Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic reached the final of the 2013 China Open on Saturday after the former top-ranked defeated last week’s Pan Pacific Open champion Petra Kvitova 6-7, 6-1, 6-1.
“I’m very thrilled that I was able to beat Kvitova today,” Jankovic said. “I lost to her the last two times we played. She has always given me a lot of trouble and didn’t allow me to play my game. And even today in the first set she was controlling the points. I was still there, but I didn’t feel comfortable.
“But in the next two sets I felt like I went on top of her and took control. And then as the match went on I think she got a little bit tired out there, and then I had everything in my hands, pretty much.”
This is one of Jankovic’s biggest finals in her career. The former world number one has become a fixture in Beijing since she’s the only player to have taken part in all ten editions of the China Open.
“I feel great to be in the finals of the China Open again,” Jankovic said. “I love China. I love my Chinese fans. They support me a lot. I feel great here. I’ve enjoyed coming back here every year. I have great memories of playing here. I played the Olympic Games here and became No.1 in the world when I played the Olympic Games. I won this title in 2008 and was a finalist in 2007, and now again in 2013.
“It’s a tournament I love. It’s nice to be able to support such a prestigious event. I hope to come here as long as I play. I’m really grateful I’ve had the success I have had here, and I hope it continues.
“And I think my nails today showed my love for the China Open too!”
Jankovic will face top-ranked Serena Williams of United States in the final. The Serb trails 4-6 in their head-to-head series.
“She’s the best player in the world right now,” Jankovic said. “She’s in unbelievable form. Even though I have beaten her in the past – I think I have five, six wins against her – I think she’s the most difficult player to play against. She has a lot of experience, winning a lot of titles and winning pretty much everything there is to win. And she’s physically so strong, I think stronger than 99% of the players. She has all the shots. When she’s on top of her game, it’s very difficult to beat her.
“Hopefully I can play my best so that I can at least have a chance.”