ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Even when she hits a wall, Serena Williams cant be stopped. An exhausted Williams managed to hang on to beat Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 on Saturday and will play Li Na in the final of the WTA Championships. Li Na advanced to her first WTA Championships final by sweeping past 2011 winner Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-2, setting up a showdown between the two oldest players in the tournament. Williams was in obvious discomfort throughout the match, moving poorly on court, walking slowly and holding her face in a towel during changeovers. "Last night I was in my hotel and I was lying down, and I just hit a wall. I literally felt like I just hit a wall," Williams said. "I was so tired just even standing. I think I played a lot of tennis this year, so I dont know. After a while I just felt like a big rush of air just come out of me, and I really had to pull myself through that match. I dont know how I did it." Jankovic, who said she was battling a cold herself, was unable to take advantage of Williams weakness and the American is one win from her fourth WTA Championship and 11th title of the year. Williams has won 77 of 81 matches this year. Jankovic wasnt convinced Williams tiredness was genuine. "For some reason, every time she starts losing, she starts serving slower or not running for certain balls. Thats something that, you know, as a player you have to pay attention to. Its not the first time when we played that shes doing this," Jankovic said. "But, when its an important moment, a huge serve comes up, so you have to be on alert every time. You never know if shes going to come slow or a really fast one. "Shes the No. 1 player in the world, and she plays so well. Shes by far the best player. "But I think, winning or losing, you have to be up there and be a good sportsman." Jankovic also pointed out that Williams had won all of her previous matches in straight sets -- and Jankovic had spent a total of five hours, 41 minutes on court, more than two hours more than Williams. Williams also had Friday off, while Jankovic played. Williams wasted a match point and failed to serve out the match at 5-2 and Jankovic won two straight games. Williams squandered two more match points before finally closing it out with a smash. "In the third set, it was 5-1 for her, and I was one point away to level it to 5-all, and she hit that ace which was such a great angle, and unfortunately I lost 6-4 in the third," said the seventh-seeded Jankovic, who is back in the top 10 after three years. While hitting 40 winners, Williams had the identical number of unforced errors. Jankovic had 22 winners -- and 22 unforced errors. By reaching the final, Li made sure of rising to a career-high No. 3 ranking, a jump of two places and the highest ranking for an Asian woman. Li said she started the year with the goal of making it into the top three. "I catch my goal, lucky or happy in the last tournament I make it, so pretty good ending for 2013," the Chinese said. Like Williams, Li is unbeaten in four matches, after failing to advance from the group stage in the previous two years. But she is 1-9 against Williams in previous matches. Williams, 32, and Li, 31, are the two oldest players in the elite, eight-woman tournament, while the fifth-seeded Kvitova is the youngest at 23. "Right now Im on E (empty)," Li said. "Im going to try to put some gas in the tank tonight, go to the gas station and fill up and try. And I think I will be ready. I have to be. I have no choice. "Im really proud that I was even able to stay out there today. And, you know, tomorrow is the final, so everyone gets pumped up. "Were both in our 30s and both playing the best tennis of our career. Were still getting better." Making her eighth appearance in the event, Williams is looking to become the first player to successfully defend the title since Justine Henin in 2007. Henin was also the last to win 10 titles in a season, in 2007. And she is the first woman player to make $10 million in a single season; as a runner-up she will have collected $11.3 million, as champion, $12.3 million. Wholesale NFL Jerseys USA . In the days leading up to the draft, TSN.ca and TSN Radio basketball analyst Duane Watson looks at some of the names that will be headlining the event. Watch the 2014 NBA Draft on TSN, Thursday at 7pm et/4pm pt. NFL Jerseys Sale . -- Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo is going to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks. https://www.cheapnfljerseysjustwholesale.com/cheap-nba-jerseys . JOHNS, N. Cheap Football Jerseys . But qualifying for her first Scotties Tournament of Hearts after years of falling short in tough Manitoba provincial championships is as good as consolation prizes get for the 29-year-old from Winnipegs Fort Rouge Curling Club. Cheap Jerseys . - Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has nothing but good problems right now.PITTSBURGH -- The weary Chicago Cubs bullpen needed a break. New manager Rick Renteria needed a win. Jason Hammel did a pretty solid job providing both. The veteran right-hander pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and the Cubs edged the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on Thursday for their first victory of the season. "I didnt think it was going to be such a relief but it is quite a relief," Renteria said. "Its nice to win. These games were tough. Taking the last one was very gratifying." Particularly considering the first two were so draining. The Cubs lost in 10 innings on opening day and in 16 innings on Wednesday night -- actually, early Thursday morning -- in a 5-hour, 55-minute marathon that marked the longest Major League Baseball game (by time anyway) ever held in Pittsburgh. Hammel and four relievers needed only 2:39 to help the Cubs avoid their first 0-3 start since 1997, when the club lost 14 straight to begin the season. The 31-year-old Hammel allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts. "He couldnt have been any better," Renteria said of Hammel. "He got to 97 pitches, got us into the seventh inning to help save the bullpen. He worked through a pretty good lineup pretty easily." The Cubs signed Hammel to a one-year, $6 million contract in February hoping he can provide some stability in the middle of the rotation. He was sharp in his Chicago debut, allowing singles in the first and third innings but otherwise keeping the Pirates in check. "We played three great games here," Hammel said. "There is no reason to hang our heads because we only won one. We played great but it looks like were going to be one-run warriors. Youve got to win these type of games and we did. We got some timely hits, good defence and played well for 27 outs." Emilio Bonifacio went 2 for 4 and scored twice to continue his torrid start. The Chicago centre fielder hit 11 for 16 (.688) during the opening three-game series.dddddddddddd Mike Olt hit the first home run of his career for the Cubs. Tony Sanchez hit a two-run single in the seventh for the Pirates but Pittsburgh couldnt put together its first 3-0 start since 2007. Wandy Rodriguez (0-1) struggled early in his first start in 10 months but settled down late. The left-hander allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced after missing most of 2013 with tightness in his left forearm. "(Rodriguez) finished up very efficiently, very strong, a very good outing," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "A big confidence boost for him and a momentum builder." After slogging through 26 innings in the first two games of the series, things moved a bit more briskly on a cold, wet day at PNC Park thanks in part to a pair of pitchers who werent in the mood to nibble at the plate. Hammel left the seventh after walking Neil Walker with two outs. Pittsburgh took advantage of another shaky performance from Chicagos bullpen with Sanchez -- who provided the walkoff hit on Wednesday -- smacking a two-run single up the middle off Justin Grimm to pull the Pirates within a run. Pittsburgh put the tying run on base leading off both the eighth and ninth, but Strop got Sanchez to line into a game-ending double play. NOTES: Renteria said the club will wait to decide whether RHP Carlos Villanueva will make his scheduled start on Sunday against Philadelphia. Villanueva pitched 1 1-3 innings and took the loss on Wednesday night. ... The Cubs open the 100th season at Wrigley Park on Friday against the Phillies. Travis Wood starts for Chicago against Roberto Hernandez. ... The Pirates open a three-game series on Friday against defending NL Central champion St. Louis. Gerrit Cole, who took the loss in Game 5 of the NL division series against the Cardinals last year, starts for Pittsburgh against Shelby Miller. ' ' '