Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Renaissance of Jelena Jankovic

In all this writing about Ana Ivanovic - who finally lost, after a good run to the semi finals - I have completely neglected to write about the other Serbian success story of the week.

Well, there are a few, I suppose. Novak Djokovic doesn't really count as one, although Filip Krajinovic certainly does. But this week's biggest Serbian success is easily Jelena Jankovic.

I'd almost forgotten about Jankovic, to tell the truth. She never took the same Serbian slide that Ana did - she's remained solidly near the top - but she hasn't really looked like a challenger for a long time now. Until this week, really. I mean, come on - beating Venus and Serena consecutively in the same tournament? Allowing Venus - who, as I have written before, no slouch on clay - only one game? Sure, Venus was suffering under the curse of the leggings (may they never be seen on a tennis court) but that is a masterful performance by Jankovic.

I've written a lot this week about how Ivanovic hasn't been losing. She hasn't been winning per se, but she hasn't been losing, and that's a big step for her. Jankovic is pretty good at not losing - this is why she has preserved her high ranking where Ivanovic hasn't - but this week she has come and looked like a winner. Not-loser Jelena? Not here. Winner Jelena? Raising her head.

I don't want to go and call her a major contender for the French Open, because I don't want to endow her with that level of faith just yet. But let's put it this way... if she can take out Venus and Serena - crush Venus, out-tough Serena - there is no reason why she couldn't have a massive, massive run there.

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