10
Mar
12

” It was a bad day for me,” admits Jelena Jankovic as she is ousted at Indian Wells.

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While Azarenka survived, Jelena Jankovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova both suffered surprise defeats in Indian Wells. Serbian 12th seed Jankovic was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Jamie Hampton while another American, Vania King, saw off 13th-seeded Russian Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 6-4. Jankovic, champion in Indian Wells in 2010, had reached the semi-finals in her last two tournaments but her exertions in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur seemed to catch up with her. She was broken five times in total by Hampton, who had already caused something of an upset by getting past Polona Hercog in the opening round. “It was a bad day of tennis for me,” the Serb said afterwards. “I just did not feel the ball. My legs felt so heavy on the court, so I was moving very badly out there.”

Victoria Azarenka’s return to action proved a tough one on Friday but she managed to scrape into the third round of the BNP Paribas Open. The world number one, playing for the first time since an ankle problem forced her to miss last month’s tournament in Dubai, was pushed all the way by Germany’s Mona Barthel before winning 6-4 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (8/6). Azarenka squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set and then had to come from 4-1 and 5-3 down in the decider, eventually taking it 8-6 in a tense tie-break. In winning, the Australian Open champion moved to 18-0 for the season and afterwards claimed the victory had been one of her more pleasing. “It’s a good feeling to come out from a match like this with a win,” she said. “I could be beating myself up somewhere in my house after losing, but I got through and I’m here. That’s a good sign. To win when you’re not playing your best, it’s more joyful.”

Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova and Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer were also ousted, Czech Klara Zakopalova defeating 19th seed Hantuchova 6-3 6-7 (7/9) 6-3 and Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova overcoming 22nd seed Wickmayer 2-6 6-2 6-4. However, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova eased past Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1 6-3, and fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska was a comfortable 6-2 6-4 winner over Sorana Cirstea. Ninth seed Vera Zvonareva and 25th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova were also victorious on Friday, while there were wins for Angelique Kerber, Flavia Pennetta, Jie Zheng and Christina McHale.

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