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Jankovic limps to shaky win

WIMBLEDON, England — Jelena Jankovic hobbled into the second week of Wimbledon after injuring her knee. Whether she actually plays this week is another matter.

Jankovic, seeded second, faced break point in the second set Saturday after losing the first. It seemed Wimbledon was about to become the first Grand Slam of the Open era with the top three-seeded women failing to make the fourth round.

But Jankovic held off 17-year-old Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 despite slipping and hyperextending her left knee in the first set.

Jankovic said the knee was swollen and sore, and she was to have a scan later in the day to determine if she could play Monday against veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn.

"I don't think it's that bad," she said. "I didn't break anything. I have pain on it, but you know, I don't play (today), and hopefully now I can get some treatment and feel better for my next match."

After losing the first set and giving Wozniacki game point with a wayward backhand to open the second, Jankovic turned her back on the court and made a sign of the cross. She began to make fewer errors and started to dictate big points. Serving at 3-4, she saved two break points and then regained control.

Jankovic said she didn't feel comfortable with a heavy wrap on the knee in the third set and asked the trainer to remove it after five games.

"I couldn't move with the tape, because I am just not used to it," Jankovic said. "So I took a risk to play without the tape, which the (trainer) was really not happy about. But I had to do what I had to do to win the match."

Top-ranked Ana Ivanovic was ousted in the third round by Zheng Jie after saving match points in her second-round win over Nathalie Dechy. No. 3 Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion and reigning Australian Open title holder, was upset in the second round.

"I was thinking maybe I'm the next one," Jankovic said, laughing.

Like Jankovic, the Williams sisters have yet to be affected by the epidemic of upset fever.

After Serena Williams gathered strength to beat one of her traditional rivals, Amelie Mauresmo, on Friday to reach the fourth round, her sister Venus joined her there with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

"I think all the girls have desire," defending champion Venus Williams said of this year's flurry of surprises. "I think they all want to be No. 1, no matter what her ranking is, no matter what her name is."

Down 3-4 and a service break in the second set, 101st-ranked Martinez Sanchez strung together some terrific backhand returns and a volley winner to get back to 4-4. But at 5-5 Williams started applying even more pressure, hitting her returns midway between the service box and the baseline. Martinez Sanchez ended up losing her serve on a double fault.

Williams then held, finishing the match with a 127 mph ace, the fastest women's serve recorded at Wimbledon.

"I was very pleased with the performance," the seventh-seeded Williams said. "Things got close in the second set. She was really playing well, and I had to come up with something more than she was giving."

On the men's side, second-seeded Rafael Nadal raced to get his match done before the sun went down, beating Nicolas Kiefer 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 6-3.

The middle Sunday of the tournament is set aside for rest at the All England Club, and Nadal didn't want to worry about his third-round contest with Kiefer being carried over until Monday if it became too dark to keep playing.

"I was a little bit nervous, because for me it was important to finish the match," said Nadal, stifling a yawn.

Nadal, bidding to be the first man since Bjorn Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back, did not drop serve until 5-1 in the third set, when he was serving for the match.

The two-time runnerup at Wimbledon held at love in his next service game to finish it off.

Jankovic limps to shaky win 06/28/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 1:54pm]
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