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Archive for the ‘jelena jankovic’ Category

Indian Wells: Are You Being Serb’d?

Posted by gauloises1 on March 16, 2011

(My thanks to ShankTennis for the title.)

A very Serbian day in Indian Wells today. First of all, we had Novak Djokovic crushing Ernests Gulbis with the ridiculous score of 60 61. Ernie threatened to break in the first game and then did nothing for the rest of the match. I didn’t see it, but one feels I didn’t miss very much.

Djokovic will face compatriot Viktor Troicki after the latter defeated Michael Llodra 63 63. And then we had these two.

Ana Ivanovic beat defending champion Jelena Jankovic 64 62, and she did it by looking to dominate the points whenever she could and not getting down on herself when she missed. Simple, right? You’d think so, but the time it’s taken for her to get back playing this way suggests that’s not the case, despite the fact that she makes it look so natural when she plays as well as she did today. Ivanovic is still too tense and desperate to be relaxing to watch, but there was a real sense of joy in her tennis today. The fact that she managed to win the first set despite only breaking serve once speaks volumes.

JJ … JJ, in a familiar refrain, was disappointing. She had so much success moving Ana from side to side that it was infuriating to watch her squandering the opportunities she got to put width on her shots, she didn’t return at all well and some of her net approaches were frankly baffling. There was simply no spring in her step or, apparently, in her brain.

But the way Ana played today, JJ would have had to be near her best to beat her. The openings to rattle her were there, but she came up with big serves at important moments and went for her shots at the right moments and with conviction. Again, it sounds simple but she has a simple game – simple, but terribly effective when it’s on. Her entire problem is overthinking and she kept that in check today. If she can repeat that against Bartoli, she’ll be in the semi-finals and there will be no repining.

Well, maybe a little bit.

Sssshhhh … JJ 4EVA.

Posted in ana ivanovic, indian wells, jelena jankovic, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Women’s R16 Set At Indian Wells

Posted by gauloises1 on March 15, 2011

Since I missed yesterday due to having to do some actual work, let’s take a quick look at the fourth-round match-ups for the women at Indian Wells, now that the third round’s been completed.

(1) Caroline Wozniacki v. (22) Alisa Kleybanova

H2H: 2-0

The world no. 1 is cruising so far in this tournament, taking out former bugbear Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in straight sets on her fourth attempt so far. Kleybanova has had a slightly tougher road but has been equally unruffled, with straight sets victories over Agnes Szavay and, last night, thirteenth seed Flavia Pennetta. Looking at the draw, if Wozniacki is going to be beaten before the semi-finals, it’s going to be here. Best of luck with that, Kleybs.

(9) Agnieszka Radwanska v. (8) Victoria Azarenka

H2H: 2 – 4

Christ on a bike, I love this match-up. Two of my favourite players with plenty of history – two great and very different games – two of the more enigmatic and spiky personalities on tour. Which just makes it all the more frustrating that it’s on court 7 for reasons unknown and therefore won’t be streamed. But OK. Radwanska toiled in her last match against Maria Kirilenko, finally winning 75 in the third after the Russian recovered from a first-set bagel, while Azarenka posted a straight sets victory over Urszula Radwanska, her opponent’s little sis. Game. On.

Dinara Safina v. (16) Maria Sharapova

H2H: 3-3

Seriously, someone is doing this on purpose. Two contemporaries who have been playing each other since 2004, the only two Russians who have ever been ranked no. 1, and both struggling back from injuries that have decimated their careers (to different extents, I grant you, but still). Sharapova had a good win over Rezai yesterday, but who really thought Dinara would be here?! She beat the fourth seed Stosur last night in straight sets, a match that I didn’t watch but C Note did, and apparently while Stosur was fairly woeful, Dinara was brilliant. Remember when she was good? I mean, really good? That might be happening again. I’m so excited.

Not to worry though, she’s still Dinara.

(18) Nadia Petrova v. Peng Shuai

H2H: 2-1

I keep telling people how much Peng Shuai has improved (OK, it might be Shuai Peng), but will anyone listen? She backed up her defeat of Li Na by beating Lucie Hradecka, who took out Alexandra Dulgheru in the previous round. It did take her three sets, but then it took Nadia three sets to beat American wildcard Christina McHale. I think Peng’s going to win this one.

(5) Francesca Schiavone v. (10) Shahar Peer

H2H: 1-3

Another really great match-up. Schiavone has definitely had an easier time of it so far, beating Zuzana Ondraskova and Alize Cornet in straight sets, but from what I’ve seen her performances have been a bit erratic. Peer has had to go three sets with two tough opponents, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but she’s beaten Schiavone every time they’ve played on hard courts. Fun times.

