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"If you play well, if you're winning, the rankings come." Jankovic, in contrast, made quite clear that sitting atop the rankings would mean a lot to her.

Serena Williams will face sister Venus in Saturday's Wimbledon final after prevailing in a marathon tussle with Russian Elena Dementieva.

MARIA Sharapova's short stay atop the women's rankings will end after the French Open.

Sharapova moved up from No.2 when Justine Henin suddenly retired last month.

At 5-4, Williams faced a match point, and missed her first serve, but the American boldly ventured to the net, her forehand volley brushing the top of the net before landing in the open court.

Dementieva had more chances at 6-5, twice pegging Williams back to deuce, but the world number two clinched it with a forehand passing shot which had her screaming towards her support camp and punching the air in delight - and, no doubt, relief. Williams broke in the next game, and reached the final for the fifth time when Dementieva was forced wide.

"But the hardest part is yet to come: to play Serena Williams." The pair will meet on Saturday in their fourth Wimbledon final when Venus will seek her sixth title, and Serena her third.

"Elena's been playing really well and she's beaten me a few times.

Second seed Serena saved a match point before coming through 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 8-6 in two hours and 48 minutes.

The match was the longest women's semi-final in recent Wimbledon history.

Venus's encounter with top seed Dinara Safina was in complete contrast, the defending champion completing an embarrassingly one-sided 6-1 6-0 win.

That match all but undid the good work of the first semi-final, a pulsating encounter which had provided a much-needed fillip for women's tennis.

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