- The Washington Times - Monday, June 2, 2008

PARIS (AP) | Nursing a sore shoulder, Jelena Jankovic won one point with broken strings, another after falling down and the last one despite blowing a big lead.

Ana Ivanovic had a much easier time, sweeping every game.

And when the tennis turned tense for Novak Djokovic, he defiantly pounded his chest and whacked winners.

In succession on center court, the three Serbs advanced yesterday to the quarterfinals at the French Open.

The third-seeded Jankovic twice received treatment on her shoulder, lost four consecutive games after reaching match point and still managed to beat No. 14 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 7-6 (3).

“I managed somehow to win,” Jankovic said.

The second-seeded Ivanovic, runner-up at Roland Garros last year, returned to the quarterfinals with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Petra Cetkovska.

“It was much tougher than it probably looked,” Ivanovic said.

Djokovic twice overcame love-40 deficits to hold serve, banging his chest with his fist the second time, and beat No. 18 Paul Henri-Mathieu 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

“There is a lot at stake,” Djokovic said. “I just want to keep on going.”

Seeded third, he will next play 19-year-old Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Michael Llodra 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Three-time defending champion Rafael Nadal returned to the quarterfinals by beating fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-0, 6-2. It was Nadal’s most lopsided victory yet at Roland Garros, where he’s 25-0.

“I wish all my matches were like this one,” Nadal said.

Tomorrow - his 22nd birthday - Nadal will play yet another Spaniard, No. 19 Nicolas Almagro, who beat Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (0), 7-6 (7), 7-5.

The women who upset the Williams sisters Friday were eliminated in their next matches. No. 27 seed Katarina Srebotnik, who had beaten Serena Williams, lost to No. 10 Patty Schnyder 6-2, 6-4. No. 26 Flavia Pennetta, who ousted Venus Williams, lost to 19-year-old qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2.

Jankovic and Ivanovic are one round from an all-Serb showdown in the semifinals. But health issues put Jankovic’s prospects in doubt.

She blamed her shoulder pain on a recent bout of swelling in her right forearm.

“I think the other muscles are compensating, so the whole arm is a mess,” Jankovic said.

Leading 2-1 in the second set, she called for treatment and winced as a trainer massaged her shoulder near her neck. Some of her shots lacked their usual punch thereafter, but Jankovic built a 5-2 lead thanks to some shaky play by Radwanska.

Serving in the next game, Jankovic reached match point three times but failed to hold, and Radwanska took advantage of the reprieve to mount a comeback.

“I made a lot harder work than it should be,” Jankovic said.

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