MOSCOW  - Jelena Jankovic beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-3 here on Saturday to put Serbia 1-0 up against Russia in a Fed Cup semi-final tie.

It was the former world number one’s first ever win over Pavlyuchenkova in what was their fourth head-to-head meeting. “I lost three of my previous meetings with Nastia (Pavlyuchenkova) at hardcourts,” Jankovic said. “This time we played in red clay and though the court was not perfect it fits my tennis better than any other surface.”

“I was slightly nervous early in the match but later I managed to take control and win a point for my country. In general I’m satisfied with my play today.”

Moscow resident Pavlyuchenkova, who is ranked 22nd in the world, looked confident from the start of the match which she opened with an immediate break of serve.

But the 27-year-old Jankovic, who won the 2008 edition of WTA Kremlin Cup in Moscow, broke back in the sixth game to level at 3-3.

Pavlyuchenkova snatched another break in the seventh game but in the eighth she lost her nerve making a catalogue of errors which allowed Jankovic to take three consecutive games and the first set in one hour.

The Russian 20-year-old started the second set with a break again but Jankovic, who is 18th in the WTA rankings, added power to her attacks taking five consecutive games, the set and the match in one hour 46 minutes.

In Saturday’s second rubber Russia’s two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova will take on Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic.

On Sunday the reverse singles and the doubles showdown will complete the tie’s schedule.

The winner of the tie will face either reigning champions Czech Republic or Italy, who are battling for a place in the final at Ostrava.