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Jankovic aims to regain top speed after slow start

14 hours, 45 minutes ago


By Mark Lamport-Stokes
INDIAN WELLS, California, March 11 (Reuters) - Jelena Jankovic was overjoyed after becoming world number one for the first time at the end of last year, but the Serb has been frustrated by her sluggish start to 2009.
The 24-year-old has reached only one semi-final in three tournaments this season and has lost some of her explosive court speed while working to build up her stamina.
“I am not really satisfied with the way I began my year,” Jankovic told reporters on Wednesday while preparing for the Indian wells WTA tournament.
“I didn’t play well at the Australian Open,” she added, referring to her fourth-round loss there to Marion Bartoli.
“I was completely off my game and I was moving terribly. I just didn’t feel confident on the court at all and the results showed.”

Jankovic, who won four WTA titles last year while reaching her first grand slam final at the U.S. open, attributed her reduced court speed to her fitness training during the off-season.
“I did a lot of things for my endurance and I had some problems moving,” she said. “I lost my speed on the court and I lost my reaction. I lost my biggest weapon.
“Until now, I was having trouble reacting and moving, especially with my returns and getting that first step. I just lost that and I have been trying to get that back.
“I hope to get my game together and start playing on a high level again. That is my goal for this moment. I am not thinking about anything else. I am not putting expectations on myself.”
Jankovic, seeded second at Indian Wells, reflected with pride on her barn-storming finish to her 2008 campaign.
“I ended the year in a really good way when I had a lot of pressure on me,” she said. “Everybody wanted to finish number one and I am only the ninth player to do that.
“I really wanted that number one position and I knew I had to win three tournaments in a row to secure my ranking. And I have done that.
“I proved to myself I was able to play on a high level, play under pressure and take on that role as the number one player in the world. I really liked that challenge.” (Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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That is exactly what Hingis said happened to her, sometime in 2001 maybe 2002. She said she tried to bulk up to gain more muscle to complete with the bigger hitters ... and she lost her weapon. Now it's with Jankovic ... she needs to work on her game, not bulk up. The serve is the weakness, not her power.
 

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Just because Marion destroyed her!
 

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she's right

she looks way slower on court
 

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I agree too Frenchie. She has slowed down. Shes not as "there" as she was before to me.

She sort of stands in the same place now.
 

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So many players try to change their game without success

I hope Anna C realizes that
 

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She is right. She'll never be a power player, she needs to stick to what works for her.
EGG-ACTLY!

Use what you got to get what you want.

JJ is not a power player, she is a counter puncher, w/great consistency. If she was a power player, with an attacking game she'd wish for more consistency.

Hingis had the best placement in the game, but it takes quite a bit of stamina to withstand the blows coming from the power players, when u lose that the end is near. If she could blast winners past players we would not have seen half the creativity she brought to the court.


Play your game JJ, nobody does that better than you.
 

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La Divina Assoluta
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It's true, Jankovic is completely neglecting her strengths atm, by trying to adopt such a powerful, ball-striking game.

Being a superb counter-punching player, with tremendous athletic ability gives her a definite edge in today's game. Now that Hingis and Myskina are gone, she's the best counter-puncher out there. By trying to access into the trend of being a power-player, she's becoming almost without distinction.

I mean look at that match against Kanepi. She was trying to hit her off the court, thus inducing SO many errors, more than i've ever seen from Jankovic on such a recurrent basis in one match. Then when Kanepi hit a ball with half-decent length, she was being put on the defensive almost immediately. Just not the way she should be playing.
 

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she sounds more she's pissed she lost to bartoli in another slam after wimbledon two years ago:help:

actually she didnt win but its not ONLY because of her conditioning or else,I mean bartoli just overpowered and played good.

The same against amélie at paris. You just cant say that she lost because of her body.Amelie won the tournament just after so she cant justify her loss only on a single angle
 

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Exactly. To change aspects of your game isn´t easy. Not many can do it and keep up the good results, as well as the already strong points of your game. Jankovic and hingis are examples of this.

A good example of someone who COULD change her game all she wants and keep the results and strengths up is justine. That´s why justine as a ´non´ powerplayer is the only recent player(maybe to a lesser extent mauresmo,(on the forehand for example), but she's not able to sustain her form) who went to the next level why jankovic and hingis get stuck down the road. She increased the power in her shots, changed the aspects of her footwork, strategy, serve and forehand all in short periods during her career while not losing her strengths.
 
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Exactly. To change aspects of your game isn´t easy. Not many can do it and keep up the good results, as well as the already strong points of your game. Jankovic and hingis are examples of this.

A good example of someone who COULD change her game all she wants and keep the results and strengths up is justine. That´s why justine as a ´non´ powerplayer is the only recent player(maybe to a lesser extent mauresmo,(on the forehand for example), but she's not able to sustain her form) who went to the next level why jankovic and hingis get stuck down the road. She increased the power in her shots, changed the aspects of her footwork, strategy, serve and forehand all in short periods during her career while not losing her strengths.
Exacto. It's tough to alter with your game, and now JJ is paying the price. Especially when you're game is already so reliant on very specific things. she really should have been working on both aspects simultaneously.
 

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Exacto. It's tough to alter with your game, and now JJ is paying the price. Especially when you're game is already so reliant on very specific things. she really should have been working on both aspects simultaneously.
Exactly, what´s important in this also is that jankovic doesn´t have any big weapons to fall back upon. Her backhand can be considered her greatest strength but it´s not as natural like justine´s or amelie´s backhand for example. Justine and amelie´s backhands were always natural strokes while jankovic built her game up with hers. And we´re seeing the difference now in 2 things:

1. While amelie's game went down the hill the last year's, there's 1 stroke that didn't. And that's her backhand. Her backhand was always the stroke she could build upon even in hard times.
2. Jelena's backhand is going all over the place right now with her deteriorated movement and footwork.
 

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Well - at least she knows it now. Join the chorus JJ - the one that's been trying to tell you that unless bulk adds to the strength of your groundstrokes, the speed of your service, or makes you less fragile or injury prone in some way - then it's actually dead weight being lugged around and a serious impediment to a counterpuncher's game.

And I've said this as someone who isn't even a fan of yours - Jelena you don't need to emulate anyone else. Stick to being YOUand playing your style of tennis.
 

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What's funny is that in the matches I've seen of hers that she has played after bulking up-- she was powderpuffing the ball to the middle of the court and looked miserable. If anything you'd expect more cracking shots and more errors. She definitely needs to put the strength training on the back burner and get her flexibility and speed back.

Also: you don't need to put 10 lbs of muscle on an athletic woman's body to get her to serve harder. There are hundreds of college players the same height as Jelena who serve harder. She needs to revise her technique and go for more.
 

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Jelena - don't fix what isn't broken. :shrug: You finished as year end #1 last year, don't change your game. :unsure:
 
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