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post #1 of 5298 (permalink) Old Jan 14th, 2007, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Jelena Jankovic News and Articles Thread

Thought it would be a good idea to have a seperate thread to post news, articles, etc rather than clogging up some of the other threads.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...547199,00.html

Quote:
Playing with fire

Barry Flatman, tennis correspondent, in Melbourne

Jelena Jankovic says that there is more to life than tennis, but is determined to fulfil her potential on court

The hair is raven black rather than the emblematic blonde. The US became a means to a sporting education rather than a new home and an opportunity for a better life. The travelling bags are full of textbooks and the mind is more concerned with matters academic than forehands and backhands. Jelena Jankovic is not the stereotypical tennis prodigy. Yet with vacancies on offer at the top of the women’s game after the retirement of Lindsay Davenport and the imminent departure of Kim Clijsters, the 21-year-old Serb appears to be the new talent most likely to succeed.

Thus far on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in 2007 she has collected one title in Auckland and should have added another in Sydney, allowing a match point to slip in a tense final against Clijsters. Nevertheless, nine victories from 10 matches this year identify her as the form player going into the Australian Open, which will be devoid of world No 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne.

Three days of rest should be sufficient for the 11th seed to recharge before starting her campaign, and a favourable draw, beginning with a first-round meeting against Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak, suggests she could at least equal her semi-final performance at last year’s US Open. There are other reasons to believe that Jankovic will be a contender when the women’s tournament reaches its climax in 13 days’ time. Six years ago, as Jennifer Capriati was outplaying Martina Hingis in the final, Jankovic became the junior champion and her ability on the Rebound Ace surface was confirmed.

Allowing the Sydney title to slip from her grasp rankled for a while, but she was soon willing to speculate on the future. “I don’t know if a new star is born,” she says with a smile. “Maybe.”

It would be wrong to categorise Jankovic on the basis of this statement and view this daughter of a couple of economists as another self-centred youngster who cares only about her own potential. She is appalled by the mindset of young female tennis players who seem consumed by their own games. She grimaces at the routine followed by so many of focusing totally on the sport and living a continuous cycle of airports, hotel rooms, practice courts and self-analysis.

“I don’t want to be a typical tennis player, who knows how to hit the forehand and backhand but does not think about anything else,” says the girl who did not only have to cope with homesickness when she arrived at Nick Bollettieri’s Florida tennis academy when she was 12 years old. In addition, she had to contend with the fact that Nato bombs were soon falling on her home city of Belgrade and her family were in peril.

“There is much more to life than tennis,” she says “This world is a fascinating place and we travel it all the time, stopping in all the great cities, which each have a story to tell. I look at so many of the other girls and think what opportunities they are wasting. They are tennis all the time and I was doing many other things. I like that balance. When I play, I like to focus, but when I finish, I like to do something else. I need to get my head outside of it and think about something else. I cannot think about tennis from morning until night.

“Other girls on the Tour don’t want to learn about the place they are staying or the culture. They are happy to fill their minds with tennis. That is not for me. I am different from the rest in so many ways. After tennis, I would like to do something as well. I think it’s very important.”

Such an outlook clearly contributes to her ability not to be intimidated by opponents. Last year’s Wimbledon saw her beat defending champion Venus Williams in the third round, while her progress in the US Open provided wins over 2004 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Dementieva. The past week has seen her add the names of Hingis, a three-time Australian Open champion, and defending champion Amelie Mauresmo to her list of scalps.

In the same way that her parents view an economic situation, she rationalises her success over such esteemed opposition: “Beating these players is something that must be done if you want to win big titles, but you must not allow yourself to think they are any more special than you. I respect them, but I will not be scared of what they have achieved.”

Yet not so long ago Jankovic seriously considered whether she wanted to continue her tennis career and felt the lure to put more impetus into her studies. She is the only member of her family who is not a traditional academic. Her parents and older brother have degrees, her younger brother is in college and she is in the second year of a course at Megatrend University in Belgrade.

She is keeping her options open. Last spring she was prepared to turn her back on the courts after suffering first-round exits in all but one of her first 10 tournaments. Her enjoyment of the game evaporated, practice became a chore, the pain of defeat all too familiar. Her mind apparently made up, she headed to the city she finds the most inspirational, not to revitalise her competitive spirit but to bring it to a close. Her mother, Snezana (which translates into Snow White in Serbian), accompanied her to Rome and the magic of the Eternal City brought about a change of heart. “Sometimes some things are meant to be,” says Jankovic. “They just happen to change the thoughts and your path of life. Arriving in Rome, I regained my hunger.”

Since then her appetite for competition has been ravenous, and after sessions with a sports psychologist she also enthuses over the powers of positive thinking. If she does win, her joy will be immense, but she will quickly put it into context. “It will just be one very memorable part of my life, but it will not figure in the rest of my life. Always remember I am different to the rest.”

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?

Last edited by Zamboni; Jan 20th, 2008 at 09:12 PM.
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post #2 of 5298 (permalink) Old Jan 14th, 2007, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...0-2722,00.html

Quote:
'Angry' Jankovic learns to be winner
Margie McDonald
January 15, 2007

HER anger is curbed and her mind is focused. Now the results are coming for Jelena Jankovic.

What a difference a year can make. After the 21-year-old's second round exit in last year's Australian Open, she lost her opening match in the next nine tournaments to be 1-10 in singles by mid-May 2006.

