Jelena Jankovic News and Articles Thread, vol 3 - Page 80 -
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post #1186 of 1187 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2016, 10:31 PM
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Re: Jelena Jankovic News and Articles Thread, vol 3

05 February 2016

Strong Spain provide stern test for Serbia

By Zoran Milosavljevic

KRALJEVO, SERBIA: Serbia and Spain will lock horns in a Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II tie worthy of a top-tier contest, given that some of the game’s top names will take centre stage in the Kraljevo Sports Hall the upcoming weekend.

It will be the second meeting between these two sides, with Serbia coming out on top 4-0 in their previous clash in Lleida in 2009, when former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic led her team’s charge.

Jankovic, who will turn 31 later this month and is ranked 19th on the WTA tour, is once again Serbia’s best hope of prevailing against strong favourites Spain, who will bank on having a pair of versatile Top 10 singles players in their ranks.

Garbine Muguruza, the world No. 5, will take on Serbia’s second-ranked player Bojana Jovanovski (world No. 87) in Saturday’s opening singles rubber, followed by an intriguing clash between Jankovic and Carla Suarez-Navarro, currently No. 8 on the WTA Tour.

“I am delighted to be back as there is no better feeling than competing for your country’s colours,” Jankovic, who last played for Serbia in a 3-1 defeat by the Czech Republic in the 2012 final, told the ITF.

“We are up against very tough opposition, one of the best teams in the competition quality-wise. It’s going to be a big challenge for all of us but although they are the favourites on paper, anything can happen.”

“Our advantage is playing on home soil and having the crowd behind us, so we are really looking forward to it.”

With 48 Fed Cup appearances after making her debut in 2001, Jankovic will draw on her vast experience as she also takes on Muguruza in Sunday’s opening reverse singles before Jovanovski meets Suarez-Navarro.

Spain’s team captain Conchita Martinez nominated Lara Arruabarrena and Lourdes Dominguez Lino for the tie-ending doubles but conceded she may opt for her two top singles players if the contest goes down to the wire.

“It all depends how the tie goes. Obviously, Carla and Garbine are also very good doubles players, they have played together and if it comes to that and they are fit, they probably will play,” she said.

“I think it’s going to be a good tie because Serbia have a very strong team but we are also a force to be reckoned with. They are at home while we have two Top-10 players who are in very good form at the moment.”

“It’s good that Garbine is out first as she is expected to win against Jovanovski, although you never know in the Fed Cup. But obviously, Serbia’s stronger player is Jelena and she is the one to beat.”

Despite boasting three strong doubles players in the current roster, this particular segment has been Spain’s undoing in several crucial ties recently, notably in a 3-2 defeat by Romania last April and the 3-2 loss to the Czech Republic in the 2014 World Group I first round.

Serbia’s teenage prospect Ivana Jorovic, who shone in their impressive run through the Europe/Africa zone in 2015 before they climbed back into World Group II with a home win over Paraguay, was upbeat about her team’s chances of staging an upset.

“I am so excited about the tie and I believe we have a good chance of beating Spain,” she said with a big smile.

“I think it’s a 50-50 tie because being a Top-10 player doesn’t always mean that much in this competition, especially in the women’s game. It’s not for certain that Nina Stojanovic and I will play Sunday’s doubles although we have been nominated, but I am confident we can beat anyone and will relish the prospect if selected.”

Muguruza, in turn, acknowledged the home court advantage could be a factor playing into Serbia’s hands.

“That’s the first and most important thing, making it difficult for us,” she said. “But we are trying hard to go up to the top tier and in order to achieve that, we must keep in mind that rankings don’t matter in the Fed Cup as it all comes down to doing your work.”


R1 Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) v Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
R2 Jelena Jankovic (SRB) v Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)


R3 Jelena Jankovic (SRB) v Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
R4 Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) v Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
R5 Ivana Jorovic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB) v Lara Arruabarrena/Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP)

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."

