Jankovic jump starts season with Indian Wells win
by Rebecca Bryan Mar 21, 6:14 pm EDT
Jankovic didn’t put a foot wrong as she downed her Danish opponent 6-2, 6-4 to claim her 12th career title and her first since Cincinnati last August.
“It’s been a great two weeks for me, really amazing,” Jankovic said. “I’m so happy and so thrilled that I was able to win this title.”
The Serbian came into the tournament ranked ninth in the world and seeded sixth, while world number four Wozniacki was seeded second.
But neither woman had made much noise this season, with both failing to reach a quarter-final until this week.
Jankovic arrived in Indian Wells off a tough first-round exit at Monterrey, where she was the top seed.
She had her struggles here, eking out a third-round victory over world number 49 Sara Errani that the Serbian said was a “wake-up call.”
After that, she was able to sharpen her focus, reduce her errors, and transfer some of her recent good work on the practice court to her matches.
“On the practice court, I felt really well. I was feeling the ball and I was really moving my feet and getting better and better,” she said.
She had Wozniacki on the defensive early, rolling to a 4-0 lead in the first set before the Dane managed to break her to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Jankovic broke back immediately and pocketed the first set on her third set point as Wozniacki fired a forehand long.
“I went out there knowing my game plan,” Jankovic said. “I wanted to be really aggressive, but at the same time patient and not really go for too much or go over the limit with some balls.
“I waited for my opportunities, and when I had them, I took them.”
She maintained the momentum by breaking Wozniacki in the opening game of the second set, and made the break hold up. She earned a match point with a backhand winner and sealed it when Wozniacki belted a service return long.
“Jelena was playing a good match,” Wozniacki said. “She didn’t make a lot of mistakes. I tried to change it when I saw it was not going my way, but I just made a few too many errors on the important points.
“I couldn’t really get to play the game that I wanted to play,” Wozniacki added. “I wanted to get her moving a little bit more. I wanted to stay on the baseline a little bit more.”
Wozniacki, who made an exciting run to the US Open final last September, will move up to a career-high number two when the world rankings are updated on Monday.
The 19-year-old said it was some consolation.
“When I think back on this tournament, I think I’ve done a great job,” she said. “Everyone was playing here except for the two Williams.
“It was a strong field, and then coming out as a finalist and then coming out as number two in the world tomorrow, that’s still a great feeling.”