Lawn Tennis, Madrid, Lawn Tennis Magazine
We Meet Again So Soon

By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Friday, November 7, 2008 7:46pm PST USA
We Meet Again So Soon - Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic, Sony Ericsson Championships at Doha, Qatar, Lawn Tennis Magazine DOHA--( Only five weeks ago at Stuttgart, the American Venus Williams took on the world number one, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia; one of Williams' most difficult foes. In the semifinal match Williams led 7-6, 5-6 before her game unraveled. Saturday the two players meet again.

The 7th seeded Williams, who prefers to play short points,

Doha semifinalists Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic
Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2008, Doha, Qatar, Lawn Tennis Magazine
Head to head the top seeded Jelena Jankovic leads Venus Williams 5-3 and has won 5 of their last 6 matches.

will try her best to win points quickly in another semifinal faceoff, this time at the WTA Tour's year ending Sony Ericsson Championships. Head to head the top seeded Jankovic leads Williams 5-3 and has won 5 of their last 6 matches.

The last seven match ups between the two players have gone three sets as Jankovic often looks to extend rallies with mixed pace groundstrokes in a style very reminiscent of former world number one Martina Hingis of Switzerland.

Jankovic's first victory over Williams, at Wimbledon in 2006 7-6(10-8), 4-6, 6-4, was also the last match Williams has lost at Wimbledon as she has taken the Wimbledon singles crown the last two years.

As happens in some of their drawn out baseline rallies, Jankovic, one of the most consistent baseline players on the WTA Tour, is able to rally in the point long enough for Williams to commit an error.

On other occasions, Jankovic win mix in baseline winners as more often will Williams. At Stuttgart, Williams powered ahead before losing 6-7(8-10), 7-5, 6-2 behind some key forehand errors.

It's not that Williams' forehand is a weakness. She has in the last few months hit her forehand early and even run around her backhand to create more forehands. But this is the go to shot sometimes players test to gauge how well Williams is playing.

If Williams is patient and fit enough to stay in longer points or is able to execute enough early point winners, Jankovic will find it hard to compete as Williams is playing some of her best tennis as was seen earlier in the week in Williams' 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 round robin romp over her sister Serena Williams.

Serena Williams' withdrawal from her round robin match today with a stomach muscle injury created an easier road for the 5th seeded Russian Elena Dementieva as she today defeated fellow Russian and alternate Nadia Petrova 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the first of the two Saturday semifinals where she will meet the 8th seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva.

In the USA, the Tennis Channel is scheduled to televise Saturday's semifinals live, while ESPN2 will televise the final tape delayed Sunday.

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