- Category : Tennis Player
- Type : PE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (12,36)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Migration 1
Jelena Jankovic born on February 28, 1985 is a Serbian professional female tennis player.
Jankovic entered the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) top 15 in late 2006 when she reached the semi-finals of the U.S. Open. At the beginning of 2007, she broke into the top 10 in the WTA rankings, and entered the top 3 when she reached the semifinals of the French Open. She won the Mixed Doubles title at 2007 Wimbledon Championships with partner Jamie Murray.
Jankovic learned her first tennis skills in Tennis Club 'Red Star'. As a nine-and-a-half year old she was introduced to tennis by her elder brother and fitness coach Marko. She was later trained at the Tennis Academy of Nick Bollettieri. As a junior she won the 2001 Australian Open. In 2001, she started to play on the WTA Tour; she reached the second round at her first tournament at the Indian Wells Masters.
In October 2003, Jankovic entered the top 100 at No. 90 for the first time after winning her first ITF title in Dubai. Three months later, Jankovic garnered her first top 10 win against Elena Dementieva 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of the 2004 Australian Open. She then lost to Jill Craybas in three sets in the second round. In May, Jankovic won her first WTA title, a Tier V event, in Budapest, defeating Martina Suchá in the final 7-6, 6-3. Following her win in Budapest, she reached No. 51 in the world. Elsewhere in her 2004 season, she defeated top 20 players Nadia Petrova (twice), Vera Zvonareva, Patty Schnyder and Paola Suárez. Jankovic finished 2004 ranked No. 28 in the world.
2005- The Breakthrough
2005 is considered Jankovic's breakthrough season. In March, at Dubai, she advanced to the final following Serena Williams's retirement in the semifinal. Jankovic then lost in the final to Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. She made her first Tier I semifinal in Berlin, losing to Nadia Petrova 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. In June, she reached her first grass court final at Birmingham, but lost to Maria Sharapova 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. In October, Jankovic reached her third final of the year in Seoul, ranked No. 17 in the world, her highest ranking at that time, losing to 16-year-old Nicole Vaidišová 7-5, 6-3. Her ranking at the end of the season eclipsed her 2004 record at No. 22.
2006- Returning to great form
In 2006, Jankovic lost ten straight matches, not winning a match from late January into early May. She reached the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters before losing to Venus Williams in three sets. She reached the semi-finals in Strasbourg, retiring against Nicole Vaidišová in the second set.
At the French Open, she upset the Number 25 seed Marion Bartoli before losing to World No. 1 Amélie Mauresmo 6-3, 6-3. At Wimbledon, she stunned defending champion Venus Williams in three sets in the 3rd round, on the "Graveyard Court," a win many cite as a turning point in Jankovic's career. She then lost to Anastasia Myskina 6-4, 7-6.
Following her run at Wimbledon, she reached her fifth career final at the JPMorgan Chase Open, defeating Sania Mirza, Ana Ivanovic, and then Serena Williams in the semifinal, becoming the only player in 2006 to defeat both Williams sisters. Ultimately, she lost to Elena Dementieva in the final. The final outcome was 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. In the third set, Dementieva was actually leading 5-0 before some spirited play and aggressive shot-making earned Jankovic the next four games. However, she was unable to even the score and fell short.
At the 2006 U.S. Open, Jankovic defeated Vaidišová in the third round, defeated 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth, and beat 2004 US Open and French Open finalist Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal, she lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, after having been up 6-4 4-2, and one point away from 5-2 in the match. Jankovic appeared to lose her focus after arguing with the chair umpire when the umpire refused to offer an opinion as to whether a service call had been correct, suggesting that Jankovic could use one of her electronic challenges. After the self-induced distraction, Jankovic lost ten consecutive games and a chance to make the final.
At Jankovic's first tournament following the U.S. Open, she reached the semifinals at the Tier II China Open, losing to Amélie Mauresmo 6-1, 3-6, 7-6. At 6-5 in the third, Jankovic served for the match, but was broken at 15-40. After Beijing, Jankovic made the Guangzhou semifinal, retiring against Anna Chakvetadze 0-2 in the second. Then, in her last four events of the year, she reached the quarterfinals three times, losing to Kuznetsova, Vaidišová and Poutchkova, respectively.
Due to her success in the latter part of the year, Jankovic finished the season ranked just outside the Top 10, at No. 12.
2007- Iron Woman
To begin the 2007 season, Jankovic won her second title at the Tier IV ASB Classic tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, defeating Vera Zvonareva in the finals. In her second tournament, the Tier II Medibank International event, Jankovic reached her second final in a row, defeating 7th ranked Martina Hingis, home favorite Australian Sam Stosur, No. 1 seed Amélie Mauresmo, and Nicole Vaidišová along the way for a 9-0 start to 2007. In the final, Jankovic was defeated by Kim Clijsters in an intense and controversial match. In the final, Jankovic again lost her cool over a number of calls that went against her and ended up losing after serving for the match in the second set. If Jankovic had won the finals match against Clijsters, she would have entered the top 10. She made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she was eliminated by the eventual champion Serena Williams 6-3, 6-2. Though she lost in the fourth round, she entered the top 10 at number 10 for the first time in her career.
