Serb aims to spoil Sharapova show - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Serb aims to spoil Sharapova show

By Guy Hand 24/01/2008 05:43:31 AM Comments (0)

Third seed Jelena Jankovic will today attempt to steer Russian glamour girl Maria Sharapova's Australian Open juggernaut to the exit before it reaches its expected destination.

World No.5 Sharapova, brilliant in her brutal dispatch of world No.1 Justine Henin in Tuesday night's quarter-final, finds herself in the curious position of taking on higher-ranked Jankovic in a semi-final she is heavily favoured to win.

Sharapova is now red-hot favourite to win the women's singles title, having not dropped a set at the Open to date.

But Jankovic ousted defending champion Serena Williams in the quarter-finals, and could help make the Australian Open final an all-Serbian affair should she win today.

Her compatriot Ana Ivanovic, the fourth seed, plays Slovakian ninth seed Daniela Hantuchova in the other semi-final.

Ivanovic hinted that this tournament may well represent a changing of the guard in women's tennis, with Henin and the Williams sisters already airport-bound.

"Most of us are very young. Maria is 20, Jelena is 22 and Daniela is also young," Ivanovic said.

"I think it's great for women's tennis. We all have a great opportunity here this year. It's just a matter of who can stay strong and do it."

Meanwhile, unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga takes on world No.2 Rafael Nadal in the men's singles semi-finals tonight on Rod Laver Arena.

Tsonga, in his first grand slam semi-final, is aiming to become the first Frenchman since Yannick Noah 25 years ago to win a grand slam trophy.

And world No.38 Tsonga, who has already eliminated three seeds at Melbourne Park, says he is not overawed by taking on the Spaniard.

"He has two arms and two legs like me, so we will see on the court," Tsonga said.

Australia's best hope of a title at Melbourne Park, 15-year-old Bernard Tomic, is also in action today in a boys singles quarter-final against top seed Cesar Ramirez of Mexico.

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