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spiceboy
Oct 23rd, 2008, 10:20 AM
http://www.sportstaronnet.com/stories/20081025502202300.htm

Jankovic’s beauty lies in her willingness to struggle

ROHIT BRIJNATH

Jelena Jankovic is like a sculpture you need to ruminate over for a while before you identify her beauty. She can’t out-hit and out-power her opponents, so she must annoy and outsmart and outrun them. Which she does, to the point where opponents look like they want to sue for harassment.

The best player in the world needs to have won at least one Grand Slam title, so sue the Women’s Tennis Association computer which spits out her name as No.1.

The best player in the world needs to be a tunnel-visioned beast, but she laughs at herself on the big screen during changeovers. She was asked a few weeks ago how her injured foot was and replied: “The food is great”. Then she giggled at her mistake.

The best player in the world is expected to own a thousand-yard stare and never admit to weakness, but she lay down on court for 30 seconds like a distressed drama queen after one point at the US Open.

Asked if the pavement was hot, she countered: “No, but I thought I was going to get my dress really dirty, and then that was my biggest concern.”

Then again, maybe we should have more best players in the world like Jelena Jankovic.

Jankovic interests deeply on two levels. First, her ability to find a smile and a sunny quote even in defeat and distress. It will be suggested that it is precisely this lack of hard-nosed desire that is impeding her, as if this constantly injured athlete suffers from a medical condition called killer instinct deficiency. Problem is, Roger Federer would laugh in your face if you ever equated niceness with an absence of toughness.

Second, Jankovic interests because she is unattractive. Not ugly in the way she looks, but in the way she plays. She’s a marathon runner with a tennis racquet, an athlete who operates on a rectangular track, a player whose matches shouldn’t be measured in points won but miles run.

We normally turn up our noses at players like this. If we’re feeling generous we pay them second-hand compliments, brush them off with patronising words like “grinder” or “hard worker” or “utility player”. As if this is some polite way of proclaiming them as untalented, untouched by beauty, unfamiliar with flair. A retriever after all is a fine dog, it is a terrible label for a tennis player.

The preference in any sport is instinctively for the artistic and the aggressive, a player must either paint a beautiful picture or a belligerent one. It is easy to fall for the effortless Ronaldo and hard to resist the menacing Serena. Go for it, crowds insist, just don’t bloody sit back.

The attacker is seen as a refined fellow with an open mind, who relishes adventure and is an athletic relative of Indiana Jones. We like golfers who attack pins and tennis players who try to kiss the lines. There is an electric appeal to the sportsman literally going forward (rushing to the net to volley, running at defences in football, stepping out to hit a six), for it suggests audacity and initiative.

Jankovic is none of this, she’s not obviously entertaining, not a conspicuously pretty champion, but a champion nonetheless. She’s like a sculpture you need to ruminate over for a while before you identify her beauty. She can’t out-hit and out-power opponents, so she must annoy and outsmart and outrun them. Which she does, to the point where opponents look like they want to sue for harassment.

As she said: “There are taller girls out there. I can’t compete with their strength and height, so I have to find other ways of getting an advantage. I have been getting stronger in the gym, but tennis is like a game of chess. Sometimes you have to be smarter than your opponent to get an advantage to win the game.”

So she chases down balls with the zeal of a bounty hunter, she’s allergic to error, she keeps opponents off balance, she constructs points sagely, she turns every point into some test of character. Only after watching for a while is Jankovic revealed: she has the speed of an Inca courier (as miler John Landy was once famously described) and a monk’s willingness to embrace struggle. Tenacity, we tend to forget amid the blizzards of muscular shot-making, is a talent in itself.

This life of Jankovic’s, it is a hard sporting life for nothing comes easy, no point is cheap, no set short, no opponent daunted. Venus’ serves are like fullstops, Jankovic’s are like the opening of a conversation. Everything she does must be earned. But she is not alone, we see her family all across the landscape of sport. In the persistence of Dirk Kuyt, the bloody-mindedness of Lleyton Hewitt, the doggedness of Vijay Singh, the stoic method of Rahul Dravid.

