In a clash of two former world number ones, Venus Williams seemed totally off in the first half of the match and it looked like Jelena Jankovic would record a quicker-than-expected win, but the Serb relaxed too much and allowed the American to get a taste of possible victory, which then woke up her good tennis and she progressed into the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.
With her left thigh and right arm strapped, the 12th-seeded Williams seemed totally blocked from the very beginning and her level stayed low in the first half of the match, which was evidenced by the fact that she never held serve in the first set and won her first point on the second serve at 1-4 down in the second set.
After opening the first set with an exchange of breaks, the remainder of the set was all JJ’s, as Williams committed 13 unforced errors to three winners. The set lasted just 19 minutes.
Williams’ serve was more consistent in the second set, but far from good enough and with one break JJ raced to a 4-1 lead. Afterwards, the 2010 champion Jankovic, who is a record-holder in Indian Wells with 16 career appearances, allowed her concentration to drop and that’s something that had to have consequences against the seven-time Grand Slam champion. Williams won four straight games to lead 5-4, but JJ managed to break back when Venus was serving for the set. Then JJ even had a match point, but Venus saved it and managed to win a tight tiebreak 7-5, taking the match to the third set.
Demoralized Jankovic was then crushed in the third set and she will never forgive herself for giving Williams an opportunity to totally revitalize her game in the middle of the second set. Final score: 1-6 7-6(5) 6-1.
If anything, JJ edged Venus in the tennis fashion game, with her revamped retro look of the new Heritage collection, in particular the lovely Fila Spring Heritage II Racer Dress. Venus showcased her latest EleVen Intrepid collection, choosing the EleVen Intrepid Center Stage Sleeveless from a wide variety of available tops.
JJ and Venus are now 7-7 in career meetings.