Zvonareva marches on

Russian ace batters Jankovic; Wozniacki gets off to winning start

Russian Vera Zvonareva makes a backhand return during her 6-3, 6-0 drubbing of Serb Jelena Jankovic on Tuesday. AP

Russian Zvonareva, decked out in host Qatar's colours of maroon and white, had much more verve and zip than her struggling Serbian opponent, who offered only fleeting resistance in the first set before capitulating in the second, losing 6-3, 6-0.

In a Maroon Group match played later on, workl number one Caroline Wozniacki hammmered seventh-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.
Jankovic had exited her two previous tournaments in the second round citing ill health, and was clearly under the weather against the world number two in the White Group opener at the Khalifa Tennis Complex.

Leading 4-2 in the first set, Zvonareva ran the legs off Jankovic in the seventh game, though the Serbian fought off several break points to eventually hold serve. That would prove a temporary reprieve, however, as Jankovic would fail to win another game, Zvonareva winning the next eight in a row to wrap up the match in style.

In another Maroon Group tie, French Open champion Francesca Schiavone was scheduled to play Sam Stosur in the evening's final match.

Muster’s lucky break

Former world number one Thomas Muster, 43, returning to the ATP circuit after an 11-year absence, enjoyed a lucky break when first-round opponent Ernests Gulbis pulled out of the Vienna Open on Monday.

The Latvian, seeded fifth and ranked 24th in the world, was replaced by Muster's fellow Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer, a lucky loser ranked 157th.

The two Austrians will meet on Tuesday. Organisers said Gulbis withdrew for personal reasons. Muster, French Open champion in 1995, was given a wildcard for the tournament.

Ranked 974th, former iron-man Muster began his comeback earlier this year in the lower-level Challenger Tour and has managed one win in seven outings, against Borut Puc in Slovenia last month.

The ATP said the Austrian would become the first 40-plus to compete in the main draw of an ATP tournament since Jimmy Connors played in Atlanta in 1996, also at 43. "I'm looking forward to it enormously," Muster told local media. "I want to inspire the crowd with my fitness and fighting spirit. I'm fighting like in the good old times and I will give everything in front of the fans in Vienna."

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