Thursday, 1 September 2011

US Open Day 4 - JJ, Petko battle through

Jelena Jankovic moved into the third round with a straight set victory over Jelena Dokic, 6-3 6-4. Jankovic started the match slowly and went down an early break. However she quickly found her form to win five straight games from 1-3 down. JJ served extremely well throughout the first set and was surprisingly aggressive in her play as she stepped into the court to hit 11 winners to Dokic's 2. Near the end of the first set, Jankovic called the trainer citing a back complaint. Jankovic must be winning the prize for "player most likely to call the trainer", but she did seem to be struggling as the match grew on!

Dokic went 3-1 ahead in the second set as JJ started to feel the effects of her injury. However Dokic could not maintain the lead as she was let down by her serve, which folded as the match went on with a total of 15 double faults. After a number of sloppy games from both players, Jankovic tightened her focus and managed to hold her serve before breaking thanks to another double fault from the inconsistent Dokic. JJ wrapped the match up on her second match point as Dokic went long again. Jankovic will be relieved to have finished this match in two sets but i'm slightly concerned that her injury may hamper her chances of progressing further. JJ will next play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in an exciting third round encounter after Pav beat Petra Martic, 6-4 2-6 6-4.

Andrea Petkovic survived a major scare as she fought past Zheng Jie, 3-6 6-3 6-3. Petkovic had to battle back from a 6-3 3-0 deficit as Zheng dominated the early proceedings with her powerful groundstrokes. Petkovic was very sluggish to start with and was making many uncharacteristic errors; it seemed that her knee injury was affecting her play. However Petkovic is known for being a fighter and she managed to battle through winning six games on the bounce in the second set.

Zheng went up an early break in the third but could not consolidate it as she started to make more errors and was taken apart on the serve by Petkovic. The win reminded me a little of Petkovic's win over Jarmila Gajdosova in Cincy; Petkovic was way short of her best but she found a way to win. Petkovic will next play Roberta Vinci in what is likely to be another testing encounter for the German.

Petkovic kissed her knee at the end of the match. In her current form and injury situation, Vinci will fancy her chances in the next round

In other matches, an all Spanish third round match was set up between Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro. Soler Espinosa took advantage of her good draw as she eased past Kaia Kanepi, who was playing her first tournament since Wimbledon. Suarez Navarro recovered from losing the first set to beat Li Na's conqueror, Simona Halep. I'm very happy to see Suarez Navarro back winning again; she is such a talented player and delightful to watch with her one-handed backhand.

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