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Venus too strong for Jankovic

VENUS Williams showed no signs of rustiness yesterday after a four-week break, beating No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-2 at an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong.

"I've always been a good player off the jump," Williams said. "That's kind of always been the way I've played throughout my career. I never played a lot of big warm-up events. Coming to tournaments, I've always been able to play well when I entered."

Williams served and hit powerfully, while Jankovic appeared sluggish, her serves lacking pace and her ground strokes erratic.

Jankovic said she is usually a slow starter and is getting used to her bulkier body following an offseason fitness training program.

"I need more time to adjust, to get my rhythm and feel the court, feel the ball," Jankovic said. "You could see, I was very slow out there. My reactions were quite slow."

Williams also beat Jankovic in the semifinals of the WTA Championships in Doha.

The American broke in the first and third games to go up 4-0 in the first set. Jankovic squandered four break points in the sixth game to fall 1-5 behind, and Williams served two aces and hit a down-the-line forehand winner to close out the set. Williams' win tied Team Americas with Team Europe at 1-1.


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