Australian Open: Jelena Jankovic pulls off upset of Laura Siegemund in three sets

Jelena Jankovic scored a mild upset of 26th seed Laura Siegemund, defeating the German 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 to reach the second round of the 2017 Australian Open.

Jankovic takes first set in a rout

It was the Serb who was in good position right away, 0-40 ahead on Siegemund's serve. After wasting one chance, she broke when the 26th seed missed a volley. After a couple of holds brought her to a 3-1 lead, Jankovic looked to expand her lead.

Siegemund was in trouble on serve again, facing a 15-40 deficit, but a volley winner and a Jankovic error wiped away the two break points. It was only a temporary reprieve as on her third chance, the former semifinalist was handed the insurance break with a Siegemund double fault. The set concluded with another break for Jankovic and she was in pole position, up a set.

Siegemund reverses match with a blowout second set

The second set was a complete turnaround of the first as it was Siegemund who jumped ahead early and never looked back. She broke straightaway when Jankovic's forehand strayed off target and a beautifully struck backhand winner brought the German an insurance break and a 3-0 lead.

The Serb wasted a 40-15 lead on her next service game, some aggressive play by Siegemund and wild misses eventually allowed the Stuttgart runner-up to grab a valuable insurance break. Like Jankovic in the opening set, Siegemund would break to close the set and send the match to a deciding third set.

Jankovic rebounds to take close third set and match victory

The final set was much closer than the previous two and both players held to 30 to open the frame. It was the third game that proved to be decisive as Jankovic built a 15-40 lead on the German's serve. After saving one break point, she couldn't save a second, a forehand missing the mark and giving Jankovic a 2-1 edge.

Siegemund would produce a fightback when at 30-30, she set up break point with a backhand winner and an error off that same side from Jankovic handed the German a lifeline, the final set level 3-3.

After trading breaks, Siegemund's ground game deserted her at the wrong time and trailing 15-40 on serve, a wayward backhand handed Jankovic the lead and she closed out the victory thanks in large measure to three Siegemund forehand errors. 

The 31-year old spoke following the match:  “It was a tough match and I’m very happy and thrilled that I was able to come out as a winner today.”

Jankovic, who has not played competitively for nearly three months after injury and illness said: “She fights hard. It’s not over until it’s over with her, but I knew that and I fought hard too. There was a lot of ups and down which is normal from my side because I don’t have a lot of matches under my belt at the moment. But it will come."