully-built American her top world ranking.
In a dramatic match which see-sawed several times, Li rallied having been totally over-whelmed in the first set to put Williams under immense pressure.
"I was very nervous in the first set and I just didn't have a chance," said Li, who lost to Russia's Dinara Safina in the Olympic Games semi-finals having beaten Serena's sister Venus in the quarter-finals.
"I told myself: 'Come on, it's only been 20 minutes - you could still win this after an hour'.
"I knew I just had to hang in there."
Williams started the second round match with a hiss and a roar as she demolished Li 6-0 in just 21 minutes.
But despite being over-powered early on, the Chinese star replied by taking a 3-0 lead in the next set and used a strong base-line game to take the second 6-1 in just 28 minutes.
The game was delicately poised at 3-3 in the third when Williams missed her line shot and was broken by Li who extended her advantage to 5-3, but Williams defended three match points and held her serve to give herself a faint hope at 5-4 down.
Li had to defend a break point of her own before she hit her sixth ace of the game to win the match after one hour 35 minutes to reach the quarter-finals.
"I just started to make a lot of errors," admitted Williams afterwards.
"I pretty much gave it to her, it was like I said: 'Here you go, you have a win today'.
"Maybe I started to doubt myself, I made a lot of mistakes which helps her cause.
"She played really well, especially in the third set where she just fought for everything.
"I am disappointed I lost today (Wednesday), especially so soon in the tournament."
Williams now looks set to lose her number one ranking to nearest challenger Jelena Jankovic.
"To be quite honest I don't deserve it playing like that," said Williams.
"But I guarantee I will get it back."
Also joining Li in the quarter-finals is Olympic champion Elena Dementieva who needed just over an hour to beat Austria's Sybille Bammer 6-1, 6-4 in Wednesday night's second-round match.
Earlier, fifth-seed Svetlana Kuznetsova was a big-name casualty in the first round as she lost in three sets to Switzerland's Patty Schnyder.
The 'Swiss Miss' needed just over two hours to beat the 2004 US Open champion and this year's French Open semi-finalist 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to take her place in the second round.
Kuznetsova made a slow start and was quickly on the backfoot as Schnyder broke her early and served out the first set.
The Russian grew stronger and returned the favour in the second set to level the match, but Schnyder held her nerve.
Despite four aces from Kuznetsova in a tense and hard-fought final set, Schnyder broke the Russian, defended a break-point against her and then served out.
Schnyder, 29, ranked 11th in the world has had a successful season so far, reaching the last eight at both the US Open and the French Open.
She will meet another Russian, Nadia Petrova, in the second round.
The second seed of the day to tumble was Polish teenager Agnies Radwanska when the eighth seed lost to Bulgaria's Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 7-5 in the second round.
The 19-year-old will play either Olympic champion Elena Dementieva or Austria's Sybille Bammer in Friday's quarter-finals.
Beijing bronze medallist Vera Zvonareva was rarely troubled by Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova as the seventh seed swept into the second round with a 6-3, 6-2 straight sets win in 78 minutes.
Zvonareva will play France's Marion Bartoli in the second round.
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5..._s4UAlScCFwdaw

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2008, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Serena stunned in Stuttgart


Unseeded Na Li upset top seed Serena Williams 0-6 6-1 6-4 in Wednesday's second round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
With the victory, the 26-year-old Li claimed her second win over the Williams family this season, having also upset Venus en route to the Olympic semi-finals in Beijing.
Serena, who received a first-round bye at this hardcourt event, was seeing her first action since winning her ninth Grand Slam title at the US Open last month.
The 27-year-old American also ascended to the top of the rankings with that triumph. But with the loss against Li, she will now be replaced atop the rankings by Jelena Jankovic next week.
"Obviously I want to be number one, but I am not focusing on that," Williams said. "I am focusing on winning titles and that goes hand in hand."
Williams looked like the best player in world as she won the first set at love, but never broke Li's serve thereafter.
Trailing 5-3 in the final set, Williams held serve but then squandered three break chances to get the match even.
Li's quarter-final opponent will be the winner of the second-round match between Nadia Petrova and Patty Schnyder, who advanced Wednesday with an upset of her own. The 29-year-old Swiss knocked off fifth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 4-6 7-5.
On what was a rough day for seeded players, eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska also was sent packing as unseeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus moved into the quarter-finals with a 6-1 7-5 victory over the Pole.
Seventh-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia did survive, moving through to the second round with a 6-3 6-2 win over Daniela Hantuchova. Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva, the fourth seed, won the night match, seeing off Austria's Sybille Bammer 6-1 6-4.
http://ukpress.google.com/article/AL...2_3kdL_MCZ_S8w

