Jankovic enters US Open QFs

The second-ranked Serbian beat Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki.

updated: September 03, 2008 08:19 IST
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New York:

Second-ranked Jelena Jankovic moved closer to her first Grand Slam title and reclaiming the world number one ranking with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 triumph Sunday over Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki at the US Open.

The 23-year-old Serbian advanced to the quarter-finals of the year's final major tennis tournament, rallying in blustery conditions at Arthur Ashe Stadium to defeat a Danish 18-year-old who had won 10 of her past 11 matches.

"I had to really play a lot more aggressive than I did in the first set," Jankovic said. "It was windy out there and if you just tried to put the ball in there it floats.

"She was stronger in the first set so I had to pick it up in the second set and especially in the third."

Jankovic, who spent a week as world number one earlier in August, will next face the winner of a later match between French 12th seed Marion Bartoli and Austrian Sybille Bammer.

With top seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Russian third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova already ousted, this is a prime chance for a Slam breakthrough by Jankovic, who can reclaim the top ranking if she reaches the semi-finals.

Jankovic is among five players who could be number one after the Flushing Meadows fortnight, with Serena Williams, Russians Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina and Ivanovic still in the mix.

"It would be nice to come back to the number one spot," Jankovic said. "It would be great if I can do it. We will see what happens."

Jankovic was down a set and in a fight during the second before cracking the Danish teen on her third break-point chance of the sixth game for a 4-2 edge.

Jankovic, who beat Wozniacki in the third round at Wimbledon this year, broke again to finish the second set, once more in the fourth game of the third set to seize command and again for a 5-1 lead before serving out to advance.

"I'm getting better each day. I'm improving on my fitness," Jankovic said. "My mom told me I'm losing a little weight. I'm not actually losing weight. I'm just getting firmer."

Olympic champion Dementieva, trying to reach her first Grand Slam final since the 2004 US Open, will meet China's Li Na in another fourth-round match Sunday night.

The Russian fifth seed split two prior meetings with the Chinese ace, losing their most recent matchup last year on a Sydney hardcourt.

The winner will book a quarter-final date against the winner of Sunday's other fourth-round match, between Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik and Swiss 15th seed Patty Schnyder.

Dementieva can claim the world number one ranking if she advances to the final.