Williams overcomes Jankovic in Charleston

Venus Williams took another huge step on her comeback as she knocked seventh seed Jelena Jankovic out of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston last night.

Venus Williams took another huge step on her comeback as she knocked seventh seed Jelena Jankovic out of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston last night.

Having played her first match on clay yesterday after returning in Miami last week following seven months out with a fatigue-causing condition, Williams made the step up from beating Iveta Benesova to dispatch a much tougher opponent today.

After falling behind, Williams won 12 of the last 14 games in this battle of two former world number ones.

Jankovic had led 3-1 in the first set before Williams began to find her rhythm serving, having been thrown off kilter by a 30-minute rain delay.

After taking advantage of a double fault from Jankovic to come from behind and win the first set, Williams simply overpowered the Serbian in the second.

Jankovic was the highest-profile casualty on a day that also saw number 12 Yanina Wickmayer exit, losing 6-2 7-6 (7-2) to Yaroslava Shvedova.

Shvedova had been serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set before a wobble gave Wickmayer a chance in the tie-break, but Shvedova quickly regrouped.

"In the first set I was more solid than her - I was getting to all the balls and playing sharp, forcing her to miss," Shvedova said.

"The second set was a bit harder. I had match point on my serve at 6-5 but she returned very easily and I was a little surprised, so I missed the next shot. But in the tie-break I played very solid and didn't make mistakes. I was fired up and played aggressively."

Number three seed Marion Bartoli made it through but had to battle for more than three hours to dispatch Vera Dushevina 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-4.

Sixth seed Sabine Lisicki came from behind to top Andrea Hlavackova 2-6 6-3 6-4, while number nine Lucie Safarova brushed aside Mirjana Lucic 6-2 6-0 in under an hour.

Nadia Petrova, seeded 13th, faced two match points while down 6-2 6-5 before rallying to see off American qualifier Jill Craybas 2-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

Polona Hercog, seeded 14th, and number 17 Marina Erakovic also progressed along with Galina Voskoboeva, Aleksandra Wozniak and Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele.

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