Jet-lagged Jankovic exits Indian Wells
Jet-lagged former champion Jelena Jankovic was bundled out of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Friday, losing 6-4, 6-3 to American wildcard Jamie Hampton in the second round.
The 12th-seeded Serb, who had reached the semi-finals in her last two tournaments, struggled to find a rhythm as she lost serve three times in the opening set and twice in the second.
Hampton, who made her debut in the top 100 of the rankings last week, sealed victory in just under 90 minutes when a Jankovic forehand sailed wide on the stadium court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
"It was a bad day of tennis for me," Jankovic, champion here in 2010, told reporters. "I just did not feel the ball. My legs felt so heavy on the court, so I was moving very badly out there.
"Hampton played solid. She was playing very well. I was really a shadow of myself. I guess it`s one of those days where you just come on the court and the legs don`t go, the reactions are not there."
Jankovic had reached the last four in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur in her previous two events but felt her journey from Malaysia to the United States earlier this week had taken its toll.
"I was in good form in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, but maybe just had not much time to get over (to the U.S.), get over the jet lag and feel fresh before this tournament," the former world number one said.
"Maybe that`s something maybe to do with it, but obviously there`s no excuse. I had to go out and perform much better than I did today, but it didn`t happen for me."
Playing against the 99th-ranked Hampton for the first time, Jankovic was broken in the second, sixth and 10th games of the match to lose the opening set in 42 minutes.
Hampton, who upset 38th-ranked Polona Hercog of Slovenia in the opening round at Indian Wells, surged into a 5-1 lead in the second set before fending off a late Jankovic fightback.
The Serb broke the American in the seventh game, held serve in the eighth and then saved two match points in the ninth before her final forehand error.
In other second round matches, 14th seed Julia Goerges of Germany eased past Britain`s Elena Baltacha 6-3, 6-2 while 32nd-seeded American Christina McHale beat Russian Elena Vesnina 6-3, 7-5.
World number one and Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus was set to make her first appearance of the week in the singles draw against Germany`s Mona Barthel later on Friday.