Tag Archives: Jelena Jankovic

WTA Crystal Ball for 2010.

Now that the WTA season is over and the ladies are resting up for Australia, I thought it was time to look ahead and give my predictions for 2010. 2009 was a drama filled year and I expect even more next year. Players will be “ranked” according to what I think their year-end ranking will be for 2010.

1. Serena Williams – Even with the return of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, I don’t expect anyone to take over the top spot from Serena and expect her to win at least two Slams for 2010.

2. Caroline Wozniacki – “Sunshine” as she’s known on the tour will have another consistent year and will find herself in another Slam final. If she can win a big one remains to be seen but it will be hard to bet against her next year. Conditioning and her excessive match play may hurt her down the road.

3. Dinara Safina – A lot depends on Safina’s current back injury and her mental toughness for 2010. I can see her in a Slam final but she will have to dismiss whatever demons she has in order to make it back to the top spot.

4. Svetlana Kuznetsova – Despite her mental flaws, “Sveta” will always be a factor in 2010 and will probably make it to another Slam final. If she wins a Slam next year is entirely up to her. Watch out for her at the Australian Open as she finished 2010 in good shape healthwise.

5. Venus Williams – 2010 will be the last chance at glory for Venus as she turns 30 this year. Aside from Wimbledon, she’s not been a factor for a while at the other Slams and her knee could be a big issue. Plus the fact that no one tour is afraid of playing her could may next year very tough.

6-9. These slots will change depending on the names, i.e. Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Elena Dementieva, etc. They could breakthrough and win a Slam, but let’s face it, shouldn’t they have done so already?

10. Kim Clijsters – Everybody keeps salivating over Henin’s return but Clijsters, who played lights out tennis at the U.S. Open, will still go into every tournament with nothing to lose and thus no pressure. I expect Kimmie to be a factor in Australia and a heavy favorite at the U.S. Open again.

Wildcards – Justine Henin will be the story at the Australian Open win or lose. It will all depend on her draws and I actually think the clay court season is where she will find the most success. She has more to lose than Kim Clijsters in her comeback so a Slam victory in 2010 is paramount.

Sam Stosur – Stosur finally won a WTA event in ’09 and will probably break into the top 10 next year. She’s got the game to win a big one, maybe even Wimbledon, but does she believe she can win is the question.

Maria Sharapova – Sharapova is finally getting back on track after a rocky 2009. If her serve starts clicking again, she could be a factor but probably not until Wimbledon.

Ana Ivanovic – 2010 will define Ivanovic’s entire career. If she can get over her mental and physical fatigue, she could work her way back into the top ten again. If she can’t, I could see her retiring early. Hope I’m wrong.

Melanie Oudin – Next year will be the real test for the feisty American to prove the U.S. Open run was no fluke. I definitely see her in the top 20 before too long. Perhaps the French Open will be her next surprise Slam as she says she likes the clay?

Amelie Mauresmo – There’s been no word yet on Mauresmo’s potential retirement but even if she decides to stick it out, 2010 will probably be her last year. Maybe she will finally go for broke and play with nothing to lose? If so, we could be in for a real treat.

Let me know what you think!

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Serena and Venus in WTA Doha Final.

Most people expected Serena Williams to make it to the finals of the WTA Sony Ericsson Championships but few, including myself, expected older sister Venus Williams to be there considering her up and down play at season’s end.

But Venus gets a chance to defend her title as she took out Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. The match was another slugfest and early on it looked like Jankovic was going to take it. But Venus started serving big and hitting big especially on the forehand. By the time the third set rolled around, Venus looked more comfortable on court and seemed the fresher of the two despite having played four consecutive three set matches.

Venus, who lost to Serena in early round play, gets a chance for revenge on her little sister after Serena won her semi against a hobbled Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 0-1 (retired). Serena and Venus also play in the doubles championships semifinals later today.

Who will win the matchup between the Williams sisters? Venus needs the win more as she could really use the points to boost her ranking going into 2010. But Serena would love nothing more than win the final event of the year as number one. Should be a great match.

