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Jankovic Captures Nanchang Title

Jelena Jankovic won her first title of the year on Sunday, edging her fifth straight opponent from the Asia-Pacific to conquer the Jiangxi Women's Tennis Open in Nanchang.

Published August 02, 2015 12:14

Jankovic Captures Nanchang Title
Jelena Jankovic

NANCHANG, China - Jelena Jankovic won her first title of the year on Sunday, edging Chinese Taipei's Chang Kai-Chen - her fifth straight opponent from the Asia-Pacific - to conquer the Jiangxi Women's Tennis Open in Nanchang, the first of six WTA 125K Series events this season.

Jankovic, the No.1 seed, hadn't lost a set all week, beating Japan's Riko Sawayanagi first round then three straight Chinese players - Liu Chang, Duan Ying-Ying and Han Xinyun - the next three rounds.

Chang was a different kind of player, though. With three Top 10 wins to her name, including a famous win over then-World No.1 Dinara Safina at Tokyo in 2009, she was probably the biggest threat of the week. And she'd taken out No.4 seed Hsieh Su-Wei and No.7 seed Wang Yafan en route to the final.

And she certainly showed why with the title on the line. Jankovic raced out to a 6-3, 5-2 lead, seemingly on her way to a routine straight set win, but Chang battled back, winning four of the next five games to take that second set to a tie-break, even getting within two points of a third set leading 5-4.

Jankovic had one last burst left in her, though, and the former No.1 closed it out, 6-3, 7-6(6).

The Serb is the first player who was, had been or would be No.1 to win a WTA 125K Series title.

"I'm very happy to win this title," she said. "It's my first year coming to the Jiangxi Women's Tennis Open and I am quite impressed with the organization, the hotel, the ballkids and the volunteers. I love playing in China. The people are so kind here and so helpful - they treated me like a princess!

"I would really like to come back next year."

There was an added bonus to the title-winning week, too. "I can't say what percentage I'm playing at, but this gives me a lot of confidence for the Emirates Airline US Open Series," Jankovic added.

Chang didn't leave empty-handed. Seeded No.3 with WTA Rising Star Zheng Saisai, she beat No.1 seeds Chan Chin-Wei and Wang Yafan in a match tie-break in the doubles final, 6-3, 4-6, 10-3.

For both Chang and Zheng it was their first career WTA 125K Series title of any kind.

Nanchang will be upgraded to a full WTA event, at the International level, starting in 2016.

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