Keeping The Dream Alive

Vera Zvonareva and Jelena Jankovic kept their Doha chances alive Tuesday with Moscow wins.

Published October 20, 2009 12:00


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MOSCOW, Russia - Vera Zvonareva and Jelena Jankovic kept their hopes of snapping up the last berth for the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 alive at the Kremlin Cup Tuesday, both winning their first round matches at the Premier-level tournament.  Moscow: Tuesday Highlights

Watch live tennis from Moscow all week on TennisTV.com!

Jankovic, the No.2 seed and defending champion, was the first to advance but had a far tougher time, gaining revenge for a recent US Open loss to Yaroslava Shvedova with a 64 57 61 victory over the Kazhakstani. Down 64 54, Shvedova was two points from losing and pushed the match to a third set; but Jankovic closed strongly in the third, holding six match points at 5-0 but eventually closing it out a game later.  Highlights: Jankovic vs. Shvedova

"Our match at the US Open was hard for me because I really wasn't on the court. My grandma died the day before and I was a shadow of myself," Jankovic said on the aforementioned second round match at Flushing Meadows. "Today I knew what to expect from her. I went out there knowing what she does, how well she hits the ball. It took me some time to get into it, but I knew I could win."

Zvonareva, seeded No.1, took the court later on at night and was able to get past Romania's Ioana Raluca Olaru, 62 62. Zvonareva beat Olaru easily in their only prior match too, losing only five games to her at Hobart in 2008.

"It's always hard to play your first match of the tournament, especially the first indoor tournament for me," Zvonareva said. "I was here in the finals here last year, so I'm happy about the win and looking forward to my next match."

Top 2 seeds Zvonareva and Jankovic, along with the No.3 seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, who plays her first round on Wednesday, are vying for the last berth in Doha next week. Click here to find out who needs to do what to qualify.

Other first round winners were Alisa Kleybanova, Aleksandra Wozniak, Vera Dushevina, Monica Niculescu and last but not least Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova.  Highlights: Pironkova vs. Pavlyuchenkova

Wozniak won the first set on Sara Errani, 6-1, when the Italian was forced to retire due to a right shoulder injury: "I had a pretty easy match as my opponent retired in the second set, so I will be fresh for the next one," Wozniak said. "I saw she was having trouble serving, so I tried to really attack her serve. I was moving the ball around well and it went my way today."

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