In a close nail-biting second round match of the US Open, Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan has defeated No.. 5 Jelena Jankovic marking the second upset of the day. This afternoon, Melanie Oudin of Georgia defeated No. 4 and heavily-favorited Elena Dementieva.
The aggressive hard-hitting Yaroslava Shvedova rallied to take the first set 6-3 in just 31 minutes. Jelena Jankovic rallied to force a second set tie-break which she won 7-4. The third set was filled with drama as neither one was able to solidify a lead. At 5-4 in the final set, Yaroslava Shvedova was serving for the match when Jelena Jankovic broke her serve and eventually forced a tie-breaker.
Unlike other grand slams, the US Open always has tie-breaks in the final set, preventing marathon matches such as the Federer//Roddick finale at Wimbledon. Jelena Jankovic failed to convert three match points, leading to 6 all in the tie-break. Yaroslava Shvedova won the next point, then converted her first match point with a definitive ace to close out the match.
Looking at the statistics (as posted on the US Open website), Yaroslava Shvedova made 45 winners compared to Jelena Jankovic’s 27. Yet neither one played a clean match. Shvedova had 48 unforced errors compared to Jankovic’s 39.
Jelena Jankovic seemed on her way to her first grand slam title, having reached the final of last year’s US Open and holding the No. 1 ranking for seventeen weeks. Yet she’s struggled this year, losing at Wimbledon to Melanie Oudin (and subsequently blaming it on “women’s problems”) in the third round of Wimbledon. With her athleticism, footwork, and signature two-handed backhand, she has the abilities, but like Dinara Safina and Elena Dementieva, she just hasn’t been able to make that breakthrough at the US Open or other slams.
Yaroslava Shvedova Upsets Jelena Jankovic at US Open: Other Upsets
This has been a day of upsets at the US Open as Elena Dementieva and Jelena Jankovic were ousted back to back. Ironically, Dementieva was taken out by Oudin, the player who had ousted Jankovic at Wimbledon. Other top players have survived near upsets this week at the US Open.
After nearly losing her first round match to Olivia Rogowska, Dinara Safina survived another scare today against Kristina Barrois in spite of a mind-boggling 15 double faults and 38 unforced errors. Meanwhile, Venus Williams survived a first-round scare against Vera Dushevina before going on to defeat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round. Meanwhile, Ana Ivanovic lost her first-round match against Kateryna Bondarenko in a third set tie-break.
It’s a bit disconcerting to see so many of the top women struggling in the early rounds at the US Open. One can only hope that their level of play will improve as they meet other top players in the later rounds. Elena Dementieva and Jelena Jankovic will hopefully find a way to regroup after their disappointing matches today. For Dinara Safina, she will have to improve her serve if she going to seriously contend at the US Open.
US Open Match Statistics