Former world No. 1 Jankovic melts away in Nanchang heat

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Former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic wilted in fierce heat in Nanchang, bowing out to qualifier Lu Jingjing in the second round of the Jiangxi Open.
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Serbia's former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic slumped to a second-round defeat in the Nanchang heat at the Jiangxi Open on July 27, 2017.

Former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic wilted in fierce heat in southeastern China, bowing out in the second round of the Jiangxi Open on Thursday in three gruelling sets.

The Serb sixth seed won the first set 6-2 against home hope and qualifier Lu Jingjing before temperatures of 39 degrees Celsius on the Nanchang hardcourts began to take their toll.

An ailing Jankovic, 32, called for a medical timeout in the second set as the match started to drift away from her.

Lu romped the set 6-1 to level the match and kept her cool to win the decider 6-2 and earn a place in the last eight.

In the quarterfinals, Lu will face Nao Hibino after the Japanese progressed when third seed Kristyna Pliskova, twin sister of world No. 1 Karolina, retired with a hand injury while leading 3-0 in the first set.

Three more Chinese players advanced to the quarterfinals — second seed Peng Shuai, Wang Yafan and Zhu Lin.

The WTA tournament is wide open following the exit on Wednesday of top seed Zhang Shuai of China.

In Atlanta, Georgia, second-seeded John Isner beat Canada's Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday night in the former University of Georgia star's opening match at the BB&T Atlanta Open.

Coming off a victory on Sunday in the Hall of Fame Open in Newport, Rhode Island, Isner is seeking his fourth Atlanta title in five seasons. He lost to Australian Nick Kyrgios in the final last year.

Isner set up a quarterfinal match at Atlantic Station against Slovakia's Lukas Lacko, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over sixth-seeded American Donald Young. Fellow American Isner has 11 career titles, all at the ATP World Tour 250 level.

Third-seeded Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and Tommy Paul also reached the quarterfinals. Muller beat France's Quentin Halys 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3, and local favorite Paul topped Tunisia's Malek Jaziri 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3.

In the top half of the draw, top-seeded Jack Sock of the United States was to open play on Thursday with a second-round match against Israel's Dudi Sela.

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