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Jankovic, Clijsters cruise at Indian Wells


Updated: March 12, 2011, 3:45 PM IST
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Jankovic, Clijsters cruise at Indian Wells
Jankovic crushed Coco Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-1 while Clijsters demolished Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2, 6-0.

California: Holder Jelena Jankovic and Belgian world number two Kim Clijsters each made short shrift of their opponents as they cruised into the third round of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Friday.

Serb Jankovic launched her title defence with a crushing 6-2 6-1 victory over American teenager Coco Vandeweghe while Clijsters demolished Russian Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2 6-0.

Jankovic, wearing a bright apricot dress, broke the error-prone Vandeweghe twice in the opening set and three times in the second to make a triumphant start as the sixth seed in the elite event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The 26-year-old Serb, who beat Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in last year's final, sealed victory on her second match point when the American wildcard netted a backhand. "There wasn't a lot of rhythm out there," Jankovic told reporters after playing the first match of the day on the showpiece stadium court in dazzling sunshine.

"She made a lot of mistakes ... and the points were very short. I didn't really have a chance to hit a lot of balls, because that's the style of play she has. She really goes for every shot, goes for a big serve. "So all I had to do was get the ball in play and kind of wait for my chances. I did what I had to do, and I'm happy to get to the next round."

World number six Jankovic will next meet either 32nd-seeded German Julia Georges or Austria's Sybille Bammer.

Vandeweghe, making her debut this week in the main draw at Indian Wells, struggled to make much of an impact with her powerful but erratic game against the rock-steady Jankovic.

"I'm definitely a little bit more accustomed to getting more free points off my serve," the 19-year-old said. "Some of the shots that she'd get back, sometimes I thought: 'Hey, that's a winner.' "But, you know, she's a top-10 player and those players are gonna do that. That's what I'm striving to be, so I have to be prepared to continually play those points more consistently."

Clijsters, champion here in 2003 and 2005, needed only 52 minutes to brush aside the 23-year-old Kudryavtseva. "Everything could be better, of course," the four-times grand slam champion said. "But for a first match, I'm at a stage now where I haven't played for a while and when I was playing, my last few tournaments were indoors."

Clijsters, who won the Australian Open in January, had not previously competed for almost a month since losing to Czech Petra Kvitova in the Paris Open final.

"So I kind of just have to get back into playing outdoors again and in big arenas ... just get a feel for it all over again because it's been a while," said the 27-year-old Belgian, who will next face Italian Sara Errani.

In other matches, French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy, the fifth seed, eased past Czech Zuzana Ondraskova 6-2 6-0 and 17th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova brushed aside Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 7-5.

Third-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva beat Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-3 7-6 while Kvitova, the 12th seed, was upset 3-6 6-2 7-5 by fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

First Published: March 12, 2011, 3:45 PM IST
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