Defending champ Petra Kvitova knocked out of Wimbledon by Jelena Jankovic
Petra Kvitova`s reign as Wimbledon champion came to a shock end on Saturday as Jelena Jankovic staged a superb fightback to claim a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 third round victory.
London: Petra Kvitova`s reign as Wimbledon champion came to a shock end on Saturday as Jelena Jankovic staged a superb fightback to claim a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 third round victory.
Kvitova`s exit marks the first time since 2009 that the two-time Wimbledon winner has failed to make at least the quarter-finals at the All England Club.
Jankovic looked down and out when she trailed by a set and was 4-2 down in the second against the Czech world number two.
But the Serbian 28th seed mounted a gutsy recovery and will play former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska for a place in the quarter-finals.
"I`m overwhelmed. I`m so excited. My heart is still pumping," Jankovic said.
"I cannot believe this just happened but this is what this sport is all about.
"After I won that second set I knew I had it, I just had to keep going.
"In the last couple of years I played so poorly.
"But beating her gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the tournament. Now anything can happen."
With second seeded Kvitova out, only four of the top 10 seeds are left in the women`s draw, providing a major boost to Serena Williams` bid for a sixth Wimbledon title.
The 25-year-old could have no complaints after allowing the match to slip from her grasp with 21 unforced errors, compared to just 11 from Jankovic, who hit 24 winners against only 13 from Kvitova.
It was a welcome return to prominence for Jankovic, who was poised to become the sport`s next female powerhouse after rising to world number one in 2008 following a US Open final appearance.
That run came hot on the heels of last four berths in the Australian and French Opens earlier in 2008.
But those heady days were a distant memory for the 30-year-old, who has plummeted down to 30th in the rankings after failing to make the semi-finals of a Grand Slam since 2010, and losing in the first rounds of the Australian and French Opens this year.Over the last five years, Kvitova had won the title twice, in 2014 and 2011, while also reaching the 2010 semi-finals and twice making the last eight.
Kvitova had only dropped three games in her first two matches -- quick-fire wins which took a total of just 93 minutes to complete -- and the Czech didn`t take long to reassert her superiority on Centre Court.
She broke in the fourth game of the match and, unloading some booming serves, eased through the set in a businesslike 29 minutes.
When the Czech broke to love in the third game of the second set, she looked set up wrap up another quick-fire win as she moved 4-2 ahead.
But Kvitova`s focused approach completely disappeared at that point and Jankovic recovered to level at 4-4.
Spraying unforced errors wildly wide and long, Kvitova started to gesticulate and grumble as her frustration grew.
Jankovic was taking full advantage of Kvitova`s collapse, cleverly moving her opponent around the court and tempting her into injudicious shots -- such as the rushed forehand into the net that cost her the set at 5-6.
Kvitova disappeared off court in a bid to regroup, leaving Jankovic waiting for nearly 10 minutes before returning.
But the break did her little good and Jankovic kept up the pressure before securing the decisive break for a famous win in the 10th game.