US OPEN (Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; outdoor hard; Grand Slam)
(Friday 1 September)
Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"
's photos (various players, including Nicole):
Chris Gerby's US Open photos (many players, including Nicole):
Tennis.info's US Open photos (many players, including Nicole, but beware of motion-sickness!):
Third round (Friday 1st September)
- NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ  lt. JELENA JANKOVIC , 7-5 3-6 2-6
Nicole won the first set from 1-5 down! But she capitulated in the third, presumably because her three-set match of the day before had tired her out.
Clair Maciel for www.usopen.org
The upset wasn't necessarily due to the fact that Jankovic did anything special to break apart Vaidišová's game, but it was more due to the fact that Vaidišová seemed to lose her mental edge and became frustrated with herself.
It appeared that it just wasn't Vaidišová's day, as she began committing a number of unforced errors, double faulting and sending a string of shots long and wide. By the end of the match, she gave up a staggering 38 unforced errors, compared to Jankovic's 13.
However, the contest between Jankovic and Vaidišová was not at all disappointing or uneventful. Both were serving well, Jankovic at 73 percent in first serves and Vaidišová at 65 percent. Throughout the match the two played out a number of long rallies, taking turns firing accurate passing shots and exhibiting a spectacular show of heavy, textbook groundstrokes. Jankovic dominated with her strong backhand, hitting 11 winners from that side, and Vaidišová struck 15 winners off her power forehand.
Once Jankovic tucked away the second set, she rolled through the final frame, breaking Vaidišová three straight times before Vaidišová dumped a backhand return in the net on match point.
Polo Ralph Lauren for www.usopen.org
Turning point: Finding her way back into the match, Jankovic earned double-break point at 3-2 in the second, but a Vaidišová ace and a backhand unforced error into the net erased both. Frustrated, Vaidišová ruined her good work, gifting Jankovic with a break in the following game anyway, striking a pair of lazy unforced errors.
The trendy sleeper pick to win her first Grand Slam title was sent packing and really only has herself to blame for the poor loss. Up a set against a player that she had dominated, Vaidišová's worst enemy was herself, sulking and mumbling throughout the match.
I followed live scores at www.usopen.org
. The match started on Court 11 at 11:13 EDT. Here are my comments as I wrote them at the time:
VAIDIŠOV _*____@*@*@* 7
JANKOVIC * *@*@______ 5
Jankovic serving 0-0: 0/15, held to 15.
Nicole serving 0-1: 40/0, held.
I get the feeling that the start isn't crucial - it could be some time before one player takes a decisive lead in this match.
Jankovic serving 1-1: 0/15, 15/15, 40/30, held.
Nicole serving 1-2: 0/15, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.
Jankovic serving 3-1: 15/0, 30/15, 40/15, held.
A bad start for Nicole, as I feared after her second-round struggle. But it won't be easy for Jankovic - the lower-ranked player - to sustain the momentum, and it's just one break.
Nicole serving 1-4: 40/0 -> 40/40, ad Jankovic (BP), broken.
Dropping serve from 40/0 up is the worst psychological blow you can suffer in a single game.
Nicole needs to get her act together quickly, or this match could get very embarrassing.
Jankovic serving for the first set at 5-1: 0/30, 15/30, broken.
Nicole serving to stay in the first set at 2-5: 0/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad Nicole, held.
She nearly let Jankovic pull out another break from 40/15, but that was a very important hold. The more games Nicole can get, the more momentum she'll have going into the second set...
Jankovic serving for the first set at 6-3: 0/15, broken.
...and the more pressure Jankovic will feel trying to close out this one!
Nicole serving to stay in the first set at 4-5: held (frozen-scoreboard misery).
Jankovic serving 5-5: broken (frozen-scoreboard misery).
Nicole serving for the first set at 6-5: held (frozen-scoreboard misery). Nicole won the first set 7-5 at 11:50 (37m).
Wow! Nicole did a 'Safina': from 1-5 to 7-5!
It will be very difficult for Jankovic to recover from that set - mentally, emotionally, and form-wise.
VAIDIŠOV _* *___*_ 3
JANKOVIC * * *@* * 6
Jankovic serving 0-0: 40/0, held.
I hope Nicole isn't resting on her laurels after winning the first set again. I have too much respect for Jankovic to assume that Nicole will inevitably win this match now - her form this tournament has been way too streaky to make such an arrogant assumption.
Nicole serving 0-1: 30/0, held.
Jankovic serving 1-1: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/40, ad Jankovic, held.
Nicole serving 1-2: 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Nicole, held.
I thought this was about to follow the pattern of the first set, where Nicole was broken to go 1-3 down!
Jankovic serving 2-2: 40/0, held.
Nicole serving 2-3: 0/15, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Jankovic (BP #3), broken.
Jankovic serving 4-2: 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Jankovic, held.
Nicole serving to stay in the second set at 2-5: held (frozen-scoreboard misery).
Due to frozen scoreboard misery, I followed the rest of match at the following live-scores thread:
Jankovic serving for the second set at 5-3: held to love. Jankovic won the second set 6-3 at 12:19 (29m).
VAIDIŠOV _____@*_ 2
JANKOVIC @*@*@__* 6
Nicole serving 0-0: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Nicole, Deuce #2, ad Jankovic (BP #2), broken.
"Nicole snatching at shots"... "misses easy FH into net"...
Jankovic serving 1-0: 0/15, 40/15, held.
Nicole serving 0-2: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Jankovic (BP), broken.
"lifeless today"... "Df and 0-3*"
Seems like Nicole's three-setter yesterday has taken its toll!
Jankovic serving 3-0: held to love.
Nicole serving 0-4: 0/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.
Jankovic serving for the match at 5-0: 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.
At least Nicole has avoided the bagel that the haters on WTAworld were clamouring for. Now it's 1-5 again... could history repeat itself?
Nicole serving to stay in the match at 1-5: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 40/15, held.
"Nicole hitting well again"... "but too late i think"
Jankovic serving for the match at 5-2: 40/0 (3 MPs), Jankovic won 5-7 6-3 6-2 at 12:49 (third set 30m, match 1h36m).
Jankovic had a positive W:UE ratio of 22:13, while Nicole's was a negative 35:38 (in the first set, Nicole's W:UE was 19:10, while in the third set it was 6:16).
Nicole got 65% of her first serves in, winning 62% of the points when she did so, and 45% on second serve (Jankovic 73%, 72% and 48%). In the third set, Nicole's percentages slumped to 54%, 53% and 31%.
Nicole served 6 aces, Jankovic 4, and they committed 5 double faults each.
Nicole served only slightly faster than Jankovic: fastest 108-107 mph, average first serve 101-100 mph, average second serve 89-87 mph. Nicole's serve always seems faster to look at than the measurements imply!
Nicole broke 4 times from 9 break-points (3 times from 1-5 in the first set, and once from 0-5 in the third), Jankovic 6 times from 11 BPs (twice in the first set, once in the second and 3 times in the third).
Jankovic won 10 of 16 points at the net, Nicole 8 of 4.
In points, Jankovic won 91-77 (first set 30-37, second 32-23, third 29-17).
"She would hit the ball and it would jump on the line. I was thinking, sometimes she hits it and she doesn't know where the ball is going."
"That's very much not true! When I play, I'm aiming somewhere and trying to get the ball somewhere.
"I was trying to change it up, but then it was too late. I think in the first set, when I was coming back, was the only part where I was playing well, feeling the ball well."
Dr. Andrew Broad