Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jankovic: I let myself down

Jankovic: I let myself down

Unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea produced the performance of her life to dump out fifth seed Jelena Jankovic at Roland Garros.

The 19-year-old had not made it past the second round of a grand slam prior to coming to Paris but she now has a great opportunity to make the semi-finals at Roland Garros thanks to her epic 3-6 6-0 9-7 win over Serbia's Jankovic on Suzanne Lenglen court.

The final stages of the encounter were tortuous for Cirstea, who needed three match points to finally get over the line as the tenacious Jankovic dug in.

The Serb admitted afterwards she had been struggling with abdomen and toe pains during the match, and rued her inability to kill off her opponent.

"I kind of let myself down in the second set - I should have won that game at 2-0," said the 24-year-old, a semi-finalist here in 2007 and 2008.

"And then in the third set, I served at 6-5 and I had 30-0 and that's when I should have gone more for my shots."

Reaching the quarter-finals is already a massive achievement for Cirstea but she will fancy her chances of going further.

She will next play Australian 30th seed Samantha Stosur, who thrashed French hope Virginie Razzano 6-1 6-2.

Razzano was one of 19 Frenchwomen to make the main draw but none have qualified for the last eight.

Meanwhile, second seed Serena Williams is bracing herself for a testing quarter-final against in-form Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova after easing through her fourth-round match against Aleksandra Wozniak.

The American needed just 53 minutes to record a 6-1 6-2 win on Philippe Chatrier court.

Kuznetsova, the seventh seed, found things more tricky in her triumph against Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska but the set she lost in the 6-4 1-6 6-1 victory was only the first the Russian had dropped this tournament.

Kuznetsova is also the only woman to defeat world number one Dinara Safina on clay this year.

Williams said: "She's an excellent clay-court player. She's been playing unbelievably well.

"This is when everything counts. I have to pick up my level and play a strong match, especially when playing somebody like Svetlana, who moves extremely well and doesn't do anything bad."

Williams, the 2002 champion here, had a real battle against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the third round, coming through in three tight sets.

But she found it much easier here, breaking in games two and six to take the first set comfortably.

Wozniak, the 24th seed, did manage a break herself, in the sixth game of the second set. But that was as good as it got for the Canadian.

"I feel like it was my most focused match so far," Williams said.

Kuznetsova survived a mid-match wobble to defeat Radwanska, the 12th seed.

"I was really nervous today - I don't know why," said Kuznetsova.

"It was tough mentally. In the next match, I cannot allow myself to do this. I'll have to be more prepared."

Kuznetsova lost to Williams in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year, and the American has won 10 majors in total down the years.

"Maybe she hasn't played that many tournaments on clay, but you cannot discount her," said Kuznetsova.

"She's a big champion, she's won here and definitely knows how to play on clay."

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