WTA Tennis Indian Wells Results
After the match, Jankovic hinted that fatigue and Halep's superior energy played a part in the loss, per the tournament's official Twitter account:
"I had 2 unbelievable weeks, " #Jankovic says. "Simona was running like two dogs... She's the younger one" #BNPPO15— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN)
TennisTV logged some of what Halep had to say to Jankovic following a most entertaining affair:— TennisTV (@TennisTV)
Jankovic stormed to the lead by winning five straight games to take the first set, 6-2. The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg analyzed why Halep struggled early:
Jankovic's consistency is making Halep rush in rallies and go for too much when she has any opening. JJ up a double break now, 5-2 in first.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg)
Once she was down 5-4 and saw Jankovic serving for the match, Halep showed her own perseverance by taking the next four games and forcing a decisive third set.
The WTA's official Twitter account highlighted the significance of this match going the distance:
3rd Set! @Simona_Halep forces a decider vs Jankovic 26 75! Their 5th straight 3-setter-> #WTA— WTA (@WTA)
After it looked as though a reeling Jankovic would quietly slip away when she was broken to 5-3 in the third, Halep failed to serve out the match successfully; however, Halep broke her opponent for a seventh and final time to win in the subsequent game.
ESPN's Howard Bryant described the ending sequence of the match, which made the ending for Jankovic even sourer:
DF number NINE gives Halep triple match...JJ comes forward on a bad ball...and...ballgame. GSM: Halep d. Jankovic 2-6, 7-5, 6-4...— Howard Bryant (@hbryant42)
Hitting 70 percent of her first serves in play helped Halep keep the pressure on, even though Jankovic was having a fine day returning and converted five breaks of her own. Both players were exactly 100 of 200 points in the match, revealing just how back and forth it was—even if neither played her best.
This is a big step forward for Halep in her career. The 23-year-old has yet to win a Grand Slam title, so this marquee event at Indian Wells marks the most significant victory. As Williams continues to get later in her playing days, it seems increasingly likely that Halep will be the new face of the WTA.
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