BEIJING, China - Jelena Jankovic has recently been asserting herself as one of the most in-form players on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. She has won 31 of her last 42 matches, a record highlighted by reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon and, in her last event, making an inspired run to her first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open. After a week away from the circuit to recover from a back injury, the 21-year-old from Belgrade returns to action at the China Open, and brings us all along with her to Beijing in the latest Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Player Blog.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
It was really nice to be back at home after the US Open. I missed my family so much while I was in the States and it was nice to be with them. The first couple of days back home I did a lot of media requests; I couldn't do them all, because there were so many and I didn't have enough time. I was also able to recover from my back injury, so I would be ready for this week's tournament.
The last day back home, I signed a contract with a car company, Hyundai, and got a new jeep! It was really fun. I started driving around in Belgrade. I never drive when I'm at home, someone usually drives me around. But now I can drive myself. People are probably going to be a bit more careful there now. I think I'm a good driver but people might have to watch out when I'm on the road. Who knows what can happen!
So, I left Serbia and arrived here in Beijing on Saturday. I'm still trying to adjust to the time here. Last night, I woke up at 2am and couldn't go back to sleep, so I woke up my mom so that she could be up with me. I'm sure she was really happy about that. I was here last year and really enjoyed the experience. The people here are really friendly and I know a lot of the players that are here, like Li Na and some of the other Chinese players.
They were joking with me that they were going to get me to eat snakes here. You can order snakes in restaurants. It doesn't look too attractive. My mom said, "They can pay me and I still won't eat it," but I'll try it. Either here or in my next tournament, Guangzhou. They say it tastes like chicken. 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 Li Na will go with me so that's okay. Why not, while I'm travelling, it's not something I can do every day or at home.
I'll talk to you all again tomorrow.
Sep 18th, 2006, 06:19 PM
*laugh* Typical Jelena. :lol:
That´s why I like her. :)
Sep 19th, 2006, 02:31 PM
Monday, September 18, 2006
I woke up today around 9:30am. Jelena Kostanic called me on my phone and woke me up. If she hadn't, who knows how long I would have slept! I had hit snooze so luckily she woke me up. It was nice of her to do that. I didn't sleep so well last night. I woke up at 2am again, but this time I didn't wake my mother up. I was struggling to get to sleep by myself and was looking at the ceiling a lot, but I survived. So anyways, I went out for breakfast, went back to the room to get ready, and came to the tournament.
Once I got on site, I practiced around 2pm with Li Na, for maybe half an hour. The last few points we played we bet to see who would pay for our next dinner - the snake dish. It actually ended 2-all, so I'll pay for one and she'll pay for another. My match was scheduled not before 4pm, but the players before me were playing for a long time, so I didn't get on the court until later. I don't mind waiting. This time I played cards with my mom and relaxed in the player lounge. The few minutes before my match I wanted to concentrate, so I warmed up and listened to some Serbian music.
My match went well. I beat Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 60 61. I'm really happy with the way I played. First rounds can be tough, getting used to the courts and the conditions. And also, this week has been tough because I haven't been getting enough sleep. I'm not sleepy during the night, and sleepy during the day; but I am surviving. I drink coffee and stay awake.
I did a lot of press after my match: an online chat, a press conference, two TV studio interviews; but now is the most important thing - writing this, for my fans.
The press is asking me lots of questions about Li Na here. She is one of my best friends on the Tour. She is a nice girl and a great player. I really enjoy playing doubles with her, as well as practicing. Today was the first time we bet on food during practice. She was telling me that the snake not only tasted like chicken but that it's good for the skin. Actually, a few days ago we also bet on ice cream.
I don't really have any plans for tonight. I want to have a nice dinner with my mom, stay awake as much as possible and hopefully sleep really well when I go to bed tonight. Tomorrow I might go to the stock market.
I'll tell you all about it tomorrow - talk to you then!
