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.
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.