(23) Yanina Wickmayer v. (25) Dominika Cibulkova

H2H: 1-2

Sorry for the pictures, for some reason these ladies haven’t been photographed much. Anyway. Cibulkova of course has scored arguably the biggest upset of the tournament so far, defeating third seed Vera Zvonareva 46 76(4) 64, and has consequently been rewarded with angry mama and personal fave of mine Yanina Wickmayer, who put paid to the hopes of whipping girl Melanie Oudin and then took out fourteenth seed Kaia Kanepi. Happy days.

(6) Jelena Jankovic v. (19) Ana Ivanovic

H2H: 3-6

Whichever tennis god is doing this, I’m converting. No love lost between these Serbian former no. 1s who are both engaged in struggling out of prolonged and intermittent slumps. JJ has had a smooth ride so far against Coco Vanderweghe and Julia Goerges, and while I haven’t watched Ana’s matches, straight set wins over Date-Krumm and Zahlalova Strycova are a bit more impressive. So evidence would suggest she’s the form player so far – but then, as anyone who remembers the absolutely hilarious horror show that was their last match in Madrid will attest, reason and logic doesn’t always come into it with these girls.

(15) Marion Bartoli v. (2) Kim Clijsters

H2H: 0-3

 

Rather a tough ask for Marion, you might think, given that Kim has beaten her all three times they played. But then Kim looked pretty dreadful in her match against Sara Errani, taking three sets to subdue the Italian with a serve and forehand misfiring all over the place, while Bartoli beat a tough opponent in Andrea Petkovic in straight sets last round. So maybe it’s the Frenchwoman’s moment. Allez, I say.

And that is your WTA round of sixteen at Indian Wells. Put bluntly, if you’re not having fun with this, then you’re not paying attention.

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, alisa kleybanova, ana ivanovic, caroline wozniacki, dinara safina, dominika cibulkova, francesca schiavone, indian wells, jelena jankovic, kim clijsters, maria sharapova, marion bartoli, nadia petrova, shahar peer, shuai peng, victoria azarenka, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s That Time Again.

Posted by gauloises1 on March 10, 2011

It might be because I’m a bitter, cynical, emotionally drained miserable shell of a facsimile of a sham of a human being, but I’m just not that interested in Indian Wells. It’s in the middle of a desert, I don’t get to go, and apart from that it’s your bog-standard Masters. And, like, Ivan Ljubicic won it last year. I’m just saying. Anyway, it’s started.

You can find the men’s draw here and the women’s draw here, I am mind-boggled by the complexity and can’t wait for someone to start televising the bloody thing (why is it only American Masters’ series events that aren’t televised from day one?) so I can have some opinions. So far the biggest news seems to be that Melanie Oudin has won a match, against Elena Vesnina no less.

Shit gets real later tonight when Delpo will play Steps in a tough first-round encounter for either of them. Full OOP here.

Posted in indian wells, ivan ljubicic, jelena jankovic, melanie oudin | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

False Alarm.

Posted by gauloises1 on February 19, 2011

Svetlana Kuznetsova and Caroline Wozniacki both won in straight sets today, so they’ll face each other in the Dubai final. Kuznetsova can win, of course. But she probably won’t.

Singles – Semifinals
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 75 63
(16) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. (11) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 64 64

Doubles – Semifinals
(1) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. (4) Azarenka/Kirilenko (BLR/RUS) 62 61

Posted in caroline wozniacki, dubai, flavia pennetta, jelena jankovic, svetlana kuznetsova | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Indulge Me.

Posted by gauloises1 on February 19, 2011

OK, I know she only got to the semi-finals so far, but … really, I just want to do a JJ picspam.

Jelena Jankovic makes me smile.

Posted in dubai, jelena jankovic | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

JJ, Sveta and Flavia Into Dubai Semis

Posted by gauloises1 on February 19, 2011

Head-to-heads are weird things, aren’t they? Take the third of today’s quarter-finals, Flavia Pennetta v Alisa Kleybanova. Not only was Kleybs coming into this match with straight set wins over Jarmila Groth and Vera Zvonareva under her belt, she was facing a woman who you would think she could hit off the court – a woman moreover who had gone to three in her previous two matches (against Azarenka and Zakapalova) and was suffering a leg strain sustained in the former. Yet Pennetta led the H2H 3-0, and Kleybs barely got a look in today. Against Pennetta’s speed, retrieving and all-court game, she looked pretty helpless and hopeless. She just couldn’t get her feet under her and you’re left thinking … 3-0, there’s a reason for that.