Sep 20th, 2006, 02:04 PM
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Last night I had dinner at one of the hotel restaurants. They have a nice buffet that also has desserts. And I'll eat anything with chocolate. There's a special lunch area here for tournament VIPs that some of the other players don't know about, and it has chocolate fondue, and I'll just take some on my plate and bring it back over to eat. They have so many kinds of fruit there as well. I never knew chocolate went so well with watermelon! The best fruit to put it on is strawberries though. Anyways, the other players have been asking me where I get the fondue, but I tell them it's from a special place. I don't think we're supposed to go over there, but one of the girls from the organization said I could, so I have been!
I have to tell you something else that's funny. A few hours after dinner last night, my mom and I decided to get a sauna. So, we put on those bath robes and slippers that come in the hotel room, and we put our hair up in ponytails, and went. But it was so embarassing. The people next to us in the elevator were dressed nicely, perfect hair, elegant clothes; I don't know where they were going, but they were looking at us really funny. It's not like we were walking around the hotel in those robes, you just have to go from the room to the elevator and to the bottom floor, but of course there had to be people in there. There are sometimes people trying to take pictures of players but luckily they weren't around!
I've been sleeping better. Last night, I went to bed around midnight or 1am and slept through the whole night. I did wake up once, but I fell right back asleep. In the morning I woke up, had breakfast then practiced.
It was my day off today so I did some fun things like going to the silk market, where I also had a photo shoot to do with my photographer. During the shoot I got to try on some dresses, like traditional Chinese ones, as well as some big Chinese hats, which looked so funny on me. I also took a picture with a large Chinese fan. We had lots of fun during the shoot. The silk market is crazy. There are so many things you can buy and it's all so different. I also had time for a manicure; I got dark nail polish, which isn't normal for me, because I usually go with something a little more natural, like light pink or transparent. But since coming to Beijing I have wanted to try new things that I don't do in my normal life. And I'm having a lot of fun.
Tonight we have the tournament's player party, and I'm looking forward to telling you all about that tomorrow. Hopefully I don't do anything embarassing! I also have my first doubles match with Li Na tomorrow. There will be lots to talk about.
Talk to you all afterwards!
Sep 20th, 2006, 03:02 PM
Sep 21st, 2006, 01:05 AM
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
So, the player party was last night. They had it in the garden of our hotel. It was really beautiful, well-organized and had really nice food. I also got to meet some of the sponsors. A lot of the players were there. I went with my mom. We socialized with many players, and met some new people, too. It was a good time!
I went to bed pretty late last night, maybe 1am, so it was hard to wake up this morning. When we did wake up, around 9:30am, we went out to breakfast, but then came back to the hotel and went right back to bed. We slept until almost noon! I don't know why, but we were just really tired and sleepy.
Anyways, after we finally got to the tournament in the early afternoon, I warmed up and practiced with my partner, Li Na, then we played our first round doubles match. Unfortunately, we lost, 06 60 63, to Marion Bartoli and Gisela Dulko. We played well in the first set, but after that, I just didn't play well at all, I don't know why. But I tried my best. We were fighting. It was funny, even though we lost the match, there were so many reporters wanting to talk to us and so many people asking for autographs afterwards. It was hard getting off the court! Now I guess I will concentrate more on singles this week. It's probably better because I've been tired and I'll have more energy to focus on singles.
I play Bartoli in my second round singles match tomorrow. I'd like to give her a bit of revenge for beating me in the doubles! But it'll be good because I just feel much more comfortable playing singles than doubles. In doubles, I have a lot of fun but there are things I'm not so good at and I have a lot to learn. I like playing it a lot though; it helps with volleys, serves and returns, which all help for singles.
One thing I'm really enjoying here is all of the free gifts the tournament gives to players. In my hotel room there was a little silk dress that you're supposed to put on your cell phone. Of course, I put it on my Sony Ericsson phone. It looks quite nice. But I have to get the phone out of the dress every time it rings, which can be a problem. But, I like dressing it up. I should get some more outfits, so my phone and I can match!
I don't really have any plans for tonight. I'm still feeling quite tired. But I'm sure I'll have a lot to talk about after my match tomorrow.
