HONG KONG (AP): Venus Williams saw her chance of qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals slip away yesterday after losing in straight sets to Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open. Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams, seeded third, was defeated 6-4, 7-5 in a tense encounter which lasted two hours and four minutes in front of a packed centre court at Victoria Park. “It is disappointing. I had an off day, while she probably played one of her best matches this year,” Williams said. The 35-year-old Williams needed to reach the final today to boost her chances of playing in the lucrative WTA Finals, starting October 25 in Singapore. The last time Williams played in the WTA Finals – where only the world’s top eight-ranked singles players qualify – was in 2009 in Doha. Fourth-seeded Jankovic was helped by a wayward opponent whose usually strong serve deserted her. Williams also failed to take her chances, only converting two of 16 break points in the match. Last-minute wild card entry Jankovic will now meet Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the final. Kerber moved within one win of cementing her place in the WTA Finals after beating Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-2, 6-2. Second-seeded Kerber is presently ranked fifth in the Road to Singapore leaderboard and can book her ticket if she adds the Hong Kong Open title to her wins in Charleston, Stuttgart, Birmingham and Stanford. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic has made winning so routine this year that even when he dominates one of his biggest rivals, he takes it in stride. The top-ranked Serb broke Andy Murray five times en route to a 6-1, 6-3 win in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters yesterday, one of his most lopsided victories ever over the two-time major winner. Afterward, Djokovic said he would only allow himself to enjoy the victory for a moment before turning his attention to today’s final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 winner over Rafael Nadal in the other semi-final.
deals 2 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury gameday cracker 2 Bruce Buck has proposed the idea to all 20 clubs shining REVEALED Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card no dice Richard Scudamore steps down after 19 years During his 19 years working for England’s top flight, Scuadmore has helped to propel the television rights from £670m to £5.1billion.The Premier League will also appoint a non-executive chairman following Scudamore’s departure. At least five Premier League clubs are ready to reject a £5million goodbye gift to departing Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore.The proposal had been requested by Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who has developed a close friendship with Scudamore since becoming chairman at Stamford Bridge 15 years ago. Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Buck had called on senior figures at all 20 Premier League clubs to each make a £250,000 donation to Scuadmore who earns a basic salary of £900,000 with annual bonuses up to £1.6m.While it remains unclear exactly which clubs are against the idea, the voting process only requires 14 clubs to push it through.The 59-year-old, who steps down next month having joined the Premier League as chief executive in November 1999, is to be replaced by Susanna Dinnage. Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars huge blow tense REVEALED Latest Premier League News Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January
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