AMSTERDAM, June 22 (Reuters) - Top seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia secured a place in the Den Bosch Open final with a 6-3 3-6 7-6 win over last year’s runner-up Dinara Safina on Friday.
In a close-fought thriller, Jankovic, who was struggling with a hamstring injury, saw five match points slip through her fingers before finally overcoming her Russian opponent in the tiebreak with a swiping crosscourt shot at the net.
“I wasn’t at my best tennis and at my level. I was struggling with my shots...but the most important thing is that I was fighting and I stayed in the match,” she said.
Jankovic will play Anna Chakvetadze in the final, after the Russian dispatched Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 6-4.
Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic, seeded second, won a place in the men’s final by beating Julien Benneteau of France 7-6 3-6 6-4.
Benneteau bounced back in the second set after losing an error-riddled tiebreak but was outplayed in the third.
Ljubicic will face either Antony Dupuis of France or Peter Wessels of the Netherlands in the final.