Serena to face Jankovic in Miami final

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Serena Williams rallied for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova at the WTA Sony Ericsson Open.

Updated: April 15, 2008 12:37 IST
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Defending champion Serena Williams will put her title on the line against Serbian fourth seed Jelena Jankovic at the WTA Sony Ericsson Open.

Williams, an eight-time Grand Slam champion who is seeded eighth in the tournament, rallied for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Russian third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova on Thursday.

In Saturday's final, the 26-year-old American will face Jankovic, who dispatched Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-4 in the second semi-final.

Williams, who needed two hours, 46 minutes to subdue Kuznetsova, improved to 13-1 this year and will seek the 30th singles title of her career, and her fifth Miami title, having captured the crown here in 2002, 2003, 2004 and last year.

Williams was ousted in the Australian Open quarter-finals by Jankovic but bounced back to win her first title of the year at Bangalore.

"I'm not 100 percent happy with the way I played today," said Williams, who was far less dominant than she was in beating world number one Justine Henin in the quarter-finals.

"I mean, I'm glad I won, but I feel like I could have done a lot better. I'm just going to try to make little adjustments."

Williams, who converted just five of 16 breakpoint chances, also had treatment after tweaking her back early in the match.

"I just got stuck, like out of nowhere I just got stuck," the American said, adding that after the physio worked on her it improved," Williams said.

"Once she came out it got better straightaway, and it got even better after that."

The players also were given a heat break during the match because of the steamy conditions.

"I do think it was about being mentally tough and making the right shots at the right time and just never giving up," Williams said. "I played a really good opponent today who has been down several match points in this tournament already, so I knew going in she wasn't just going to give it to me."

The 2006 champion of this event, Kuznetsova was attempting to reach her third final in as many events, having finished as runner-up at Dubai and Indian Wells.

Jankovic reached her first final of the year after falling in the semi-finals at the Australian Open, Dubai and Indian Wells. She will be seeking her sixth career title.

The 23-year-old had never made it past the third round in five prior appearances here. She had appeared headed for an early exit but saved five match points in the second round against Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson.

The Serbian, who has been battling a cold this week, caught a break on Wednesday when Russian Elena Dementieva -trailing 6-1, 3-1 - retired from their quarter-final match with a shoulder injury.

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