At the first Tier I event of the year in Tokyo, Jankovic defeated Zheng Jie in straight sets in the second round, but ended up losing to countrywoman Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinal. In late February 2007, she entered the 2007 Dubai Tennis Championships and reached the semi-finals relatively unchallenged, before she retired from the match with an ankle injury against Amélie Mauresmo. The following week, she continued her streak in the Middle East at Doha, reaching the semifinals again, losing to Justine Henin in 3 sets; the result brought her ranking to a career-high #9. At Miami, Jankovic reached the third round before losing to Italian Mara Santangelo in three sets 6-2, 6-7, 4-6.
Jankovic kicked off her clay court season as the number two seed at a tournament in Amelia Island. She lost in the quarter-final to fellow Serb Ana Ivanovic in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3. She then travelled to Charleston for the Family Circle Cup, winning her first Tier I title, defeating Venus Williams in a semifinal match that lasted more than 2 1/2 hours 3-6 6-3 7-6, and defeating Dinara Safina 6-2, 6-2, in a match that featured very windy conditions. That win moved Jankovic to number 7 in the world rankings.
Jankovic's next tournament was the J&S Cup in Warsaw, where she was the number 4 seed. She lost to Justine Henin 5-7, 6-2, 4-6 in the semis. Although she lost, the result saw her ranking rise to a new high of 6. She then played at the Qatar Telecom German Open where she lost in the quarterfinals to Justine Henin in another 3 set match 6-3, 4-6, 4-6. Though she was leading 4-0 in the third set, Jankovic lost the next 6 games.
Jankovic's next competed at the Tier I tournament in Rome, Italy, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Jankovic came into the tournament as the No.3 Seed, and one of the heavy favorites to carry home the title. In the final, she successfully defeated, No. 2 seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1. The win put Jankovic as the No. 4 ranked player on WTA Tour, and extended her lead at the top of the Race to the Championships.
As No.4 seed and a heavy favourite in 2007 French Open, she reached another Grand Slam semi-finals, where among others she defeated Venus Williams and Nicole Vaidišová before falling to Justine Henin in two sets, 6-2 6-2. This was her strongest performance in Roland Garros to date. Her performance in the 2007 French Open brought her ranking up to number 3 on 11 June.
Jankovic continued her impressive run in this season by capturing the DFS Classic title in Birmingham, beating first seed Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. In the match Sharapova had led a set and a break, as well as 6-4, 3-6, 3-0 before Jelena fought back to win on a Sharapova forehand error. This is her first victory over Sharapova, having lost to her in the same tournament finals in 2005. Jelena then entered the Ordina Open in the Netherlands, where she reached the final the following week Jankovic became the first player since Chris Evert in 1974 to win 50 matches in a year in half a year. In the finals she ended up losing to Anna Chakvetadze in three sets due to a hamstring injury.
In the ladies singles at Wimbledon this year, Jankovic seeded third for the championships, reached the fourth round where she faced Marion Bartoli of France. She was beaten in 3 sets by eventual finalist Bartoli in a frustrating match for Jankovic, interrupted by rain four times. Jankovic started off well playing big shots freely and won the first set fairly comfortably 6-3. In the second set, Jankovic seemed to lose some of her fluidity that she demonstrated in the first set staying on and behind the baseline and using dropshots to try and win points quickly. The momentum began to shift towards Bartoli and the turning point came when a gradually improving Bartoli secured 2 games, after a rain delay, to clinch the second set levelling the match at 1 set all. After another rain delay in the third set, Jankovic struggled to provide a response to a stalwart Bartoli and was beaten 6-3 5-7 3-6. In the press conference after the match Jankovic stated that the rain delays benefited Bartoli, who appeared to be gulping for air at several points in the match especially after long and gruelling rallies, giving her time to recuperate in the locker room.
She also played in the mixed doubles competition at Wimbledon with doubles specialist Jamie Murray. The pair, who were unseeded, reached the final after beating three seeded teams (two of them in one day on the second Saturday). They went on to win the title by beating the fifth seed, Jonas Björkman and Alicia Molik, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Playing 6 matches against five seeded teams, Jankovic and Murray lost a set in five of their six matches but beat three former top-ranked doubles players and six former Grand Slam doubles champions, including eventual Wimbledon women's doubles champion Cara Black. In addition, she beat Olympic gold medalist Sun Tiantian. In the semifinals, the team beat Nestor/Likhovtseva, the 2007 Australian Open mixed doubles champions.
