JJ Gets Revenge, Moves Into Semifinals

Jelena Jankovic lost to Anastasija Sevastova in Monterrey last year. She turned the tables Friday.

Published March 04, 2011 12:00

JJ Gets Revenge, Moves Into Semifinals
Jelena Jankovic

MONTERREY, México - A year ago, Jelena Jankovic lost to Anastasija Sevastova in her first career match in Monterrey; Friday night, she got revenge.

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Jankovic, the No.1 seed at the Whirlpool Monterrey Open for the second year, defeated a No.5-seeded Sevastova in the quarterfinals of the $220,000 stop, 61 75, needing six match points to win but nevertheless making the semis.

With triple match point while serving for it at 61 65, Jankovic was nearly pushed into overtime, as Sevastova saved all three of them - two on winners. She fended off two more, one on a winner and another on a Jankovic double fault, before finally sending an inside out forehand wide on match point No.6.

"It's nice to get revenge but I didn't really think about it tonight," Jankovic said in an on-court interview. "I lost to Anastasija in the first round last year and this was my second time playing her, and I really wanted to get a win. I'm happy I was able to do that. She's a tough opponent and has been playing really well."

Last year, Sevastova got a 57 64 64 win over Jankovic, digging out from 1-3 in the second set and 2-4 in the third. She was No.72 that week; now, No.38.

Next up for Jankovic is No.8 seed Polona Hercog, who rallied for a three set win over Olga Govortsova, 46 63 63. "We speak similar languages and I know her really well, but I've never played her," Serbia's Jankovic said of Slovenia's Hercog. "We always talk in the locker room. It's going to be interesting."

Earlier on, Gisela Dulko made it a career-best WTA win streak with her eighth straight match win, routing Ksenia Pervak, 61 60. Dulko had compiled winning streaks of seven matches in 2007 and 2008 (both of those being snapped by Victoria Azarenka), but is now 8-0 in the last two weeks. She is now 10-0 this year in Latin America, winning two matches in Fed Cup earlier in the year.

"I'm so happy to be in the semifinals," Dulko said on Twitter. "Spending two great weeks in México, I hope to keep going until the end, thanks to everyone!"

Next for Dulko is No.2 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who fended off a late surge from Greta Arn to prevail in the last quarterfinal of the day, 62 76(3). Pavlyuchenkova led 62 51 when Arn won five of the next six games to push the second set to a tie-break; but the Russian defending champion closed it out.

"This is my court," Pavlyuchenkova told the crowd after the close finish. "I love you guys and I'm happy to play here. It's such a pleasure to be here."

Pavlyuchenkova leads Dulko in their head-to-head series, 1-0.

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