Jankovic ousted in fourth round
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
WIMBLEDON, England ” Second-seeded Jelena Jankovic was ousted in straight sets in the fourth round by Tamarine Tanasugarn on Monday, leaving the women’s draw without its top three ranked players.
Jankovic’s 6-3, 6-2 loss means that none of the top three women reached the quarterfinals ” the first time that’s happened at a Grand Slam tournament in the Open era. No. 1 Ana Ivanovic and No. 3 Maria Sharapova were upset last week.
The Williams sisters, meanwhile, moved closer to another Wimbledon final. Defending champion Venus Williams beat Russian teenager Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 6-4, while two-time winner Serena downed Bethanie Mattek ” the only other American left in the men’s or women’s draw ” 6-3, 6-3.
In men’s play, five-time champion Roger Federer swept Lleyton Hewitt ” the last man to win the title before him ” 7-6 (7), 6-2, 6-4 to extend his winning streak on grass to 63 matches and 38 in a row at the All England Club. Federer, who served 21 aces, has now beaten his Australian rival in 12 consecutive matches.
Playing with her left knee heavily strapped, Jankovic was never in serious contention against the 60th-ranked Tanasugarn. The 31-year-old Thai, playing in her 12th consecutive Wimbledon, also was treated for a lower back problem during changeovers in the second set.
After converting on match point to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time, Tanasugarn covered her face with her hands and broke into tears.
“Wow, wow, wow,” Tanasugarn said. “Being in the fourth round so many years, making it to the quarterfinals is really a good feeling.”
Jankovic said she played with a tear in her knee sustained during her third-round win Friday over Caroline Wozniacki.
“I was always a step behind,” said the Serb, who committed 19 unforced errors. “It was very hard for me. I tried the best I could and she was quite solid and didn’t make any mistakes. I wasn’t moving the way I usually move. I just couldn’t play at my best.”
Venus Williams, a four-time Wimbledon winner, nearly squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set against the 18-year-old Kleybanova. She lost nine points in a row from her third match point in the eighth game and saved three break points at 5-4 before finally closing it with a backhand volley winner.
Serena Williams wobbled slightly after going up 3-0 in the second set as Mattek raised her game by playing serve-and-volley. Williams received a warning for an audible obscenity in the fifth game, but that didn’t stop her as she won the next five points. She finished the match with a backhand drop volley into the open court.
The Williams sisters, who have not dropped a set in their four matches, played back-to-back on Court 2 ” nicknamed the “Graveyard of Champions’ for its long history of upsets. They were also scheduled to play doubles together on Court 2 later Monday.
Venus Williams, who will face Tanasugarn in the quarters, was clearly not happy with the court scheduling.
“There’s not too much I’m going to say about that in the press,” she said. “I think that no matter where we play we realize we have to play well. That’s pretty much all I have to say.”
Between them, Venus and Serena have won six of the last eight women’s singles titles at Wimbledon. They’re in opposite halves of the draw and could meet in the final Saturday. The Williams sisters faced each other in the 2002 and ’03 finals, with Serena winning both.
Federer, who hasn’t lost a set while chasing his sixth straight title, was in complete command against Hewitt after scraping through the first-set tiebreaker. At 7-all, Federer mis-hit a backhand and the ball was ruled wide, but a replay showed it hit the sideline and the point was replayed. Federer then hit a backhand winner for 8-7, and an ace gave him the set.
Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon champion whose career has been slowed by a chronic hip injury, went 0-8 on break points.
“I saw Lleyton struggling with his hip a little bit,” Federer said. “That first set tiebreaker really put me on the winning streak and after that I played consistently well.”
Hewitt, who said he’s not sure if he’ll play in the Beijing Olympics or U.S. Open because of his hip troubles, praised Federer’s serve.
“He hit every line out there today,” the Australian said. “That’s why he’s the best player around, especially on this surface. Serve is so important. He hit the target every time.”
No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal, runner-up to Federer the last two years, was paired against No. 17 Mihhail Youzhny.
Also advancing was Chinese wild-card entry Zheng Jie, who followed up her upset of Ivanovic last week to beat 19-year-old Hungarian Agnes Szavay 6-3, 6-4. Zheng was down 4-1 in the second set and then won five games in a row before securing her first Grand Slam quarterfinal berth.
Other women’s winners were Nicole Vaidisova, who downed No. 8 Anna Chakvetadze 4-6, 7-6 (0), 6-3; and Nadia Petrova, a 6-1, 6-4 victor over Alla Kudryavtseva, who had beaten Sharapova in the second round.
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The Aspen High School girls soccer team looks a lot different from the last time it played, with many new players and a new coaching staff. But winning has become part of the culture, and it’s so far, so good for the Skiers this spring.