DOHA: Venus Williams advanced to her second straight Sony Ericsson tennis championships final on Saturday after rallying to a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over Jelena Jankovic.

Williams broke the former top-ranked Serb three times in a row en route to a 5-3 lead in the decisive set. The defending champion then sealed the win with a forehand that bounced in off the netcord.

It was the ninth three-setter in 10 meetings between Williams and Jankovic, with the head-to-head series now level at 5-5.

Williams advanced to the semifinals despite winning just one of her three round-robin matches.

Stakhovsky in final

Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky reached the final of the St. Petersburg Open ATP tournament, beating Marat Safin in the semifinal. Stakhovsky won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in one hour 48 minutes.

The results: At Doha (WTA championships): Agnieszka Radwanska bt Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-5, 4-1 (retd.); Venus Williams bt Jelena Jankovic 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

At St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg Open): Semifinals: Sergiy Stakhovsky bt Marat Safin 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Horacio Zeballos bt Igor Kunitsyn 7-6(7), 6-3.

At Vienna (Bank Austria Tennis Trophy): Semifinals: Jurgen Melzer bt Janko Tipsarevic 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4; Quarterfinals: Janko Tipsarevic bt Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-3;

At Lyon (Lyon Tennis Grand Prix): Semifinals: Ivan Ljubicic bt Arnaud Clement 6-2, 6-4; Michael Llodra bt Gilles Simon 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(1). Quarterfinals: Clement bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(8). — Agencies

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