Jankovic Opens With Win in Marbella
Published April 07, 2009 12:00
MARBELLA, Spain - She struggled during the American hardcourt season but Jelena Jankovic has found her footing on clay, winning her first match of the Andalucía Tennis Experience handily on Tuesday, beating the dangerous Francesca Schiavone in straight sets, 62 61.
Jankovic had a difficult time in the US in March, losing her first matches of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami in straight sets to unseeded players. This week she dropped from No.3 to No.4 on the rankings, her first time outside the Top 3 in almost a year, and a far cry from the world No.1 ranking she held until January; but she rebounded on the red clay of Marbella with a one-hour, two-minute win over Schiavone.
"I feel really good. It was my first match of the week and I thought I played really well," the 24-year-old said. "The conditions were not so good and it was quite windy, but I was concentrated on myself and my game and I did well."
Four of Jankovic's nine Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles titles have come on clay, including her first career title, at Budapest in 2004. She has also won large clay court tournaments at Charleston (2007) and Rome (2007 and 2008).
The other seeds in action all won in straight sets, although none of them had it easy. No.4 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues beat Anastasiya Yakimova by a handy scoreline, 61 63, but the match itself took an hour and 41 minutes. No.5 seed Carla Suárez Navarro and No.6 seed Sara Errani both needed more than two hours, the Spaniard defeating Maret Ani, 75 75, and the Italian edging Julia Schruff, 75 76(6), saving three set points at the end of the second set.
Other winners on Day 2 were Virginia Ruano Pascual, Andreja Klepac, Renata Voracova and qualifiers Arantxa Rus, Ekaterina Ivanova and Polona Hercog, and lucky loser Selima Sfar. Fourteen players are now through to the round of 16.
Wednesday's schedule includes the last two first round matches of the week, pitting No.1 seed Serena Williams against Klara Zakopalova and No.3 seed Kaia Kanepi against lucky loser Sílvia Soler Espinosa, as well as the first three second round matches of the week at the $500,000 International-level tournament.