If Jelena Jankovic is the Drama Queen of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, then Vera Zvonareva was working today to knock her off of her throne. Their Stuttgart quarterfinal provided so much drama, it represented the reason we love to watch tennis. The match had everything: breath-taking rallies, temper tantrums, injury, bodies hurled to the ground in exhaustion, elation and disgust. I loved it.
First, good news for JJ fans: Jankovic hit ten--count 'em!--aces. She had a first serve percentage of 76, a first serve win percentage of 71, and a second serve win percentage of 50. If she remains consistent with this improved serve, she will be even harder to defeat on any surface. I am happy for her--she so needed to learn better serving, for a good serve is all that is keeping her from winning majors.
Both players played extremely well, and the quality of the rallies was as good as it gets. I found myself gasping at some of them. In the second set, at 5-all, Jankovic took an injury break because she had had a toenail apparently crack off, and she said the pain was terrible. (There are, as I write this, people making fun of her for taking a medical break because she "broke her nail." I would like for them to attempt to play tennis, or even walk, when a large nail has cracked off; I would also like for them to shut up.)
Jankovic saw the trainer, who wrapped her toe, but it was obvious she was in discomfort. But by that time, the ever-vulnerable Zvonareva had melted down somewhat in the head department, and Jankovic was able to win the second tiebreak. When the match was over, Zvonareva sat on the ground and repeatedly smashed her racquet. Drama to the very end.
Jankovic's glory could send soon, however. She has to contend with both an injured toe and a very in-form Venus Williams. That combination could do her in.
Jankovic def. Zvonareva, 7-6, 7-6