Talk to you then,
Just Do It
Sep 21st, 2006, 04:09 PM
One thing I'm really enjoying here is all of the free gifts the tournament gives to players.
she is crazy :rolls:
Sep 22nd, 2006, 01:54 AM
Thursday, September 21, 2006
So I won my second round match against Marion Bartoli today, in straight sets. She was a tough opponent. She just played the finals in Bali, so she was in good form. But I played well and am happy with today's win. Afterwards, I wanted to go for a jog but it was tough. I had to bring a bodyguard with me. Without him I wouldn't have even been able to run one meter because fans are everywhere! I managed to find a nice, quiet place to do my jog; it was difficult to get out of that place but again, the security guard helped me get out.
Press conferences here are a bit different than what I'm used to. Today, if we didn't tell them near the end to ask just one more question, I have a feeling I would have been there for another hour! They asked so many questions, and they wanted me to talk about my blog, too, and all the off-court stuff we players do. Maybe when I get my own Web site I'll keep all the fans happy and write my own blog; maybe not every day, but once every couple days.
It's a different mentality here for the fans. They are even more keen on seeing players up close, getting their autographs and taking pictures. But sometimes there are so many of them, I feel I need to stay out there for two hours if I am going to sign everything; it's difficult if you're tired or busy after your match.
Last night I didn't do much, just went back to the hotel and talked on the phone with my boyfriend and one of my friends. Tonight, though, we're going to the Serbian embassy here in Beijing. They called us, and the ambassador came to watch me play today, and so today, after I've eaten lunch, we're gonna go to the embassy and meet all of them. I have never been there. They actually called me last night and left me a few messages, but I never got them. I have so many calls I just don't know which to answer. My phone has been constantly shining with messages!
I'm hoping to have a nice dinner tonight. I haven't eaten outside of the hotel yet; I've been so tired and sleepy, and haven't wanted to walk anywhere around town. It's easier to stay in the hotel. And the hotel restaurant's food is nice. Anyways, on the subject of dinner, Li Na and I have finally made plans for the snakes. It won't be here, it'll be in Guangzhou next week. They've been telling me all about it. There's three ways they cook it. There's barbecue even. I asked her what we're getting and she said we're getting all three kinds. A buffet of snake! First chocolate, now snakes. A lot of Europeans wouldn't touch this. But I'll try it and tell you all about it! I don't think it'll be that bad.
I'll talk to you all tomorrow!
Sep 22nd, 2006, 04:27 AM
she's so excited about the snakes. it's sooo cute. :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts:
Sep 23rd, 2006, 10:25 AM
Friday, September 22, 2006
Yesterday, I was telling you about how I was going to the embassy here with the ambassador who came to watch me play. I went, and it was a good time. I met a lot of people there. We had a bit of a cocktail, talked for a bit. The building was nice, sort of in between a Chinese building and one from the rest of the world. After that, I came back to the tournament, practiced, had a massage, then went back to the hotel. We didn't do anything special. It was tough to do anything because I was the first match up on the schedule today and needed to get my rest. I definitely didn't want to be tired for today.
This morning I woke up pretty early, around 8am, and had my usual breakfast; I usually have the same breakfast every day, especially during a tournament where I'm doing well! I eat a lot of fruit, cereal, egg whites, sometimes pancakes or scrambled eggs, and I drink green tea. I love the food at the hotel.
After eating, we came to the tournament, and before I went to do my warm-up, a fan gave me a really nice letter. It read:
You're one of the most incredible young talents, and my favourite tennis player. Your strength, your dedication, your elegance, your sweetness, and most important of all, your passion towards tennis and life, are such an inspiration to me. Good luck on your game, enjoy the field, and you're No.1.
Love, Aili D
She gave me this letter and a bit of chocolate; because of my blog, everybody knows how much I love chocolate! It was really nice. I really appreciate my fans, especially these little things, they mean a lot to me. I really don't know how to explain it. Anyways, I think when I started to warm up the fan may have been a little embarassed, because I thought the letter was so cute that I showed it to my mom and a few of my friends. I wanted to share it, it was a really nice letter.
