Giant Step For Jovanovski
Published October 04, 2010 12:00
BEIJING, China - Serbs stole the headlines at the China Open on Monday, with both of its top stars in action but one of them falling - to another Serb.
Over on Moon Court, Jelena Jankovic - the No.3 seed and the 2008 champion in Beijing - started strongly but couldn't keep her level in her second round match against Bojana Jovanovski, losing to her countrywoman, 46 62 62.
"Bojana played really well. She was solid off the baseline and really gave me a hard time," Jankovic said. "Since I twisted my ankle in Portoroz I really haven't found my form. I'm still trying to get back to the tennis I'd like to play, but I'm not there yet. I have to work hard and keep going to get back to that level."
Jovanovski collected her first Top 10 win over the No.7-ranked Jankovic.
"It was very hard to play Jelena. We are such good friends off the court, we go out for dinner together and enjoy each other's company," Jovanovski added. "It's a real shame two Serbian girls had to play first round, but you can't choose who you play. But I don't think Jelena was playing her best tennis today.
"I actually wasn't even sure if I should come to play Beijing. I was practicing well but kept losing first round everywhere, and after Tokyo I was just so mentally tired with the losses and frustrated my good play in practice wasn't translating into matches. In the end I decided to come though. It shows that if you keep practicing hard, the results at tournaments will come if you're patient."
"I know how it feels when you're young and moving up, and it's very exciting," Jankovic said of the 18-year-old Jovanovski. "Every match you win gives you the confidence and motivation to work even harder and be better. I just wish her the best of luck in the tournament as well as in the future."
In a first round clash, Ana Ivanovic won five straight games from 3-1 down in the second set to upset No.11 seed Marion Bartoli, 62 63. "I tried to do a lot of things differently today and it worked," said Ivanovic, who lost to Bartoli in straight sets last week in Tokyo. "She's a tough opponent and I've lost to her the last couple of times, so it was really nice to have a win today."
The highest seed in action was Vera Zvonareva, the No.2 seed, and she overcame a losing head-to-head against Dinara Safina to beat her compatriot in just under two hours, 64 76(6). "Dinara is a great player. She has been No.1, so she will be a great player forever. It's always difficult to play against her," Zvonareva said. "I don't think either of us found our best tennis today, but you can't expect to play your best tennis in the first match of a tournament. New stadium, new balls, new atmosphere... you're trying to find your rhythm."
No.15 seed Shahar Peer, Alexandra Dulgheru, Sara Errani and Angelique Kerber also recorded first round wins on Day 3 of play in the Chinese capital. Kerber upset No.6 seed Agnieszka Radwanska - read more here.