Chanelle Scheepers was on the verge of her biggest Major win, holding a match point at 5-4 40-30 of the second set against 7th seed Francesca Schiavone in the third round of the 2011 US Open. The moment slipped away as she sent a two-handed backhand long down the middle. Scheepers lost the point, lost the game on a double fault, lost the set and lost the match as Francesca battled back from the brink of an upset to win 5-7 7-6 (5) 6-3 and advance to the fourth round. It is those moments that separate the best from the rest. That is why we have seen a lot of Schiavone in late rounds the past two years, and why players like Scheepers have these moments and then fade back into the pack.
Not escaping an upset was 11th seed Jelena Jankovic. To be fair, the win by 17th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-4 6-4, is only a mild upset. Pavlyuchenkova is considered by some to be a rising star who, if she can work on her fitness, can be a consistent top 10 player. For Jelena, as a fan I wonder where her career is headed. She is a former #1 who reached the final of the US Open in 2008 and has reached the quarterfinals or better in Majors 7 times. But this year was her worst year in the Majors since 2005. She lost in the 4th round of Roland Garros, 3rd round of the US Open, second round of the Australian Open and the first round of Wimbledon. She has already fallen out of the top 10 and given this loss will likely slide even more. JJ needs to use the rest of the year to build momentum for 2012, if she wants to return to where she once was.