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Published: Sunday March 29, 2009 MYT 3:59:00 PM

Dulko upsets Jankovic; Williams sisters advance

KEY BISCAYNE, Florida (AP) - Recent No. 1 Jelena Jankovic lost her third straight match when she was upset by Gisela Dulko of Argentina 6-4, 7-6 (5) at the Sony Ericsson Open early Sunday.

The final match of the second round ended at 12:20 a.m.

Jankovic, last year's runner-up, blew a 5-2 lead in the second set and another 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker to Dulko.

The third-seeded Serb also lost her opening match at this month's BNP Paribas Open. Top-ranked Serena Williams reached the third round by beating teenage wild card Alexa Glatch 6-2, 6-3, leaving only two American women in the draw.

The other was Venus Williams, who beat Shahar Peer of Israel 6-3, 6-3 in her opener. Seeded players had first-round byes.

On the men's side, top-ranked Rafael Nadal opened a bid for his first Key Biscayne title by beating Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-2, 6-2 and fourth-seeded Andy Murray was broken three times as he struggled to put away Juan Monaco of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Glatch conceded her generation in the U.S. has yet to produce a player worthy of succeeding the Williams sisters. "There is a gap there right now," Glatch said. "You can't deny that. It's very tough out here." The showing at Key Biscayne by American women is hardly a surprise, because only four are ranked in the top 100, and the sisters are the lone U.S. players in the top 30. No American teenager is being heralded as a future Grand Slam champion, either, and former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport says the situation is worrisome.

"We don't really have anyone right now," Davenport said. "If you look at the rankings, with only Venus at (age) 28 and Serena at 27, it's not a good state."

The state of Serena's game is just fine, however. She needed only one swing to reassert her superiority at the tournament where she's most dominant, pulling a return winner crosscourt on the first point to make a quick impression on Glatch.

"She just nailed it," Glatch said. "I don't think I even saw it. I was like, 'OK, here we go."'

An hour later, there Glatch went. For the top-ranked Williams, the victory was the first step in her bid for a record sixth Key Biscayne title.

Her older sister started more slowly, losing 12 of the first 14 points before taking charge by winning six games in a row. Venus was a three-time Key Biscayne champion, although her most recent title came in 2001.

Sixth-seeded Vera Zvonareva defeated Tathiana Garbin of Italy 6-4, 6-1 and ninth-seeded Nadia Petrova and 10th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska needed three sets each to win their second-round matches, while all three Chinese women - Zheng Jie, Peng Shuai and Li Na _ won in straight sets.

Murray was broken three times as he struggled to put away Juan Monaco of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

"I knew it was going to tricky," Murray said. "He was playing very well and I was struggling a little bit to sort of get into a rhythm. I knew I needed to change something, and I started going for my serve more and won a lot of free points. My serve was really the difference."

Murray, coming off a loss to Rafael Nadal in the BNP Paribas Open final, improved his career-best start to 21-2. His only other loss was at the Australian Open to Fernando Verdasco, who on Saturday took care of German qualifier Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4 to notch his 200th career ATP win.

Eighth-seeded Verdasco was in career-best form, having helped Spain win the Davis Cup final late last year, then reaching the Australian Open semifinals, and Indian Wells quarterfinals.

Other winners included David Ferrer of Spain, Fernando Gonzalez of Chile and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, but No. 14 David Nalbandian was upset by Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-1, 6-3. - AP


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