Jankovic, Clijsters take off brilliantly

Jankovic, Clijsters take off brilliantly

Serb Jankovic launched her title defence with a crushing 6-2, 6-1 victory over American teenager Coco Vandeweghe while Clijsters demolished Russian Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2, 6-0.
Jankovic, wearing a bright apricot dress, broke the error-prone Vandeweghe twice in the opening set and three times in the second to make a triumphant start as the sixth seed in the elite event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The 26-year-old Serb, who beat Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki in last year’s final, sealed victory on her second match point when the American wildcard netted a backhand.
World number six Jankovic will next meet either 32nd-seeded German Julia Georges or Austria’s Sybille Bammer.

Vandeweghe, making her debut this week in the main draw at Indian Wells, struggled to make much of an impact with her powerful but erratic game against the rock-steady Jankovic.

Clijsters, champion here in 2003 and 2005, needed only 52 minutes to brush aside the 23-year-old Kudryavtseva.

In other matches, French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy, the fifth seed, eased past Czech Zuzana Ondraskova 6-2, 6-0 and 17th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova brushed aside Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 6-2, 7-5.

Third-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva beat Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 7-6 while Kvitova, the 12th seed, was upset 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 by fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.