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Kimiko Cruises, JJ Wins

Kimiko Date Krumm and Jelena Jankovic were among the first round winners on Saturday.

Published October 02, 2010 12:00

Kimiko Cruises, JJ Wins
Kimiko Date Krumm

BEIJING, China - Jelena Jankovic, a champion at the China Open in 2008, made a winning start to her 2010 campaign at the $4.5-million tournament on Saturday, rallying past tricky Czech player Klara Zakopalova, 75 75.

Watch live tennis from Beijing this week on TennisTV.com!

Jankovic, the No.3 seed, had lost to Zakopalova in both of their prior meetings but this time broke the pattern, rallying from 4-2 down in both sets to close her out in straights. Jankovic improved to 13-5 here, a record that includes a runner-up finish in 2007 (to Agnes Szavay) and the aforementioned title.

"First match is always tough and you cannot expect yourself to play your best tennis, but I just hung in there and tried to make as many balls in the court as possible," Jankovic said. "I was strong mentally and no matter if I'm making errors, I'll always keep going and believing I can get through, which I did today."

Jankovic is among the players with a good chance of snapping up one of the last four spots in the elite eight field of the season-ending WTA Championships - Doha 2010. "There's still a few tournaments to play," Jankovic added. "Playing the China Open is very important, so I'll give my best. We'll see how things go for me. I don't want to put pressure on myself. Hopefully I'll play there."

One of the most talked about players of the last few weeks was also a winner, as Kimiko Date Krumm - who reached the third round of Tokyo last week, the same week she turned 40 - beat Anabel Medina Garrigues, 60 64. Date Krumm won the first nine games of the match before Medina Garrigues dialled in, winning three straight games to close, 60 30 to 60 33; but it was too late.

"I like a challenge. Everybody is asking me what my motivation is, and I'm just enjoying tennis and enjoying travelling on the tour," Date Krumm said. "I'm 40 and most people are only half my age. I'm usually asked about my age... but this year my ranking is up to 50 or 60, and I can play the main draws of the Grand Slams. It's very fun. I'm going to try to continue for another year or two."

Next for Date Krumm is No.7 seed Elena Dementieva. Date Krumm pushed her to three sets in their only previous meeting in Stanford this summer.

"A few weeks before the US Open we played and I took the first set. I was leading 2-0 in the second set and I made some mistakes, and a double fault on a big, big point," the Japanese No.1 said. "It was the first time she played me, and I think she was confused a little bit. This time she will adjust much more from the beginning. There are important tactics for me. I'll try my best."

Alona Bondarenko, Andrea Petkovic, Elena Vesnina, Patty Schnyder, Timea Bacsinszky and Olga Govortsova also scored first round wins. Bacsinszky had a dramatic win over Julia Goerges, saving four match points down 5-3 in the third set and beating the German, 36 64 76(4).

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