Schnyder stuns Jankovic to reach Madrid semis

MADRID: Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder reached the Madrid Open semi-finals on Friday with a shock 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 win over Serbian fourth seed Jelena Jankovic.

The result gave the 30-year-old her first elite level final-four placing since San Diego in August, 2007.

Schnyder stunned Jankovic with a battling first set lasting 68 minutes, which was riddled with three breaks per player.

But after taking the tiebreaker, the Swiss broke loose in the second set to romp home and into a semi-final match-up against top seed Dinara Safina.

World number one Safina, who won in Rome last weekend, reached her third consecutive claycourt final, after Stuttgart and the Eternal City, when she defeated Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko 6-4, 6-3 with five breaks of serve.

Since taking over the top ranking spot from Serena Williams on April 20, the Russian has gone 13-1 and has a 3-0 record over Schnyder.

France's Amelie Mauresmo also struck a blow for the older generation when she staged a fighting comeback to power through 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 over Hungarian Agnes Szavay.

"I'm very pleased," said Mauresmo. "It's definitely a good week so far."

The two-time Grand Slam winner will face fast-rising Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki, the ninth seed who booked her place with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Russian qualifier Vera Dushevina 6-0, 6-4.

Wozniacki is set for a move into the top ten for the first time after her performance this week at this new combined clay event for men and women.

The Dane was untroubled by Dushevina, whom she broke six times.

Mauresmo has been reinvigorated this week, three months after lifting her last title indoors in Paris.

Her defeat of number five Elena Dementieva in the third round was her fourth win over a top five opponent after Ana Ivanovic (Brisbane), and Jankovic plus Dementieva (both Paris).

It was her best showing in a season since 2006 when she notched five wins over top five opposition.

"I really take it as it comes, it's match after match," said the Frenchwoman.

"I'm not looking too much ahead but I was never doing that anyway. Even when I was number one, I was not the kind of person to look at the draw so basically, I am doing the same thing now."