It’s like some equitable God has given them half a helping of flair (or muscle or height), but a double serving of sweat and intelligence. They’re not first in line as exhibits in a sports museum, but don’t think of picking a team without them.

Jankovic, in a strange way, represents us, she is the ambassador of the average man. We want to be Federeresque, it’s what we dream of, but it’s Jankovic who reminds us that sport has place not just for the preternaturally gifted but also the industrious. Work hard, coaches bellow and fathers urge: here is proof that it goes a long way.

Anyway, the saucy Serb might grin and say, this beauty business, it is overrated. And she might offer as evidence the words of Emil Zatopek. As that face-contorted, tongue-flapping, head-shaking ugly champion once put it: “I shall learn to have a better style once they start judging races according to their beauty.”

spiceboy
Oct 23rd, 2008, 10:20 AM
That was a weird article :tape: :lol:

ElusiveChanteuse
Oct 23rd, 2008, 10:45 AM
Indeed it's a little weird but it's true since it has all what most of us are talking about her.:p
Suddenly Federer's name came out from nowhere :o

Miss Amor
Oct 23rd, 2008, 11:06 AM
Lol :haha:

A bit desperate attempt to find anything beautiful about her ..

markhingis
Oct 23rd, 2008, 11:30 AM
the intro could also match Hingis game :) Little long but well-written article. She's a great athlete.

Marshmallow
Oct 23rd, 2008, 11:49 AM
Lol :haha:

A bit desperate attempt to find anything beautiful about her ..

You need to stop, you're killing me :haha: :rolls:

And struggled still:
Jelena Jankovic is like a sculpture you need to ruminate over for a while before you identify her beauty. :speakles:

Second, Jankovic interests because she is unattractive. :speakles:

not a conspicuously pretty champion :sobbing:

Anyway, the Serb might grin and say, this beauty business, it is overrated.

:spit:

Volcana
Oct 23rd, 2008, 12:39 PM
The best player in the world ........ needs to win the biggest, most important, most prestigious tournaments in the world. If you don't when everyone is trying their hardest, you aren't the best.

ViennaCalling
Oct 23rd, 2008, 01:12 PM
.... needs to win the biggest, most important, most prestigious tournaments in the world. If you don't when everyone is trying their hardest, you aren't the best.

Not again, please not again :help: :weirdo:

Did you study this sentence because you mention it every single day? :o

Mikey.
Oct 23rd, 2008, 02:06 PM
I actually quite liked the article, even though it was a little weird. :lol:

Mikey.
Oct 23rd, 2008, 02:09 PM
Lol :haha:

A bit desperate attempt to find anything beautiful about her ..

You need to stop, you're killing me :haha: :rolls:

And struggled still:
:speakles:

:speakles:

:sobbing:



:spit:

:yawn:

When the writer described her as beautiful, he was referring to aspects other than physical beauty. :)

Also when he did refer to her physical appearance, he did say she was not the most beautiful player, which we all know is true. So what's your problem? :yawn:

SOA_MC
Oct 23rd, 2008, 02:30 PM
Wow they spun everything about her except for her looks:lol: It's funny how when a writer tries to blow smoke up her they use, she may not be physically attracive but...:haha:

HRHoliviasmith
Oct 23rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
You are wasting your breath with those couple of losers ...
let em' go crawl quietly back to their cages.

Having seen the player under discussion up close and in the flesh,
beauty and charisma is the total package. :angel:

what the heck is wrong with you? when people don't say nice things about jelena you call them losers. and when they do say nice things, you call them trolls. :lol:

thegreendestiny
Oct 23rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
this is why she needs to win a GS soon. These will all be gone by then.

But I dont think it ever will.

In the mean time, I will laugh with you... :haha:

Infiniti2001
Oct 23rd, 2008, 03:48 PM
This coming from somebody with Williams in it's sig :haha:

protesting a bit too much :lol::help:

Patrick345
Oct 23rd, 2008, 04:11 PM
Jankovic’s beauty lies in her willingness to struggle

Does that make Szavay Miss Universe?

