Classy Jelena Wins Opener at Doha
DOHA, Qatar - World No.1 Jelena Jankovic achieved another career breakthrough on a blustery Tuesday evening in Doha, registering her first ever win at the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's season finale. At her event debut in Madrid last year the 23-year-old Serb failed to take a match, but her 2008 campaign got off to a much better start with comprehensive defeat of Ana Ivanovic in their White Group round robin match, 63 64. It was Jankovic's first win over her younger compatriot in three years.
Despite issuing two double faults in the first game, Jankovic was quick to establish a 3-0 lead in the opening set with patient baseline play. Although Ivanonic, who turns 21 on Thursday, was able to get proceedings back on serve, she was broken again later in the set; serving to stay alive in the opener she produced three aces in one game, but it was too little too late, as Jankovic held to love in the next game.
By the time Jankovic had polished off the first set, broken Ivanovic to love in the first game of the second and won the first point of her next service game she was on a nine point streak. But serving at 3-2 she lost her the game from a 40-0 lead, allowing Ivanovic, producing the occasional spectacular winner, to draw level.
However, again the French Open champion, who reached the semis on her Championships debut last year, faltered on delivery, and this time Jankovic wouldn't sacrifice the advantage. The match was served out without fuss.
"This loss is disappointing, because I felt I was playing better and better recently," said Ivanovic, who at one point had to pause with breathing problems and dizziness. "I think I went for a little bit too much at times today."
With the win, Jankovic improved her standing against Ivanovic to 2-6 - the pair last played in the semifinals at Roland Garros - and joined Vera Zvonareva in the Day 1 winners' circle, after the Russian beat Svetlana Kuznetsova with similar ease. The third and final match of the day saw Dinara Safina and Venus Williams get the competition underway for the Maroon Group.