As she did in her second-round match, No. 11 seed Jelena Jankovic stepped onto the court for her third-round match against No. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova with a game plan.
But unlike in her routine win Thursday, Jankovic’s poor execution Saturday rendered that plan irrelevant. She lost in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Showing none of the form that took her to the final in Cincinnati two weeks ago, Jankovic had trouble keeping the ball in the court on even the most routine shots against the normally more erratic Pavlyuchenkova. Jankovic, the 2008 U.S. Open runner-up, sprayed 35 unforced errors to only 13 winners. More than half (35 of 65) of the points Pavlyuchenkova won were off Jankovic’s unforced errors.
On match point, Pavlyuchenkova hit a first serve that registered at only 71 miles per hour. Jankovic promptly shanked her forehand return wide of the doubles alley. The pair, who have played doubles together several times earlier this year, greeted each other warmly at the net. After the two chatted for a bit, Jankovic let Pavlyuchenkova shake the chair umpire’s hand first, then, apparently absentmindedly, forgot to shake the official’s hand herself, her carelessness on Louis Armstrong Stadium extending beyond the final point.
The win puts Pavlyuchenkova into the fourth round of the second consecutive year. She will face No. 7 seed Francesca Schiavone, who beat Pavlyuchenkova at both last year’s U.S. Open and this year’s French Open. Schiavone saved a match point in her three-set third-round win against Chanelle Scheepers.