Star Power In Portoroz

Jelena Jankovic made a winning beginning in doubles. Vera Dushevina rallied to win too.

Published July 19, 2010 12:00

Star Power In Portoroz
Aleksandra Krunic, Jelena Jankovic

PORTOROZ, Slovenia - The Banka Koper Slovenia Open kicked off on Monday and the only seed in action had to battle hard, as Vera Dushevina rallied to beat fellow Russian Anna Lapushchenkova in three sets, 26 63 63.

Dushevina, seeded No.6 at the first hardcourt stop of the summer, opened the match with an ace but found herself on the receiving end of a 6-2 first set. She had to fight hard for the victory, eventually closing Lapushchenkova out in two hours and five minutes. Lapushchenkova double faulted on match point.

"It was a tough match for me, since I've known Anna since we were eight or nine years old. We grew up together," Dushevina said. "All in all, it was very close. Things weren't looking good after the first set, but I got a break in the second set and found my game. I'll have to play better moving forward."

In another Russian duel Anna Chakvetadze beat Ekaterina Makarova, 64 61.

"I played pretty well today, except maybe a few moments in the first set," Chakvetadze said. "I've been playing on clay the last few weeks so I have to adjust to this surface, but I'm feeling good so far. Next up I may have Errani, who has a great record here. I'll just try to play my best. I have nothing to lose."

Former Portoroz champion Tamira Paszek, who took the title in 2006 in her only previous appearance here, also moved into the second round with a 75 62 win over Jelena Kostanic Tosic: "It was a very important match for me. I was out for seven months so my ranking has dropped from No.50 to No.300-something. It's wonderful to be back here, the first tournament I ever won. It's a nice feeling to come back to a place I've never lost. I'll just keep focusing. Tomorrow is another day of practice and I'll get ready for the next match."

Other winners were former Top 20 player Virginie Razzano, who beat Zuzana Kucova, 62 75, and Rossana de los Ríos, who beat Andreja Klepac, 63 64.

Anastasiya Yakimova, Alexandra Panova, Elena Bovina and Anna Tatishvili secured main draw berths with wins in the final round of qualifying.

Jelena Jankovic, ranked No.2 in the world and the top seed here, begins her title quest Tuesday against fellow Serb Bojana Jovanovski. Jankovic played her first round doubles match on Monday, partnering another fellow Serbian, Aleksandra Krunic - they rallied from 7-4 down in the match tie-break to win.

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