Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Venus v Jankovic as it happened

US Open, Flushing Meadows Quarter-final result:

V Williams (US) v J Jankovic (Ser)

4-6 6-1 7-6

By Caroline Cheese

Venus 4-6 6-1 7-6 Jankovic
Jankovic seems to have saved all her unforced errors for the tiebreak – which is a shame. Williams, with all that big-match experience, surges into a 5-3 lead, sees off a mini Jankovic comeback before winning it with a stunning drive volley. Henin up next for Williams. Stay tuned for Federer v Roddick.

Venus 4-6 6-1 6-6 Jankovic
Another phenomenal game. Jankovic just keeps making Venus play one more ball and the American doesn’t like it. Jankovic fights back from 40-15 to deuce but yet again, Venus brings out the big serve and it’s tie-break time. The players get a standing ovation for their efforts so far.

Venus 4-6 6-1 5-6 Jankovic
Williams threatens at 30-30 but yet another forehand error hands Jankovic the game. She knows she’ll get a tiebreak at the very least.

0228: “Whoever wins will still sucumb to Justine!”
Anon via text on 81111

Venus 4-6 6-1 5-5 Jankovic
While Venus’ first serve keeps firing, Jankovic is going to struggle. The American is over 70% in this set.

Venus 4-6 6-1 4-5 Jankovic
That’s the ninth game in a row on serve now. Amazing. If Jankovic comes through this, it could be the making of her. She only needs one more game… easy.

0220: “Hey Caroline, how did your match with Greg go? Jankovic to win, by the way!”
JW in Nottingham via text on 81111 (This is neither the time nor the place to be discussing such matters… Oh OK. It was humiliating. Utterly humiliating. More of that to follow when I manage to write it up)

Venus 4-6 6-1 4-4 Jankovic
Was that the rally of the tournament in the match of the tournament so far? Venus looks out of it so many times but she scrambles back a sliced backhand as Jankovic collapses on the court. But it’s Venus who loses the next two points and has to save a break point with a courageous forehand. Venus comes through again.

Venus 4-6 6-1 3-4 Jankovic
This isn’t the Venus we saw in the second set – but you have to hand it to Jankovic. She hasn’t even been taken to deuce on serve in this set. Venus will win this if she can find that second-set form but if not…

Venus 4-6 6-1 3-3 Jankovic
Venus finishes off the game with an ace. The tension is building folks.

Venus 4-6 6-1 2-3 Jankovic
Venus belts a backhand long and looks up to mum Oracene for inspiration. Oracene appears to do a little dance. All very odd. It doesn’t work either as Jankovic takes the game to 30.

Venus 4-6 6-1 2-2 Jankovic
Venus responds with a love service game of her own. Is this the best women’s match of the tournament so far? Probably…

Venus 4-6 6-1 1-2 Jankovic
Jankovic holds to love. Interesting…

Venus 4-6 6-1 1-1 Jankovic
Could be a pivotal game this one. Jankovic earns a break point but Williams produces a raking backhand cross-court to see off the danger. Plenty more deuces but nothing doing for Jankovic, with Venus finishing the game with two successive aces. For those of you hoping for a quick end so we can get on with Federer-Roddick. Sorry, we may be here some time.

0145: “My money is on Venus along with my heart.”
Anon via text on 81111

Venus 4-6 6-1 0-1 Jankovic
Much better from Jankovic, who gives it a “come on” after taking the game.

Second set

Venus 4-6 6-1 Jankovic
Williams is forced into a forehand error on her first set point but no bother, she powers down a first serve to earn another before Jankovic nets a backhand. From a set and a break down, Venus is in control after six games in a row.

Venus 4-6 5-1 Jankovic
Jankovic does well to save two break points but even she has to applaud Venus’ forehand winner which makes it another break.

Venus 4-6 4-1 Jankovic
That is a phenomenal forehand from Venus to wrap up the game, accompanied by a familiar Williams scream. As they sit down for the changeover, the opening bars of James Brown’s ‘I Feel Good’ blare out. It sounds very similar.

0131: “I’m here (see 0121)! Waitin for Fed to kick some butt!”
Anon via text on 81111 (You may be waiting a while longer)

Venus 4-6 3-1 Jankovic
Venus latches onto a weak second serve and smacks it down the line to earn two break points. Jankovic saves those – but Venus snatches a third and, by golly, I think we’re heading for a decider.

