Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chakvetadze disappears, then returns to beat Jankovic

The great Evonne Goolagong used to space out in the middle of matches, and her opponents would take advantage of what they called "one of Evonne's walkabouts." Anna Chakvetadze, not being Australian, doesn't go on a walkabout, but she goes somewhere, as she did in her Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Year-End Championships match against Jelena Jankovic. After getting a break and taking the first set 6-4, Chakvetadze went to pieces and got bageled in the second set. From the beginning of the third set, she behaved as though the second set had never happened, and went on to play quite well, and to take advantage of her opponent's frenzy of unforced errors.

Chakvetadze is undeniably talented, but she does have these huge mid-match gaps. Had she been playing against someone who wasn't burned out, she would have gone down in the third set.

The frustrating thing about Jankovic is that, even now--when she is down on herself and a shadow of what she was earlier in the season--she can still provide some entertaining, thrilling tennis. It was a messy match between two players who alternated between brilliance and sloppiness. Final score: Chakvetadze def. Jankovic, 6-4, 0-6, 6-3

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