• Madrid Open

Williams crashes out as Jankovic powers past Ivanovic

ESPN staff
May 12, 2010

World number one Serena Williams will be missing from the last eight of the Madrid Open after she succumbed to the gritty Nadia Petrova in the third round on Wednesday.

Williams was beaten 4-6 6-2 6-3 by her Russian opponent, who broke four times during the contest on a rare occasion when the trademark Williams power was matched by her rival. Petrova gave as good as she got on the slower clay courts of Madrid, and she took full advantage of some poor errors by the favourite to claim victory.

Williams was made to wait until the ninth game of the first set for her first break of serve, taking fully 45 minutes to clinch the opening set. At no point did the American appear to be in total control of the match, surviving a break chance against her own serve before claiming the one-set advantage.

The second set was the crucial one, with Williams creating and wasting 11 break points, whilst Petrova converted two of her three opportunities. One particular shot by Williams, a point-blank volley that found the net, handed Petrova her first break and served warning of the upset that was to come.

With the score at one set apiece and both players tiring, Petrova's ability to pull out four aces aided her cause, and when she broke for a 4-2 advantage the writing was on the wall. Williams forced her opponent to serve for the match, which Petrova did with aplomb to knock out the world's top player.

Fourth seed Venus Williams battled back from a set down to beat Francesca Schiavone to reach the quarter-finals. The seven-time Grand Slam champion was outplayed by Schiavone as the Italian grabbed the opening set, but she allowed her opponent just three further games as she wrapped up a 3-6 6-1 6-2 victory.

Jelena Jankovic battled back from a set and a break down to beat fellow Serb Ana Ivanovic 4-6 6-4 6-1 in the second round. While Jankovic has risen to No. 4 in the world rankings after an impressive run of form this season, Ivanovic has slipped outside the top 50 after struggling with injury, consistency and form. But the former world No. 1 showed glimpses of the tennis that saw her win the French Open two years ago as she stunned Jankovic to take the first set.

Jankovic, who reached the final in Rome last week after knocking both Venus and Serena Williams out en route, is proving to be a tough competitor to beat, but she failed to hold her serve on a single occasion in the first set. It was not until the seventh game that either player managed to defend serve, and after a topsy-turvy opening encounter, Ivanovic finally held her nerve to take advantage of Jankovic's shaky serve and take the set.

In what was to be the turning point in the match, Jankovic was trailing 2-1 in the second set, at deuce on her serve. After Ivanovic had shown impressive speed and reaction to reach the net for a volley, she collapsed to the floor after stabbing the ball wide. It was Jankovic's first service hold and the momentum began to swing in her favour.

In an absorbing tactical battle, a stubborn Jankovic was the aggressor in the second set as she desperately attempted to claw her way back into the match. Jankovic's power was superior to that shown by her opponent, who was pegged back as she desperately defended a flurry of vicious forehands.

With Jankovic settling into her serve, she stormed to a 4-0 lead in the final set and looked in no danger of letting her advantage slip, and she wrapped up the match after an hour and 50 minutes on court. Jankovic will now meet Anabel Medina Garrigues in the third round, and with no seeds remaining in her quarter of the draw, the world No. 4 will expect to reach the semi-finals.

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