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By Karen Walker
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Former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic ended the dream run of lucky loser, Czech Klara Zakopalova to enter the semifinals of the 2011 Qatar Ladies Open, a WTA premier event being played here in Doha, Qatar.
Jankovic took exactly 90 minutes to overcome the challenge of the Czech star with a 6-2, 6-4 scoreline. She now plays Russian No.2 seed Vera Zvonareva, who is still awaiting title triumph despite a breakthrough 2010 season that saw her reach the finals of two Grand Slam events in Wimbledon and New York.
Zvonareva was taken the distance by a woman who handed her defeat in less than a week ago in Dubai, Daniela Hantuchova. Zvonareva pocketed the opening set 7-5 with the help of a single break she received after which she trailed Hantuchova 5-2 in the second. As the second set favoured Hantuchova in a gruelling tie-break, the decider saw the Slovak star race to a 5-3 lead. But it all went in vain as Zvonareva reeled off four games in a row to complete the 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-5 win in three hours and 9 minutes of play.
"Daniela is a great player and we always seem to have great battles on the court, like in Pattaya," Zvonareva said. "Anybody would feel emotional after that second set and how I fought to get back into it. I just tried to keep the focus on playing my game. I wasn't looking at the clock and I never gave up.
"I'm so happy to have closed it out. It was a very tough match."
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