Which brings me to JJ, another winner today against Stosur. Not that reason is any particular help in considering the counterpunching conundrum that is Jelena Jankovic. I mean, why is it that she can go from looking so woebegone in Australia to making a good, deep run here? She’s got her family around her, she’s smiling, and while she isn’t precisely going about things in the most straightforward fashion – Kanepi served for the match against her, let us not forget, and she squandered a commanding position in today’s match before eventually winning in a third set tiebreak – she doesn’t look lost out there. She looks like she knows what she’s doing, and a knowing-what-she’s-doing-looking JJ is a dangerous JJ, if you know what I mean. Under the circumstances, it’s a day when you can look at her H2H with Wozniacki – JJ leads 4-0 – and think … there’s a reason for that. I hope she proves me right.

 

Don’t even get me started on these two, who played what I thought was the most entertaining match of the day. Radwanska spends much of 2010 looking listless, playing error-strewn tennis, and generally giving the impression that the rest of the field has caught up with her precocity and left it behind. Then she suffers a bad injury, and although she returns absurdly soon in Australia, I assume that the early months of 2011 are going to be pretty much a write-off. But no. She reaches the quarter-final in Melbourne, looking stronger with every match; equals that accomplishment here and really should have taken at least a set off Kuznetsova before succumbing. And she seems energised, and strong, and committed. Let her build up a head of steam and I really think she could be a thing this year.

As for Kuznetsova, I did say I had a feeling about her …

All of this is to say: WTA, you put the “fun” in “funemployment”. Don’t ever change.

Singles – Quarterfinals
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (9) Shahar Peer (ISR) 62 64
(6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (4) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 63 57 76(4)
(16) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. (8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 76(7) 63
(11) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (15) Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 62 60

Doubles – Semifinals
(2) Huber/Martínez Sánchez d. (WC) Kuznetsova/Zvonareva (RUS/RUS) w/o (Zvonareva: right elbow injury)

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. (6) Mattek-Sands/Shaughnessy (USA/USA) 62 64
(2) Huber/Martínez Sánchez (USA/ESP) d. (7) Raymond/Stosur (USA/AUS) 63 46 107
(4) Azarenka/Kirilenko (BLR/RUS) d. Mirza/Vesnina (IND/RUS) 64 62
(WC) Kuznetsova/Zvonareva (RUS/RUS) d. Hantuchova/Radwanska (SVK/POL) 76(7) 64

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, dubai, flavia pennetta, jelena jankovic, svetlana kuznetsova | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

One Match Away.

Posted by gauloises1 on February 17, 2011

Hold on to whatever you haven’t already shed in despair: Caroline Wozniacki is one win away from taking back the no. 1 ranking in Dubai.

She benefitted from a dramatic collapse from Anna Chakvetadze in the second round, who was suffering from the aftereffects of gastroenteritis, just when the Russian looked to be making an impact in the match:

Wozniacki then beat Ayumi Morita today after the Japanese qualifier upset Petra Kvitova in the opening round. She’ll play Shahar Peer in the quarterfinals. It was Peer who beat her in the third round last year, but she had a tough third-round match against Yanina Wickmayer, so I suspect that no. 1 trophy is headed back Wozniacki’s way, and why not.

Still, let’s not forget the conditions Peer is playing under to even be allowed to participate in this tournament. I hope she goes on winning just to stick it to them. It’s absurd and cynical that the WTA even has a tournament under these conditions, no matter how good the field is. Anyway.

Radwanska will play Kuznetsova after the former beat Bartoli and Svetlana reprised her Melbourne epic with Francesca Schiavone. Six match points went begging again before the Russian closed it out this time. Azarenka flattered to deceive in one of her patented pointless comebacks, taking Pennetta to a third set before losing.

Pennetta will face Alisa Kleybanova, who surprised Vera Zvonareva in straight sets earlier, but the Italian needed an MTO in her singles match and withdrew from her doubles with a leg strain, so maybe don’t expect too much. The remaining quarterfinal will be Sam Stosur against Jelena Jankovic, who came back from losing the first set 2-6 to Kaia Kanepi to win 7-5 in the third. Yay.

