Jankovic-Wozniacki in final; Roddick wins
Jelena Jankovic defeated Australian Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 Friday to reach the women's final of the BNP Paribas Open, where she'll play Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki.
Wozniacki beat fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-2, 6-3, a win that is projected to raise her world ranking to No. 2 next week.
"I've done a lot of good results,'' she said. "The rankings is just a bonus.''
Jankovic will try to win her first title in seven months on Sunday. Wozniacki is in her biggest final since losing last year's U.S. Open to Kim Clijsters.
Andy Roddick advanced to the men's semifinals with a 6-3, 7-5 win over 18th-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain, who lost to the American for the 11th consecutive time.
Roddick will next play No. 6 seed Robin Soderling after the Swede defeated No. 4 seed Andy Murray of Britain 6-1, 7-6 (4).
Defending champion Rafael Nadal plays 20th-seeded Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia in the other semifinal.
Radwanska won her first four matches in straight sets. Wozniacki was stretched to three sets in three of her four previous matches, spending three more hours on court than Radwanska.
But Wozniacki was better in the end. She broke Radwanska five times to win the match between the two friends who had agreed the winner would buy the loser dinner.
"But she owes me an ice cream because she thought we were going to play first match and I thought we were going to play late,'' said Wozniacki, who planned to pay off her bet either Saturday night or next week in Miami.
Wozniacki trailed 40-15 on Radwanska's serve in the final game before winning four straight points, capped by Radwanska's forehand error on match point.
"I played consistent and still tried to be aggressive,'' Wozniacki said. "We know each other so well. Agnieszka is a great fighter and I knew I had to fight to the last point to win.''
On the men's side, Roddick won the final three games, earning the only break in the eighth game, to wrap up the first set against Robredo. Both players were on serve in the second set until Roddick broke in the 11th game and then served out the win.
"I felt like he was trying to hit his first serve a little bit bigger and win some cheaper points,'' Roddick said. "Second set, he actually served pretty well; he was hitting some aces. He wasn't just kicking it in like he does sometimes.''
Roddick is in the semifinals for the fourth time in six years, but has yet to reach the final.
"It's about the only place in the North American swing that I haven't won before, so that would be nice,'' he said.
Jankovic is having her best results of the year. The sixth-seeded Serb dropped just one set in five matches at Indian Wells. The world's former top-ranked player had little trouble dispatching Stosur, who will enter the top 10 for the first time when the WTA Tour rankings are released Monday.
Stosur hadn't dropped a set in her four previous matches.
"It was a great week,'' she said, "but I definitely didn't play anywhere close to as well as what I can.''
Jankovic last won a title in August at Cincinnati.
She and Stosur were tied 2-all in the first set, with Stosur serving at 40-love. She wound up getting broken, one of five straight games she lost to drop the set.
"All the frustration and anger built up and I let that carry on too long,'' Stosur said. "Before you know it, you're a step behind the ball and totally getting dictated to.''
That's exactly what Jankovic wanted. She broke Stosur to go up 3-2 in the second set, and then won three of the next five games to close out the 1 1/2-hour match on a day when temperatures soared to almost 90 degrees.
"Samantha has an unbelievable serve, one of the best serves in the women's game, and I was able to return a lot of her first serves,'' Jankovic said. "I think she felt uncomfortable because she really relies on that shot. That's her best weapon.''
Soderling raced through the first set against Murray, who had beaten him in straight sets in their most recent meeting. Murray managed to hold just once.
"He's a lot better player than he was three years ago when I played against him,'' Murray said. "When he's in a rhythm, he hits the ball real big off both wings, which makes it difficult.''
They traded breaks in the second set before Soderling got off to a 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker. Murray won the next two points to trail 5-4. Soderling ripped a backhand winner down the line to set up match point and won when Murray netted his backhand service return.
"I was hitting the ball really short, and he's obviously got a big game and he was able to dictate all of the points,'' Murray said.