Jelena Jankovic lost in the second round Thursday, but that was only a tennis match. Her grandmother had passed away in Serbia the night before, so her loss to Yaroslava Shvedova didn't mean very much.
"For my part, I wasn't really on the court," an emotional Jankovic said. "My grandmother died and I was very close to her. I was very sad and emotionally, I was not really on the court. I was really suffering. I tried to think about my tennis, but, you know, I felt like I was so late and so slow. I couldn't even watch the ball. That was my problem."
Jankovic, the fifth seed, found herself overpowered by the tall Russian, now a resident of Kazakhstan. "I played her once before two years ago and they play a totally different game," Jankovic said. "Then they play against a top seed and they're serving 120 miles per hour, they're hitting every shot. They are really not thinking out there. They're just playing freely because they have nothing to lose."
Jankovic still had two match points in the third-set tiebreaker but lost the next four points and the match, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-7 (6).
"I am happy so much to be able to beat a great player in a big stadium," said Shvedova, who wore dark glasses, earrings and a headband and looked as if she had jetted in from the Riviera for the match. "It felt like it almost all day on the court. But in the same time, felt like it was so quick."
Jankovic's mother, who was with her in New York and is recovering from surgery, flew home before the match. "So there are more important things in life than tennis," Jankovic said. "When you think about it, this is just small event compared to somebody in your family who dies."
No. 1 seed Dinara Safina struggled for the second straight round but won her second straight three-setter, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3, over Kristina Barrois in Louis Armstrong Stadium. She committed 15 double faults Thursday after posting 11 of them in her opening-round win.
"Actually, today I think I was serving in some stages better than the first round," she said. "It's at least already positive. At least I made some aces [four]."
Maria Sharapova had the easiest time in the women's draw, beating 17-year-old Christina McHale of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 6-2, 6-1, last night.