Melanie Coasts, Jelena Battles
Published April 13, 2010 12:00
CHARLESTON, SC, USA - It wasn't easy but Jelena Jankovic made a winning start in her quest for her second Family Circle Cup title, rallying from a set down to beat Edina Gallovits in her first match of the tournament, 26 64 63.
Gallovits, who had won one of her three previous meetings with Jankovic, looked like she was headed for another one as she ground out a 6-2 first set; the match slowly started tipping in the favorite's favor, however, as the No.2-seeded Jankovic broke serve for the first time in the first game of the second set and eventually won that set, 6-4, then, from 1-2 in the third set, won five of the last six games of the match to make it through to the third round.
"Edina is a really good player, and on clay she's really tough to beat," Jankovic said. "I was making a lot of errors, so she took advantage of that and won the first set pretty easily, but then I got myself together. I started playing more aggressively and cut down on the errors as well. Obviously these kinds of matches are good so you can see what you have to improve for the next round."
Jankovic won the this tournament three years ago and was asked afterwards about what it would take to do it again: "You have to be really patient, wait for your opportunities and, when you have them, take them. You also have to move well, cover the court well and have the endurance. You have to play those long points. And if it comes to a third set, you have to hold your ground and play your tennis, and not lose the match because you're physically tired."
Also winning second round matches were No.4 seed Samantha Stosur, No.7 seed Vera Zvonareva and No.12 seed Aleksandra Wozniak. The first round wrapped up, with two-time Family Circle Cup finalist and this year's No.16 seed, Patty Schnyder, among the winners. After her match, she was presented with flowers to celebrate playing the Family Circle Cup for 10 straight years - every single year since the tournament moved from Hilton Head to Charleston.
"I feel the support when I step out on the court here, even practicing, people just come and talk to me and say nice things," Schnyder said about Charleston. "When you're down, it helps you a lot. I've played so many great matches here and have beaten so many Top 10 players. It's just my favorite tournament."
"I did well here last year as a qualifier. Everything started to click for me here," Oudin said. "Being able to close out the first set tonight then playing well in the second set is really good for me. I've been up and down when I have the lead and I've been working on that. Jill also won handily the last time we played."