Charleston, USA, 5 April 2012 | AFP

Australian No.3 Anastasia Rodionova will face Venus Williams in the third round of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston after the American defeated Jelena Jankovic in straight sets on Wednesday.

Rodionova, who a day earlier toppled 10th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, enjoyed a day off as the rest of the tournament’s second-round matches were completed.

In a clash of former world No.1s, Williams upended Jankovic 7-5 6-0 at the WTA Premier-level event, played on green clay.

Jankovic had won her last four meetings on clay against Williams, but once the American heated up in the wake of a first-set rain delay, the Serbian couldn’t stop her.

Jankovic served for the first set at 5-4, but Williams broke and never looked back.

By the time she won the second set she had reeled off nine games in a row, capping the match with a backhand winner down the line.

“I hadn’t played her in a long time, so in the first set I was just finding my rhythm and getting used to any new patterns she might have,” said Williams, playing on a wildcard invitation as she tries to rebuild a ranking dented by a lengthy injury and illness layoff.

“In the second set everything started landing for me. I was moving forward and playing my aggressive game. Honestly, I don’t know how it went that nicely for me. Everything just landed, and she hit a few errors, and that helped me a lot.”

Rodionova and Williams have met once before, all the way back in 2007 when Williams crushed the Aussie in the first round of the harcourt event in San Diego.

The pair will clash in the third match of the day on Stadium Court at Charleston’s Daniel Island Tennis Centre.

Rodionova’s compatriot Sam Stosur will take to the same court two matches later for her third-round stoush with Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva.