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By Rob Peterson
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Jelena Jankovic vs. Samantha Stosur
Jankovic leads series 3-1
Last Meeting - 2010 Miami R16
Stosur won 6-1, 7-6(9)
Despite the stellar presence of WTA Giants Serena Williams and Justine Henin, it was the Serbian Jelena Jankovic who emerged as the favourite in the eye of many tennis pundits. Stosur, on the other hand, was seen as a giant-killer with pre-mature finish at the year's second major. However, in a way, both women lived upto the expectations and tamed big names to enter the last four of the 2010 French Open.
A mere look at Jelena Jankovic's entry into the final suggests that this former No.1 enjoyed a favourable draw to the core with the Serbian's only difficult clash coming in the form of Kaia Kanepi, who pushed her to a three set struggle. But this is also a testimonial to Jankovic's solid form which helped her demolish opponents in straight sets in almost all her match ups till now.
Australian Samantha Stosur's story is stark opposite to Jankovic's entry in the last four. Stosur has been in awe-inspiring form this year with a final finish in Stuttgart (to Henin) and a title triumph in Charleston. Stosur took just a couple of days to prove that her win over four time champion Justine Henin was not a fluke when she registered a nail-biting win over world number one Serena Williams to suddenly appear as the strongest contender for the crown in everyone's eyes.
On paper, despite Jankovic's formidable head-to-head lead, it is unfair to give the Serbian an edge. The duo's last meeting in Miami favoured Stosur whereas, the European claycourt season was a testimonial to Jankovic's improved mental toughness and astonishing claycourt game.
The fact that both women are playing the best tennis of their lives is more than enough to predict this one as a real nail-biter. What's difficult is to choose a winner. But chances are that the 2010 French Open will bring a much awaited Grand Slam triumph for the Serbian Jelena Jankovic.
TennisEarth.com Prediction - Jelena Jankovic in three gruelling sets.
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