Tennis: Wozniacki eyes No1 slot as Ivanovic knocked out

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki reached the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships yesterday, while US Open champion Sam Stosur was beaten by Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.

Wozniacki ousted Ana Ivanovic, of Serbia, 6-3, 7-5 in a meeting of former No1s, after Jankovic had beaten Stosur 6-4, 6-2.

The 22-year-old Wozniacki eased through the first set and then overcame tougher resistance in the second before overcoming the Serb in 1 hour, 33 minutes.

"I'm very pleased to get through that in straight sets," Wozniacki said. "Ana really stepped it up in the second set, took the balls very early, and just played really well actually. She took her chances and had nothing to lose."

Wozniacki is the highest-seeded player left in Dubai at No3 after top-ranked Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the tournament on Thursday with an ankle injury.

Azarenka unseated Wozniacki from the No1 ranking last month by winning the Australian Open. Now at No4, Wozniacki says she is determined to regain the top spot and perhaps finally get the first Grand Slam title of her career this year.

Wozniacki was to play Julia Goerges overnight after the unseeded German defeated Daniela Hantuchova, of Slovakia, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Earlier, the eighth-seeded Jankovic was in control throughout the match as the fourth-seeded Stosur struggled with her game.

The Australian seemed to rush her shots for much of the first set, hitting the ball early and returning it long and wide. Stosur broke Jankovic early in the second, but the Serb broke right back and then pulled ahead 5-2 before wrapping up the match.

- AP

- NZ Herald

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