'Unbelievable' Jankovic tops two-time Wimbledon champ Kvitova
About an hour after flopping on her back and kicking her feet overhead to celebrate a stunning comeback against defending Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Jelena Jankovic still was giddy.
"I cannot stop smiling. ... I was very brave at the end. You know, here I am," she said through a giggle. "Unbelievable."
Jankovic kept using that word - "unbelievable" - as if trying to convince herself it were true that, despite never having much success on grass courts, she had put together a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory yesterday over the No. 2-seeded Kvitova, who claimed the 2011 and 2014 titles at the All England Club.
"I was a little bit better at the end," the 28th-seeded Jankovic said. "I was a little bit lucky, as well."
The 30-year-old Serbian didn't come out of nowhere: She was the runner-up at the 2008 US Open and finished that season ranked No. 1. But she has never been past the fourth round at Wimbledon, hadn't even made it that far since 2010 and won only one of five matches at the grass-court major over the last four years.
After the traditional middle Sunday off, play resumes tomorrow. The top half of the women's draw includes the most noteworthy matchup: Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams, meeting at a major for the first time since 2009. Those two, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka give that side of the bracket 34 Grand Slam titles.
And the eight women on the other half? They own zero major championships. That includes Jankovic, who meets No. 13 Agnieszka Radwanska next. Also tomorrow: No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki vs No. 20 Garbine Muguruza, No. 15 Timea Bacsinszky vs Monica Niculescu, and No. 21 Madison Keys vs Olga Govortsova.
The men's bottom-half matchups, which were determined yesterday: seven-time champion Roger Federer against No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut, 2013 champion Andy Murray against No. 23 Ivo Karlovic, No. 22 Viktor Troicki against Vasek Pospisil, and 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych against No. 12 Gilles Simon, who beat fellow Frenchman No. 18 Gael Monfils in a match that was moved under the roof at Centre Court as darkness arrived.
Troicki ended the run of Dustin Brown, the qualifier from Germany who stunned Rafael Nadal in the second round. It marks the fourth year in a row that a man ranked No. 100 or worse beat Nadal at Wimbledon, then failed to advance further.