Istanbul, Turkey (SportsNetwork.com) - American Serena Williams and Chinese star Li Na won their respective semifinal matches Saturday at the season- ending $6.5 million WTA Championships.
The U.S. and French Open champion Williams outlasted seventh-seeded Jelena Jankovic by a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 margin in a rematch of the 2008 U.S. Open final, which was won by the formidable American. Williams improved to 8-4 lifetime versus Jankovic.
The three-time champion and two-time runner-up Williams is the reigning WTA Championships titlist, having beaten Maria Sharapova in last year's finale in Istanbul, which is hosting this elite eight-woman event for a third and final time before it shifts to Singapore next year. Williams has won 14-straight matches at the WTA Championships.
The 32-year-old Williams, who's a stellar 77-4 this season, headed to Istanbul having already clinched the year-end No. 1 spot for the third time in her brilliant career.
Williams will play for the title Sunday against Li, who cruised past fifth- seeded Petra Kvitova by a 6-4, 6-2 score on the indoor hardcourt at Sinan Erdem Dome.
Li, who will jump two spots to a career-high No. 3 ranking, advanced to her first WTA Championships final. She will become the highest-ranked Asian player in tennis history.
The former French Open champion Li went a perfect 3-0 in this week's four- player White Group, while Williams posted the same mark in the Red Group.
Williams holds a 9-1 career edge over Li.