Tennis-Jankovic credits her mother for her new success
PARIS, June 1 (Reuters) - Jelena Jankovic, who almost gave up tennis last year, has been lighting up Roland Garros with her gutsy strokeplay and her dazzling smile.
A little over a year ago the Serbian player cut a despondent figure on court after a 10-match losing streak. With the help of her mother she turned her fortunes round, however and failure is now a fading memory.
She has already secured three trophies this year and with her ranking now standing at number five in the world, she is considered one of the favourites for the French Open crown.
It is little wonder Jankovic cannot stop beaming.
"I was really about to quit because I'm a really bad loser, and I cannot take so many losses, 10 losses in a row," the 22-year-old said on Friday after reaching the fourth round in Paris for the first time with a three-set win over Venus Williams.
"It was just really an unbelievable bad period for me because I couldn't stand it. I didn't have the motivation, the drive that keeps you going forward.
"Then five months later I was 12th in the world. Some things are sometimes meant to happen in order to change some of the things in life and you appreciate your results more after it happens. "Now I'm smiling all the time. I am the person who likes to laugh a lot. It's because I'm really enjoy the game."
Jankovic, who had won only one title in 2004 before her recent resurgence, credited her mother Snezana for the success she has enjoyed.
"When my mum was younger, she was a handball player. She almost got into the national team but my grandmother never supported her," she said.
"My grandmother wanted her to stay at home and just go to school and just live a normal life, not to play. So she quit.
"But my mom, for me, she is my best friend and she's always there for me and always very, very supportive in the good and the bad times."