the legend

joyful rogger fedder

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jankovic crashes out to young qualifier

Photo Titled Melanie Oudin
Melanie Oudin

A 17-year-old American qualifier ranked 124 dumped the former world number one Jelena Jankovic out of Wimbledon this afternoon. Jankovic, who received prolonged treatment for heat exhaustion and problems with both feet, edged a close first set but then sensationally lost her third round match against the unheralded Melanie Oudin, who won 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-2.

There was little doubt that, on paper, this was a match that should have been an absolute breeze for Jankovic, despite the rather extraordinary fact that Oudin had won 19 of her previous 21 matches. By making the third round here, the former world junior number two is already certain to debut in the top 100 when the new rankings are released after Wimbledon. But, nonetheless, this is her first appearance in SW19, and she was facing a huge step-up in class by playing six seed Jankovic.

On the other hand, Oudin had absolutely nothing to lose and, after early nerves allowed Jankovic to break her in the first game, she played as if unburdened by expectation. She was aided by two double faults from the 24-year-old Serb in her own opening service game, which helped Oudin gain a confidence-boosting break back.

The American began showing off her assured groundstrokes and, if either player seemed edgy, it was Jankovic, dumping a smash into the net and complaining to the umpire about spectator noise. At 3-3 Oudin had a poor game. Successive double faults and a weak second serve permitted the break, and at 5-3 Jankovic saw a set point go by. She was making so many unforced errors that she let Oudin back in for 5-5, which prompted more complaints from Jankovic to the umpire, this time about the ballboys and girls.

Jankovic was holding ice to the back of her neck and appeared to be in tears

Meanwhile, Oudin was pounding away most effectively with groundstrokes, pumping her fist and loudly urging herself on with every point won. She even had a set point at 6-5 but it passed, even as Jankovic berated herself about the weakness of her first serve.

Oudin was constructing points well, just occasionally failing with the killer blow. Frankly, Jankovic was lucky to reach the tiebreak, and when she did it was Oudin’s rawness rather than her own experience that saw her home. The American had three set points before she ran out of steam and lost a set in which she produced three times as many winners as her opponent.

Then, quite unexpectedly, at the changeover, the trainer was called and a doctor too. Jankovic was holding ice to the back of her neck and appeared to be in tears. The trainer laid her on a towel and elevated her feet on a chair, taking her pulse and blood pressure. It appeared that Jankovic was feeling the heat and play was halted for more than 10 minutes.

At the resumption, neither player could hold serve until Oudin made it 4-3. At 5-5, despite doughty defence from Jankovic, the American broke through and she made it stick to level the match.

Jankovic called the trainer again and this time received treatment to the toes on both her feet. A marathon opening game of the third set saw Oudin pull off a wonderful drop shot for break point and then force the error from Jankovic for the break. This time she didn’t give it back. Jankovic seemed to be hating every point, and Oudin even broke again for 5-2, screeching her loudest yet: “Come on!” There was no coming back for Jankovic.

Court 3 - Ladies' Singles - 3rd Round
Melanie Oudin USA Winner6876
Jelena Jankovic SRB (6)71052

No comments:

Post a Comment