WTA Charleston, 3rd Round Preview: Jelena Jankovic v Danka Kovinic

JankovicJelena Jankovic continues to dazzle at the Family Circle Cup, both on and off the court (mainly off the court!) and is into the third round where she will play Danka Kovinic.  Jankovic made things difficult for herself against Tatjana Maria in their second round encounter but eventually came through in three sets, 6-3 6-7(6) 6-1 in two hours and 10 minutes.  Maria was fully deserving of at least a set in what was an entertaining and at times, gruelling match..  Her slice-and-dice game caused Jankovic all kinds of her problem in the second set.  Maria also managed to produce one sensational passing shot winner towards the end of the second set.  Jankovic got tight in the second set tiebreak and double faulted on match point before losing the set.  She didn’t face any issues in the decider though as she came through comfortably, 6-1..

Even in the post-match interview, JJ was a bundle of laughs as she managed to pick out people from the crowd who had been at the same restaurant as her on the previous day.  Jankovic was also the feature for another superb piece by Lindsay Gibbs who documented the Jankovic-Kovinic relationship.  It was a well-timed piece as the pair will meet in the third round of Charleston after Kovinic secured back-to-back best wins on tour.  Before Charleston, Kovinic’s best win had come against the then ranked number 67 in the world, Karin Knapp in Bucharest last year.  After an excellent win over Christina McHale in the first round, Kovinic followed that up with her first top 40 win against Belinda Bencic, 4-6 6-3 6-2.  Bencic was the more steady player in the first set, serving well when it got tight and taking advantage of some loose forehands from Kovinic at 4-4.

Kovinic was stunning on serve as she dominated the final two sets, losing just 12 points on serve and not facing a break point.  There was an opportunity for the momentum to swing in the third set when Bencic saved break points to  prevent herself from going down a double break.  However, Kovinic never lost her focus and profited from two Bencic double faults at 4-2 to get the double break.  Kovinic served out to love, fittingly closing the match with an ace.  As well as the serve, Kovinic’s backhand is a real strength to her game and she can do almost anything with it.  She did well at hitting behind Bencic in the rallies.  The drop shot was also working well for her in this match.  In Linday’s piece on The Changeover, Kovinic revealed that Jankovic has acted like a mentor in her career.  This will be a fascinating dynamic for Thursday’s match and I wonder if Danka will be overrawed by the occasion going up against someone she obviously respects a great deal.  Jankovic was great in Indian Wells, but she still makes me nervous and hasn’t been reliable yet in 2015.  Still, for the reasons mentioned above, i’d fancy JJ to prevail.

Prediction: Jankovic d. Kovinic in 2 tight sets

WTA Charleston 3rd Round Predictions

Mona Barthel d. Lauren Davis in 3 sets

Madison Keys d. Andreea Mitu in 2 sets

Sara Errani d. Sara Sorribes Tormo in 2 sets

Caroline Garcia d. Lucie Hradecka in 3 sets

Andrea Petkovic d. Madison Brengle in 2 tight sets

Angelique Kerber d. Lara Arruabarrena in 2 sets

14 thoughts on “WTA Charleston, 3rd Round Preview: Jelena Jankovic v Danka Kovinic

  1. Women tennis is getting very excited. The familiar names all fell apart in the first two round. Caroline may not necessary win over Hradecka judging from her current form. I am not so sure about Kerber at this stage because Lara is not a bad player. She is very good on clay.

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  2. Really good win for Kovinic over Bencic, who was looking pretty superb for the first half of the match and hit some blinding shots.

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  3. Except the match of Sara Errani and Madison Keys , all the matches have the potential where underdog becomes the favourite to win and can potentially win. Good to put odds at high and scalp as soon as one gets opportunity to take profit and get out.

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      • I don’t remember Ivanovic ever playing Charleston. It seems to be a good tournament to make the transition between hard court and clay though. It is a real shame that there isn’t the week off between Miami and Charleston like there used to be. The draw has definitely opened up as WTA draws always do and it’s hard to pick a winner right now. I’m feeling less confident about my Garcia pick but we’ll see if she can get past Hradecka tonight…

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      • Okies. i didn’t knew that….it was late so i didn’t watch all the matches .Makarova was not at her best in the first set but then took the match in 3.

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  4. Lol. I am more into Katowice this week because of Radwanska, I saw her first round match against Wickmayer, very happy that Radwanska won 6-1 6-3, however, the match was much much tougher than what the scoreline suggests. I want her to win the title, so if not the WTA finals, she can at least play Sofia.

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  5. Seeds falling like autumn leaves in Charleston, now Garcia too. Must be the dream of those who like to bet against the odds. 🙂

    While happy Begu got the walkover, I still would have wanted to see her play against Makarova. It would have been a good preparation match at least for her Fed Cup in Canada.

    Curious what Keys with do with another Romanian that seems to be in growing form, Andreea Mitu, who’ll also play Fed Cup with Begu.

    All in all, Charleston seems to fall in line with the crazy results that started back in Dubai. What a crazy start of the year this is.

    PS: James, do you still believe Bouchard is not in a slump? Do we have to wait for another slam to see any decent result from her?

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    • I’m really not sure about Genie. I’m starting to come round to the idea she is in a slump although I think it’s unfair for me personally to make a judgement since I only watched the last game of her match against Davis and didn’t see any of her matches in Melbourne. Sometimes it takes time adjusting to a new coaching partnership and I think she is going through a kind of transition phase right now. I’m intrigued to see what happens next…

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