On August 1, Jankovic qualified for the WTA Tour Championships in Madrid, Spain. She is currently second in the race behind Justine Henin who has also qualified.
Jankovic struggled shortly after Wimbledon, exiting in the third round of the Acura Classic. There have been suggestions that she is suffering from fatigue. Jankovic has played an alarming number of tournaments in 2007: as of August 11, she is second in the race but has played 11 more tournaments than Justine Henin. She is the only woman on the tour to have played 20 tournaments, with the next highest being countrywoman Ana Ivanovic on 14. However, Jankovic maintained that the problem was simply a bout of 'flu and in spite of this reached the semi-final of the East West Bank Classic, falling to Ana Ivanovic. Despite a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Peng Shuai she said that "I cannot expect myself to play my best tennis when I am still blowing my nose on each changeover with paper towels."
On August 19, she reached the finals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, where she lost to Justine Henin in a closely fought contest 7-6(3), 7-5. Jankovic had led 4-1 in the first set as well as 4-2 in the second, but was unable to close out her opponent whom she had never beaten. The highlight of the match came at 5-5 in the second set with Henin serving 40-0 and then inexplicably losing three straight points for deuce. There, the two players fought over a marathon eight deuces (Jankovic had 6 chances to break) but the tough-as-ever Henin was able to close it out for 6-5. Jankovic was able to scratch her way from 0-40 triple championship point down in the next game, and saved 1 more during the deuces but finally lost when Henin hit a return, inside-out forehand winner on her sixth championship point. Henin previously had a match point as well when Jankovic was serving 4-5 (30-40) in the second set. The match took around 2 hrs. and 30 min. to complete.
Jankovic then competed in the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows. Although she struggled in her first round match, blowing a second set 5-3 lead, she maintained her cool and beat Jarmila Gajdošová 6-2, 7-6. She proceeded to look completely in-form against Olga Govortsova winning 6-2, 6-2 before losing a set against French teen superstar Alizé Cornet in the third round, winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Jankovic then lost yet another set, this time against Sybille Bammer, before winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, which set-up a quarterfinal match against Venus Williams. Jankovic was 3-2 against Williams, but the older Williams was inspired and won 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4). Despite a worse showing compared to last year, Jankovic will stay at the No. 3 ranking (Svetlana Kuznetsova will replace Maria Sharapova at No. 2).
Jelena then travelled to Asia for her next tournaments. Her first one was the 2007 Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic. Jankovic was the #1 seed there but she lost in the quarters to former World No.1 Lindsay Davenport, who was playing her first singles tournament after comeback. Davenport ended up winning 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
Jankovic then travelled to Beijing for the China Open, where she had some good results in 2006 that pushed her to the semifinals. She had received a wildcard after top-ranked Justine Henin withdrew from the event, citing illness. After receiving a bye in the first round, she shutted out an opponent for the third time in her career, this time Virginia Ruano Pascual, one of the best doubles players in the world. Jankovic lost only 4 points in the second set, and those were all on her serve (meaning she broke Ruano Pascual to love throughout the second set). She then defeated Japanese Akiko Morigami 6-3, 7-5 in a difficult match to set up a rematch with Lindsay Davenport, a player who beat her just one week ago in the quarterfinals of Bali, returning as a former number 1 from child birth to her son Jagger Jonathan. Davenport was on an 8 match streak, but that was brought to an end, when Jankovic took control and won in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5. In the final, Jankovic faced talented Hungarian teenager Ágnes Szávay and lost to 6-7(7), 7-5, 6-2. She trailed 5-0 in the tiebreak, then faced a couple of set points before storming to win it and held a comfortable 5-1 lead in the second set (including a match point at 30-40 on Szávay's serve). However, Szávay then started to play better compared to the first set (cutting the unforced errors) while Jankovic seemingly got burned out and bothered by a neck injury. Szávay comfortably won the third and decisive set.
She returned to action in the Tier II tournament at Stuttgart, and after some initial struggles looked to be in control against Israeli Shahar Pe'er, winning 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. She advanced to the semifinals after defending champion Nadia Petrova, whom she is playing, retired after reaggravating a thigh injury. Jankovic had lost the first set 7-6(5), but led 5-1 in the second. She then faced Justine Henin, losing a tight match 7-6(2), 7-5. Jankovic's hectic schedule then took her to Bangkok, where she lost to Yan Zi due a retirement, possibly due to fatigue. After a first round bye at the 2007 Zürich Open she lost to tricky opponent Nicole Vaidišová 6-4, 6-4.
Jankovic's final tournament of 2007 was the 2007 WTA Tour Championships, which was invited to as a top-8 player. Jankovic unexpectedly lost all three of her matches, to Justine Henin (6-2, 6-2), Anna Chakvetadze (6-4, 0-6, 6-3), and Marion Bartoli (6-1, 1-0 ret.); the culmination of a poor final few months for her.
