Hampton Upsets Jankovic at the BNP Paribas Open

By Curt Janka

INDIAN WELLS, California (March 9, 2012) – American wildcard Jamie Hampton treated Center Court to a surprise upset over Jelena Jankovic, winning 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open. The 99th ranked Hampton said this was the biggest win of her career and the best she has played in a high-pressure match. She thinks she can still play better, though, and hopes to do so to reach her new goal of making it inside the top 70 of the WTA rankings.

“It was a bad day of tennis for me,” said Jankovic. “My legs felt so heavy on the court. Maybe I’m still recovering from jet lag.” Jankovic did however give credit to her young opponent saying “she took her opportunities and she executed her shots. Hampton played solid.”

Asked how she staged the upset, Hampton said “I was pretty nervous before the match, actually,” and she joked that she though she might vomit. “I think the fact that I got a match under my belt here helped me a lot. Earlier this year in Australia I didn’t have that opportunity against Maria and she wiped the court with me.”

This is the first time Hampton has won back-to-back matches at a WTA event. She thumped Polona Hercog in the first round, 6-0, 6-1. Asked if she felt her game has improved she credited the USTA saying, “last year at the end of the year I went to Boca Raton and spent a couple weeks with the USTA. They helped me and my coach put together a game plan and some objectives that I need to keep in mind no matter who I’m playing.”

With the improvement in her game and her results so far here, Hampton says she is altering her goal from breaking into the 100 to cracking the top 70.

On the topic of goals, Jankovic would like to one day win the Fed Cup title and hopes Ana Ivanovic will join the team.  “It would be great if she could play. We have a really huge chance if she plays. It would be nice to add that trophy to my collection. It’s a different feeling to be playing for your country.”

In the meantime, Jankovic just hopes to get her tennis to the level she expects of herself.  “Today, I was a shadow of myself.”

Curt Janka is covering the BNP Paribas Open this week for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN. Follow his personal twitter @CurtJanka.