5 17 2008 12166 l - Sharapova, Jankovic reach Rome Masters semis

Sharapova, Jankovic reach Rome Masters semis

ROME: Russian Maria Sharapova and Serbian titleholder Jelena Jankovic have reached semis of WTA Rome Masters tennis tournament.

World number six Serena Williams pulled out of the WTA Rome International on Friday after hurting her back while training, but thinks she will recover in time for the French Open less than two weeks away.

Her sister Venus soon followed her off the red clay at the Foro Italico, losing in three sets to Serbian titleholder Jelena Jankovic in the quarter finals Venus had her power game dismantled by fourth-seeded Jankovic, who won 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Jankovic will meet second-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova, who saw off Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in a blistering night match, 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 6-2.

The 21-year-old second seed, who will next week reclaim the world number one ranking following Justine Henin's retirement, moved into high gear to overcome a flagging Schnyder in the third set.