WTA Dubai: Jelena Jankovic Defeats Belinda Bencic In Three Sets

WTA Dubai: Jelena Jankovic Defeats Belinda Bencic In Three Sets

Jelena Jankovic battled back from a set and a break down to defeat Belinda Bencic, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Sian Brown

Before their clash in Dubai, the two players had faced each other three times. Belinda Bencic came into the clash with two wins out of the three matches, the most recent of which came in 's-Hertogenbosch. Jelena Jankovic would have been looking to level the head-to-head during this clash against Bencic.

Bencic Wins A Close First Set

The first set started with both players holding their service games with relative ease. It was in the third game of the set where Bencic made a breakthrough. The youngster from Switzerland managed to take the lead in the set when she capitalized on her second break point to break the Jankovic serve.

After Bencic's break of serve, both players held their service games for the remainder of the set. Whilst they were serving, neither player lost more than two points, meaning that the only two break point chances came in the third game of the set.

A tight first set was won by Bencic in just under 40 minutes. The new world number nine served the set out, winning the game with her second set point opportunity.

Jankovic Battles Back From A Break Down

Jankovic got the second set off to a strong start by holding her service game to love. The Serbian player then get her first break point opportunity of the match however Bencic managed to save it. Bencic had to save a second break point, before eventually winning the game.

The next four games in the set, went in favor of the player who was serving. Once again, both Jankovic and Bencic were holding their serves with ease. At 3-3 in the set, it was difficult to see where the first break of serve was going to come from as both players were serving so well.

Bencic was the player who gained the upper hand in the set, when she broke her 30-year-old opponent's serve in the seventh game. By getting the break, the young Swiss player, put herself in a commanding position in the match.

However, Jankovic was not going to go down without a fight. The Serbian capitalized on poor serving from Bencic, breaking the 18 year-old's serve to love. With the scores back level, the next few games were crucial for both players.

Jankovic consolidated her break of serve, with another strong service game. The 30-year-old held her service game to love, meaning she had won the last eight points in the row. After another hold of serve by both of the players, the score was at 6-5, with Bencic serving to take the set to a tie-break.

The world number nine was serving to stay in the set and give herself an opportunity to win the match in a tiebreak. Unfortunately for Bencic, she could not hold her service game, despite saving five break points. Jankovic capitalized on weak second serves and errors from Bencic, to eventually take the set, after 58 minutes.

Jelena Jankovic Mid Rally. Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images
Jelena Jankovic Mid Rally. Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Jankovic Overcomes Emotional Bencic

After losing the second set, Bencic was visibly emotional. During the break between sets, the teenager was seen close to tears and was shouting at her coach. Bencic composed herself to come out and play the third set.

The very first game of the set, did not do anything to help Bencic's mood. Bencic had three break points in the game, all of which Jankovic saved by playing her best tennis when it really mattered.

There was not another break point opportunity until the sixth game of the set. This time though, it was Jankovic who failed to take the opportunities to take a lead in the set. Bencic saved a majority of the break point chances by hitting a strong serve, which forced her opponent to make an error.

With the score level, the first break of serve in the set would be crucial. Jankovic was holding her serve with ease and was constantly putting pressure on the 18 year-old's service. In the eighth game, Bencic had to save another three break points to keep herself in the match.

The all important break of serve came in the very last game of the match. Bencic was serving to stay in the match but some poor serving combined with good play by Jankovic, led to the Serbian having match point which she took on the first time of asking.

After just over two and a half hours, Jelena Jankovic took the match 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. The Serbian will now face Andrea Petkovic.

Match Statistics

Both Bencic and Jankovic were poor at taking break point opportunities. However, the Swiss player had a slightly better conversion rate at 33 percent, compared to Jankovic's 18 percent.

Jankovic and Bencic both struggled to win points on their second serve. Both players second serve point percentages were under 50 percent. Jankovic won 48 percent and Bencic won 45 percent.