Today was a big day for Jelena Jankovic, who reminded herself of how it feels to be in the top by beating world No.2 Victoria Azarenka at the prestigious season-ending Championships, scoring her first Top 2 victory since Rome 2010 and her first Top 4 win in 18 matches. The Serb recorded a 6-4 6-3 victory in the White Group, hitting 14 winners to 13 unforced errors, compared to her opponent’s 30 winners and overwhelming 40 unforced errors. Azarenka has now lost four of her last five matches – that one victory came yesterday against Sara Errani in the White Group.
Jankovic’s opponent in her second round-robin match will be Li Na, who today beat Sara Errani for the sixth straight time, 6-3 7-6(5). It wasn’t some display of power and both players showed inconsistency in their play. Li won the first set with ease 6-3, but in the second set their play fluctuated and Li was even 3-1 down. Then the Chinese won four straight games and took a 5-3 lead, but lost a match point, which the Italian exploited and forced a tiebreak. Even though Li was again down in the tiebreak, she rallied to close the match.
In the last match on Wednesday, in the Red Group, Serena Williams became the only player with two victories from two round-robin matches, beating Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-4. The Pole had managed to win just one set against Williams in their seven previous meetings, and today the trend didn’t get any better. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)