Jankovic Takes Out Hingis, Mauresmo Next in Dubai

Posted on February 22, 2007

DUBAI, U.A.E. - The final four at the $1.5-million Dubai Duty Free Women's Open were determined on Thursday with the top three seeds advancing.

Thursday seemed to be an easy day for the top seeds as most advanced in straight sets.

After being stretched to three sets in her opening match on Wednesday, top seed and defending champion Justine Henin scored a comprehensive 60 62 win over Greece's Eleni Daniilidou to improve to a 14-0 record at Dubai.

Henin needed just one hour, four minutes to dispatch Daniilidou, outplaying her on every front and winning 62 percent of the points.

No. 2 seed Amelie Mauresmo had a tougher time getting past No.8 seed Daniela Hantuchova in the first quarterfinal of the day.

Mauresmo started out well with a first-set win, but her game dipped in the second while Hantuchova raised her level. Mauresmo couldn't convert on break opportunities, while Hantuchova could, taking the match to a third set.

In the final set, both Mauresmo and Hantuchova took turns breaking each other, but in the end, Mauresmo prevailed, booking her spot in the semifinals with a 63 36 64 win in two hours, 21 minutes.

“I really felt I was in control of the match in the first set, and then I fell asleep. I wasn’t doing anything in the second set,” said Mauresmo, who is coming off a title win at Antwerp last Sunday. “Then I was able to, little bit by little bit in the third set, get my rhythm going a little bit better.

“It’s not easy as it was only my second match outside (after playing in Antwerp last week), and I’m looking forward to playing better tomorrow.”

Mauresmo will now take on No.5 seed Jelena Jankovic, who ousted No. 4 seed and former world No.1 Martina Hingis, 76(3) 62.

Hingis' last event was the Tier I event at Tokyo [Pan Pacific], which she won.

Against Jankovic, she struggled to keep up with the No.11-ranked Serb.

“The first set was key, pretty much,” said Hingis, who didn't finish her previous match until 1:30 a.m. early Thursday morning. “In the tiebreaker, she just played some better shots and was more aggressive.

“You could tell that the fatigue was setting in after the first set. Maybe if I had won that, you kind of go with the momentum. After that, I had chances but didn’t take them.”

No. 3 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced to the final four with a 63 64 win over No.6 seed Patty Schnyder, who was making her first quarterfinal appearance of the year.

Schnyder was unable to convert any of her five break points, and Kuznetsova won 67 percent of hers, which helped secure her semifinal spot, where she will next face Henin.

Friday's semifinal action starts at 2 p.m. local time with Henin against Kuznetsova, who will also compete in the doubles semis after her singles match. The night match will be Jankovic vs. Mauresmo, followed by the second doubles semifinal, Cara Black and Liezel Huber against Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama. (WTA)