Miss Amor
Oct 23rd, 2008, 04:23 PM
this is why she needs to win a GS soon. These will all be gone by then.


Well even if she does win a grandslam...it will be not because of her talent [or lack of it for that matter] but for the other players being injured /retired...and her ugly on-court crafty antics....:wavey:

Mikey.
Oct 23rd, 2008, 04:32 PM
Well even if she does win a grandslam...it will be not because of her talent [or lack of it for that matter] but for the other players being injured /retired...and her ugly on-court crafty antics....:wavey:

Did you even read the article at all?

HRHoliviasmith
Oct 23rd, 2008, 04:35 PM
Does that make Szavay Miss Universe?

:haha:

hankqq
Oct 23rd, 2008, 04:45 PM
Regardless of all the other nonsense that you guys are fighting over, 1 name that the writer dropped in this article that fits perfectly is Lleyton Hewitt. When he was at the top of the men's game, he was the most steady player from the baseline, and this is quite similar to how Jankovic plays.

Dunlop1
Oct 23rd, 2008, 05:00 PM
Regardless of all the other nonsense that you guys are fighting over, 1 name that the writer dropped in this article that fits perfectly is Lleyton Hewitt. When he was at the top of the men's game, he was the most steady player from the baseline, and this is quite similar to how Jankovic plays.

And when an attacking all-court player came into his own (in Hewitt's prime) he beat the hell out of Hewitt and showed him that running game is not the way to stay at the top of the game. (Roger Federer for the ATP challenged)

Henin another aggressive all-court player did the same to JJ. 9-0 :worship:

kinglear
Oct 23rd, 2008, 05:30 PM
the intro could also match Hingis game :) Little long but well-written article. She's a great athlete.

That was an awesome article. The sentences were fun to read and the analysis was thought-provoking. However, I do think Jankovic is a player who can also play quick points and not just marathon rallies. Her balls dip really nicely and her backhand is offense at its best. She definitely does not have an offensive backhand. She reminds me of Myskina in that way because their backhands are their weapons. :)

Beny
Oct 23rd, 2008, 06:38 PM
Good article :D

I didn´t read it until the end :lol: but the first part is quite good.

But Jelena is not a typical retriever like Cibulkova. From what I´ve recently seen, she uses FH and bh angles extremely well, her DTL shots needn´t be mentioned.. Her serve has improved. She´s a complete player now, like Amelie was in 06, or Justine in 07

Dunlop1
Oct 23rd, 2008, 08:07 PM
She´s a complete player now, like Justine in 07

LOL, I guess it's good to dream

RenaSlam.
Oct 24th, 2008, 12:03 AM
Beauty?

http://www.clipartof.com/images/emoticons/xsmall2/2182_throw_up.gif (http://www.clipartof.com)

Apoleb
Oct 24th, 2008, 12:14 AM
wow, some of the biggest bullshit I've read in a while. I don't know how these writers get paid.

Jankovic, in a strange way, represents us, she is the ambassador of the average man. We want to be Federeresque, it’s what we dream of, but it’s Jankovic who reminds us that sport has place not just for the preternaturally gifted but also the industrious. Work hard, coaches bellow and fathers urge: here is proof that it goes a long way.

Oh yeah? Because her running, anticipation and defensive skills are not "prenatural gifts" and are common to the "average man"? What a tool.

LightWarrior
Oct 24th, 2008, 12:43 AM
Yeah and her playing in Zurich was sheer madness.

moby
Oct 24th, 2008, 05:08 AM
I'm familiar with Rohit Brijnath because he writes for the Straits Times (Singaporean paper). On some days, he's passable; on others, he writes articles like this one.

