World No.1 and top seed Jelena Jankovic defeated Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6(6) 6-4 in the round robin phase of the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha and ensured her spot in the semifinals of the season-ending event.
Jankovic broke serve in the very first game, and looked to be on a perfect way to claim the first set comfortably. However, after stepping up at 5-4 having lost only three previous points on serve, Jankovic’s level decreased and sixth-seeded Kuznetsova converted her first break point to level at 5-5. The Serb broke again in the following game, but was once more unable to serve out. Finally, Jankovic won the set in a tie-break. The second set progressed on serve for nine games but when Kuznetsova was left serving to stay in the tournament, she was unable to hold on.
The loss ends Kuznetsova’s participation at the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships. The Russian made her event debut in 2004 and has qualified for the fourth time, but is yet to progress past the round robin stage.
Vera Zvonareva is the other semifinalist from the four-player White Group. Besides Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic is the other White Group competitor who can no longer qualify.
Additional info: During the match with Kuznetsova, Jankovic had problems with a back injury. Hopefully it will heal enough for her to play the rest of the matches with ease. (photo: Getty Images)