(CNN) -- World number one Serena Williams pulled out of the WTA tournament in Paris with a knee injury but a battling performance from Amelie Mauresmo in the second semifinal sent the French crowd home more than satisfied.
A fired up Mauresmo celebrates her victory over Jankovic.
Mauresmo rolled back the years to beat second seed Jelena Jankovic in three sets to earn a final clash with Elena Dementieva on Sunday.
Australian Open champion Williams pulled out before the start of her scheduled semifinal against Dementieva, claiming that playing was out of the question.
"My knee is hurting me. I tried it out today at practice, but I couldn't move correctly. I had no chance of getting around it," she was quoted on the official tournament Web site www.opengdfsuez.com.
"My left knee always seems to hurt a little, but his time its the right one. In a way, its reassuring news. I think it will be okay," she added.
The top-seeded American said she had damaged the knee during her hard-fought win on Friday against France's Emilie Loit.
Eighth seed and former world number one Mauresmo has been in fine form all week and maintained the momentum against second seed Jankovic.
She took the first set 6-2, but in a topsy-turvy match the Serbian leveled by sweeping the second without dropping a game.
The decider was equally one-sided with Mauresmo sealing a 6-2 0-6 6-1 victory to reach her first final since 2007 as she battles back from a series of injuries.
"The crowd really helped me today, they responded when I really needed them. I served well in the important moments," she said.
"I won't get carried away. Dementieva will be fresher then me. I hope that won't be too important a factor in the final."