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Jankovic ends Kvitova’s title defence

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Originally published on 04/07/15

Kvitova had looked in fine form as she swept into the third round for the loss of just three games, and looked to be heading into the fourth in a similarly routine fashion when she led by a set and a break, but Jankovic produced an inspired comeback to claim a 3-6 7-5 6-4 victory in a shade under two hours.

“I’m not really sure what happened out there,” admitted Kvitova, who won the title in 2011 and 2014.  “I was up in the second set and suddenly I felt like she's coming back, playing a little bit aggressive. Suddenly from my side, I didn't have answer for it. My serve didn't help me at all this time.  I was really struggling with each shot I played.”

Jankovic, who rose to world No.1 in 2008 but has never won a major title, will meet Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round as she bids to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for a ninth time.

“I cannot stop smiling. I'm really, really happy,” said a beaming Jankovic. “It's a really big win for me, especially playing on Centre Court against a twoŠ—•time Wimbledon champion.  It's really amazing.”

Another player who saves her best tennis for Wimbledon bowed out on Saturday as Sabine Lisicki fell in straight sets to Timea Bacsinszky. While on paper the Swiss No.15 seed’s 6-3 6-2 victory against world No.18 was not an upset, Lisicki’s record at the All England Club belies her ranking. The German, who lost to Marion Bartoli in the 2013 final, has reached the quarter-finals or better on her last five visits to the All England Club.

Bacsinszky, a surprise semi-finalist at Roland Garros last month, will now meet Monica Niculescu in the last 16, with No.5 seed Caroline Wozniacki the highest-ranked player left in the bottom half of the draw following early exits for Kvitova and No.3 seed Simona Halep. Wozniacki, who won the girls’ title in 2006, has never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon.

“There's no reason why I shouldn't have been able to make it past the fourth round,” said Wozniacki, a 6-2 6-2 winner against Camila Giorgi.  “I've had some tough fourth rounds here.  I've won Eastbourne.  I've won the juniors here.  I feel very comfortable on the grass and I love playing here.”

Pic: Ray Giubilo

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