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Serena injury sends Jankovic through

Serena Williams quit her Dubai Open semi-final with an arm injury on Friday while trailing Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 6-0 4-3. The second-seed, who also defaulted her quarter-final match at the last event she played in Paris earlier this month, pulled out after a discussion with a courtside trainer.

Jankovic will play top seed Lindsay Davenport in the final of the $1 million event after Davenport overcame a stomach upset and a strong challenge from Switzerland's Patty Schnyder to win 4-6 7-5 6-1 earlier in the day.

Williams blamed her injury on the tennis balls.

"When I came into this event I had a shoulder problem," she said.

"I honestly believe it's the balls, because the last time I had this problem was at the (WTA) Championships. They used the same balls and that resulted in a severe stomach strain.

"Ever since I've been practising I've been getting the same symptoms. My arm's hurting really bad where I serve. My whole arm hurts, except for my hand and my wrist. That's doing excellent right now. But everything else hurts, which could lead to another abdominal strain. I have a strained shoulder tendon, I guess.

"It hurts really bad. Obviously, hitting to my forehand was definitely a smart thing to do. One more forehand, I think I was gonna die. Serving is obviously very hard, because to wind up is difficult."

It had been clear from the start that Williams was in difficulty.

She did little more that roll the ball into play on her serve, and was unable to maintain any rallies.

Williams won just two points in the first two games, and dropped her serve a second time with a double-fault.

After another break for 5-0, Williams finally held but was unable to convert two break points and Jankovic served out the set.

After dropping her serve again to begin the second set, Williams received a warning for smashing her racket.


As the errors flew from her racket, a frustrated Williams called for the trainer and after a lengthy discussion retired from the match.

Jankovic had noticed immediately that something was wrong with Williams.

"From the beginning of the match she wasn't serving the way she usually serves," said Jankovic, a former junior world number one.

"She has one of the best serves in women's tennis. I didn't know what was going on with her, but I was just trying to concentrate on my tennis and was just playing and enjoying it.

"But I'm disappointed she couldn't play a real match and that she had to pull out."

Jankovic was also critical of the balls, although she appears to have adapted to them after a difficult start.

"I think these balls are kind of flying," she said. "It's really hard to get a feel.

"At the beginning when I first came here, the first few days I couldn't get the ball in. I was hitting in the fence, in the middle of the court, and I thought I was only going to pick up a few games from whoever I play. I was thinking why I came here, for what? I was playing horrible."
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