Jankovic Eyes Top Spot



Serbia's Jelena Jankovic, fresh off her win at the China Open, says she is determined to finish the year as the WTA's top player and is eyeing Grand Slam glory next season.

The world number two, now just 21 points behind Serena Williams at the top of the rankings, beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets on Sunday, avenging her defeat the previous week in Tokyo at the hands of the Russian.

Jankovic also made up for defeat in the China Open final last year where she led by a set and 5-1 -- and had match point -- over underdog Agnes Szavay.

But the Serbian, who briefly reached number one in August, insisted that topping the rankings was of secondary importance to winning the race to amass the most points in 2008 before the season-ending championships in Doha.

She is currently atop that list at 4,055 points, ahead of US Open champion Williams at 3,680.

"I'm happy to win the title of course. I'm coming very close to regaining that number one spot," Jankovic said following her 6-3, 6-2 win over Kuznetsova in Beijing.

"I'm not really thinking about the number one ranking in the moment. I'm just playing one match at a time and working hard at my game and really trying to develop something and improve some technique in my game, which is the most important thing for me," she added.

"Of course, I'd love to come back to the number one position and most importantly end the year as the number one player."

The 23-year-old Jankovic has insisted she feels under no pressure to win her first Grand Slam, saying time is on her side.

"I'll work very hard in the off-season and try to get stronger and fitter and try to bring my tennis into the next level and hopefully I can win a Grand Slam next year," she said.

The next stop on Jankovic's schedule is Stuttgart this week, where Williams is also in the draw.

Meanwhile, Andy Roddick captured his 26th ATP title in the men's competition in Beijing after a difficult couple of matches in which he struggled to see off Bjorn Phau in the semi-final and Dudi Sela in the final, ranked 137 and 92 at the time of the matches.

Roddick's three-set win in the final means he moves up to sixth place in the ATP 2008 Race as he bids to qualify for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai for a fifth time.

Aside from the winners, China's Zheng Jie made headlines here, matching the best-ever performance at the tournament by a Chinese player by reaching the semi-finals.

On the way to the last four, she beat French Open champion and number two seed Ana Ivanovic, whom she also shocked at Wimbledon.


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