Jankovic in quarters with Venus, Russian trio

October 3rd, 2008 - 3:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Serena WilliamsStuttgart, Oct 3 (DPA) Jelena Jankovic routed Ukraine’s Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 6-0 in the second round of the Porsche Grand Prix, the day after being assured of the world number one spot in women’s tennis again.Jankovic, 23, won the last 11 games from 2-1 down in the first set in a lopsided encounter Thursday that lasted 62 minutes.

The second-seeded Serb will move back to the top of the rankings Monday after top seed Serena Williams was ambushed in three sets by China’s Li Na Wednesday. Williams took the top spot from Jankovic by beating her in the US Open final almost four weeks ago.

“It feels great to be back (at number one). I hope I can stay there long,” said Jankovic.

Venus Williams restored family pride with a dozen aces for a 6-4, 6-2 victory over the other Bondarenko sister, qualifier Kateryna, to reach the quarter-finals as well.

The Russian trio of third seed Dinara Safina, seventh-seeded Vera Zvonareva and 2006 Stuttgart winner Nadia Petrova also advanced.

Jankovic came to Stuttgart Monday night from a weekend China Open title in Beijing.

She spoke of jet-lag, but showed no sign of it on the court. She traded breaks with Bondarenko in the opening games but was then in full command.

“I am pretty happy with the way I played, it was my first match indoors,” said Jankovic, who as one of the four top seeds had a first-round bye.

Jankovic now meets seven seed Zvonareva, who spoilt the 24th birthday of her French opponent Marion Bartoli with a 6-2, 6-0 demolition, in a rematch of the Beijing semis she won in three sets.

Jankovic is now the woman to beat for the number one spot, but Serena Williams will challenge her in the remaining weeks of the season, with Safina and fourth-seeded Olympic champion Elena Dementieva also still in the frame.

“My goal is to finish the year as number one. I don’t feel any pressure, it is an extra motivation. I feel more relaxed. I am playing better and better,” said Jankovic.

Five players have topped the rankings this year: now retired Justine Henin, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Williams and Jankovic.

Venus, the sixth-seeded Wimbledon champion, recovered swiftly from an early 3-1 deficit as she ousted Bondarenko in 66 minutes.

“I’d like to serve like that in every match,” said Williams. “She played really well. She had an early break and I needed to break her back. I felt comfortable on the court.”

Williams is playing for the first time in a decade at the tournament and has never made the quarters before.

Her next opponent Safina also needed to come from behind against a qualifier, defeating Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) from 5-3 down in the second set.

“It wasn’t an easy match, I didn’t play at my best,” said Safina. “I was going for my shots even if I was missing some. I was more aggressive.”

Safina was on the verge of quitting tennis early in the year over poor results, but has made a remarkable comeback with four titles, a place in the French Open final and an Olympic silver medal.

The unseeded Petrova ousted Switzerland’s Patty Schnyder, 6-4, 6-1 to meet Li on Friday. Dementieva meets Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

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