Williams moves serenely into Cincinnati semis

Serena Williams is looking to serve up the first Cincinnati Masters title of her illustrious career.

Story highlights

  • Serena Williams through to semifinals of Cincinnati Masters after win over Jelena Jankovic
  • Stanilas Wawrinka knocked out of men's event by France's Julien Benneteau
  • Roger Federer and Andy Murray face off in evening match for a place in semis
  • Winner will face Milos Raonic after Canadian demolished Fabio Fognini 6-1 6-0

Serena Williams is through to the semifinals of the Cincinnati Masters after a convincing straight sets win over Jelena Jankovic.

The world No. 1 may have won 17 grand slams and 61 singles titles in all during a glittering career, but getting her hands on the trophy in Cincinnati has proved elusive thus far.

But following Friday's 6-1 6-3 victory over the Serb, Williams' is one step closer to breaking her duck as she looks to fine tune her game ahead of her U.S. Open title defense later this month.

"She's beaten me several times, so I knew today I just had to be focused and do the best I could," Williams said, the WTA website reported.

"It didn't seem fast. I was just trying my best. And she played some great points. I was just trying to not make many errors, stay focused and do the best that I could.

"I had some unbelievable fans in the back who were totally helping me out, too."

A semifinal against either Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland or Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki awaits the American.

In the other half of the draw, Simona Halep takes on Maria Sharapova with the winner facing wither Ana Ivanovic or Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.

Capturing iconic tennis photographs
Capturing iconic tennis photographs


    Capturing iconic tennis photographs


Capturing iconic tennis photographs 03:48
How Novak and Petra conquered Wimbledon
How Novak and Petra conquered Wimbledon


    How Novak and Petra conquered Wimbledon


How Novak and Petra conquered Wimbledon 08:12
Sharapova's Wimbledon triumph
Sharapova's Wimbledon triumph


    Sharapova's Wimbledon triumph


Sharapova's Wimbledon triumph 06:07

Benneteau stuns Stan

The men were also in quarterfinal action on Friday with France's Julien Benneteau bringing Stanilas Wawrinka's tournament to a premature end.

Apart from a semifinal appearance two seasons ago, the Swiss has a poor record in Cincinnati having tumbled out in the first or second round on five previous occasions.

Wawrinka looked on course to equal his best ever showing as he raced to a one set lead in just 27 minutes.

But the tide soon turned in Benneteau's favor as the Frenchman dominated the remaining two sets breaking the world No. 4's serve four times to run out a 1-6 6-1 6-2 winner in 80 minutes.

"It's my best result in a Masters 1000," Benneteau said, the ATPTour website reported.

"The Masters 1000 are very, very difficult tournaments because the cut is like 40, 45. It's top 45 players in the world on every tournament at this level. You don't have a lot of opportunities to make a very big result," Benneteau added.

Victory sees him become the first Frenchman to advance to the semis at the event for 15 years -- Arnaud Clement eventually lost out to eventual winner Thomas Enqvist of Sweden in 2000.

The world No. 41 will face either Spain's Tommy Robredo, who beat world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the previous round, or world No. 6 David Ferrer.

In the other early match, Canada's Milos Raonic thumped Italy's Fabio Fognini in straight sets 6-1 6-0.

The world No. 7 can now look forward to a semifinal showdown with either Roger Federer or Andy Murray who play on Friday evening.

Read more: Djokovic suffers new setback in Cincinnati


    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      What does 2015 hold for Rafa?

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      Love game: Andy Murray to tie knot

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      'Crocodile' who broke all the rules

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena savors U.S. Open win

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      The amazing life of Althea Gibson

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • Courting couple at match point

      "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      'Baby' Sharapova's big moment

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • 'Swiss Miss' follows mom's lead

      Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.