Clijsters holds off Jankovic

July 27, 2006 12:40 AM
Kim Klijsters 373 x 374

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Top-seeded Kim Clijsters held off Jelena Jankovic 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday night to advance in the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic.

Clijsters, who reached the semifinals in each of her last three tournaments, is seeking to defend her title and win the event for the fourth time in six years.

Tatiana Golovin also advanced, beating sixth-seeded Ai Sugiyama 6-2, 6-3.

Clijsters appeared out of sync during her first-set loss and had trouble getting her first serve in consistently. She was broken three times, including her final two serves as Jankovic managed to take her first set ever in four meetings with Clijsters.

In the deciding set, the second-ranked Clijsters saved two break points to hold serve and then broke Jankovic to go up 4-2. Clijsters followed that by saving another break point and winning when Jankovic hit wide.

The 32nd-ranked Golovin, hampered by an ankle injury sustained in a March match against Maria Sharapova in Miami, is playing in her fourth tournament since the injury.

"It was important that I stayed calm and positive," she said. "I was able to get a good rhythm. My ankle is feeling better and I was moving well, which is important against a player like Ai, who moves very well and can get to many balls."

Golovin was in the top 20 when she was hurt.

The 19th-ranked Sugiyama, with six career singles titles and 33 doubles titles, has lost all four of her matches with Golovin.

Jill Craybas

Also in the second round, Jill Craybas beat qualifier Shenay Perry 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2) and Samantha Stosur knocked off seventh-seeded Shahar Peer, 7-5, 6-3.

In first round matches, Vera Zvonareva defeated eighth-seeded Katarina Srebotnik 6-4, 6-3 in a rematch of last week's finals at Cincinnati, also won by Zvonareva. Nathalie Dechy rallied from a first set loss to beat Maria Elena Camerin 0-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3. Dechy and Zvonaeva meet in the second round.

Akiko Morigami became the third qualifier to win a first-round match, beating 33rd-ranked Gisela Dulko, 6-0, 6-3. Morigami will face second-seeded Patty Schnyder in the second round.

"We played in last year's Cincinnati final. She's a lefty, so she'll probably kick it to my backhand a lot," Morigami said. "I will have to stay aggressive and take the ball on the rise."

Updated on Thursday, Jul 27, 2006 12:38 am EDT