He gives Jelena way too little credit. Just because she's not a ball-basher doesn't mean she's talentless with a racket and incapable of great shotmaking (he seems to think shotmaking is all about hitting the ball hard). :retard:

woosey
Oct 24th, 2008, 05:24 AM
she's a weasel. and they aren't pretty.

duhcity
Oct 24th, 2008, 05:34 AM
Well even if she does win a grandslam...it will be not because of her talent [or lack of it for that matter] but for the other players being injured /retired...and her ugly on-court crafty antics....:wavey:

You could say the same about Venus and Serena.
If you honestly think that the current field is so weak because they are all talentless, then their slams this year will be moot because they clearly according to your logic won them due to the weak, injured, retired field and the fact that they can't commit throughout the year and are not dedicated to play their so-called spectacular tennis outside of slams

See, it works both ways.

woosey
Oct 24th, 2008, 05:50 AM
You could say the same about Venus and Serena.
If you honestly think that the current field is so weak because they are all talentless, then their slams this year will be moot because they clearly according to your logic won them due to the weak, injured, retired field and the fact that they can't commit throughout the year and are not dedicated to play their so-called spectacular tennis outside of slams

See, it works both ways.

the fact that venus and serena triumphed well before their accomplishments this year makes your point moot.

W!MBLEDON
Oct 24th, 2008, 01:08 PM
she's made more money than any of you doing what she does :shrug:

Kabomba
Oct 24th, 2008, 02:00 PM
She is sooooooo not talented. That's why she gives us so menu great matches against different opponents. She can do so menu things with her racket,and she can improvise unlike menu of the ballbashers on the tour :rolleyes: stupid article

doni1212
Oct 24th, 2008, 02:35 PM
.... needs to win the biggest, most important, most prestigious tournaments in the world. If you don't when everyone is trying their hardest, you aren't the best.

That is just a perfect statement! You said it perfectly and I agree!
:worship::worship::worship:

Ellery
Oct 24th, 2008, 02:38 PM
Jelena :hearts: She is so beautiful.

RedFilaJ-Cap#1
Oct 25th, 2008, 03:03 AM
Jelena will win a grand slam!! She can play with the big dogs and beat them. She can and will win the big matches. She works hard and plays harder and it will pay off. Just because she doesnt serve 125 mph doesnt mean she isn't a top tennis player. She can run like a dear and never gives up. She is also very fun to watch and womens tennis needs her there because she brings out the fun in the game. It is so annoying to just hear a player yell or scream really loud and that is all the personality they have!! BORING BORINg BORING. O and back hand down the line JJ stlye is the bomb dot com!!!! :) :)

terjw
Oct 25th, 2008, 01:10 PM
Jelena will win a grand slam!! She can play with the big dogs and beat them. She can and will win the big matches. She works hard and plays harder and it will pay off. Just because she doesnt serve 125 mph doesnt mean she isn't a top tennis player. She can run like a dear and never gives up. She is also very fun to watch and womens tennis needs her there because she brings out the fun in the game. It is so annoying to just hear a player yell or scream really loud and that is all the personality they have!! BORING BORINg BORING. O and back hand down the line JJ stlye is the bomb dot com!!!! :) :)

Thank you. Yeah I think she brings the fun in the game. She's different to the power players and very difficult to beat.

As for her winning a grand slam - nothing would give me more joy. But I'm not going to predict whether she will or won't. One problem is that I still think that at their peak - there are several players better than Jelena. They can't keep their peak up for longer than a month or two. But in a slam - there's probably gonna be 1 or 2 top players at their peak though it could be different players each time.

So if Jelena wins a slam - she'll have to do it the hard way. But then it will be doubly satisfying that she has to work harder for it. It won't come easy with her. And she doesn't get the free points with big serves other players get in tight situations.

I'd love her to win a slam. But if she doesn't - it won't diminish that she's a great player in the current crop in my eyes. In fact she's the greatest overall - her play, her personality, her interviews, everything. It will just say to me that only when comparing the players at their peak is she not better than some of the other top players.

MagicMilan
Oct 25th, 2008, 01:54 PM
too many reetards lately :sobbing: