Serena, Venus Set to Clash Today in Bangalore Semifinals

Posted on March 8, 2008

The Canara Bank Bangalore Open  will be the setting for the first all-Williams sister showdown on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in more than two years, after the Serena and Venus successfully negotiated quarterfinal encounters with Anastasia Rodionova and Vera Zvonareva on Friday. The other final four clash at the $600,000, Tier II event will see Patty Schnyder take on Jelena Jankovic's surprise conqueror, Yan Zi.

The first semifinal of the day pits No.4-seeded veteran Schnyder against unseeded upset artist Yan. Schnyder has had increasing difficulty in the last few years against players who hit with two hands on both sides, she was 4-0 against that style of play in 2005, 3-1 in 2006 and 2-2 in 2007. She is 1-0 so far in 2008 against dual-handers, that victory coming against Japanís Aiko Nakamura in her first match this week (although she was pushed to three sets).

Yanís 63 36 63 win over world No.4 Jelena Jankovic in Fridayís quarterfinals was her second career Top 10 win following her first over then-world No.4 Ana Ivanovic in the second round of Toronto last summer, 63 61. Yan is bidding to become the first Chinese to reach a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles final at a Tier II or higher.

The second semifinal is a blockbuster between No.2 seed Venus Williams and No.3 seed Serena Williams. This is their 15th Tour meeting between the two sisters. The two have split their 14 previous meetings evenly, 7-7, but those have come in streaks - Venus won five of the first six, then Serena won six in a row, and then Venus has won their last two. This is the Williams sistersí first match at the sub-Tier I tournament level; they have played nine times before at Grand Slam events (Serena leads those, 5-4) and five times at Tier I events (Venus leads those, 3-2)

All four semifinalists at the Canara Bank Bangalore Open í08 are debutantes at the event. Schnyder is the only one to have reached a semifinal this year coming in, doing so at Gold Coast (falling to Li Na in the semis). (WTA Tour)