Kuznetsova dumps champion Jankovic out of Rome
Seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova dumped reigning champion Jelena Jankovic out of the WTA Rome claycourt international 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) with a powerful performance in Thursday's quarter-finals.sports Updated: May 07, 2009 18:42 IST
Seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova dumped reigning champion Jelena Jankovic out of the WTA Rome claycourt international 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) with a powerful performance in Thursday's quarter-finals.
In so doing, the Russian 23-year-old gained revenge on Jankovic, who beat her in the 2007 final in Rome, the first of two successive titles in Rome for the Serbian world number four.
Kuznetsova, ranked eight in the world, proved too good for the third seed, pinging winners off both wings throughout the match as Jankovic struggled to deal with her opponent's power.
The Russian fired over 27 winners to just 12 from Jankovic, more than making up for her 25 unforced errors, only six more than her opponent produced.
The first set was one-way traffic as Jankovic failed to get a foothold in a match that looked to be running away from her.
But in the second she knuckled down and stayed in contention, although she still went down a break.
The Serbian's battling qualities came to the fore as she hung in there and broke back to love when Kuznetsova was serving for the match at 5-4.
And Jankovic even had two set points at 6-5 and 15-40 on Kuznetsova's serve but she could take neither and the Russian went on to stroll through the tie-break before sealing the victory with another typical backhand winner down the line.
She next plays either sixth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus or Estonian 16th seed Kaia Kanepi.