Venus 4-6 2-1 Jankovic
Looks like a cakewalk for Venus at 40-0 but then Jankovic throws up another winning lob and the American double-faults for the sixth time. She comes through though.

0121: “It’s quite worrying only the gamblers are txtin this time of night… Am I the sole insomniac out there?”
Vamp from Brum via text on 81111

Venus 4-6 1-1 Jankovic
That’s more like the Venus we know, piling on the pressure with some brutal groundstrokes to get the break back.

Venus 4-6 0-1 Jankovic
Of course, as we all know, Jankovic has won her last three matches against Venus so any fool could have predicted this… just not this fool. Venus is in all sorts of trouble. She belts a drive volley so long it draws gasps from the crowd. That gives Jankovic a break point and she takes it with a stunning lob.

0113: “Should be in bed but want to ‘see’ the match!”
Anon via text on 81111

First set

Venus 4-6 Jankovic
Terrible start from Jankovic. Some powder-puff first serves allow Venus to take control of the points and she moves into a 30-0 lead. But Jankovic hits back brilliantly, taking it on her first set point with a backhand beyond the desperate reach of Williams. See? I told you Venus would… oh.

Venus 4-5 Jankovic
The professional journalist would have noted down how many forehands Venus has missed in this match. Unfortunately I’m not one of those – but I can tell you is that it’s a lot. Still she manages to get one down the line – and in – to pile the pressure on her opponent. My money’s still on Venus…

Venus 3-5 Jankovic
Venus looks ready to pounce but Jankovic stands firm, rifling a backhand pass down the line to move to within a game of the first set.

Venus 3-4 Jankovic
Suddenly not looking so good for Jankovic. Venus gets her first serve firing and that enables her to take that game easily to 15.

0055: “So how much do texts to this number cost then? Should probably write that on the page. Not too bothered who wins this to be honest, I want Fed v ARod.”
Anon via text on 81111 (The blurb says: “Texts will be charged at network rates – check with your provider.”)

Venus 2-4 Jankovic
Jankovic loses the double-break immediately. The Serb isn’t quite sure about a call on the baseline but with only one challenge remaining, she opts against calling on Hawk-Eye.

0051: “Caroline, you don’t seem to have much faith in Jelena… is it because she’s an honorary Brit now, and it’s traditional to expect the worst from our lot?”
amc via text on 81111 (I’ve got a lot more faith in her now, believe me)

Venus 1-4 Jankovic
Two double-faults put Vens in trouble. She somehow saves one break point with some desperate volleys but Jankovic unleashes a stunning return on the second and this is a surprising scoreline. And I’m not saying that because I predicted Venus to win.

0041: “Morning Caza, can I call you Caza or do you prefer the slightly less exotic Caroline? Anyway it’s Grant the gambler (formerly anon). Smart money’s on Venus.”
Grant the gambler via text on 81111 (It’s Caroline. There’s a Princess Caroline. I don’t think there’s a Princess Caza is there?)

Venus 1-3 Jankovic
Venus is doing her best to intimidate Jankovic by standing right inside the baseline to receive serve. To be fair, she does that to everyone. But Venus’s wonky forehand is proving, well, a bit wonky at the moment. She lets the Serb off the hook by wasting three break points.

0033: “Could Venus get a tighter outfit? What a lovely fashion statement. I can say that because I’m a man!”
Anon via text on 81111

Venus 1-2 Jankovic
Venus off the mark but it’s a helluva battle for the American. She refers a call to Hawk-Eye – which she hardly ever does – and is proved correct.

Venus 0-2 Jankovic
Jankovic has come out all guns blazing, hitting the ball hard and long to keep Venus off balance. Surely she can’t keep it up?

0026: “Evening. Which way is this going to go!? Maybe Venus should shade it…”
Andrew in bed in County Londonderry via text on 81111

Venus 0-1 Jankovic
Venus spanks a backhand into the net and it’s break point Jankovic. After a gripping rally, Jankovic dollies a half-volley just over the net and though Venus scrambles it back, Jankovic calmly sends over the lob.

0022: “Set for the long haul! I know it’s too soon but I’m leaving now. So: Come on federer! And Jankovic – she’s prettier….”
Giles, London, via text on 81111 (Bye then…)

0020: Just a couple of minutes to go before this one gets under way. Enough time for me to predict Venus will win in straight sets. Disagree? Text me on 81111 .

0005: Evening, morning… whatever you want to call it. Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic are due on court at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. They’re not there just yet, probably just doing their make-up or something. I can say that because I’m a woman.

Story from BBC SPORT


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