Singles – Third Round
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (Q) Ayumi Morita (JPN) 61 60
(15) Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) d. (2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 63 62
(16) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. (3) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 16 60 75
(4) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Patty Schnyder (SUI) 63 64
(6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (12) Kaia Kanepi (EST) 26 63 75
(11) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (7) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 63 67(2) 64
(8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (10) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 63 62
(9) Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 36 64 61

Doubles – Second Round
(1) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. Dushevina/Peng (RUS/CHN) 75 62
(2) Huber/Martínez Sánchez (USA/ESP) d. Groth/Zakopalova (AUS/CZE) 64 64
(WC) Kuznetsova/Zvonareva (RUS/RUS) d. (3) Chan/Zheng (TPE/CHN) 63 75
(4) Azarenka/Kirilenko (BLR/RUS) d. Kleybanova/Yan (RUS/CHN) 64 64
(6) Mattek-Sands/Shaughnessy (USA/USA) d. Pennetta/Schiavone (ITA/ITA) w/o (Pennetta: left lower leg muscle strain)
(7) Raymond/Stosur (USA/AUS) d. Niculescu/Peer (ROU/ISR) 75 57 107
Hantuchova/Radwanska (SVK/POL) d. Diatchenko/Poutchek (RUS/BLR) 61 61
Mirza/Vesnina (IND/RUS) d. Dulgheru/Sfar (ROU/TUN) 62 46 1210

Posted in anna chakvetadze, caroline wozniacki, dubai, flavia pennetta, jelena jankovic, shahar peer, victoria azarenka, video | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wimbledon Day 7: … And The Rest

Posted by gauloises1 on June 29, 2010

On the ladies’ side, three somewhat surprise packages join the usual suspects in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. First up, Petra Kvitova, who beat Caroline Wozniacki 62 60 to book her spot. Wozniacki won just five points in the second set.

Kvitova, who had never won a grass court match coming into this tournament, will meet Kaia Kanepi, who will insist on occasionally being a thing. She took out Klara Zakopalova in straights.

The third unpredictable entrant is Tsvetana Pironkova, who defied my prediction by taking out former finalist Marion Bartoli in straights. Her reward is a meeting with Venus Williams, who – despite a little trouble finding her court – beat a feisty Jarmila Groth to book her spot in the quarterfinals.

Elsewhere, it was a sad day for fans of Jelena Jankovic, as she was forced to retire with a back injury when trailing Vera Zvonareva 16 03. Wimbledon just isn’t her tournament, is it?

Rounding out the last eight is Li Na, who demolished Agnieszka Radwanska in a reversal of last year’s round of sixteen to face Serena Williams, and then offered some wise words for us all:

Q. What have you done well this week and last week and in Birmingham, do you think?

NA LI: After I win in Birmingham, I was feeling more confident, more positive thinking on the grass court. But because my coach didn’t come to Birmingham, so after I meet him, he was like, Just forget Birmingham. This much different tournament.

So every time, he always talk like. Every time he talk like, Forget, forget, forget that one. I was like, Okay. I couldn’t forget. I played five rounds of match, win tournament. How I can forget that? But he always like, Forget. This is much different game.

On the men’s side, guess who is in the quarterfinals! Yeah, you guessed it.

What depth. They will be joined by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who put out Benny in four, and Andy Murray, who was frankly sensational against limited opposition in his victory over Sam Querrey.

C’mon Andy.

Not a bad quarter-finals lineup on either side, is it?

Posted in andy murray, caroline wozniacki, jelena jankovic, kaia kanepi, petra kvitova, rafael nadal, roger federer, tsvetana pironkova, venus williams, vera zvonareva, wimbledon | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wimbledon Manic Monday Preview: Ladies

Posted by gauloises1 on June 28, 2010

And now for the distaff side.

Serena Williams v Maria Sharapova

H2H: 5-1

Strawberries-and-cream vs. upturned rose (apparently), one of these women has looked in devastatingly awesome form so far, and the other is Maria Sharapova. Admittedly Maria has won all her matches in straight sets, but the only one I’ve watched (against junior nemesis Barbora Zahlalova Strycova), she looked clumsy, sluggish and tentative. I’ve no doubt that she will get it up against Serena, but I still think this match might turn out to be a bit of a damp squib. Prediction: Serena in straights.

Winner to meet …

Na Li v Agnieszka Radwanska

 

H2H: 1-2

It’s been a quiet Wimbledon for both these ladies so far and I haven’t seen either of them play (although we all owe Na Li a vote of thanks for getting rid of Anastasia ‘toys so far out of the pram they have been adopted by other kind homes’ Rodionova). I’m going with Agnieszka, because her game works beautifully on grass and she’s a two-time quarterfinalist in SW19. Prediction: Radwanska in three.

Caroline Wozniacki v Petra Kvitova

H2H: 2-0

Kvitova has had one of the most eye-catching results at this tournament so far, coming back from a break down in the first to not just defeat but bagel Victoria Azarenka (oh, Vika). That will have given her a lot of confidence, but you can’t really bet against slow-and-steady Caroline, can you? Sadly. Prediction: Wozniacki in straights.