By mid-January this year, she is 9-1 with one WTA title already from Auckland, while another was in her grasp last Friday night.

Jankovic held match-point against Kim Clijsters at the Sydney International before going down to the Belgian in three hard-fought sets.

The young Serb confessed she had been thinking about packing the trophy in her bag and heading back to the hotel, but has vowed not to let the loss rattle her for too long. Jankovic is one who learns from her mistakes and can be brutal in her self-assessment.

"I had it -- I should have won in two sets. It's just two points -- I just made the mistake. I would feel better if she really beat me, if she was really dominating and she beats me 6-2 6-2," Jankovic said. "Anyway, it shows I can compete with the best. I showed I can beat the best players in the world and hopefully I'll join them soon."

The 2001 Australian Open girls' champion said her goal for 2007 was to break into the top 10. If she had beaten Clijsters on Friday, she would be there now, just two tournaments into the season. Jankovic is quite likely to be there by the end of the month, considering she is the form player coming into the Australian Open.

Maybe Jankovic should move her goal a little higher. What about being No.1 one day?

"I need to work really hard and improve so many things in order to be that, but maybe there is a chance," she said.

"I don't want to go too far ahead. My goal first is to go into top 10 and then my goal is just to keep improving, to play better and better, and the results will come."

After defeating world No.7 Martina Hingis, No.3 Amelie Mauresmo and being a point from downing world No.5 Clijsters, Jankovic is demanding attention.

She beat defending champion Venus Williams at Wimbledon last year and beat Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Dementieva en route to the US semi-finals last year -- her best grand slam finish.

Clijsters puts Jankovic's rise down to the fact that she has curbed her on-court anger.

"She looks more confident out there ... she could get really uptight, like really angry at herself, before and lose a few games, give them away by just getting down on herself -- and I think it's really important that I think she notices that," Clijsters said.

Jankovic put herself through some rigorous self-analysis last year when she lost in the first round at Berlin -- her ninth exit in a row. She went to Rome and, instead of doing the hotel-courts-hotel round during her stay, she explored the Eternal City, soaking up its atmosphere and culture.

Revitalised, she reached the quarter-finals and did not lose in the first round again.

"Some things are meant to be," says Jankovic. "They just happen to change the thoughts and your path of life. Arriving in Rome, I regained my hunger."

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

Smart thread Kiera

Now I can get some infos here when JJ wins AO
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post #4 of 5298 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 2007, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...-29277,00.html

Quote:
Tennis clash shows 'Melbourne's problem'

By Robert Grant
January 15, 2007

MELBOURNE has a "problem" with the ethnic sporting rivalry between Serbs and Croats, according to top Serbian tennis star Jelena Jankovic.

Jankovic was speaking after 150 rival Serbian and Croatian fans were ejected from the Australian Open following a violent clash outside Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena today.

Both sides blamed each other for the violence, apparently based on old national rivalries but which recall previous clashes between Serb and Croatian supporters at soccer matches in Australia.

It's believed to be the first time such violence has occurred at the Australian Open, one of the world's most prestigious tennis tournaments.

Jankovic, the No.11 seed and runner-up to Kim Clijsters in last week's Sydney International, said the problem was one which seemed peculiar to Melbourne.

"I think just here in Melbourne there is this kind of problem," Jankovic – a 6-3 6-3 winner over Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak – said.

"Anywhere else in the world it's fine.

"When you play a Croatian girl or when there's matches – Serbian and Croatian – it's fine, but here it's just – I don't know what it is.

"Here in Melbourne, it's a little bit strange because I think it's just a sport and people should just come and enjoy the game," Jankovic said.

"It's not about where you're from, you either like the player and you'll cheer for them ... but you don't have to cheer against them just because they are from some country.

"I think that's wrong," she said.

Jankovic said she had no problems playing in the lead-up events before the Australian Open.

"I had such a big crowd in New Zealand, in Sydney," she said.

"It was a great atmosphere to play in front of such a crowd when they're cheering.

"I think this kind of atmosphere motivates both of the players to show their best tennis and it's a lot more fun to watch.

"But I don't like it when they are fighting against each other and kind of booing the other player just because they are from some other country," she said.

Croatian Mario Ancic, who defeated Japan's Go Soeda 6-4 6-3 6-2, said Croatian players had "the best fans".

"They're well-known for their good supporting, correct supporting and I've been here many years," Ancic said.

"They were great to me. They said, especially in last year's Davis Cup finals, it was all the time saying in the press how good the supporters were, no incidents at all," he said.

Police and tournament officials are expected to be on high alert tomorrow when Croatian Martin Cilic faces Serb Ilia Bozoljac.

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/1...ContentID=1065

Quote:
Jankovic among other first round winners

Jelena Jankovic, currently one of the most in-form players on the Tour, was part of an impressive showing by the seeds on the first day. The No.11 seed cruised past Canadian youngster Aleksandra Wozniak, 63 63.

"She was a good player but it's always tough for me the first round because you never know how you'll play," said Jankovic, whose results leading in to Melbourne were winning in Auckland and finishing runner-up at Sydney. "It's another tournament. I played so much in the last couple of weeks. I haven't had much rest. But I'm happy that I won today and I hope to keep going."

