x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Top two on course for semis

Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva warm-up impressively for what should be an intriguing semi-final.

Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva warmed up impressively for what should be an intriguing semi-final clash in the US Open women's singles by making short work of their respective quarter- final opponents. Both players have strong aspirations of capturing the No 1 ranking from the out-of-form Serbian Ana Ivanovic and both demonstrated that such an objective is within their capabilities as they only surrendered five games each.

Neither woman has yet played in a grand slam final, which is surprising considering their rankings of two and five. One of them is now assured of securing that honour but is anybody's guess which one it will be. Dementieva, the newly crowned Olympic champion who won this year's tournament in Dubai, is possibly favourite on current form, having won her last 11 matches. The Russian had a tougher fourth-round opponent in the experienced 15th-seeded Swiss Patty Schnyder but was always in control and swept through 6-2, 6-3.

Jankovic, the popular Serbian who briefly held the top ranking last month, ensured that there were no repeats of recent lapses in dispatching Austria's Sybille Bammer 6-1, 6-4 and pointed out that she has defeated Dementieva in four of their seven previous encounters. Dementieva was conscious of the need to go up a notch against Jankovic. "I am very excited to be in the semis but I'm sure I need to improve my game and play a better match if I want to get to the final," she said. The two other women's quarter-finals were due to be played last night. @Email:wjohnson@thenational.ae