Ana slips to Jankovic defeat

Ana slips to Jankovic defeat

Ana lost her opening match at the Sony Ericsson Championships. She was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by world No.1 Jelena Jankovic, only her second loss in eight matches against her compatriot.

The slow court and the blustery conditions did not suit Ana. It was clear that she would have to be at the top of her game in order to notch a sixth straight win against the ultra-consistent top seed.

The early exchanges were not good from an Ana perspective. Her timing wasn't quite there and she was on the receiving end of several unfortunate net cords. Conversely, Jankovic was the epitome of consistency, and won most points thanks to Ana errors. She moved into a 3-0 lead.

The 20-year-old improved somewhat, but not enough to challenge for the opening set. When she was broken in the first game of the second set it looked ominous.

In fact, it was now that Ana played her best tennis of the match, hitting a pair of sweet cross court backhand winners that had Jankovic sprawling. Ana broke back.

However, she's wasn't able to hit through Jankovic in the heavy conditions, and the older Serb defended superbly. Jankovic broke again, and eventually clinched victory when Ana netted a backhand after an hour and 29 minutes.

"I was going for too much at a time," said Ana. "In the second set, I started to play better, started to get into rallies a little bit more. But it wasn't enough. I should have done that from the beginning, probably."

About her conqueror, Ana said: "She has more confidence, that's for sure. Winning three tournaments in a row this fall, and she's playing some good tennis. So it was a tough match. We had tough matches before as well. She's she's playing good at the moment."

There is to be little time for Ana to reflect on her loss: she will take on world No.9 Vera Zvonareva, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-3, at 5pm local time on Wednesday in her second match of the White Group. Click here for live point-by-point scoring from the Khalifa stadium.

Looking ahead to that clash, Ana said: "She was playing really well today, not making many mistakes. But we played also in Linz [a fortnight ago]. I think it's going to be a completely different match, with completely different circumstances and conditions. So I have to change a little bit my mentality, going on the court with the idea what I have to do out there. But it's for sure going to be a tough match."