Erratic Yelena Falls to Serena

CARSON, California -- Top seed Serena Williams overcame an erratic Yelena Dementyeva 6-3, 7-6 in their semifinal at the JP Morgan Chase Open on Saturday to set up a title showdown against the in-form Lindsay Davenport.

French Open finalist Dementyeva, who has been plagued by serving problems throughout most of her career, double-faulted the entire third game away to give Williams the break and a 2-1 first set lead. Cracking her first serve and sending her groundstrokes deep, Williams was able to fight off spirited charges from the Russian.

But Dementyeva's serve let her down again when she coughed up another one of her 15 double faults to hand Williams the first set.

"She's weird to play," Williams said. "She strikes winners when you don't expect them and makes errors also unexpectedly, but she never gives up."

Dementyeva continued to take risks with her returns and groundstrokes, and broke to lead 2-1 in the second set when Williams missed a backhand pass, but the American broke back immediately thanks to another double fault.

In the tiebreak, the top seed cracked one of her seven aces to take a 3-2 lead and never looked back, as Dementyeva committed four straight errors.

Earlier in the day, Davenport advanced to her eighth final at this event when Venus Williams was forced to retire from their match with a wrist injury early in the second set. Davenport was leading 7-5, 2-0 before she was handed a passage into her second straight final.