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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post #6 of 5298 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

J. JANKOVIC/A. Wozniak

6-3, 6-3

Q. Jelena Jankovic last year and Jelena Jankovic this year are different. What's the difference?

JELENA JANKOVIC: One year makes a big difference. And I think I'm older now. I think I'm more mature. I don't know, I just am improving and getting better and better, and that's the biggest difference.

Q. Big help from your coach now?

JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I think my coach is helping me, and I'm also here with my sparring partner. It's going really well, and I'm really enjoying my game and playing well.

Q. Your opponent today, the Canadian girl, looked good?

JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, she was a good player, but it's always tough for me the first round because you never know how you'll play. It's another tournament. I played so much in the last couple of weeks. I had 10 matches in 11 days and didn't have much rest. But I'm happy that I won today and that -- I hope to keep going.

Q. And you feel well?

JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I'm a little bit tired and I felt a little bit slow on the court. I didn't feel so fresh and so -- I didn't have good energy, but I tried my best, and I'm happy to I won.

Q. How do you try to freshen yourself up when you get a day off tomorrow? What do you do to try to regain some energy?

JELENA JANKOVIC: Just try to rest as much as possible, and I'll have a like a light hit and a massage and just try to recover my body the best as possible because I had so many tough matches in the last couple of weeks, and it was just so tough on my body. I need to recover well in order to play well.

So I'm trying. I will just play a little bit tomorrow and try to rest as much as I can.

Q. What did you tell yourself after the end of last season to get yourself motivated for this year? Did you say, Yeah, now I've really turned the corner and I belong with the other players?

JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I think I believe more in myself. I know I can compete with the best players and beat them, and hopefully I will join them soon in the rankings because now I'm 11 in the world. And if I won last week I would have been in the top ten, so that's my goal: To go in the top ten.

My goal is just to get better and better, just to keep improving, and I think nothing is perfect . You can always get better, and that's my goal, just to get better than I am today. That's my goal. Tomorrow I want to be better than I am today. That's just my goal.

Q. Did you hear about all the fans being thrown out today, the Serbians?

JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I was playing, and I heard that there was some fights. But like I said, here in Melbourne it's a little bit strange because I think it's just a sport and people should just come and enjoy the game.

It's not about where you're from or -- you either like the player and you'll cheer for them, but you don't have to cheer against them just because they are from some country, and I think that's wrong.

Q. Do you think it's more football fans who have gravitated towards tennis because you have players from their countries now?

JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know, but I had such a big crowd in New Zealand, in Sydney. It was just a great atmosphere to play in front of such a crowd when they're cheering. I think this kind of atmosphere motivates both of the players to show their best tennis, and it's, I think, a lot more fun to watch.

But I don't like when they are fighting against each other and kind of booing the other player just because they are from some other country. I think that's not fair, so that's just my opinion.

Q. It's hard on the other player if they're booing double faults?

JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah. I think the game should just be fair and they should clap for good points and support the player they like, but they shouldn't be really mean and really bad and fight against the other just to make the other one feel bad.

Q. A Serb is actually playing a Croat tomorrow in the men's draw.

JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I heard it will be quite tough. You know, I just hope from will be no fights. I hope that it will go in a peaceful way. Because I think just here in Melbourne that there is this kind of problems. Anywhere else in the world it's fine.

When you play a Croatian girl or when there's matches, Serbian and Croatian, it's fine. But here it's just -- I don't know what it is.

Q. How did you find the crowd atmosphere in your game?

JELENA JANKOVIC: No, the crowd for me was really great. I had so many -- the stadium was quite full. I think full completely, and I had so many Serbian fans and the other fans, as well, and they're just cheering. It's fun to play in such atmosphere.
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post #7 of 5298 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2007, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

By Matthew Cronin (tennis reporters.net)

Quote:
Jankovic Won’t Choke, Harkleroad’s Divorce; Petrova’s Many Moves

Is Jelena Jankovic’s hot streak just a mirage, or is she a top four contender in Melbourne. It’s hard to say, because physically and technically, she’s already a top 5 player, but mentally, she’s flighty.

She doesn’t want to be called a favorite at the Australian Open because she doesn’t want to put too much pressure on herself.

But outside of the terrific threesome of Maria Sharapova, Amelie Mauresmo and Kim Clijsters, no other player with realistic title comes quickly to mind.

But Jankovic has glued her face to the marquee, because to open the season, she ran through the Hobart field and then took down Martina Hingis and Amelie Mauresmo to reach the Sydney final, where she held a match point against Clijsters but fell 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4.

On Tuesday, Clijsters called Jankovic a tournament favorite, possibly to deflect attention off herself, but it wasn’t a complete stretch, given tat when the Serb’s is touching her knees to the grounds and whaling groundstrokes, she’s hard to push backward.

Plus, she says that she won’t choke like she did against Justine Henin in the semis of the US Open, when she let go of a set and 4-2 lead and had a point for 5-2and totally imploded.

“That’s was my first time in the semifinals of the US Open and I was a little too excited,” she said. “ I was thinking I was already in the final and I let the chance slip away. Now I can focus I points better.”

Why she thought she was going to win is an open question, given that the Belgian is a far more accomplished big match player than she is.

“If you don’t think you are going to win in those situations, then you are never going to win,” she said. “I was really dominating. I felt I was the No. 2 player and I was No. 17 then. Mentally and physically, I was dominating. [But] I think I can handle this situations a lot better. Now I’ve been in those situations before.

