Since surrendering the number one ranking, Serb Jelena Jankovic’s game has been careening backward. But, today, the 2008 U.S Open finalist showed that she will be a contender in New York. In the finals of Western & Southern Financial Group Open, a premier hardcourt tune up, Jankovic beat world number one Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-2 to pick up her second title of the year.
After Safina held serve, a double fault gave her a break point. However, Jankovic yanked this opportunity away and managed to keep serve. Then, Jelena broke Safina at love for a 3-1 advantage which altered the complexion of the match. By effectively using her backhand, Jelena baited Safina into errors particularly on the forehand side and carried the set.
In the second, Safina sent a backhand long to hand Jankovic double break point. Jelena capitalized when Dinara double faulted. After a love service game, Jankovic forced two backhand errors from Safina to widen her lead by a double break at 3-0. As a result of a double fault and backhand mistake by Jankovic, Safina regained one of the breaks. The next game, despite four double faults by Dinara, two of which were break points, Jelena was unable to capitalize. This potential swing in momentum was weathered, as Jankovic won her service game for a 4-2 margin. Subsequently, with aggressive returns and by deconstructing Safina’s forehand, Jankovic earned triple break point. After securing a 5-2 lead, Jankovic served cleanly to claim her biggest trophy of 2009.