|French Open 2014|
|Jelena Jankovic (SRB), 7||vs||Sorana CIrstea (ROM), 27|
ScheduleSaturday, 31 May 2014 at 11:00 GMT / 12:00 UK / 16:30 IST
Jelena Jankovic, currently 7th on the WTA ranking list, is playing against Sorana Cirstea, currently 26th in the rankings.
This match is one of the derby matches of the 3rd round women’s draw in this year’s tournament. Cirstea and Jankovic have a rivalry behind them; they’ve played six times up to date, including their 4th round match in this tournament in 2009, when Cirstea made a major upset and beat Jankovic in a very exciting match, 9:7 in the final set.
Five years have passed from then, Jelena Jankovic made it to the top 10 again, and Cirstea didn’t succeed in being the “next big thing”. The Romanian tennis player never made a breakthrough into the top 20 players on the rankings, but she is still only 24-years-old, and maybe this year will be hers.
Jelena Jankovic had a tough beginning to both of her previous matches in Paris. She beat Sharon Fichman 2:1, and Kirumi Nara 2:0, but with a very tight first set. But, the more time had passed, Jankovic played better and better, and presumably, she will play her best match in the tournament against Cirstea.
Cirstea had lost one match in the first round too, against Canadian Wozniak, and then beat Brazilian Pereira 2:0. It seems that both players aren’t on their maximum, and this match could lack some quality, but not excitement.
It is interesting that Cirstea, if we don’t count Fed Cup matches, lost all matches on clay before this tournament, and she clearly isn’t in her best shape in the moment.
On the other hand, Jankovic had a solid clay court season, but with some upsets, by Caroline Garcia in Bogota, Bouchard in Charleston and Pavlyuchenkova in Madrid.
It is expected that we see a nervous match, with lots of breaks and ups and downs. The tennis player who makes the least errors will probably make it through the 4th round. Cirstea has always been a tough opponent for Jankovic, because she is really used to her style of game. Jankovic always was regarded as a great defensive player, but with lack of ability to dictate the game and play aggressively. Therefore, a player like Cirstea, when she was climbing up the ranks, could have used that rather passive approach of Jelena Jankovic to her gain and outpowered her with her forehand.
That has changed a lot in a past two years. Jelena Jankovic doesn’t move like she did when she was younger, and she plays more aggressively, which can sometimes cost her a match because she is prone to making unforced errors then. Her forehand isn’t that loopy anymore, although her backhand is still the more stable shot and the biggest weapon in her game.
Jankovic is certainly a favorite to beat Cirstea, but with their history, you never know.
It is expected that Jankovic will win the match in three sets.
Sorana Cirstea leads 4:2 in the head to head matches.