Paris, June 1: Varvara Lepchenko was so pleased at beating former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic to finally reach the third round at a Grand Slam tournament, she leaned over and kissed the net.
Lepchenko, ranked 63rd and playing in her 15th major tournament, upset the 19th-seeded Jankovic 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4 at the French Open, helping give the United States three women in the third round at Roland Garros for the first time since 2005.
"After that last point I couldn't believe the match was over," Lepchenko said, when asked about her celebratory smooch after 3 hours, 6 minutes of play. "I was still in the moment."
The 26-year-old Lepchenko was born in Uzbekistan but lives in Allentown, Pa., and competes for the U.S.
She was joined in the third round by Christina McHale, a 20-year-old from Englewood Cliffs, N.J., who was a 6-1, 6-3 winner Thursday against Lauren Davis, an 18-year-old qualifier from Boca Raton, Fla.
The other American still in the tournament, 19-year-old Sloane Stephens of Coral Springs, Fla., advanced Wednesday, and is scheduled to face Mathilde Johansson of France in the third round Friday.
The last two U.S. men lost Thursday: 10th-seeded John Isner and Jesse Levine.