Serena secures semi-final spot
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:00
Serena trailed 5-3 in both sets and faced set points on both occasions but she battled back to secure a place in the semi-finals at the tournament for the first time in six years.
The 26-year-old triumphed here in 1999 and 2002 and if she repeats that success this year she will become the world number one for the first time since a 57-week reign from 2002-03.
Serena has won three titles and reached the quarter-finals or better in 10 of 11 events played but remains without a Grand Slam title since the 2007 Australian Open.
She will play Dinara Safina in the semi-final after the Russian had earlier defeated Flavia Pennetta 6-2 6-3.
It was not all plain sailing, however, with the 22-year-old Safina committing five double faults and 19 unforced errors in the course of the match. Better will be needed if she is to reach her second grand slam final.
The Russian’s victory, which took just 71 minutes to complete, always looked on the cards after breaking the 16th seed on her first service game before taking the first set at a canter with the winners flowing freely from her racquet head.
The second set was much the same story as Safina continued to get the better of the Pennetta service. Safina converted four of nine break-point chances in the match while allowing her opponent just one break-point opportunity.