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WRIST PROBLEM FORCES VENUS OUT

A bum wrist cut short the latest chapter in the rivalry between Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport.

Davenport led, 7-5, 2-0, in the JPMorgan Chase Open semifinals Saturday when Williams retired because of a right wrist injury. Williams said she tweaked it while pushing off her arms to get up after tying her shoe two hours before the match.

A doctor who examined Williams diagnosed it as a sprain and advised her to rest until Monday, when she will be re-evaluated.

"I started to have issues," Williams said. "I just couldn't control my forehand that much, and the more she saw that, the more she was hitting there and that didn't help."

Davenport advanced to today's final (4 p.m., ESPN2) for the eighth time in nine years, having won three times. She will play either top-seeded Serena Williams or No. 4 Elena Dementieva, who met in an evening semifinal at Home Depot Center.

"I'm happy to be in the final, but I know the playing conditions weren't level," Davenport said. "You can't have tons of confidence from that."

A week ago, Davenport outlasted Venus Williams, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-5 (4), in a riveting final to win the Bank of the West title at Stanford. Their rematch was highly anticipated by fans eager to see Davenport, a Palos Verdes native, and Williams, of nearby Compton, who hadn't played in the Chase Open since 1997.

"If I could've been pretty healthy, I, for sure, would have won the match," Williams said.

Their rivalry began in 1997 and is tied, 12-12. Davenport hadn't beaten Williams in four years until winning last week.

Davenport trailed, 5-0, before reeling off seven consecutive games to take the first set. She broke Williams at 40-love for a 6-5 lead and hit a forehand winner into the open court on her first set point in the next game.

Roddick advances to finals

INDIANAPOLIS -- Nothing quite like a tiebreaker to get Andy Roddick going.

Roddick fell into a big deficit and faced three match points before coming back to beat Ivan Ljubicic, 1-6, 7-6 (10), 7-6 (3), in the RCA Championships semifinals.

Roddick, who improved to 14-1 in tiebreakers since the French Open, will face Nicolas Kiefer or Gregory Carraz in today's final. Roddick is trying to become the tournament's first repeat champion since Pete Sampras in 1991-92.

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