Iveta Benesova celebrates after scoring against Serbia's Jelena Jankovic during the Rogers Cup on August 17, 2010 in Montreal. AFP
MONTREAL, Aug. 17 (AFP) – Czech qualifier Iveta Benesova has stunned Serbian top seed Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 to reach the third round of the two million-dollar WTA Montreal Cup.
The 27-year-old left-hander, who is ranked 75th in the world, began the year 2-9 before winning her second career WTA singles crown in May at Morocco.
But Benesova had been 4-8 since then until ousting third-ranked Jankovic from the last major US Open tuneup event.
"It was almost a perfect match for me," Benesova said. "I was in the zone and focused on my game."
Just one week ago, Jankovic was ousted by a qualifier at Cincinnati in the third round of the other major tuneup for the year's final Grand Slam event, which starts a week from Monday at New York.
Benesova booked a date against the winner of a Wednesday match between Japan's Kimiko Date Krumm, who beat Romania's Monica Niculescu 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-2, and France's Marion Bartoli, who beat Canada's Valerie Tetreault 6-1, 6-0.
Benesova's highest-ranked prior victim had been fifth-ranked Mary Pierce of France in the second round of the 2006 Australian Open.
Jankovic broke for s 5-3 lead but Benesova broke back in the next game and won the last three points in the tie-breaker, then traded early breaks with the Serbian star. Benesova broke in the eighth game and held in the last to win.
Also reaching the third round was Russian eighth seed Vera Zvonareva, who ousted Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2, 6-1.
China's Zheng Jie breezed past Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik 6-3, 6-2 to book a second-round match against France's Aravane Rezai.
Reigning US Open champion Kim Clijsters, who had a first-round bye, will open against Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who ousted fellow American Melanie Oudin 6-1, 6-4.