Jelena Jankovic, of Serbia, returns to Simona Halep, of Romania, during their final match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Sunday, March 22, 2015, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill
March 22, 2015

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Simona Halep beat Jelena Jankovic 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, giving the Romanian the biggest title of her career and a WTA Tour-leading third tournament victory of the year.

Halep improved to 6-0 in three-set matches this year, smacking a crosscourt forehand winner off Jankovic's weak volley return on match point. The world's third-ranked player advanced to the final after Serena Williams withdrew before their semifinal because of a sprained right knee.

Jankovic won her biggest career title at Indian Wells in 2010. This time, she committed 61 unforced errors and had nine double-faults, smiling wryly after her last one gave Halep match point.

The 2 1/2-hour match featured 18 service breaks.

Halep earned $900,400 and Jankovic $439,420.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic played No. 2 Roger Federer for the men's title later.

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