Petra Kvitova will face off against the Serbian, Jelena Jankovic in her first round match at the US open. Kvitova’s comeback trail from her horrific injury in the December of 2016, has been marred with positives and negatives. Jankovic has also had a not-so-decent year, which has seen her drop to 68 in the rankings.
A quick recap for those who weren’t reading the news- Petra Kvitova was badly injured during a burglary in her house, which left all her fingers on her left hand completely useless. There was doubt in whether she would be able to compete again or not, but a fighter as she is, she recovered from her injury to return to playing again. She made her first appearance mid year in Stanford, beating Bondarenko but getting dispatched in ruthless fashion by the young rising star Cici Bellis. She lost to Sloan Stephens twice-in Toronto and in Cincinnati and more recently lost to Shuai Zhang in new Haven. But the sheer grit and determination of Kvitova has to be appreciated. To make a full recovery, after doctors doubted she would ever be able to play tennis again, is an achievement in itself. Recently leaked online pictures of her left arm, after and before the treatment, show how serious the injury was, and what a night it must have been in the Wimbledon champion’s life.
Meanwhile Jelena Jankovic- a former world number one and a US open finalist, has also had a patchy year, falling to Jing-Jing Lu in Nanchang and then was forced to retire in Washington, and hasn’t played since then.
Petra Kvitova packs more power than Jankovic in her ground strokes and leads in their head to head 4-3. But she also tends to make more unforced errors, and Jelena will rely upon pushing more balls in and forcing Kvitova to make errors. It would be a tough match to place a bet on, but the odds will slightly favor Kvitova.