Ranked No. 11, Jankovic in a great section of the bottom half of the draw, away from the Sharapova and Clijsters, which is a good thing, because the Belgian is one of the few players who really has her number.

“It would have been a great win but I’m not disappointed because we really both played a great match, one of the best I ever played, even though I lost,” she said of the Sydney final, where she held a match point. “There were some great points and both of us were fighting. I was one point to win the match, but it didn't happen. But that’s tennis.”

No, that’s Clijsters ability to defend a little better. On Wednesday, Jankovic handily took care of the veteran Virginia Ruano Pascual in straight sets. She’ll face up and comer Victoria Azarenka in the next round, which could be worrisome, as the former junior star is quite a slugger.

But Jankovic is a long way from the first half of last year, when she couldn’t win match and was depressed about the state of her game. It took her a few months to redevelop her love for the sport, but once she did, she soared up the charts.

Jankovic is continuing her studies, although now that she’s winning a lot and her mind is focused more on tennis, her progress has slowed. But her goal is to graduate from college and should she manage it while on tour, she’ll be one of the first top players to do so.

That long face she showed early last summer while discussing how much more stimulating her course work was than her career was has disappeared and she’s smiling more when discussing yellowball material.

“That was amazing,” she said. “It made me a lot stronger, I’m working a lot harder now and practiced hard in the off season, I have a lot of motivation to do well and I’m hungry to compete and that’s what I lacked.”

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/1...ContentID=1072

Quote:
Jelena Keeping Busy Down Under

MELBOURNE, Australia - Not only has she been one of the most dangerous players on the court during the Australian season, she has been one of the busiest off the court. Among Jelena Jankovic's endeavors down under are visiting the Beach Patrol & Surf Rescue and blogging for Tennis Warehouse.

On a hot and sunny Tuesday, Jankovic visited to the Beach Patrol & Surf Rescue group in Brighton Beach, which is in Port Melbourne. She learnt some lifesaving techniques to begin the proceedings, and then enjoyed a little bit of jetskiing. A variety of photos from the visit can be viewed in the gallery.

In addition to the beach visit, the Serbian star is also writing an Australian Open Blog for Tennis Warehouse. Presented by Prince, she writes about her stay in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, her matches and preparations that go into them, and her off-court life, among other things. Read her blog here.

Jankovic has been one of the most in-form players since mid-2006, but has been on fire in Australia in particular; two weeks ago she earned her second career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title in Auckland, then last week in Sydney she had an inspired run to the final, defeating Martina Hingis and Amélie Mauresmo along the way before ultimately dropping a nail-biter to Kim Clijsters.

She is the No.11 seed this fortnight in Melbourne.

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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post #9 of 5298 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2007, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

Vaidisova posted this over in GM, but it's worth posting them over here too.

Jelena Jankovic's Australian Open blog

15th January

Quote:
First day, main draw at the Australian Open! About 42,000 people came at the opening day. It was so crowded and everybody was so excited to start the tournament and enjoy some great tennis.

I was also so happy because this Grand Slam brings back memories from my first junior Grand Slam title and I am hungry to do well in the professional level as well. I got up around 9am and had a great breakfast with my mom and my sparing partner. We always enjoy and laugh a lot even though we just woke up! It's always nice to start the day with a smile on our faces!

We went to the site and I had good warm up for my match. I put on my new Reebok dress, the one I am only wearing which is nice, and I went and played my first round match against the Canadian, Wozniak. I played on show court 3 and the stadium was packed. I always enjoy playing in such an atmosphere and I think it motivates me to show and play my best tennis. First rounds are always the most difficult for me, you have to get used to the conditions, courts, etc. I won my match 6-3, 6-3. I didn't play great, but it was enough to win.

After my match I couldn't get through to my locker room because there were so many fans waiting for me to sign autographs and take pictures with them. I appreciate my fans and I signed as I many as I could. I had a lot of media requests such as interviews with Eurosport, ESPN, Star Sports... I don't like spending so much time in the player lounge because especially in the beginning of the tournament is full of people and very noisy.

When I finished all my obligations at the site we went back to the hotel and got ready for a nice Japanese restaurant. We went with some friends and enjoyed our evening. I feel very tired because I played a lot in these last couple of weeks. I won a tournament in Auckland and played finals in Sydney. I only had one day off so whenever I get a chance I like to rest and recover my body as much as I can! Tomorrow I am not playing and I hope that there will be some interesting things for me to write to you all!

Write to you soon!

Love,

Jelena
17th January

Quote:
Dear Fans,

It has been a couple of busy days since I last wrote to you. Yesterday, I went with a TV crew and some photographers to St Kilda Beach to do some charity work. We ended up spending several hours there and I have since become a real pro on the jet ski. I have included a couple of pictures here so you can better imagine what my day was like and for those of you stuck in cold weather over the winter break, just know that yesterday, here in Australia the temperature reached 40 degrees Celsius - it was a complete sauna. Fortunately I didn't have to play but I am sure you could have fried an egg on court, it was so hot!

Today, I had my second round match against Ruano Pasqual. We have played each other before and now I am 2-0 up against her After the match I had my usual press conference and in addition a number of media requests for interviews. I am not sure if any of you have been following the news, but there have been some Serbian and Croatian spectators that were escorted out for bad behavior! I think that sport should be a good way to bring people together and I hope that people learn to come out and just enjoy the tennis - be it a French, German, Japanese or Serbian.

