Doha: Vera Zvonareva powered past a lethargic Jelena Jankovic in the opening game of the WTA Championships on Tuesday, keeping her hopes alive of grabbing the world number one spot from Caroline Wozniacki.
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.
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 the maroon group, world number one Wozniacki is taking on Elena Dementieva while French Open champion Francesca Schiavone plays Sam Stosur in the evening's final match.
First Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 00:01