x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Jankovic 'feeling good' for final

Jelena Jankovic, the world No 9, cruises past Australia's Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Indian Wells WTA tournament.

Serbia's Jelena Jankovic returns a shot to Samantha Stosur of Australia during their semi-final at Indian Wells yesterday.
Serbia's Jelena Jankovic returns a shot to Samantha Stosur of Australia during their semi-final at Indian Wells yesterday.

INDIAN WELLS, California // Jelena Jankovic, the world No 9 from Serbia, cruised past Australia's Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Indian Wells WTA tournament. "I'm feeling good, going to the finals. I had some tough matches here and some good wins," said Jankovic, the sixth seed and a former world No 1.

In the other semi-final, Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, the second seed, overwhelmed Poland's Agnieszka Radwanski 6-2, 6-3 and said she was looking forward to a day off before what she expects to be a tough final against Jankovic today. Jankovic broke her opponent twice in each set to wrap up her win in 1hr 28mins on a hot afternoon at Indian Wells. The eighth-seeded Stosur had not dropped a set on her way to the last four but struggled for rhythm against her higher-ranked opponent, piling up 36 unforced errors and four double faults.

The match ended when the Australian mistimed a forehand service return which flew skywards and Jankovic celebrated reaching her first WTA final of the year. "Samantha has an unbelievable serve, one of the best in the women's game, and I was able to return a lot of her first serves. I was putting a lot of pressure on her second serve," said Jankovic. "So I think that was the key, because I was able to break her quite a few times. And then it made everything easier for me."

Although bitterly disappointed with her loss to Jankovic, Stosur was happy with her overall performance at Indian Wells and is projected to break into the top 10 for the first time when the rankings are released over the weekend. "Try to look at the positives. It was a great week, but this time I definitely didn't play anywhere close to as well as I can," she said. "I just got frustrated and wasn't able to pull it back. When you're a set down against a quality player, it's always tough to come back."

Wozniacki pumped her right fist in celebration after sealing victory in 1hr 38mins when Radwanski, one of her closest friends, hit a forehand wide. "Agnieszka is such a great player and I just kept fighting for every point," Wozniacki said. "Jelena is also a great player, a former world No 1, and it's going to be a tough match. I look forward to the final." The world No 1, Serena Williams, has pulled out of next week's Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne, Florida, because of a knee injury. Her absence is another blow to the tournament after the former Wimbledon champion, Maria Sharapova, and the world No 2, Dinara Safina, had already withdrawn.

* Reuters