A couple of funny stories in my life today- During my doubles match, a phone was ringing with a Serbian theme song from in the stands. My Mum was complaining and thinking "who is this person keeping their phone on during the match?" Eventually, she realized that it was her own phone! I love traveling with my Mum- we always have a lot of fun together. Tonight I had dinner with my team - Dianne from Reebok, Alastair and Nina, my agents and of course, my Mum. Only Tom was missing from Prince! Now we are eating some pancakes and my coach and hitting partner will join. Off to bed soon and looking forward to playing again on Friday.

See you all soon,

JJ

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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post #10 of 5298 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2007, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/.../webtennis.php

Quote:
Tennis: Serbian players polish their image at the Australian Open

It has been a rough week for Serbia's image in the tennis world, with scores of young Serbian fans brawling with their Croatian counterparts in the usually more sedate alleyways of the Australian Open on opening day.

And yet it has been another fine week for Serbian tennis, with Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic all living up to their seedings and moving into the third round with perhaps much grander things to come.

"I think it's very exciting for all of us and also for the young kids back home; I hope that's motivation for them," said the 19-year-old Ivanovic after defeating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, 6-2, 3- 6, 6-2, in the second round on a warm Thursday free of major upsets.

The game is booming in Serbia, generating increasing buzz in the media and the cafés of Belgrade and generating plans for the national training center that its top players agree is lacking.

The 13th-seeded Ivanovic, a tall and elegant brunette with one of the better forehands in the women's game, might be sending her best to all the youngsters "back home," but the truth is that her talented generation had to leave home to make it.

Ivanovic went to Roger Federer's home city of Basel, Switzerland, to train. Jankovic, who is on the verge of breaking into the women's top 10, left for Bradenton, Florida, and the Bollettieri Tennis Academy at age 12, which was the same age that Djokovic, one of the most promising players in the men's game, left for Niki Pilic's Academy in Munich. He later trained in Italy.

"I think it would have been very difficult to have gotten where I am if I had stayed in Serbia," Jankovic said.

The gifted ones who stayed behind have made slower progress, like the 126th-ranked Ilia Bozoljac, who qualified for the men's main draw here but lost to Tommy Haas of Germany in straight sets Thursday. Bozoljac, 21, said he trained in his teens in Belgrade with a coach financed by the best Serbian men's player in history, Slobodan (Bobo) Zivojinovic, an unseeded Wimbledon semifinalist in 1986. But Bozoljac said he had received no financial aid from his country or its tennis federation.

"Zero," he said. "It's been me, myself and I. Economically, the situation in Serbia is pretty bad."

When Jankovic left for Florida, the Yugoslav conflict had yet to play out and Slobodan Milosevic was still in power, but she and her fellow stars continue to leave even with the nation at peace because they cannot find optimum practice conditions. Though Jankovic just bought a house in Belgrade, she also has one in Bradenton and spends only a few weeks a year in Serbia.

"Our facilities are not that great, especially in the winter time," Jankovic said, as she sat in the Australian summer sunshine. "The indoor courts at home are not heated. It's quite cold. You get sick. Plus, we don't have hard courts, so if you want to prepare for a hard- court tournament, it's very difficult. We have some kinds of carpet, but it's not the same as the carpet you find on the tour. It's always difficult to prepare, but we are doing our best."

Their best is increasingly impressive and for now, they have all continued to represent Serbia, despite Jankovic's father's being Montenegrin and despite British tennis officials holding some exploratory conversations with Djokovic last year.

"I had a few proposals, but I think I will stay Serbian. That's where I belong," Jankovic said. "I think athletes are the best ambassadors for our country. We show that we are talented. We try to represent Serbia in the best possible light, because Serbia is known as having wars and all these bad things. But now I think we are starting to change and show a better image of the country."

There is certainly no shortage of personality among them. Jankovic, seeded 11th, is an effervescent 21-year-old with an oval face that looks like something Brancusi might have sculpted. Born in Belgrade to a Serbian mother and Montenegrin father, she came relatively late to the game, starting at age 10, and is the kind of agile, speedy athlete who would have presumably thrived in any sport of her choosing.

Her two-handed backhand, particularly down the line, is one of the best in the game and helped her to her first major breakthrough last year, when she reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open.

Djokovic is a confident, communicative 19-year-old with close-cropped dark hair and a lithe yet powerful frame and balanced game. Despite all the attention focused on his very well-chronicled British friend Andy Murray, who is seeded 15th here, it is Djokovic who so far has had the most success of any men's player his age.

"On the one hand, Andy had it easier than me tennis-wise," Djokovic said in a recent interview. "He had the best conditions, best coaching, a lot of help from a country and everything. But because he had that easier way, on the other hand, he has a lot of pressure, because everybody expects everything from him, especially media. I think it's a great thing what he's done playing with such a pressure. It's a great achievement."

Still, it is Djokovic who has won three tour titles, including Adelaide this year. He also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open and fourth round at Wimbledon last year with a good chance of doing the same here on Friday against Thailand's surprising Danai Udomchoke. Mild tendinitis in his right shoulder and bicep has been causing Djokovic some discomfort, but he has yet to drop a set here.

