To add to the intriguing first-time match-ups featured on Wednesday afternoon at the Tokay Pan Pacific Open, Serbian No. 2 Jelena Jankovic and Spanish prospect Garbine Muguruza will meet to determine who will move on to the quarter-final stage in Tokyo.
Jelena Jankovic has a relatively quiet US Open Series run, where she went 6-3 and reached the second round in Montreal, the quarter-finals in Cincinnati and the fourth round of the US Open. In Flushing Meadows, she lost to Belinda Bencic, who is also featured in the Tokyo draw, in straight sets. As one of the top seeds at the event, Jankovic earned a bye into the second round of the tournament, where she will await one of the WTA’s rising stars.
World No. 26 Garbine Muguruza reached the second round with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. It was a rather smooth victory for the Spanish youngster and lasted a total of 1 hour and 50 minutes. Muguruza hit 2 aces and won 70% of her first service points. She also saved 2 of 4 break points and served impressively at 68% of first serves.
This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and could serve as one of the more compelling matches of the day. Jankovic has maintained a relatively mediocre standard of play over the past few months, which could set the scene for an upset. While the Spaniard achieved big wins against Serena Williams and Dominika Cibulkova this season, she has been unable to find her rhythm over the past few weeks against higher ranked players.
Prediction: Jelena Jankovic in Three Sets