Tennis-Sharapova and Jankovic win Cincinnati semi-finals

Reuters

Sun, 21 Aug 04:34:00 2011

* Sharapova recovers after dropping opening set

Russia's Maria Sharapova will face Serbian Jelena Jankovic in the Cincinnati Open final after the pair enjoyed solid victories in their semi-finals on Saturday.

Sharapova recovered from a poor start to beat fellow Russian and world number two Vera Zvonareva 2-6 6-3 6-3 to reach her fourth final of the season while Jankovic beat Germany's Andrea Petkovic 7-6 6-1.

Sharapova, ranked seventh in the world, will play for her 24th career title and second of the season following her victory in Rome but she had to come back from dropping the opening set against Zvonareva.

"I had a slow start, to say the least," said Sharapova.

"I needed to get my energy back and when I did that I started to make some shots and was able to turn it around," she said.

Zvonareva said she had allowed her concentration to slip after dominating the opening set.

"In the second and third my concentration level dropped a bit in some moments and I had a few more double faults, that gave her some confidence and I also gave her some more chances.

"It was tough because if you give Maria chances, she is going to take them."

Jankovic, who won the title two years ago, had a struggle in the first set against Petkovic, who looked hampered by heavy strapping on her leg.

The Serb failed to take full advantage, with some odd shot selection and unforced errors, but after winning the tie-break she never looked back and Petkovic was never in the game in the second set.

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