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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 2004, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Andrew's Tokyo PPO report: Welcome back Jelena!

Jelena made the semi-finals of the Tokyo Pan Pacific Open this week - her first tournament of 2004 after missing the Australian Open. She struggled past two modest players in three sets each, then eased past a player returning from a long layoff, despite suffering from a leg-injury that ruined her chances in the semi-finals.

"I was very close to going to Australia this year, but I was just not quite ready physically. I definitely see myself going back - hopefully next year," Jelena said on Wednesday.


In the first round on Wednesday, Jelena made a rusty start to her first match of the year, squeezing past the cute Cara Black (sister of Selesian player Byron Black) 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-1.

"This is a tough tournament to start at because everyone has already played. For the first match of the year, it was pretty good today. She sliced everything and played quite well, so I was happy to get out of a tough situation."


On Thursday, Jelena made a meal of her second round against Janette Husárová, winning 7-6 (9/7) 6-7 (2/7) 6-1 in a low-profile match in which she had led 7-6 4-1.


Friday's quarter-final opponent was Tatiana Panova, ranked #250 but playing with an injury-protected ranking of #33 after an absence from June to December 2003 for reasons that are too sensitive for me to discuss (see http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.p...2&page=3&pp=40 ).

Jelena showed glimpses of her old form as she thrashed Panova 6-1 6-1 in 44 minutes, although frankly I think she could have beaten Panova with her left hand tied behind her back, and Davenport could have beaten Panova with a frying-pan for a racket.

"It's difficult to start here, the surface is not easy and everyone played already. I didn't even expect to get this far. I would have been happy to win a match, considering that this is the first tournament.

"My head is the key to winning matches. I had a very tough season last year, off court and on court. I started to work really, really hard at the end of last year, and it paid off. I think I've got my focus back."


Jelena discussed her injury after losing her semi-final to three-time champion Lindsay Davenport on Saturday:

"I had my left leg strained two days ago in my second-round match and I was very doubtful even yesterday. But it was a little bit an easier match, I knew if I just hit the ball yesterday, I can get through the match, which I did.

"But with Lindsay, it was a different story, she serves well and plays completely different. If I'm not 100% and cannot move against her, it makes it difficult.

"I tried a few games as much as I could. But with the other semi-final being defaulted, it wouldn't have been so good for the tournament if I hadn't played the semi-finals.

"I'm happy that the injury is not worse, because last year and two years ago, I was injured after this tournament. It's not a tear or anything, it's just a strain. Hopefully, if I can have two or three days without playing, it will get better."

`Pug-Dog' Davenport produced a "flawless display" [ITV Teletext] to extend her head-to-head against Jelena to 9-0 with a 6-1 6-0 victory in 42 minutes. Jelena could hardly run. I didn't know she was injured, but I had a bad feeling that Jelena was going to do worse against Davenport than Daniela Hantuchová did (2-6 2-6), so I just prayed that it wouldn't be 6-0 6-0.

Davenport: "Obviously, there is a little bit of sympathy involved. I've tried to play injured many times and it's just a losing proposition. You're not really sure what to do. The odds of her coming back are increasingly difficult once you're injured and really far down in the match."


Photos:
http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/...photos&p=dokic

with Daniela Hantuchová:
http://kousa.com/cgi-bin/board/ikonb...f=9;t=85;st=80


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Dr. Andrew Broad
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 2004, 07:46 PM
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 2004, 10:31 PM
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