Djokovic has known Ivanovic since they were 5. "My father and Ana's father know each other well," he said. "They went to high school together. My father owns a restaurant in the mountains in Serbia. He has owned it for 20 years. Ana and her father came for a skiing vacation there."

Djokovic's father, Srdjan, was a national-level skier in the former Yugoslavia, and Djokovic might have been a skier instead of a tennis player if the decision had not been made to build three courts in front of his family's restaurant. He was 4.

By age 7, he had decided he wanted to be number one in the world after his first coach, Jelena Gencic, told him that he had the talent to dream that big. Gencic was not without experience in the matter: She once advised one of Yugoslavia's greatest talents, Monica Seles, who reached No. 1 and won eight Grand Slam singles titles and who also had to become an expatriate to make it, eventually adopting American nationality.

Djokovic's goal no longer sounds quite so far-fetched with him sitting at No. 15 in the rankings and with a possible match against Federer looming in the fourth round. But it has not all been smooth to this point. Breathing problems in 2005 required him to have nasal surgery, and his outspoken nature and tendency to make liberal use of injury time outs has rubbed some of the establishment the wrong way, including Federer, who questioned Djokovic's integrity during Switzerland's Davis Cup victory over Serbia in September.

"I don't trust his injuries," Federer reportedly said after beating him in singles. "It's not funny. I'm serious. I think he's a joke, you know, when it comes down to his injuries. The rules are there to be used, not abused."

Presumably, Federer would not bother lecturing a player of little consequence. The Swiss is well aware of the leading pretendants to his throne, but being Serbian can make it difficult to compete commercially. Djokovic has complained in the past about the difficulty of attracting sponsorship as a Serb.

"It's always more difficult when you are from Serbia than from the U.S.A. or some big country like that," Jankovic said. "But I think eventually if you are good enough, you are going to get what you deserve but maybe it will be more difficult and take more time."

It doesn't help your cause when some of your alleged fans spoil the festive mood at a Grand Slam event while wearing your national colors. But Serbian tennis remains more of a feel-good story, and the best feelings, judging from the look of Jankovic's backhand and footwork and Djokovic's forehand and serve, should be yet to come.

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

Australian Open: Jelena Jankovic, Jan 19, 2007
Jelena Jankovic
Friday, 19 January, 2007

J. JANKOVIC/V. Azarenka

6-3, 6-4

Q. A long two‑set match. How did you assess the match?

It was a difficult match for me. Especially we had to stop after 2‑All because of the rain. It's always difficult to go off the court and come back. I tried to stay focused. My opponent hits the ball pretty hard. It's a different game. But I think I was mentally strong when I needed to. I was quite solid. I'm happy to get through.

Q. A good match today if you're to progress further in the tournament?

Yes, of course. This was a good match to get under my belt. I played an opponent who doesn't have anything to lose. She has no pressure. It's always good to win like that. Next match I have quite tough, which is Serena Williams. I've beaten her before, but I expect a tough match and hope to do well.

Q. Would you have guessed you were going to play Serena?

No, no, no, I never. I was concentrating on my match. I wasn't thinking who I play the next round because it doesn't matter if I was going to play Serena and I lost today. So I just concentrated on my match. I'm looking forward to playing Serena. She's playing well. I will try to give my best and we'll see how it will go.

Q. Do you enjoy playing in matches where you're the favorite, the player expected to win? Is that pressure you enjoy?

I enjoy. No, doesn't matter if I'm the favorite or not. I always enjoy the challenge. I try to play the best that I can. Every time I step on the court, I try to give my maximum. Of course, I go to win the match.

Q. Having seen Serena play so well today, what can you expect when you play her?

Playing Serena, it's always tough. Doesn't matter if she just came from an injury or she didn't play, she always a great champion. I've beaten her twice before. My score against her is 2‑1, so I know how to play against her. I'll try my best. We'll see. It will be a good match for sure.

Q. Do you think it says more about women's tennis or more about her that she can come back after such a long time, really not playing much, and succeed like she seems to succeed?

She's a great athlete. She's strong. I think she has the experience. She won so many Grand Slams. It's different when you already been in this kind of situation. She knows how it feels. "Okay, she had a knee injury, didn't play. She's not in good form." You always have to expect she can come out and she can play unbelievable tennis.

Q. Have you ever been intimidated by a reputation of an opponent?

No, not at all. I don't think so. I respect every player. But when I go on court, I want to win.

Q. Do you think other girls do?

Maybe they get intimidated by some of the stronger players. For me, no, I don't get intimidated at all because I know I have the quality to beat them as well. I just go out there and play my game, that's all. I'm not thinking if she's No. 1 in the world or whoever she is.

Q. You're the fourth favorite to win this tournament. Do you think you can get it?

It's just tough to say. I mean, I'm just in the fourth round right now. I'm really not thinking about that. I'm just concentrating. I have a tough round against Serena next. I just want to concentrate on that and we'll see. Just want to enjoy and play the best that I can.

Q. You lost to Azarenka before when life was not so good. What does it mean? Does it show you how far you've come?

I lost when I was in the bad period when I was losing so many matches. But I knew that today I am a different Jelena. I am not the Jelena playing last year in the beginning of the year. I knew that I can come out today strong, as different player. I felt more confident. I knew I could do well. It showed with my kind of attitude on court, I was mentally quite strong. I was focused the whole time. Even though sometimes I felt quite tired, it was hot, long points, I did well, came through the match.

