US Open women’s semi-finals gallery
Originally published on: 26/02/10 14:52
Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic are through to the final of the US Open final after both won in straight sets despite testing conditions in New York.
Check out what our man in New York made of the action here
Jankovic beat Olympic champion Elena Dementieva 6-4 6-4 to reach her first Grand Slam final.
“I have tears in my eyes” – Jelena Jankovic
Dementieva, who was a runner-up at Flushing Meadows four years ago, began in the same confident vein of form that began in Beijing, breaking immediately and moving 4-2 up with a dominant baseline display.
But the unforced errors began to flow on a windy day in New York, and the Russian ended the match with 42 to Jankovic’s 22.
In contrast, the Serb claimed four consecutive games to take the first set, although appeared to deliberately disrupt Dementieva on set point by reaching for her towel as she lined up to serve.
The early stages of the second set saw both players struggling with the gales on serve. Jankovic held to lead 4-3, and never looked back.
Two games later, Dementieva had to hold serve to stay in the match but failed miserably, two errors and a double fault bringing up match point before firing a forehand long to hand the match for Jankovic.
“I have tears in my eyes,” said a jubilant Jankovic. “I have played in five semi-finals and to be in the final for first time in a Grand Slam is unbelievable. I’m thrilled.”
Dementieva admitted she handed it the the Serb. “I did too many unforced errors today. She was playing very solid, very safe, especially in the conditions, on a windy day.
“She was trying to do everything, and I just was trying to go for the winner and couldn’t make it.”
Serena Williams coped far better than Dinara Safina with the gusty winds as she won the second semi-final, 6-3 6-2.
The second semi-final followed a similar pattern to the first as Williams dropped her opening service game before assuming control of the match from Safina, who looked to be undone by the American’s greater experience.
The eight-time Grand Slam winner is looking for her third US Open title, but has not won in New York since 2002. Williams dealt superbly with the wind as an increasingly frustrated Safina produced error after error.
“I have to learn to handle my emotions better” – Dinara Safina
Safina let a 40-0 lead slip to drop serve at the start of the second set to mark the beginning of the end, and Williams’ greater solidity from the baseline, plus her ability to attack the net, overwhelmed the Russian.
And with Jankovic waiting in the final, the match will also decide who takes the world No.1 ranking.
Williams admitted that a cautious approach took her through. “I thought, OK, if it’s so windy then I’m not going to go for so many winners and stay out here and do what I can.”
In contrast, Safina let the conditions, rather than the occasion, get the better of her.
“I think I was behaving like a really spoilt girl today. I have to learn from these things if I want to get better. If I want to make one step in front, I have to learn to handle my emotions better.”
The women’s final is scheduled for Saturday but bad weather is forecast as Hurricane Hanna passes New York.