Winner to meet …

Klara Zakopalova v Kaia Kanepi

H2H: 0-1

There are some players that I just get irrationally annoyed when I see them win. These are two of them; Zakopalova because she’s got a sour expression on her face even when she’s winning, and Kanepi because you can never tell from tournament to tournament which one of her is going to turn up (and when it’s Good Kaia, she generally announces her presence by beating one or more of my favourites). However, both of them are on excellent mini-runs. Zakopalova has beaten Meusberger, Rezai and Pennetta; Kanepi, Sam Stosur, Edina Gallovits and Alexandra Dulgheru. On the basis that the former is a shade more impressive and I don’t really care, I’m going with Zakopalova. Prediction: Zakopalova in three. She won’t smile.

Kim Clijsters v Justine Henin

H2H: 12-12 (3-1 on grass)

The other match to look forward to, particularly if you’re one of those who bemoans the last few years in the WTA. Kim has cruised so far and looks in some ways ripe for an upset, while Justine has played as well as anyone in the tournament in her defeat of Nadia Petrova. Still, I think that Justine wants this too much and that, coupled with the changes she’s made to her game this year which still don’t seem to sit right, will cost her. Prediction: Kim in three.

Winner to meet …

Vera Zvonareva v Jelena Jankovic

H2H: 5-6

Vera has been quietly coming through in the bottom of the draw, largely unheeded with solid wins over unspectacular opponents until the third round when she demolished Yanina Wickmayer. The buzz is that she finally feels that she’s got her form back. JJ, meanwhile, after her win over Laura Robson, dropped a set to Aleksandra Wozniak and called the trainer after bagelling Alona Bondarenko. Not to mention that this court will be played on court 12, which JJ will need a helicopter or at least a team of Sherpas to find. Prediction: Zvonareva in two.

Tsvetana Pironkova v Marion Bartoli

H2H: 0-3

Every Slam I reckon there has to be one round-of-sixteen match-up which makes you go, “… how did this happen?”. This is mine. Er, Pironkova beat Dushevina who beat Schiavone, and Bartoli is a former finalist, so …. I don’t even know. Prediction: Bartoli in straights.

Winner to meet …

Jarmila Groth v Venus Williams

H2H: 0-0

It’s been a very nice tournament for the adorable Jarmila. Shame it’s over. Prediction: Venus in straights.

So that’s what I think. What do you reckon ..?

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, caroline wozniacki, jarmila groth, jelena jankovic, justine henin, kaia kanepi, kim clijsters, klara zakopalova, li na, maria sharapova, marion bartoli, petra kvitova, serena williams, tsvetana pironkova, venus williams, vera zvonareva, wimbledon | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wimbledon Daze: Tested

Posted by gauloises1 on June 24, 2010

And now a little shoutout to those who have struggled, some unexpectedly, but are still standing. And, possibly, better than they ever did.

Did you know Roger Federer came *this* close to losing to Ale-Alejandro Falla? He didn’t, though, because he’s a big tease.

Just to underline the point, he then dropped a set to Ilija Bozoljac, best known for dating a housemate from Serbian Big Brother. Which is very much like the Queue. See? It all comes back to the Queue.

After narrowly avoiding a third set against Laura Robson, JJ dropped the first set to Aleksandra Wozniak tonight before coming through in three. Her dress was and is amazing, though.

After cruising through his first match against Rajeev Ram, Wimbledon’s favourite son the Other Andy struggled initially with an inspired Michael Llodra before knuckling down and winning in four.

Sveta went three with Akgul Amanmuradova in her opening match, because that’s how she rolls.

Nole struggled mightily against Olivier Rochus on Monday night, finishing two minutes shy of curfew (yes, there is one). Better news? He looked much improved against Taylor Dent today.

Aravane Rezai survived 75 in the third against the occasionally-good on grass Magdalena Rybarikova.

Benny came back from two sets to love down against an utterly obnoxious Kristof Vliegen. I take full credit for this (along with @crystaleyesd, of course). We “allez Julien!” and “c’mon Benny!”‘d him through this match, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Yanina Wickmayer went three with surprise Edgbaston semi-finalist Alison Riske on Monday, before narrowly beating her doubles partner Kristen Flipkens in two today. ‘mon Wicky.

And Philipp Kohlschreiber was forced to bagel Potito Starace in the fourth set of his opening match before outlasting Teimuraz Gabashvili in the battle of players who scare Roddick fans. His reward? A third-round meeting with Andy Roddick …

Posted in andy roddick, aravane rezai, jelena jankovic, julien benneteau, novak djokovic, philipp kohlschreiber, roger federer, svetlana kuznetsova, wimbledon, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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