Good Luck
Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki N. Petrova M. Hingis
T. Paszek A. Chakvetadze K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova A. Myskina
GNTM 2015
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Re: Jelena Jankovic News and Articles Thread, vol 3

06 February 2016

Spain takes commanding lead over Serbia in Kraljevo

By Zoran Milosavljevic

KRALJEVO, SERBIA: Strong favourites Spain lived up to expectations as Garbine Muguruza brushed aside Ivana Jorovic 63 61 and Carla Suarez-Navarro overpowered Jelena Jankovic 64 62 to give them a 2-0 lead against hosts Serbia on Saturday.

The outcome of the opening singles rubbers put Spain in the driving seat to clinch the World Group II first round tie after Sunday’s reverse singles, when Muguruza plays Jankovic and Navarro takes on either Ivana Jorovic or Bojana Jovanovski.

Serbia best hope of staying on level terms was Jankovic’s clash with Suarez-Navarro, but the home crowd favourite was unable to contain the Spaniard after making a promising start.

Jankovic broke her rival’s serve in the fifth game of the opening set but Suarez-Navarro broke straight back and took the opening set after breaking Jankovic’s serve again in the final game, unleashing a searing backhand winner down the line.

Her one-handed backhand kept tormenting Jankovic as she was able to dictate the pace in most of the points, also using her forehand to devastating effect.

The pair traded breaks in the opening two games of the second set before Suarez-Navarro put her foot on the gas pedal and claimed the next four with a barrage of tough shots, forcing Jankovic to commit a flurry of errors.

The Spaniard was light on her feet and floated up and down the baseline almost effortlessly, retrieving anything the disjointed Jankovic was able to throw at her.

The resilient Jankovic refused to lie down and broke Suarez-Navarro’s serve when 5-1 down in the second set to stay in the match, bur her valiant effort only delayed the inevitable as the Spaniard sealed the contest in the next game, after Jankovic double-faulted on her final serve.

“The opening set was crucial, especially when she was 5-4 up. I lost my focus after a foot-fault call in the final game but credit to Suarez-Navarro, she outplayed me in the second set,” Jankovic told Serbian television (RTS) in a courtside interview.

“It will be very tough tomorrow because we are 2-0 down and need to win all three matches to prevail. I am very disappointed not to have done better today. I missed too many chances to stay on an even keel with my rival.”

In the day’s opening match, Muguruza was made to work harder than the scoreline suggests for her win over 18-year old Jorovic, who was given a standing ovation by home Serbian fans in Kraljevo after showing flashes of brilliance against her stronger and more experienced opponent.

With stage-fright stifling the young Serbian in the opening exchanges, world No. 5 Muguruza raced into a 4-0 lead in just 14 minutes as the gulf in class was everywhere to be seen.

But Jorovic, ranked 174th, then sprung back to life and roared on by a partisan home crowd, she took the next three games and came agonisingly close to leveling the score in the opening set.

Muguruza found another gear, however, and again pegged her rival well behind the baseline, unleashing stinging shots with laser-beam accuracy.

Jorovic fought hard and her perseverance made the last game of the match its longest, as Muguruza needed eight match points to break down her rival.

“It was definitely more difficult than the score may tell because I was up against an aggressive opponent I had never played before,” Muguruza told the ITF.

“I am really looking forward to playing against Jankovic on Sunday, we have met many times on the WTA tour and it will surely be an entertaining contest.”

Jorovic, who named as a late replacement for better-ranked Bojana Jovanovski by Serbia’s team captain Tatjana Jecmenica, acknowledged the defeat was part of a learning curve.

“It is a tremendous experience to slug it out with a Top-10 player and although I am not entirely satisfied with my performance, I will take a lot of positives from this match,” she said.
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Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."

Good Luck
Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki N. Petrova M. Hingis
T. Paszek A. Chakvetadze K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova A. Myskina
GNTM 2015
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