Maria Sharapova withdraws, Jelena Jankovic to meet Alize Cornet in Rome final


Jelena Jankovic is now just one step away from defending her Internazionali BNL d’Italia title. The Serb was supposed to play Maria Sharapova in the semifinals, but the Russian withdrew before the match with a calf injury.

Sharapova believes that the injury is not serious and is expecting it to heal in a few days. Being ready for the French Open is her priority.

“The most important thing is recovery and to be ready for the French (Open), which is obviously a goal for every player,” Sharapova, who will on Monday move to No.1 in the rankings, told a news conference.

“I’m going to Paris in a couple of hours. I’m going to get some treatment over there and try to be ready as soon as possible. I hope in two days I’ll be able to be on court and be normal.

Fourth-seeded Jankovic is disappointed because of the withdrawal, she was eager to play a thrilling match.

“I wanted to play. I was ready for another challenge, another tough match. Unfortunately she has an injury. It happens because we have really tough, intense matches. Our bodies cannot take it sometimes. I’m happy to be in the final and have a big opportunity to win to defend my title,” said world No.4 Jankovic.

In the final Jankovic will meet French qualifier Alize Cornet, ranked 34th in the world, who came back from a set down to beat Russian sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze 3-6 6-4 6-3. The Italian Open final will be the first big final for the 18-year-old Cornet, who knocked out last year’s finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova on Thursday.


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