Q. How is the fatigue? You've played probably more than anyone this year.

I think I won 12 matches out of 13, which is a lot in the beginning of the year. I came out quite strong in the beginning of the year, which is good for me. I feel quite confident. I really am enjoying the game. Of course, I'm a little bit tired. I don't think about that. I'm just happy to play. I hope to get as many matches as possible.

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...205714703.html

Quote:
Jankovic taking giant steps

by Naomi Levin
Friday, 19 January, 2007

For Jelena Jankovic, the beginning of 2006 was probably a time in her life that she would rather forget. Not so 2007.

The Serb, who is a month shy of her 22nd birthday, won only one match in the first five months of 2006 and was bundled out in the second round at the Australian Open.

This year though, has been a completely different story with Jankovic winning the first tournament of the year, reaching the finals of her second and is now considered to be the fourth favourite to take out the first Grand Slam of the year.

"One year makes a big difference," Jankovic said after her first-round win over Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak. "I think I am more mature."

It is that maturity that is standing Jankovic in good stead at Melbourne Park. She had a straight-forward first-round win against Wozniak 6-3 6-3 and then another easy victory over Spaniard Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-2 6-2.

In her third-round match against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka she won 6-3 6-4, a real boost for her considering she lost to the lower-ranked player early last year.

"I know that today, I am a different Jelena," she said after her win over Azarenka. "I'm not the Jelena that was playing at the beginning of the year (2006)."

Jankovic's great start to 2007 began well before the Australian Open. She started the new year as the top seed at the ASB Classic in Auckland and went through the tournament without dropping a set until her final match against world No.24 Vera Zvonereva.

In a match full of errors – not helped by the windy Auckland weather - the Serb prevailed, beating her Russian opponent 7-6 (11-9) 5-7 6-3 in two hours and 45 minutes.

Cyclone Jankovic continued at the Medibank International in Sydney when she swept-away almost everything in her path. She notched up her seventh and eighth top-10 wins, beating Martina Hingis in the first round and then Amelie Mauresmo in the quarter-finals.

She was pushed to three sets in her semifinal against Czech glamour-girl Nicole Vaidisova before coming up against a barrier in the final.

Kim Clijsters, Jankovic's opponent in the Sydney final, looked sluggish to begin with and was making uncharacteristic unforced errors. Early on, the lower-ranked Jankovic seemed to have the better of her.

Jankovic took the first set 6-4 and had match point at 5-4 in the second set before Clijsters put her foot on the accelerator and forced her way back into the match.

At this point, having played 10 matches in 11 days, Jankovic was spent and Clijsters overran her to take the match 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4.

Despite the loss, Jankovic was upbeat about her situation.

"I'm really enjoying my game and having fun out there," she told the WTA website following the Medibank International final. "But no pressure; I just want to go out on court and give my best."

"This week, I showed I can beat the best players and hopefully I'll join them soon."

It seems likely that Jankovic will soon rise to the upper echelons of women's tennis.

Currently ranked eleventh in the world, Jankovic's star is certainly rising. She had a career-best result at the US Open in 2006, meeting Justine Henin-Hardenne in the first Grand Slam semifinals appearance of her career.

She also reached the finals in Los Angeles where she lost to Elena Dementieva.

"I know I can compete with the best players and beat them, and hopefully I will join them soon in the rankings because now I'm number 11 in the world," Jankovic said. "That's my goal; to go in the top 10."

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

http://www.smh.com.au/news/tennis/no...095982555.html

Quote:
No snake on the menu but Jankovic is ready to strike again

JELENA Jankovic is not particular about all things. Last September she played a tournament in Beijing and happily considered a suggestion she eat snake.

"My mum said: 'They can pay me and I still won't eat it, but I'll try'," wrote the Serbian in a blog. "I don't even know what it looks like, you pick it out of the tank and they just cook it. When I think about it, it's not something I'd normally do. But why not, while I'm travelling. It's not something I can do every day."

Jankovic beat Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-4 yesterday and moved into the fourth round playing tennis that was exact, pedantic, and had nothing laidback about it.

She stood impatiently several times, waiting to serve while her young opponent tried to catch her breath. And for the first point of each service game, Jankovic would accept balls only from the over-worked ballkid on the backhand side of the court.

If she's in a hurry, though, it's understandable. Jankovic has won 12 of her past 13 matches and intends to win a lot more but knows how quickly things can change.

This time last year, the Belarus teenager Azarenka was one of several players who beat Jankovic in a horror run that began on these courts and saw her drop 10 of her next 11 matches. She wondered whether going back to her economics studies might be more fun.

Jankovic went to Rome in May and somehow managed to turn things around, becoming a third-rounder at the French Open, a fourth-rounder at Wimbledon and then a US Open semi-finalist.

Her perfection became clear in London: Jankovic beat the previous year's winner, Venus Williams, on court two but was glad not to have played on centre court because she had a black eye that wouldn't have looked good on TV.

Beating Azarenka yesterday, Jankovic got fresh perspective on how completely her life had changed in the past year. "I knew that today I was a different Jelena," she said. "I am not the Jelena playing last year in the beginning of the year. I knew that I could come out today strong, as a different player. I felt more confident. I knew I could do well. It showed with my attitude on court, I was mentally quite strong. I was focused the whole time."

