Fed Cup 2009, Serbia 2-0 Spain



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Sunday April 26, 2009


Fed Cup 2009, Serbia 2-0 Spain

Serbia took two large steps nearer to securing a place in the World Group of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas for the first time in its history after Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic gave the nation a 2-0 lead over Spain in their play-off tie in Lleida on Saturday.

World No. 4 Jankovic shrugged off a nagging cold to beat
Maria Jose Martinez 63 64 and world No. 7 Ivanovic pulled off a superb recovery to beat Anabel Medina Garrigues 36 61 62 and leave the Serbians one win away from making the World Group.

Jankovic draws on mental strength

When Jankovic sneezed through the first few games of her match with Martinez, the crowd in the intimate setting of the Club de Tennis Lleida sensed a chance for Spain. Jankovic, however, had other ideas and though the first set was dominated by seven service breaks, it was the Serbian who took it.

World No. 46 Martinez was overwhelmed by Jankovic whenever she missed her first serve but she came out more aggressively in the second set and charged to a 3-0 lead. She missed a chance to make that 4-0 when she dumped a forehand return into the net and Jankovic then made her pay by winning six games out of seven to clinch victory.

“I cannot tell you I played good tennis, but I did enough to win,” Jankovic said. “This morning, when I woke up I felt, oh God I cannot move, but it’s a special occasion, I am playing for my country and we are in a position where for the first time in the history of Fed Cup, we are able to get in the World Group and next year play for the title, so this is a big opportunity for us.

“In my head, with my mental strength, I pushed myself and at the end especially I wanted to win that second set because I didn’t want to play the third.”

Turnaround victory for Ivanovic

French Open champion Ivanovic looked totally out of sorts in the opening set of her match with Medina Garrigues, who took full advantage to move ahead.

Ivanovic seemed to be trying to hit winners at every opportunity and her impatience played right into Medina’s hands. But the match turned in the first game of the second set when Ivanovic found her form to break serve.

Her own serve, which had been broken three times in the first set, then clicked into gear and as her confidence grew, she played more like the woman who won her first Grand Slam title in Paris last summer.

Two more breaks gave her the second set and as Medina faded, she charged to a 5-1 lead in the decider. Medina gave herself a brief glimmer of hope when she broke back to trail 5-2, but Ivanovic then broke yet again to clinch victory and leave Serbia needing to win just one of Sunday’s three rubbers to win a place in next year’s World Group.

“It was my first match on clay since the French Open and I had completely the wrong tactics, I was going for my shots way too early,” Ivanovic said. “It took me a little time to adjust to the tactics I needed but I did that really well in the second set and the third set and I am really happy to get another important point for my side.”


The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is the world’s leading professional sport for women with more than 2,200 players representing 96 nations competing for more than $86 million in prize money at the Tour’s 51 events and four Grand Slams in 31 countries. More than 4.8 million people attended women’s tennis events in 2008 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season concludes with the Sony Ericsson Championships – Doha 2009 in Doha, Qatar, from October 27-November 1, and the inaugural Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, Indonesia from November 4-8. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at www.sonyericssonwtatour.com




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