Saturday, October 4, 2008

Jankovic defeats Williams in Stuttgart semifinal

When Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams take to the court, spectators are guaranteed a high-quality match. I had the privilege of watching them play in the 2007 Charleston semifinals, and the match was a thriller almost from the first moment. Today, in Stuttgart, it was no different. Williams took the first set in a tiebreak, and that was a little bit of a surprise. Toward the end of that set, she got a bit tight, and it looked as though Jankovic was about to walk away with it. But Jankovic made a significant tactical error in a return of serve, letting Williams back in, and Williams prevailed.

The second set was just as good, but more errors came off of Williams' racquet, and viewers could see Jankovic's confidence grow. The third set showcased Jankovic in control, as her confidence grew even more, and Williams became more error-prone.

Jankovic had a couple of injections before the match, yet it appeared that her injured toe did bother her from time to time, and there was less sliding than usual. Jankovic's new serving tactics gave her some help, to be sure, but the big statistic in this match was about break points: Jankovic saved 14 of 16.

Jankovic def. Williams, 6-7, 7-5, 6-2

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