Jankovic sends Kvitova tumbling out of Wimbledon

Sat Jul 4, 2015 4:18pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) - A woman who once fumed she "needed a helicopter" to go on a Wimbledon court she called a "parking lot" could not have been happier with her surroundings on Saturday as Jelena Jankovic sent holder Petra Kvitova spinning out.

    A tournament still reeling from the second-round exit of Rafa Nadal 48 hours earlier, and the near-exit of Serena Williams 24 hours ago, suffered its biggest shock of this year's championships as Jankovic emerged from the tennis wilderness to deliver the most unexpected of knockout punches.

    The Serbian, who had fallen in the opening round at three of the four previous grand slams, announced her return to the big stage with a heart-stopping 3-6 7-5 6-4 third-round victory over the second-seeded Czech that left Centre Court buzzing.

    "Oh my God! I am overwhelmed and so excited. My heart is still pumping," said the 28th seed whose reign as world number one in 2008 feels like a lifetime ago.

    "I have played so poorly the last couple of years and playing on Centre Court against the defending champion was unbelievable. The crowd was really great.

    "Playing on grass is so difficult for me, it does not come naturally. I'm glad I was able to win against a two-time Wimbledon champion. It was amazing."

    While Jankovic was rolling on to her back in delight, and showed her appreciation to the crowd by shaping a heart with her fingers, the men's favorites made serene progress.


Jelena Jankovic of Serbia celebrates after winning her match against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 4, 2015.     REUTERS/Henry Browne