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Jankovic loses to qualifier in Carlsbad quarters

Jankovic loses to qualifier in Carlsbad quarters

By beating Jankovic, Chan Yung-Jan joined Dominika Cibulkova and Nadia Petrova in the last four.

Carlsbad, California: Qualifier Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan saved two match points en route to beating third-seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-7 (4), 7-6 (8), 7-5 on Friday and advancing to the semi-finals of the Mercury Insurance Open.

After holding off two match points to win the second-set tiebreaker, Chan ran off three straight games to take a 5-2 lead in the third. However, Jankovic responded and tied the match at 5-5.

Chan held serve for a 6-5 lead, then got her third career win against a top-20 player in the next game when Jankovic hit a backhand long, ending the 3-hour-3-minute quarter-final.

"The match was really a mental game between us," Chan said of the second longest WTA match this season. Chan will next face the winner of the night match between top-seeded Marion Bartoli of France and No. 5 seed Christina McHale of the US.

"[It] looked like she [Jankovic] was out of the match and tired and didn't want to hang there," Chan said about taking a 5-2 lead in the third set. "But I knew that she was going to come back."

In addition to the match points, Chan also had to overcome heat exhaustion. Trailing 3-2 in the second set, Chan called for a trainer on court.

Chan, ranked No. 161, trailed 6-5 and was two points away from losing in the second set when she forced the tiebreak. The 20th-ranked Jankovic had two match points but Chan hit a backhand winner on the first and her Serbian opponent missed a backhand shot on the second.

"I lost my focus and I kind of brought her back into the match," Jankovic said. "When I lost that second set, it was so tough mentally and, of course, physically because we are playing in the heat."

No. 2 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia won 6-4, 6-4 over Poland's Urszula Radwanska. Cibulkova reached her second semi-final of the season where she will face fourth-seeded Nadia Petrova. The Russian defeated US Olympian Varvara Lepchenko, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

first published:July 21, 2012, 11:41 IST