Jankovic, Wozniacki, Williams reach Doha Tennis semi-finals
DOHA: Defending champion Venus Williams reached the semi-finals of the WTA hampionships without hitting a ball on Friday as organisers avoided potential embarrassment over the event''s scoring system.
Williams reached the last four - along with Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki - despite losing two of her three round-robin group matches.
The American was assured of joining sister Serena in the semi-finals when Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-2 in the concluding Maroon Group match.
On Saturday, Serena will face Wozniacki while Venus tackles Jankovic for places in the final of the 4.55 million dollar tournament.
Under a complicated qualifying system, Venus pipped Dementieva for a last four place despite both players having a win apiece and with the Russian having defeated the American when they met on Tuesday.
Venus went through having won more sets.
In the White Group, Jankovic also made the last four, comfortably defeating US Open runner-up Wozniacki 6-2, 6-2.
Wozniacki then faced the possibility of being eliminated from the tournament despite having two wins.
However, the blonde Dane was saved when best friend Victoria Azarenka was forced to retire injured against Polish replacement player Agnieszka Radwanska.
Azarenka had led 6-4, 5-2 before becoming severely restricted by a right thigh and back injury which needed constant attention.
She was eventually forced to quit in floods of tears in an echo of Wozniacki''s injury-hit win over Vera Zvonareva the day before.
Radwanska, who had in turn replaced an injured Zvonareva and goes home with 200,000 dollars for her day''s work, was leading 4-1 in the final set when the Belarussian hobbled away.
Jankovic came into her match far fresher than 19-year-old Wozniacki, the world number four.
The 24-year-old Serbian had spent just 95 minutes in total on court in two matches after Dinara Safina withdrew through injury from her second tie after only 12 minutes.