Rick Stevens, Associated Press
Maria Sharapova reacts after winning a point against Justine Henin during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

With the Williams sisters and No. 1 Justine Henin gone, the Australian Open women's semifinals are an all eastern European affair.

And two not-so-similar Serbians are in the hunt for their first Grand Slam singles title.

No. 3 Jelena Jankovic and No. 4 Ana Ivanovic both advanced to last year's French Open semifinals, signaling the start of a Serbian move into the top five of women's tennis.

At this year's Australian Open, the two could meet in the final, if Jankovic can get past Maria Sharapova in one of Thursday's semifinals and Ivanovic, who beat Venus Williams 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the quarterfinals early today, beats Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the other.

The two Serbians share only their nationality: Jankovic is outspoken, Ivanovic has a quiet manner about her and is more private, describing herself as "sensitive" in her WTA Tour biography.

Ivanovic is taking a finance course by correspondence, reads Greek mythology, listens to pop and rhythm and blues music and has studied Spanish. Jankovic likes techno music, considers herself competitive and learned French at a diplomatic school in Serbia.

On the court, they become more similar: both are right-handed with two-handed backhands that produce powerful ground strokes.

Jankovic has lost three of four matches against Sharapova, and the two were junior teammates together at a Florida tennis academy. Sharapova lost last year's final here to Serena Williams but looked ever-so powerful in ending Henin's 32-match winning streak in the quarterfinals this year.

The last time Jankovic and Sharapova played — at the Birmingham grass court tournament last year — Jankovic beat the Russian in three sets, including 7-5 in the decider. Sharapova has beaten Jankovic twice on hard courts, including the U.S. Open's second round in 2004.