Jelena Jankovic, Maria Kirilenko and Maria Sharapova Oust American Hopefuls In 4th Round Of Roland Garros 2013

Jelena Jankovic (click to enlarge)

And then there was Serena. That’s the way it has been for American women lately in women’s tennis. Serena Williams has been historically great carrying the banner of women’s tennis in the United States, largely alone since sister Venus Williams has struggled with her health. In the fourth round of Roland Garros 2013 three American hopefuls, Sloane Stephens, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Hampton tried to join Serena in the quarterfinals. None succeeded. Former world #1 Jelena Jankovic blew past Jamie Hampton, 6-0 6-2. Jamie broke JJ in the first game of the 2nd set but the Serbian star wouldn’t let her really get back into the match. Sloane Stephens, perhaps the greatest emerging American talent, also lost to a former world #1, this time career Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, 6-4 6-3. It was a sloppy, wind-marred match that saw Masha make just a bit less errors than Sloane. I find the quarterfinal match up between Jankovic and Sharapova very intriguing. JJ has shown signs of life. Honestly, when she went sliding down the rankings I thought she as done. I am happy to see she isn’t. The question is, does she have enough to overcome Masha, especially given a 1-7 losing record to the Russian superstar. This is their first clay court meeting. I can’t wait to see who emerges triumphant and how they do it.

Maria Kirilenko (click to enlarge)

I love the way Bethanie Mattek-Sands carries herself and her game. She is comfortable in her own skin and she never cheats on effort on the court, win or lose. So it’s not her fault that a lot of commentators were, in my opinion, not showing enough respect to Maria Kirilenko. Even before each won their 3rd round matches, I heard commentators talk about how Bethanie’s section of the draw was opening up for her. I look and wondered if anybody saw 12th seed Kirilenko as a possible match-up. Maybe they didn’t care. They should have. Everything that Bethanie does, her fight and tenacity, Maria does just a little bit better. I am not surprised that it was a close match. However, I am also not surprised that in the end Maria would find a way to win the points she needed to advance, 7-5 6-4. I give all respect to Bethanie, but Kirilenko is a fighter too. At the end of the day, what has been true remains true. More often than not, Serena is the last American standing.

Women’s Singles – 4th Round – Completed
1 2 3
V. Azarenka #3  « 6 6
F. Schiavone 3 0
Women’s Singles – 4th Round – Completed
1 2 3
M. Kirilenko #12  « 7 6
B. Mattek-Sands 5 4
Women’s Singles – 4th Round – Completed
1 2 3
J. Jankovic #18  « 6 6
J. Hampton 0 2
Women’s Singles – 4th Round – Completed
1 2 3
M. Sharapova #2  « 6 6
S. Stephens #17 4 3

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

MARIA KIRILENKO

MARIA SHARAPOVA

VICTORIA AZARENKA

JELENA JANKOVIC

SLOANE STEPHENS

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS

JAMIE HAMPTON

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