Jankovic had successful nose surgery directly after Madrid due to breathing problems. The operation forced her to put down her racquet for three full weeks.
Jankovic stated that she would cut back on her schedule during the 2008 season and focus on Grand Slams and Tier 1 events. At the beginning of 2008 season, instead of defending her title at Auckland, she decided to play for Serbia in the Hopman Cup, together with Novak ?okovi?. Together they beat Chinese Taipei 3-0 in their first tie. Jankovic won her singles match 6-4 6-4 against world number 157 Su-Wei Hsieh and her mixed doubles with Djokovic, 3-6 6-2 10-8 against the comfortable pairing of Hsieh and Lu Yen-Hsun. The next tie was against the number 4 seed France. She was 1-0 and 30-0 up against Tatiana Golovin before she pulled out because of a hamstring injury from the first game. After Novak ?okovi? won his singles match, 6-3 6-3, she still came out to play the mixed doubles. Despite the injury, the Serbian pair won the match 5-7 6-4 10-4 (match tiebreak) claiming them the tie 2-1 and the favourite to go to the final on Friday. They had to win the last tie to secure the final spot on Thursday night against Argentina. The first rubber was against Gisela Dulko, still with the injury, Jankovic battled through the first set and won it in a tie-breaker 12-10. She was down 2-0 in the second set but pulled out, giving the Argentinians the first rubber. The men's singles were claimed by her partner, Novak ?okovi?, who won it 6-2 6-3. Despite her injury, she still came out and played the mixed doubles and won it 6-1 3-6 10-4, to ensure their place in the finals against the USA, with the pair Serena Williams and Mardy Fish. Unfortunately the pair loss to Serena Williams and Mardy Fish, USA claiming their fifth Hopman Cup win. Jankovic will now advance to Sydney Medibank tournament, but still unsure whether she is fit enough to play the tournament.
After a first round bye in Sydney, Jelena made a tremendous start to her Sydney campaign taking the first set 6-1 against tricky Frenchwoman Tatiana Golovin. However, Golovin came back forcefully in the second taken it 6-2 with two breaks of Jelena's serve. Fortunately, Jankovic came back in the decider 6-3 to put up a 6-1 2-6 6-3 win and set up a quarterfinal match with Nicole Vaidisova, a player with has a 5-3 head-to-head record with Jelena. However, Jelena recorded 2 out of 3 victories over the Czech that took place in 2007 including a 6-4 4-6 6-4 win over Vaidisova in the semifinals of Sydney. Still, Vaidisova won their last meeting, which was late last year in Zurich.
Her first match at the 2008 Australian Open was against Tamira Paszek, which Jankovic won 2-6 6-2 12-10 after a marathon three hours and fifteen minutes of playing time. So strenuous was the match that both players needed medical attention during the final set.
Jankovic is often regarded as one of the fittest and toughest players in recent years of women's tennis for her great defensive abilities and footwork, which classifies her as a counterpuncher. Jelena is known for being one of the few players who can slide on all surfaces, further enhancing her defence. In 2007 (as of October) she played more matches than any other player did and maintained her third rank as well, which is the proof of her incredible stamina and well-balanced performance. Jankovic has very consistant groundstrokes and likes to go down the line more often than crosscourt. Her signature shot is a backhand down the line. She hits it with excellent pace and can drive it deep for an outright winner. She also has a solid forehand and a decent net game, being able to hit effective drive, drop and swinging volleys. Her main weakness is the fact her serve is very attackable. She likes to spin it in on the first and second serve which can lead to her getting broken many times in matches against good baseline players.
Jankovic was born in Belgrade, in then Yugoslavia, now Serbia, as the third child of Veselin and Snežana Jankovic, both economists. Her father is from Montenegro, and her mother is Serbian. She also has two brothers, Marko and Stefan. She is a student at the Megatrend University in Belgrade, studying economics; however, she has put her course of study on indefinite hiatus as she continues to pursue her tennis career. She trained at tennis club "Red star"
At Wimbledon 2007, in a mixed doubles match at the semi-final stage she invited a ballboy to come and sit with her and began asking him questions, much to the crowd's amusement. Though the boy was clearly enjoying himself, he swiftly jumped out of the chair when a riled Jamie Murray returned from his toilet break. The British press have linked Jankovic and Murray romantically but she has remained coy about their relationship; despite using kisses as a way of motivating the love stricken Scot.
On December 5, 2007, Jankovic has become a UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia, for Children's Fund. "I am happy to have become a UNICEF ambassador for Serbia. This is a great honour for me and I will try to justify the role that has been given to me", she said. Jankovic is the second Serbian tennis star to have volunteered to help promote the rights of children and collect funds for UNICEF after Ana Ivanovic, the world's fourth-ranked player, became an ambassador in September.