World No.3 Jelena Jankovic was too weak to defeat motivated Anna Chakvetadze Thursday at the Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid. The Russian won 6-4 0-6 6-3 and secured her place in the semifinals (next to Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova, and Ana Ivanovic). My overall impression was that Chakvetadze was determined and motivated, while Jankovic looked tired and burned out.
After winning the opening set, Chakvetadze slept through the next seven games. The 20-year-old Russian entered the second set too relaxed, and quickly saw herself in a situation of being a break down in a decider. But from then on, things started to change. Jankovic permitted Chakvetadze to break back and revive her powerful game. In the third game of the final set, you could smell the end of Jankovic; revived Chakvetadze won her service game, and since then the Serb started being inferior and had to fight hard to stay in the match. But Chakvetadze was unstoppable! When Chakvetadze served for the match, Jankovic had her last chance — the Serb evened to 30-30, after an exhausting but fantastic defense. Still, Jankovic wasn’t strong enough to fight the motivated Russian and had to say goodbye to the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Championships.
It’s sad that Jelena Jankovic, a player with such a great year, couldn’t collect enough energy to finish the season playing as well as she’s capable of. (photo via Getty Images)