- Associated Press - Thursday, February 23, 2012

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) - Jelena Jankovic of Serbia defeated U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-2 Thursday to reach the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki also reached the semifinals by defeating the other Serbian quarterfinalist, Ana Ivanovic, 6-3, 7-5.

Jankovic will next play fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska on Friday. The Pole advanced after defeating ninth-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-2, 6-1. Wozniacki will play the winner of Thursday’s last third-round match between Germany’s Julia Goerges and Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova.

Wozniacki is the highest-seeded player left at No. 3 after top-ranked Victoria Azarenka pulled out Wednesday because of an ankle injury.

The eighth-seeded Jankovic was in control against Stosur, who seemed to rush her shots for much of the first set. The fourth-seeded Australian broke Jankovic early in the second, but the Serb broke right back and pulled ahead 5-2 before wrapping up the match in 90 minutes.

“It’s never easy,” Jankovic said. “Against her, we always have tough matches.”

The Serbian player also defeated Stosur in last year’s quarterfinals in Dubai.

“I think the key was my return,” Jankovic said. “You know, she has one of the best, if not the best, serves in the women’s game. … But usually she likes to serve and then start dictating the point with her forehand. I didn’t really allow her to do that.”

Stosur was disappointed she missed a chance to bounce back from last year’s loss to Jankovic,

“I think today she stayed up on the baseline quite well and I didn’t,” Stosur said. “But I think it was more that I don’t think my forehand was as good as what it needed to be.”

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