Jankovic beats Cetkovska in Dubai

Jelena Jankovic
Jelena Jankovic enjoyed a straightforward victory over Petra Cetkovska, 6-2 6-2 in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Championships.  In truth, Jankovic was not tested by Cetkovska, who hit 10 double faults throughout the lacklustre 73-minute contest.  The most exciting moment was when the umpire, Mohammed Layani called Jelena “Mr Jankovic” when she challenged a call… the backhand was working well for the Serb, but she will need to improve her 1st serve percentage for her second round match which will be against Flavia Pennetta.  Pennetta beat Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-3 6-3 and hit three times as many winners (24 to 8) in a wind-swept match.
Julia Goerges had one of the best wins of her career aside from her heroics in Stuttgart and Madrid last year as she came from a set down to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2-6 7-6 6-4.  Kuznetsova continues to infuriate me with her inconsistency, particularly as I had tipped her to the quarter-finals! It was a solid performance from Goerges though who will play Victoria Azarenka in the second round.  In other matches, Maria Kirilenko thrashed a woeful Monica Niculescu, 6-3 6-0 and Shahar Peer took advantage of another kind draw with a straight sets win over Fatima Al-Nabhani.
My predictions from yesterday have turned out to be a complete shambles… my tip for the win, Petra Kvitova pulled out of the tournament through illness and has been replaced in the draw by the number 9 seed, Sabine Lisicki.  This now means that the first round match between Lisicki and Agnieszka Radwanska will no longer take place in the first round although they could now meet in the quarter-finals.  I am now going for a final between Sam Stosur and Daniela Hantuchova although if Azarenka shows up, she will make a mockery of my predictions once more 😉
Tips for tomorrow’s matches in Dubai: 
The qualifiers have now been placed and the most dangerous one based on form is Simona Halep who ripped through three rounds of qualifying for the loss of just six games.  She will be confident of beating the out-of-form Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.  In other matches, I think that Ana Ivanovic will ease past Francesca Schiavone in 2 sets, Marion Bartoli will beat Peng Shuai in two tight sets and Iveta Benesova will overcome Dominika Cibulkova in a gruelling three setter.

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