Rain delays Serena-Jankovic final until Sunday

NEW YORK -- Serena Williams waited six years to return to the U.S. Open final. What's another day?

The title match between two-time champion Williams and first-time Grand Slam finalist Jelena Jankovic was postponed from Saturday until Sunday because of heavy rain brought by Tropical Storm Hanna. It was scheduled to start no earlier than 9 p.m.

It's the first time since 1974 that the U.S. Open women's championship match was not played on a Saturday. That year, Billie Jean King beat Evonne Goolagong on Monday; Goolagong's semifinal had been suspended because of rain on Friday and wasn't completed until Sunday.

Williams-Jankovic originally was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, but about 3½ hours before that, organizers announced they were shifting it.

It will be Williams' first U.S. Open final since 2002, when she beat older sister Venus.

After beating Dinara Safina in straight sets Friday in the semifinals, Williams was asked if she was concerned that forecasts were calling for rain Saturday.

"I don't know if we'll play tomorrow, but I'm ready to play tomorrow," Williams said Friday. "Hopefully we can. If not, I'll be ready for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday -- doesn't matter."

She is seeded fourth, Jankovic second, and the winner is assured of moving up to No. 1 in the rankings.

Saturday's rain also forced play to be called off in the men's semifinal between No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 6 Andy Murray. That was slated to resume Sunday at 4 p.m., with Murray ahead 6-2, 7-6 (5), 2-3. The men's final will follow Monday at 5 p.m.

Four-time defending champion Roger Federer did manage to finish his semifinal, which started earlier. He beat Novak Djokovic 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.