into the third round in a draw which was already dramatically weakened by the continuing boycott
of Venus Williams and Serena Williams of the USA. The Williams sisters have not competed at Indian Wells since an incident in 2001.
Also losing in early round play was the 6th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, the 10th seeded Marion Bartoli of France and the third seed Elena Dementieva of Russia, who also lost Saturday; 7-6, 2-6, 6-1 to the Czech Petra Cetkovska.
When Jankovic reached the WTA Tour's top ranking last year despite never winning a grand slam title, she became the only female non-grand slam winner ever to hold the top ranking.
But that distinction could be short lived however as Safina is set to take over the WTA Tour's number one ranking from Serena Williams, should she advance to the Indian Wells final.
Williams, currently ranked number one, defeated the two-time grand slam finalist Safina 6-0, 6-2 in the Australian Open final in January and holds the US Open title as well, beating Jankovic in the New York final. The Williams sisters have won the last three grand slam singles titles.
However the WTA Tour's cumulative rankings style rewards players who compete more often than the Williams sisters in their limited schedules of play. The WTA Tour calculates a player's ranking based on her best 16 tournaments in the prior 52 weeks. Serena Williams has never played more than 13 tournaments in one calendar year.
This means despite being awarded three zeros in her ranking last year, Williams still managed to top the WTA Tour world rankings.
Safina, who has 19 tournaments computed in her WTA Tour rankings points, trails Williams, who has 15 tournaments, 9021 points to 9432 points. The Indian Wells women's winner is to receive 1000 rankings points while the finalist 700. In her quest towards the final, Safina, the top seed, could face no seed higher than the fourth seeded Vera Zvonareva, also of Russia.