Straight Sets to Semis For All on Friday

August 14, 2009 09:22 PM
MASON – Three of the top five women in the world and the hottest player on the Tour have reached semifinals of the 2009 Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open.

In Saturday’s first semifinal, World No. 1 Dinara Safina will battle No. 14 Flavia Pennetta, who has extended her winning streak to 15 matches. The second semifinal features No. 4 Elena Dementieva against Jelena Jankovic.

Safina ended the comeback run of former World No. 1 Kim Clijsters with a 6-2 7-5 victory. Safina broke the Belgian seven times in the match to come away with the win.

“Slowly I'm getting into the tournament,” Safina said. “Sometimes it happens, you know, like you have to play one match like this kind of disaster that you go through everything. Somehow you manage to win the match, let's say next day you have off, then yesterday was a little bit better, and today completely different game.”

For Clijsters, the loss was disappointing, but her return to the pro ranks this week was deemed a success.

“I'm definitely pleased with the level that I've had and that I got to in these four matches.,” Clijsters said. “Overall, I'm very happy and satisfied with the way that everything has been.”

Pennetta, who has won titles in Palermo and Los Angeles this summer, extended her winning streak to 15 with Saturday 6-3 6-3 win over Daniela Hantuchova. During that steak Pennetta has lost just two sets.

With the win, Pennetta became the first Italian woman to ever reach the Top 10 in the WTA rankings.

“It means a lot,” she said. “You know, it’s a dream come true for me. I always hoped to be one of the best players in the world, and now I’m there. So it’s crazy.”

Dementieva eased into the semifinals with a 6-2 6-1 win over Caroline Wozniacki.

“(I am) just satisfied the way I was playing the whole match.,” Dementieva said. “Played some tough matches against her in the past. I was trying to stay aggressive … trying to mix it up, and it really worked.”

Jankovic also dropped just three games in her quarterfinal win, downing Sybille Bammer 6-0 6-3.

“I was very solid from the beginning,” Jankovic said. “I didn't make so many errors and didn't give her anything.  I was very focused, you know, just from the start.”

[1] Dinara Safina (RUS) d [WC] Kim Clijsters (BEL) 62 75
[4] Elena Dementieva (RUS) d [8] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 62 61
[5] Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d Sybille Bammer (AUT) 60 63
[14] Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 63 63

[7] Nuria Llagostera Vives (ESP) / Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) vs Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) / Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) / Monica Niculescu (ROU) d Vera Dushevina (RUS) / Anastasia Rodionova (RUS) 46 63 10-8