Istanbul, Turkey (4E Sports) – Former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic recorded her best win in three and a half years, beating second seed Victoria Azarenka, 6-4, 6-3, Wednesday at the WTA Championships-Istanbul.
Heading into this match, Jankovic had lost her last 17 matches against Top 4 players. The last time she had beaten anyone in the Top 2 was at Rome in 2010 where she beat a No.1-ranked Serena Williams.
However, Jankovic was at the top of her game against Azarenka, hitting 14 winners and gave away only 13 unforced errors. Azarenka, for her part, had 30 winners to 40 unforced mistakes.
“It feels incredible to beat Azarenka here in Istanbul,” she said. “First of all I was so excited to qualify here and give myself a chance to play against the best players in the world once again, and to win today is amazing.”
Jankovic’s win over the No.2-ranked Azarenka was also her fifth career win over a Top 2 player.
Azarenka has now lost four of her last five matches, starting with the US Open final, then opening round losses at Tokyo and Beijing. She is now 1-1 this week after beating sixth seed Sara Errani in her first round robin match.
Jankovic will play her second round-robin match against fourth seed and good friend Li Na, who defeated Errani, 6-3, 7-6(5).
In the last match of the day, Williams defeated third seed Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-2, 6-4.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer overcame a slow start to beat Denis Istomin, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, and reach the quarterfinal of the Swiss Indoors Basel.
If Federer wins his sixth Basel crown this week, he would qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.
Joining Federer in the next round were Michael Llodra, Juan Martin del Potro, Vasek Pospisil, and Ivan Dodig.
In Spain, top seed David Ferrer opened his bid for a fourth Valencia Open 500 crown with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2.
John Isner also advanced with a 7-6(4), 7-6(2) victory over Ernests Gulbis. He will take on Jeremy Chardy, who battled past Florian Mayer 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 45 minutes.
Unseeded Philipp Kohlschreiber upset Tommy Haas in an all-German battle, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Kohlschreiber goes on to face Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the second round.
Seventh seed Fabio Fognini was the first player into the quarterfinals, dismissing 2011 champion Marcel Granollers, 6-3, 6-2, in 60 minutes.