One of the numerous complaints leveled at the WTA, in fact there’s so many of them one may need an extra hand to count them all, is the perceived lack of consistent rivalries between the elite players. And though fans would all love the top pros to meet each other more often, one rivalry that has emerged in the last year that now almost mandates “must-see” status is that of Jelena Jankovic versus Francesca Schiavone who once again provided another night of pure theatre in their quarterfinal match at the Brisbane International. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Jelena Jankovic
Although the story yesterday should have been about Ana Ivanovic losing 3-6, 0-6 to Alisa Kleybanova and how the former French Open champion continues to struggle with her form, it seems like all anyone really wants to talk about is the ongoing feud between her and fellow Serbian tennis star Jelena Jankovic, especially over how Jankovic, after defeating Ivanovic in Madrid, appeared to mock Ivanovic’s now trademark fist pump.
I use the word trademark because the gesture appears as part of the logo for Ivanovic’s website. It’s not clear yet if this graphic will become a brand logo at some point, but Ivanovic may want to rethink that as her fist pump seems to be bringing her more attention, but of the unwanted kind. Continue reading
Jelena Jankovic has found herself involved in another online video controversy. Just days after being part of Serena Williams’s “I’m Not Justine” comment at the Italian Open, Jankovic, after winning her match today over Ana Ivanovic at the Madrid Open, was caught by cameras off-court apparently mocking Ivanovic’s now trademark fist pumps. Continue reading
The tennis world, and the internet, is abuzz with yesterday’s video replay of the Italian Open semifinal between Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic, but mostly for what happened after the match.
After Jankovic won 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), Williams came to shake her hand at the net and to apologize for holding her hand up earlier during a Jankovic service game in which Jankovic complained to the umpire that Williams had to play at the server’s pace. It’s hard to tell exactly what Williams said other than she was sorry for holding up her hand and “I would never do that.” But what’s got everybody intrigued is the part where Williams covers her mouth and says, according to those who can read lips through closed fists, “I’m not Justine”. Continue reading
In a semifinal that almost should have taken place at the nearby Colosseum where gladiators of old dueled for Roman glory, the two biggest divas in the women’s game, Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic ended up playing an error-filled yet entertaining match for almost three hours with more momentum swings than an episode of “Days of Our Lives”, complete with outbursts from both ladies.
But in the end, Williams wasn’t able to shake off enough dust from her four month break allowing Jankovic to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5). Continue reading
With the Super Bowl dominating sports news this weekend, don’t forget about the tennis being played with some “off the radar” players coming through with big wins.
Fed Cup was the focus of the women this week. The U.S. team, led by Melanie Oudin, who won both her matches, easily won their tie against France 4-1. Considering this was played on red clay and in France, it’s quite an accomplishment and could bode well for Oudin with the clay court season just around the corner. Continue reading
With the holidays in full swing, it’s time to send out my wish list for what I like to see changed or improved for both the WTA and ATP tours in 2010.
Don’t Believe the Hype.
At the beginning of the year, way, way too much hype and expectation was heaped upon the shoulders of both Andy Murray, because of his U.S. Open Finalist run, and Dinara Safina because she somehow found herself at No. 1 by just being consistent in 2008. Murray responded to the buzz by having a decent year, but nothing to suggest he could challenge for No. 1. Safina meanwhile started her “misery tour” losing badly to Serena in Australia, choking her way through the French Open final and then collapsing in the third round in New York.
I’m not blaming either player for being unable to live up to the hype, but my wish for next year is that both tours and the media learn that overhyping new players in the hopes it will translate into actual results doesn’t work.
Speed Up The Challenge System.
The challenge system has helped the game a great deal. But what hurts the game is how players abuse the system. The following scenario occurs at least once a match. A call is made, a player, instead of immediately challenging the call, will ask the umpire, “What do you think?” The umpire might stand by the call or say it’s worth a look. Then the player will think some more and then finally challenge.
Players should have five seconds to challenge or cede the point. That’s it. Allowing players to get into conversations with the umpire or going up to have a look at the “mark” (especially on a hard court) is a waste of everybody’s time.
“Private Life, Drama Baby Keep Me Out” – The Pretenders
Usually the end of the season is normally a quiet time. That wasn’t the case this year which started with the Serena Williams meltdown, Andre Agassi’s meth use admission, the Stockholm Open sex scandal, and the doping ban (now lifted) of Belgian players Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse. Add in that we’re still waiting to hear if Richard Gasquet will suffer anymore fines or bans due to his “cocaine kiss” and we can all agree that we hope 2010 keeps the focus on-court and not off-court.
Player Wish List.
And now a few wishes for individual players:
Dinara Safina: Wishing you a speedy recovery and hope that you focus more on winning a Slam this year than trying to be No.1 again.
Jelena Jankovic/Elena Dementieva: Figure out a way to finally win a Slam soon or else you both run the risk of being the biggest “bridemaids” of your generation.
Venus Williams: My wish is that you stay healthy. You are one of the best ambassadors for the game and we’d love to see you make another Grand Slam run.
Sam Querrey/John Isner/James Blake: My wish is that one of you make some kind of breatkthrough this year at a Grand Slam. And no, not make it to the quarters. I mean taking out Federer or Nadal en route to the semifinals or better. It’s the only way you will make it to the elite and, more important for U.S. Tennis fans, onto their radar screens.
Andy Roddick. My wish is probably the same one Andy has – another Grand Slam trophy under his Xmas tree.