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Venus Williams toppled by Jankovic

Defending champion Venus Williams became a victim of the court as she lost to Serbia's Jelena Jankovic by 7-6 4-6 6-4.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2006 13:33 IST

Defending champion Venus Williams became a victim of the court two curse July 1, 2006 when she was bundled out of Wimbledon in the third round, beaten 7-6 4-6 6-4 by Serbia's Jelena Jankovic.

Dubbed the 'graveyard of champions' the court has witnessed many high-profile shocks over the years, although 26th seed Jankovic was always likely to be a tough nut to crack for Williams who has suffered from a lack of match-play this year.

Williams was troubled by a left wrist injury but hung on grimly in the deciding set, breaking Jankovic's serve when she trailed 5-3.

But the 21-year-old Serb kept her composure to seal victory on her fourth match point when Williams netted a forehand, her 54th unforced error of the match.

"There were defintely some things I could have done differently," said the 26-year-old Williams, who complained to the umpire in the third set that Jankovic was serving before she was ready to receive.

"When I was walking to the line, she would serve immediately, which made it difficult to get ready," she said.

"I just think that maybe she plays at that pace."

Jankovic said it was not a deliberate ploy.

"That's just the way I play," she said. "I'm so excited that I won this match. I was so nervous at the end that the racket felt like it weighed 30 pounds."

The match had begun well for the American sixth seed, bidding for a fourth Wimbledon crown, as she broke her opponent's first service game but a double fault in the next game handed back her advantage.

Jankovic, who will face former French Open champion Anastasia Myskina in the fourth round, edged the first set tiebreak 10-8 only to fall 4-1 behind in the second.

Venus was far from convincing as she struggled to level the match and she was again blighted by mistakes in the deciding set, crucially losing her serve to love at 3-4.

"She had nothing to lose, she came out and gave it her all," said Venus. "She's a very good player. As long as she keeps her level up, she definitely has a chance."