Zheng, Makarova into semis before rain halts play in Birmingham

Chinese Jie Zheng and Russian Ekaterina Makarova advanced to the semifinals Saturday in Birmingham before rain halted play at the $220,000 Aegon Classic, a grass-court Wimbledon tune- up.

Rain wreaked havoc Friday at Edgbaston Priory Club, forcing all four quarterfinal matchups into Saturday.

Fourth-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci was trailing Zheng 3-6, 6-5 when their match was suspended for the day Friday, but the Chinese world No. 32 finished off Vinci 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 on Saturday.

Makarova encountered 13th-seeded Taiwanese Su-Wei Hsieh and fought back after dropping the first set to take a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 decision.

Two other quarterfinal matchups began, but rain washed out both, forcing them to resume on Sunday.

The former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic leads Japan's Misaki Doi 2-0, while American Mel Oudin holds a 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 edge against compatriot Irina Falconi.

The Serbian Jankovic is looking to advance to the semifinals, where Zheng awaits, while the eight-seeded Makarova will face the winner of the all- American quarterfinal.

The 2012 Aegon Classic winner will collect $37,000.