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Kuznetsov stuns Jankovic; enters Pan Pacific semis
Published on 20 Sep. 2008 12:10 AM IST
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Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated top-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals on Friday, ending the Serb’s hopes of a swift return to the top of the rankings. Fifth-seeded Kuznetsova rallied from a set down for a 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 win at Ariake Colosseum. The Russian took a 6-5 lead in the third set when she broke Jankovic for the fourth time. Kuznetsova went ahead 40-30 with a smash at the net and won the match on a drop shot that Jankovic couldn’t reach. “I knew I had to be more aggressive in the third set,” Kuznetsova said. “If you don’t take a risk, you don’t drink champagne.” It was a disappointing loss for Jankovic, who had been hoping to reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Serena Williams with a tournament victory. The Serb struggled with eight double-faults. “I played well in the first set and then my percentage of serves started getting lower and lower,” Jankovic said. “I made double-faults at the wrong time and lost my serve many times and that was the key.” Kuznetsova will face qualifier Katarina Srebotnik in the semifinals on Saturday. Srebotnik upset Olympic gold medalist and third-seeded Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-4. Nadia Petrova also advanced to the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-0 win over sixth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and will play Dinara Safina. The fourth-seeded Safina ousted Kaia Kanepi 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2. Jankovic lost to Serena Williams in the final of the U.S. Open. “Coming off the U.S. Open it’s hard to be at the top of your game,” Jankovic said. “I have five tournaments left this year and still have a chance to finish at the top of the rankings, and that’s the most important thing to me.”

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