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2008, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Serena Williams upset by Li Na, drops top ranking

By NESHA STARCEVIC
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Serena Williams' game collapsed after she swept the first set Wednesday, leaving her with a 0-6, 6-1, 6-4 loss to China's Li Na that will cost her the No. 1 ranking.
By dropping the second-round match at the Porsche Grand Prix, Williams will be overtaken by Jelena Jankovic when the new rankings come out Monday, the WTA said. Williams gained the top spot when she beat Jankovic in the U.S. Open final three weeks ago.
"Obviously I want to be No. 1, but I am not focusing on that," Williams said. "I am focusing on winning titles and that goes hand in hand (with getting No. 1).
Williams was playing her first match since the U.S. Open after getting a first-round bye in Stuttgart.
"I am not worried, it will come again if I win tournaments," she said. "I play to win titles and Grand Slams, although obviously the No. 1 is also on my mind."
Li, ranked 30th, upset Venus Williams in the quarterfinals of the Beijing Olympics.
Williams rolled through the first set and appeared to be headed for a resounding victory when things suddenly turned around.
"I started making a lot of errors and I just gave it to her — maybe I started doubting myself," Williams said.
Li said she was so nervous at the start of the match, "I had such cold hands."
"I didn't have a chance in the first set," Li said. "But I looked at the clock and I saw it was only 20 minutes (into the match) so I told myself I could be winning in an hour. I knew I just had to hang in there."
Li wasted three match points at 5-3, then fell behind 0-40 in her next service game after Williams had held for 5-4. She then put in a service winner and followed with an ace. After successfully challenging a call that her serve was out to get it to deuce, she clinched the match with her third ace of the game.
Venus Williams, who is still in the Stuttgart tournament, watched her sister's loss.
Earlier, another seeded player was upset when Victoria Azarenka beat No. 8 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 7-5 to reach the third round.
Also, Patty Schnyder defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova for the first time in more than three years and advanced to the second round of with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory over the fifth-seeded Russian.
Schnyder has a 3-5 record against Kuznetsova, whom she last beat at the German Open in Berlin in May 2005. Kuznetsova had won their last three matches.
"It was a real fight," the Schnyder said. "There were lots of winners and break points. She defended the baseline very well."
Schnyder, ranked No. 11, is seeking her second title of the year after winning in Bali. The Swiss left-hander has 11 career titles.
Kuznetsova was coming off a runner-up finish at the China Open, her fifth final defeat of the year, with no titles in 2008. She was No. 2 in the world one year ago.
Seventh-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia also advanced to the second round by beating Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-2. Zvonareva won the Olympic bronze medal and then also won the tournament in Guangzhou, her second title of the year. Hantuchova was runner-up in Stuttgart in 2002.
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i...rkGCwD93HTAHO1

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2008, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Williams eases through


