Kuznetsova loses at U.S. Open, Jankovic works overtime
August 29, 2008
NEW YORK ” Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova became the last upset victim at the U.S. Open, beaten by 28th-ranked Katarina Srebotnik 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-3 in the third round Friday.
A day after No. 1 Ana Ivanovic lost to 188th-ranked Julie Coin, the third-seeded Kutznetsova was eliminated. The Russian won the tournament in 2004 and finished second last year.
Srebotnik fell to her knees a split-second before Kuznetsova’s last shot sailed over the baseline. After beating Serena Williams in the French Open this year, Srebotnik had another reason to celebrate, having gone farther than ever before at Flushing Meadows.
Second-seeded Jelena Jankovic won another sneaker squeaker, playing 28 points in the last game to finish off Zheng Jie 7-5, 7-5.
“You’re not there in a picnic,” Jankovic said.
Roger Federer, Nikolay Davydenko and Elena Dementieva also won in straight sets. Novak Djokovic played later, and the night session featured Andy Roddick, along with No. 23 Lindsay Davenport taking on No. 12 Marion Bartoli.
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Jankovic came out full of energy, showing no ill effects of a bad left leg that cramped after she played Wednesday. She bounded back and forth and, in her trademark style, often came to screeching stops while doing the splits to reach shots.
“As long as I’m doing the splits, that means I’m healthy,” she said. “When I’m not doing the splits, you know there’s something wrong.”
“I’m not too sure about my body if I go into a split, who knows if I’ll come back up?” she said.
Still waiting for that elusive big win, Jankovic is trying to reach her first Grand Slam final. She needs three more wins” with Justine Henin retired, Maria Sharapova hurt, Ivanovic out and the Williams sisters in the opposite bracket, this figures to be her best chance.
Jankovic had five match points in the final game, which went to deuce 11 times. She needed a bit of a break before her last serve; in her previous match, she chided her opponent for not being ready to receive soon enough.
“I wish I didn’t have any drama in my matches. I wish I would win nice and in a simple way,” she said. “Who likes drama? Do you know anybody that likes to get involved into tight matches?”
Jankovic needed more than two hours to beat the 37th-ranked Zheng after playing for nearly three hours in the second round. Plus, the Serbian star was scheduled to play mixed doubles later in the day.
Jankovic is one of six women who still have a chance to be ranked No. 1 after the Open, with Ivanovic among them despite her loss.
Coin pulled an upset for the record books. Not since the WTA computer rankings started in 1975 had a woman ranked so low beaten a reigning world No. 1.
Trying for his fifth straight U.S. Open title, the second-seeded Federer swept Thiago Alves 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. Even though the 137th-ranked Alves was a qualifier playing his first tour-level event this year, it wasn’t a breeze.
“The depth in men’s tennis is immense,” Federer said.
Fifth-seeded Davydenko beat Agustin Calleri 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (2), and No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez defeated Bobby Reynolds 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-4.
Dementieva, the Olympic champion and No. 5 seed, beat Anne Keothavong of Britain, 6-3, 6-4.
Gilles Muller and Jarkko Nieminen each rallied from two sets down to win. Muller, who once beat Roddick at the U.S. Open and Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, defeated Tommy Haas 2-6, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-3, and Nieminen topped Ivo Minar 6-7 (2), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
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