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Ex-No. 1 Jankovic advances at rainy French Open

May 30, 2013

PARIS (AP) — Former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic won 12 consecutive games Thursday to beat the rain and Garbine Muguruza at the French Open.

Jankovic fell behind early but rallied past Muguruza 6-3, 6-0 shortly before showers interrupted the first matches of the day on 12 other courts.

A brief dry spell allowed 2010 runner-up Sam Stosur to complete a second-round victory over Kristina Mladenovic, 6-4, 6-3, before the rain resumed.

No. 17 Sloane Stephens beat fellow American Vania King 6-1, 6-3, and Zheng Jie beat Melanie Oudin of the United States 6-3, 6-1.

No. 27 Yaroslava Shvedova lost to Paula Ormaechea 6-4, 7-6 (6).

With the midday temperature in the mid-50s, Jankovic took the court wearing pink leggings and a long-sleeve pink shirt. She looked uncomfortable at the start, losing the first three games, then won the rest after adjusting to the strokes of Muguruza, a 19-year-old Spaniard.

“She’s a great up and coming player,” Jankovic said. “She hits the ball very hard, very flat. And especially in the beginning of the match she gave me a lot of trouble. I figured out the way to play against her, and I think I did pretty well.”

Jankovic won with steady play from the baseline, while the big-swinging Muguruza committed 29 unforced errors.

Jankovic, seeded 18th, is a three-time semifinalist at Roland Garros. She’ll next play 2011 U.S. Open champion Stosur.

The No. 9-seeded Stosur never lost serve but needed nearly an hour to take the first set against Mladenovic. Stosur reached set point for the fourth time on a fluky point with her opponent at the net, hitting a line-drive reflex volley that sent Mladenovic ducking to avoid. The ball kissed the baseline for a winner, and Stosur waved in apology to Mladenovic.

“I ran in thinking she would drop-shot, and she didn’t drop-shot,” Stosur said. “I don’t know what grip I had, what I did, where it landed. I don’t know anything. It was very, very lucky, but obviously at a really important time.”

Said Mladenovic: “Obviously it was not on purpose, but it was an amazing reflex. I think she won’t do it again in her life. We both laughed after it, because it was just an unbelievable one.”

Mladenovic then double-faulted to lose the 16-point game. Stosur took a 3-0 lead in the second set and held the rest of the way.

The losses by King and Oudin left five U.S. women in draw midway through the second round. Stephens, who reached the fourth round last year, hit 26 baseline winners to one for King. Oudin, a former U.S. Open quarterfinalist, won only 19 of 51 points on her serve and held just once.

No. 16 Philipp Kohlschreiber moved into the men’s third round when Yen-hsun Lu withdrew because of a right ankle injury. Victor Hanescu also advanced when Dmitry Tursunov retired with a strained left thigh muscle trailing 6-4, 6-6 (3).

Shortly after play resumed following the second rain delay, No. 26 Grigor Dimitrov swept wild card Lucas Pouille 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-1.

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