Sixth seed Venus Williams advanced to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Thursday with a 6-4 6-2 win over Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko.
The American now faces an intriguing showdown with third seed Dinara Safina of Russia.
Williams is a former world number one with 37 career titles and seven grand slam trophies, while Safina has enjoyed a breakthrough season with four titles.
This will be the first time that the 28-year-old American has faced Safina, who also progressed on Thursday with a 6-1 7-6 (8/6) triumph over Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova.
The younger sister of two-time grand slam champion Marat Safin, Safina is well on her way to matching her brother's accomplishments. She has reached the final in seven of her last nine events and climbed to a career-best ranking of third as a result.
The 22-year-old has beaten the world's best during that stretch, as she became the only player in history to defeat three different world number one players in the same season - Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic.
Williams has seen limited action this campaign, but saved her best effort for Wimbledon, where she beat sister Serena Williams in the final to claim the title for the second straight year and fifth time overall.
Venus already has fared better in Stuttgart than her younger sister, who won the US Open last month. Serena was the top seed, but was upset by Na Li on Wednesday and will lose her world number one ranking to Jankovic on Monday as a result of the early exit.
The second-seeded Jankovic also moved through to the last eight on Thursday with a 6-2 6-0 thrashing of Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko - the sister of Kateryna. Awaiting the 23-year-old Serbian is seventh-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva, who was a 6-2 6-0 winner against Marion Bartoli of France.
Also progressing was unseeded Russian Nadia Petrova, who booked a quarter-final match with Li after ousting Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-4 6-1.

http://ukpress.google.com/article/AL...Jp5dl2ulp6xcbQ

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2008, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Venus & Jankovic reach last eight





Sixth seed Venus Williams served 12 aces to beat Kateryna Bondarenko 6-4 6-2 and advance to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix.
Williams went 3-1 down but recovered to break serve twice and win the first set before romping home in the second.
Jelena Jankovic beat Bondarenko's older sister Alona 6-2 6-0 to advance.
It was the Serb's first match since learning she will regain the world number one spot from Serena Williams after the tournament in Stuttgart.
Jankovic and Kateryna Bondarenko traded breaks of serve at the start of the match but once Jankovic broke for a 3-2 lead she did not lose another game.
"I am pretty happy with the way I played, it was my first match indoors [this season]," said Jankovic, who lost the US Open final to Serena.
"It feels great to be back at number one but my goal is to finish the year as number one.
"I'm playing better and better, I am improving. I don't feel any extra pressure, if anything (I have) extra motivation."
Russian third seed Dinara Safina beat Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 6-1 7-6 (8-6) for a quarter-final place and a clash with Venus.
Safina trailed 3-5 in the second set after having her serve broken but broke back immediately to love. Safina never trailed in the tie-break and converted her second match point.
Safina can still finish the year as world number one after winning four titles and finishing runner-up at the French Open and the Olympics and making the semi-finals at the US Open.
Two other Russians, Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova, also advanced to the last eight. Seventh-seeded Zvonareva spoiled Marion Bartoli's 24th birthday by beating the Frenchwoman 6-2 6-0, while Petrova overcame Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-4 6-1. Petrova, the 2006 champion in Stuttgart, will meet Li Na of China in the quarter-finals while Zvonareva will meet Jankovic.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/7649589.stm

