Skip to main content

Williams beats Jankovic in battle of former world number ones

April 5, 2012 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
Venus Williams though to third round of Family Cup in Charleston
Venus Williams though to third round of Family Cup in Charleston
  • Venus Williams beats Jelena Jankovic 7-5 6-0 in Charleston
  • Williams into third round as she continues her comeback after injury
  • Jankovic desperate to find new coach to turn around losing streak
  • Williams to face Australian Anastasia Rodionova in third round

(CNN) -- For former world number ones Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic, their second- round clash at Charleston was a defining moment in the careers of two women desperate to claw their way back to the top.

Once regarded as the best in the world, both have seen their careers stall -- Williams slipping to number 87 and seventh-seeded Jankovic losing in the opening round at her last three tournaments.

But their fortunes took very different turns at Wednesday's Family Cup tournament, with America's Williams defeating Serbia's Jankovic in straight sets, 7-5 6-0.

The victory is a huge boost to Williams' comeback campaign after a long absence due to illness.

I'm at the stage of my career where I'm getting older and maybe need more help than before, where I could do it alone at times, or with a hitting partner.
Jelena Jankovic

Venus, who last won the U.S. tournament in 2004, is continuing her recovery from Sjogren syndrome, an auto-immune disorder.

"Honestly, I don't know how it went that nicely for me. Everything just landed, and she hit a few errors, and that helped me a lot," she said on the WTA website.

Jankovic meanwhile, will be seeking to halt her career spiral after bowing out of the clay season opener.

She had gone into the match the favorite, after beating Williams in their last four meetings on clay, and admitted her lack of a coach was a factor in her defeat.

"I'm in negotiations to find a coach, to get a coach, and I really want to because it's difficult like this, not having anyone, especially when I have to work on some technical things and get the shots right on track," she said.

"It's little things here and there that make a big difference, and it's important to have someone to help you.

"I'm at the stage of my career where I'm getting older and maybe need more help than before, where I could do it alone at times, or with a hitting partner.

"The next few years I'm going to play, I want to try to give my best, and I want to improve. I still want to work hard and try to get better as a player."

Venus will now face Australian Anastasia Rodionova, ranked 96.

Also through to the third round is New Zealand's Marina Erakovic, ranked 17. She beat Georgia's Anna Tatishvili 7-5 6-3, to advance to a meeting with fifth-seeded American Serena Williams Thursday.

Part of complete coverage on
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
February 2, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
January 21, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
January 15, 2014 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.