Jankovic sees off qualifier

Third seed Jelena Jankovic was forced to battle hard before eventually seeing off first-round opponent Monica Niculescu at the French Open on Monday.

The Serbian, one of the favourites for the title, was given a tough ride in her 7-6 (7/3) 6-2 win on Suzanne Lenglen court.

She came to Paris on the back of a tournament win in Rome last week but struggled to find her best form against Niculescu, a qualifier from Romania.

Jankovic, 23, will play either Tathiana Garbin or Marina Erakovic next.

With the retirement of reigning champion and four-time winner Justine Henin, Jankovic is among a handful of genuine challengers for this year’s title alongside compatriot Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

Williams and Ivanovic advanced through to the second round on Sunday.

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