American Venus Williams defeated top seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2 2-6 6-3 to reach the Sony Ericsson Championships final for the first time, having lost in the semis twice by now.
The seventh-seeded Williams was dominant in the first set, before a change of fortunes in the second. The Wimbledon champion rediscovered her first set touch at the start of the decider and moved into an early break. The 23-year-old Jankovic had a major chance in the sixth game of the third set, holding multiple break points. However, the world No.1 didn’t capitalize. Williams then confirmed her advantage and never looked back.
The 28-year-old Williams will face Russian Vera Zvonareva in the final of the Sony Ericsson Championships. Zvonareva, seeded eighth, is also playing her first final at the season-ending Championships, plus, her biggest career final. She advanced to the championships match with a victory over Elena Dementieva.
Neither Williams nor Zvonareva have lost a match this week. In the Maroon Group, Williams defeated three Top 5 players (Dinara Safina, Serena Williams, and Elena Dementieva), while Zvonareva beat two Top 5 players in the White Group.
Williams holds a 5-1 record against Zvonareva, having lost only the first meeting with the Russian. But don’t let the stats fool you. Zvonareva totally earned her place in the Sony Ericsson Championships final, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she lifts the trophy on Sunday. (photos: Getty Images)