The 28 seed Jelena Jankovic defeated defending champion Petra Kvitova in three sets: 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Next up for her is 13 seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
Kvitova was the obvious favorite in the match, but not only because she won Wimbledon last year. Overall, before today, she was 4-2 against Jankovic. Two of those wins occurred in 2015 and they were very easy victories. She eliminated the Serb in Rome and wiped her out in Doha.
She started the match like her previous ones: fast, smart, focused, and precise. She never lost her serve while Jankovic committed two double faults. She looked as if she was on her way to another easy win.
She started strong in the second set, but lost control. Despite being up a break, she could not capitalize on the second break. Jankovic simply outplayed her. Kvitova earned five aces and brilliant net points, but collapsed after the failed break. Her shakiness allowed Jankovic to break her and go on to even it at a set a piece. Jankovic explained how she changed in the middle of the set:
I change a little bit. As the match was going on, I was starting to feel better and better. I was moving better. I was, you know, timing my ball a lot better and hitting the ball deeper.
I tried to not give her a lot of angles. I served very well, as well, which helped a lot. I was holding my serves. I was waiting, as well, for my chances to strike and to kind of attack as much as I could when I was returning.
It was a matter of who was going to hold longer, who was going to play the points. Especially in that third set, you just have to stay focused and play one point at a time. You know, I was a little bit better at the end. I was a little bit lucky as well. So I’m very happy.
She left the court after the set, but stayed away for over seven minutes. There is not a time limit for bathroom breaks. She addressed it in the press conference:
I was trying to calm down a little bit. I was changing my clothes. Probably that’s it. I mean, I was trying, you know, to think kind of positively. Still was unpredictable a third set. It’s always a big fight during this kind of match. She’s a big player, which she showed today.
I was really trying, but unfortunately bad moments today.
She admitted she was not at full strength, too, but refused to make excuses. She acknowledged that Jankovic outplayed her.
Uhm, I didn’t feel 100%, for sure. I mean, I was still kind of struggling a little bit with the movement. I was still missing few centimeters to miss the shots. The timing really wasn’t the best.
For sure I wish to feel better. But still doesn’t really, you know, matter if I going to win or not if I’m feeling better. This is how it is.
I think that she really did what she needs at the time.
Jankovic took advantage of the sluggish Kvitova and dominated the third set. She never faced a break point while breaking the Wimbledon champ once. She slammed two aces, put in over 77% of her first serves and won all of her second serve points. She was flying on the court with confidence and attitude.
Needless to say, she left the court with a huge smile and cannot climb down from Cloud 9. But then again, who could blame her?!
“No, I cannot stop smiling,” she exclaimed. “I’m really, really happy. I don’t know how to explain. But it’s a really big win for me, especially playing on Centre Court against a two‑time champion, Wimbledon champion. It’s really amazing.”