Jankovic forced to raise the temperature
It was snowing when Jelena Jankovic left Belgrade last week. There is snow in Dubai too, thanks to the extraordinary indoor ski resort a few miles up the road at Ski Dubai, but on centre court at the Aviation Club yesterday it felt hot enough to fry an egg let alone melt a snowflake.
With the temperature approaching 30C and the sun burning brightly from a clear sky during the hottest part of the day, Jankovic admitted she had felt the pace in taking more than two and a quarter hours to beat Aravane Rezai 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in her first match at the Barclays Dubai Championships.
As Jankovic recovered in the chilly air-conditioned post-match interview room, the world No 8 was pleased with the way she had fought back to win “a really difficult match”.
Caroline Wozniacki, the world No 3 and top seed, is another European with a liking for warmer climes. The 19-year-old Dane, who beat Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova, spent her winter holidays in Mauritius with her fellow professionals the Polish Radwanska sisters and in Barbados with her family.
Between tournaments Wozniacki trains in Monte Carlo, meaning she spends little more than two weeks a year back in Denmark.
Venus Williams, the No 3 seed, opened her campaign with a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 victory over Germany's Sabine Lisicki. The defending champion, who was on court for little more than an hour, now plays Olga Govortsova, of Belarus.