Jankovic will play Serena Williams tomorrow, and has never been one to let other players intimidate her. She would never expect Williams to play anything but "unbelievable" tennis. But she has beaten Williams twice, and believes she can do it again.

"I respect every player. But when I go on court I want to win," she said. "I just go out there and play my game, that's all."

In other matches last night, French second seed Amelie Mauresmo beat Czech Eva Birnerova 6-3, 6-1, and Russian third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated compatriot Maria Kirilenko 6-1, 6-4.

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

schett interviews jelena
http://www.eurosport.com/tennis/mc_vid32720.shtml

Serbian and Croatian idiots
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Re: Jelena News and Articles 2007

http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/6383816

Quote:
Jankovic must maintain foucus vs. hungry Serena

Matthew Cronin / ********************
Posted: 11 hours ago

It's almost hopeless to say where Jelena Jankovic ends up when her career is finished. The Serbian strikes the ball well enough to maintain a Top-10 ranking in her career.

But Jankovic's mind has been known to wander.

The 11th seed at the Australian Open has been playing top-five level tennis since last August, the first time the 21-year-old has been able to maintain her focus for such a long stretch.

She's won 12 of her last 13 matches, and with top seed Maria Sharapova, Amelie Mauresmo and Kim Clijsters, she's considered one of the four tournament favorites — another first for her at a Grand Slam.

"I'm just in the fourth round right now," she said after outlasting Victoria Azarenka on Friday. "I'm really not thinking about that. I have a tough round against Serena next. I just want to concentrate on that. Just want to enjoy and play the best that I can."

That Serena would be Ms. Williams, who all of sudden is back in major title contention after upending fifth seed Nadia Petrova in the third round. Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam champion who has won the Aussie Open twice. She's not in top shape, but she's hungry and more than anyone else in this tournament, knows how to win big titles.

She can be taken down, but it wilt take a smart, gutsy and consistent effort. Williams will not choke and can serve her opponents off the court.

Jankovic is striking the ball more cleanly off the ground than Serena is and owns a 2-1 lifetime record against the American, including a 6-4, 6-3 win in Los Angeles last summer, where she jerked her around the court.

But Serena is playing much better now and can smell another Grand Slam title, even if the scent is miles away.

"Playing Serena, it's always tough," Jankovic said. "Doesn't matter if she just came from an injury or she didn't play (much), she's always a great champion. She's a great athlete. She's strong. She has the experience. She's won so many Grand Slams. It's different when you've already been in this kind of situation. She knows how it feels. You can say, 'OK, she had a knee injury, didn't play. She's not in good form.' But you always have to expect she can come out and she can play unbelievable tennis."

So can Jankovic, who already this year has wins over Martina Hingis and Mauresmo. Jankovic won a title and held a match point against the formidable Clijsters in the Sydney final. She is super fast, has one of the best backhands down the line in the women's game, sports soft hands and is adept at reading her foe's serves.

The last time she defeated Serena, she won the vast majority of their extended rallies.

If the Melbourne heat is bearing down on them on Sunday, you have to like Jankovic's chances, unless Serena zones in and blows her off the court quickly.

"Serena has a chance if she can really start from the beginning, being very aggressive and take the lead," Petrova said. "She has a good chance. But if it comes to the third set, then the question mark of her fitness point will come."

Jankovic also has question marks. Last summer, she completely choked in her U.S. Open semifinal against Justine Henin-Hardenne. There she was, bending low, slinging unreachable groundstrokes, laughing away and suddenly, a bad call unnerved her. A set and 4-2 lead disappeared in a wave of her black ponytail.

"That's was my first time in the semifinals of the U.S. Open and I was a little too excited," she said. "I was thinking I was already in the final and I let the chance slip away. Now I think I can handle situations a lot better. I've been in those situations before."

The proof will be in the pudding with the talkative Serb. It's hard to forget what happened during the first half last year, when she lost all interest in the sport and entered late May with a 1-10 record.

"The whole half of the year it was like I was on vacation," she said. "I was studying reading and then I did my exams. I didn't even feel like a tennis player. There came a moment when I thought I really don't enjoy to play tennis any more. Sometimes I had bad situations. When you come on the court, you don't feel like you want to practice, you don't want to play the match, you're not excited."

Apparently, cracking the books refreshed her. Jankovic knocked off defending champion Venus Williams at Wimbledon and once she got on hardcourts, tore it up.

"I thought, I will just study, I want to focus on something else," she said. "I wasn't thinking as much about tennis. And I'm the person who wants to play just because I love to play, not because I'm playing just for no reason. But now I really changed the thinking."

Jankovic is still studying (primarily economics), but now that's she's getting one big win after another, she won't be graduating college any time soon. But that she's willing to keep with her studies shows just how committed she is to becoming a more intelligent person, and subsequently, a player. Her mental walkabout last year turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

"It made me a lot stronger, I'm working a lot harder now and practiced hard in the offseason, I have a lot of motivation to do well and I'm hungry to compete. That's what I lacked," she said.

Jankovic knows how to beat Serena and has just as much bravado. If she can avoid debating Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations in her head during a potential third set, she'll be in fine shape.

"I don't get intimidated at all because I know I have the quality to beat them as well," she said. I just go out there and play my game, that's all. I'm not thinking if she's No. 1 in the world or whoever she is."

Quote:
Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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