5 16 2008 12162 l - Jankovic gets past Venus Williams in Rome Tennis

Jankovic gets past Venus Williams in Rome Tennis

ROME: Serbian fourth seed, and defending champion, Jelena Jankovic dismantled Venus Williams' power game on Friday to advance to the semi-finals of the WTA Rome International, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

While Williams, 27, impressed with her trademark power forehand and high-percentage net play, her forehand let her down in the end, with just too many sailing over the baseline.

Jankovic raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set until Williams briefly asserted her authority with some classic serve-and-volley action.

But the American's forehand let her down again as the Serbian 23-year-old wrapped up the set 6-3.

Williams made a strong start in the third set, but the match turned for good when Jankovic broke her in the fifth game to go up 4-2. In the next game, Williams' worst, she hit three long forehands in a row.

Serving for the match, Jankovic raced to 40-0. Williams saved the first of the three match points, but the Serbian wrapped it up with a passing shot.

The world number four is to meet either ninth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland or Russian Maria Sharapova, seeded second, who were to play Friday evening.

The other semi-final will pit 18-year-old French sensation Alize Cornet -- who advanced as Venus Williams' sister Serena withdrew with a back injury -- against sixth seed Russian Anna Chakvetadze.

Chakvetadze earlier Friday but an end to a dream run for Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Pironkova, 20, struggled to find the power and depth with which she upset top seed Ana Ivanovic in the second round on Wednesday.