Jankovic sweeps sisters out of Rome
ROME — Jelena Jankovic beat tennis' famous sisters on consecutive days and reached the Italian Open final with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory yesterday over Serena Williams.
The top-ranked Williams squandered a match point and acknowledged having an "an apple in my throat."
Jankovic, ranked No. 7, will play for the title today against Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who defeated Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, 6-4, 6-2. Jankovic won this tournament in 2007 and 2008.
Williams, who won in Rome in 2002, was playing in her first tournament since a three-month layoff because of a knee injury. She had been sidelined since winning the Australian Open in January.
"I can't beat myself up over it," she said. "I just came back."
Williams said she simply wasn't playing the points right.
"I feel like I should have won, could have won," she said. "I think I had an apple in my throat, but it is what it is."
Jankovic routed Venus Williams, 6-0, 6-1, in the quarterfinals Thursday. She is the seventh player to beat the sisters in the same tournament, joining Aranxta Sanchez Vicario, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport and Justine Henin. Clijsters has done it twice.
"To beat both Williams sisters in two days is really amazing," Jankovic said. "I'm really proud of myself. It doesn't happy too often."
OEIRAS, Portugal — Roger Federer recovered from an erratic start to beat Arnaud Clement, 7-6 (7), 6-2, yesterday and reach the semifinals of the Estoril Open.
Federer will next play defending champion Albert Montanes after the fourth-seeded Spaniard defeated Pablo Cuevas, 6-4, 6-3.
Fifth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez advanced after Alberto Martin retired with the score at 6-0, 2-0 and next meets Frederico Gil, who eliminated fellow Portuguese Rui Machado, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3.
There were upsets in both of the women's semifinals as Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain overcame second-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania, 6-1, 6-4, and Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia rallied to beat No. 7 Peng Shuai of China, 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-3.
BELGRADE, Serbia — Top-seeded and defending champion Novak Djokovic retired with breathing problems during his quarterfinal match with Filip Krajinovic yesterday at the Serbian Open.
The second-ranked Djokovic said allergies were to blame for his respiratory troubles. He pulled out after losing the first set 6-4 to Krajinovic, an 18-year-old fellow Serb who reached his first ATP semifinals.
Krajinovic will play third-seeded Sam Querrey, who defeated Igor Andreev of Russia, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Second-seeded John Isner rallied to beat Richard Gasquet of France, 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3, putting two Americans in the semis. He will play fourth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka, who ousted sixth-seeded Viktor Troicki of Serbia, 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6).
MUNICH — Germany's Philipp Petzschner upset defending champion Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, yesterday to reach the BMW Open semifinals.
Top-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia beat sixth-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-2 and will face fifth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, who ousted fourth-seeded Philip Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3, 6-4.
Two-time runner-up Mikhail Youzhny of Russia ousted Jiri Hajek of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-3, and will play Petzschner in today's semifinal.