I have to tell you about something funny that happened today. Right before my match, I was getting ready, and I went to the bathroom. I had my mp3 player on, and I guess I was not really paying too much attention to anything, and when I came out, I had a whole roll of toilet paper in my hand. I got to the middle of the locker room, and Ai Sugiyama was there looking at me funny, and I said, "Why am I holding toilet paper in my hand?" We both just started cracking up. I just took it and didn't even notice. I probably would have gone to the court with it if she hadn't looked at me strangely. That would've been even more embarassing. Can you imagine walking out on the court with toilet paper in your hand, holding it like you would hold your gatorade or something?
So anyways, after the toilet paper incident, it was time for my match. I was almost late for it because I was laughing so much about the toilet paper. Nadia Petrova thought she was going to have a walkover! Just kidding. Anyways, it was a really tough, three set match, and I had some trouble breathing, but I beat Nadia, 64 46 62. Another Top 10 win. I don't know how I am doing this, but I'm enjoying it and I'd like to keep it up. I'm so happy to be in the semifinals. It's going to be another tough one. I'll try my best and we'll see what happens.
I have an autograph session to go to in a bit. I'm looking forward to signing millions of autographs! I'm probably gonna break the record. You can't even see where the line-ups end here. I'm really happy to sign as many as I can. I appreciate my fans. These are the people that come out and watch us play. I'm happy to do these. I hope I can sign them all. I will try to make them all happy.
I'll talk to you all after my match!
Just Do It
Sep 23rd, 2006, 10:40 AM
oh my ... this with the toilet paper and Ai is :haha: !!!
Sep 23rd, 2006, 02:48 PM
This is great i love it!! She is so silly and she cracks me up!!
Sep 23rd, 2006, 03:58 PM
She's crazy :crazy: :rolls: I really like her! :D
Sep 24th, 2006, 04:31 AM
Saturday, September 23, 2006
It's been a long day. I don't know where to begin! I didn't do much this morning. After going to breakfast I just went back to the hotel room and slept again. Then, I watched a little bit of television. Miss World was on, and it was fun, I saw the girl from Serbia and the one from Montenegro which was nice. I'm not sure how they did, though, because it was still going on when I left.
Anyways, after that I came to the tournament, warmed up and went on court. The most exciting thing that happened today was my match! It's funny, I thought it was going to be over in 40 minutes or an hour, because Mauresmo was playing so well, up a set and 3-1 in the second, and she even had a lot of game points for 4-1; I don't know how I came back and won that set, but we ended up playing for close to three hours before I finally lost, 61 36 76(3).
Even though I'm disappointed, it was one of the most exciting matches I've ever played in my whole career. I gave my best today, and I just hope I'll recover for my next tournament, because right now I'm just in pain! One thing I think I need to work on is my physical condition. It's not as good as some other players. But I'm young, I have a lot of time. We'll see how everything will go in the future.
Tomorrow I'm going to Guangzhou. Hopefully I can get a ticket for tomorrow, because I want to get used to the weather over there. It's warmer and more humid, very different than here. Not much time to rest but I'll do my best.
I really enjoyed my time in Beijing. One thing I'll always remember is leaving the stadium for the last time today, because so many fans were waiting there more than two hours to see me; it was really touching. I tried to sign autographs for all of them. I'm happy what I did here. I'd be happier if I got to the finals but there's always next time.
The blog was really fun. This is my last entry, but I would like to get my own Web site soon so fans can hear a lot more from me. Thank you all for reading this, and I'll talk to you all soon!!
Sep 24th, 2006, 05:00 AM
So is jelenajankovic.net not her official site then?
Sep 24th, 2006, 12:13 PM
It says it's official, but perhaps it's a site she was "given" and has little control over.
Sep 24th, 2006, 02:22 PM
I thought that was her offical site guess it is for real not. I hope she does get a permanet site because reading her blog is awesome I never knew what a pro tennis player did everyday during tournaments and now I do.