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Venus thrashed by inspired Jankovic

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Originally published on: 07/05/10 13:50

Jelena Jankovic denied fans an all-Williams semi-final at the Internazionali BNL d’italia by condemning Venus Williams to a 6-0 6-1 defeat in Rome.

The 29-year-old American had made three finals in her previous four tournaments in 2010 – winning titles in Dubai and Acapulco – but produced a performance more in tune with her limp Miami final defeat to Kim Clijsters against the inspired Serb in the Italian capital.

Indian Wells champ Jankovic capitalised on Williams’ 11 unforced errors to score an opening set bagel, before polishing off the second set in similarly clinical fashion.

And though Williams finally managed to hold a service game at the start of the second set, Jankovic took the remaining six games on the bounce as the five-time Wimbledon champion failed to find the service box with even half of her first serves.

“I’ve had so many tough matches against Venus,” said a jubilant Jankovic after moving ahead to 6-5 in their career head to head series

“It’s great to win. This scoreline is unbelievable. When you play against a Williams you can’t relax. You have to go out there and give it your best.”

While her sister was limp on serve, Serena Williams had no such trouble against Maria Kirilenko, firing seven aces past the Russian on her way to a 6-4 6-1 victory. Asked if she thought she had lived up to her promise to be “sexy” in the quarter-finals, Serena said “I think so, it was fast and hot and sweaty.”

Elsewhere, Serbian pin-up and former French Open champ Ana Ivanovic gave another indication that she might be regaining the kind of form that saw her top the rankings two years ago.

The world No.58 claimed her first triumphs over top 10 opponents in 18 months this week by beating Elena Dementieva and Victoria Azarenka, and yesterday sealed a place in the last four with a 6-2 7-5 triumph over 14th seed Nadia Petrova.

“This tournament and the victories I have had this week mean a lot to me because I have put in so much work, not only in the last months but also the last year, and it was just not happening,” said the Serb after reaching only her second semi-final since making the last four in Indian Wells in March 2009.

“I just needed to get some more momentum and start playing matches because that is what I have been lacking for so long. Now I am just so happy to be back on track.”

Ivanovic faces Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the semifinal after the unseeded Spaniard defeated Lucie Safarova 7-6 6-4.

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