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2008, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Venus and Jankovic to clash in semifinal
  • <LI class=cnnhiliteheader>Story Highlights
  • Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic meet in semifinals of Porsche Grand Prix
  • Wimbledon champion Williams eases past third seed Dinara Safina 6-4 6-2
  • Second seed Jankovic beats Russian Vera Zvonareva after two tough tiebreaks
(CNN) -- Jelena Jankovic, set to regain the world number one slot next week, defeated Vera Zvonareva in the quarterfinals of Stuttgart's Porshce Grand Prix to book a semifinal with Venus Williams.
Jankovic held her nerve to win 7-6 7-6 as Zvonareva, the Olympic bronze medal winner, produced some dogged resistence.
"That was a hard game, but I am pleased to be in the semifinals," said Jankovic, who will regain the world's top ranking after Serena Williams lost here in the second round.
"It's a great accomplishment to be world number one and I don't know anyone who is not happy about being the best in the world at something. But the competition is still fierce and you have to keep winning."
Jankovic had to work hard for everything in the first set which took exactly an hour and the Serb had to break back the Russian to force the tie-break.
Both players showed their frustration at missed opportunities, but Jankovic found a weakness in Zvonareva's game and used the lob to devastating effect.
The Russian made her frustration work for her by storming into a 2-0 lead early in the second, but Jankovic kept applying the pressure to eventually take the second on a tie-break.
Earlier, Venus Williams admitted the lure of the brand-new sports car on offer for the tournament winner proved the inspiration in her quarterfinal win over Dinara Safina.
Sixth seed Williams needed a little over an hour to beat the third-seeded Russian 6-4, 6-2 and revealed the prize of a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabrio, worth $98,500, is a tempting target as she bids to win Sunday's final. "I love fast cars, I am hoping to win one here and take it for a drive after Sunday," she admitted.
The first set was a tight affair as Olympic silver medalist Safina matched Williams' powerful service game. But the second was a different story as Safina struggled to make any impact as Williams showed her full array of shots to keep the Russian under constant pressure.
In Saturday's other semifinal, Nadia Petrova will meet Belarus teenager Victoria Azarenka. Petrova, the 2006 champion, had a comfortable win over China's Li Na, who knocked out Serena Williams on Wednesday, and claimed a 6-2 6-3 win in just 68 minutes.
"After she beat Serena, I was expecting a hard game and it was a bit easier than I thought it was going to be," said Petrova.
Azarenka trod a much tougher path to the last four as she knocked out Olympic champion Elena Dementieva after a marathon quarterfinal which lasted two hours and 53 minutes.
The 19-year-old Azarenka, who also reached the semifinals of the Berlin Open in May, came out on top after nearly three hours' play to knock out fourth seed Dementieva 7-6 3-6 6-1.
"I just kept fighting," said Azarenka. "She is such a good opponent, I had to fight for every ball, but my legs are pretty dead now."
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Re: Stuttgart 2008

Venus Williams loses to Jankovic in Germany

Saturday, October 4 | 11:22 a.m.
By NESHA STARCEVIC AP Sports Writer
Venus Williams lost 6-7 (8), 7-5, 6-2 Saturday to soon-to-be No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who overcame a foot injury to advance to the final of the Porsche Grand Prix.

Jankovic will play Nadia Petrova on Sunday for the title. Petrova beat Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Top-ranked Serena Williams lost earlier in the week, and will drop in the rankings on Monday.

"She played well and I made too many errors," Williams said. "But I played some good points, too. It was a good competition."

Jankovic broke a toenail on her left foot and needed two painkiller shots before taking the court.

"I was really fortunate to play," Jankovic said. "I got two injections, they hurt so much I was screaming."

Jankovic will be aiming for her second tournament title in two weeks. She is coming off a win at the China Open.

Williams, playing in her first Stuttgart tournament in 10 years, used her third set point to win the first when Jankovic hit a backhand long. Jankovic also lost a set point in the tiebreaker.

Jankovic squandered a 3-1 lead in the second set and wasted two break points at 3-3. She won the set with the help of a challenge, after one of her trademark splits to get a ball back down the line.

The replay showed the ball hit the line and Jankovic tied the match.

The Serb broke serve for a 2-0 lead in the third, staved off a break point in the next game, two more in the fifth game and held for 5-2. An error by Williams gave Jankovic two match points. She won on the second after Williams pushed a forehand long.

"It was a tough match, it's always tough to play Venus," said the 23-year-old Serb, who improved to 5-3 overall against Williams.

Petrova got early breaks in both sets against the 19-year-old Azarenka, who defeated Olympic champion Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals.

"I am so excited to be back in the final," said Petrova, who won in 2006. "The main thing for me is to stay focused, then everything goes well for me."

Petrova is looking for her second title of the year after winning in Cincinnati. Two years ago, Petrova was ranked No. 3 but has dropped to No. 18.

Jankovic, who holds a 5-2 career edge over Petrova, has won only two titles this year.

"It will be a tough one again, Nadia plays well indoors," Jankovic said. "But I will try my best to win a second straight title."

Jankovic lost the U.S. Open final to Serena Williams, who gained the No. 1 spot with the victory. Jankovic will recapture the top ranking after holding it for a week in August.
http://www.columbian.com/article/20081004/APS/810040800

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