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Jankovic and Venus into Doha Semis.

Jelena Jankovic is in the semifinals of the WTA Sony Ericsson Championships at Doha despite having just played just over 90 minutes in all of her matches. Today Jankovic defeated a tired Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-2.

Jankovic benefited from the early retirement of Dinara Safina in her first round match. In my opinion that match should not have counted as it prevented the other alternates Vera Zvonareva or Agnieska Radwanska any chance of advancing to the title stage.

Case in point. Today Radwanska in the only match she can play at the event defeated Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-5, 4-1 (ret) after Azarenka retired due to injury. This means Wozniacki will make into the semifinals along with Jankovic, Serena Williams and Venus Williams who got in after Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Elena Dementieva easily 6-3, 6-2.

I’m rather disappointed in the play of Kuznetsova, who despite winning with ease today, really had chances against both Venus and Serena in their previous matches. The event is also a disappointment for Dementieva who caps off what should have been a breakthrough year with yet another substandard result at a big event.

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Update – Safina out of Doha, Serena #1.

QATAR WTA TENNIS

Dinara Safina in Tears at Doha (AP)

Well now we know the cause of Dinara Safina’s “misery tour” which began this summer on the hard courts and ended with the world number one in tears at the WTA Finale at Doha.

After her retirement to Jelena Jankovic in their opening round match, Safina announced that she would not continue play at the Doha event due to a severe back injury she has battled for the last three months. Safina said her lower back was almost “fractured”, but didn’t say what was the cause. Safina tried taking cortisone injections this week to deal with the pain but it didn’t work.

Doctors have now advised Safina to take the next six weeks off and that appearing at the 2010 Australian Open is in jeopardy.

This is truly bad news for Safina who endured criticism the whole year not being worthy of her top ranking. It’s hard to say if the back injury was the cause of her many early round losses this summer, but one would think it was a major factor. The other issue is why did Safina not take time off after the U.S. Open and skip Asia rather than risk marring her 2010 schedule? And what about her coach Zeljko Krajan who has endured criticism himself for being too tough on Safina and not looking out for her best interest?

It’s unclear if Safina’s withdrawal will allow one of the alternate players, Agnieska Radwanska or Vera Zvonareva into the main draw. With Safina’s loss, Serena Williams will finish the year at No. 1. She clinched the top spot after winning an epic match against sister Venus Williams 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

In other early round play, Caroline Wozniacki came back from a set and a break down to defeat Victoria Azarenka 1-6, 6-4 7-5.

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Safina’s Misery Tour Continues in Doha.

Busy news day here. In the WTA Series Finale at Doha, current world number one Dinara Safina lost to Jelena Jankovic in their first round after Dinara Safina stopped play at 1-1. Safina went over to her chair, put a towel to her face and starting crying before retiring the match.

It’s not clear if she will continue in the tournament. Serena Williams is currently taking on sister Venus.

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Doha Action – Dementieva Survives.

Just a quick roundup of today’s round one action at the WTA Finale at Doha. Elena Dementieva survived her opening match against Venus Williams. Venus was up a set and a break but Elena managed to tough it out and win 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2. Venus had multiple opportunities to close out the match but couldn’t figure out a way to win which is a recurring pattern for her this year.

In other matches, Victoria Azarenka easily cruised over a weary Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-3 while Serena Williams overcame an ankle injury to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (6), 7-5.

Dinara Safina will play tomorrow in hopes of remaining number one at the end of the year as she has a slight edge over Serena in the rankings.

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J.J. Qualifies while Kimmie’s Streak Ends.

The final spot for the season ending WTA Championships in Doha went to Jelena Jankovic after Vera Zvonareva lost her second round match to qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0, 6-2 at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Jankovic who won her match against Lucie Safarova 7-6 (5), 6-3 clinched the remaining spot. She said afterwards “I was really happy when I heard that I’d made it to Doha,” Jankovic said. “It was very important for me.”

On the men’s side, Robby Ginepri and Janko Tipsarevic won while Marat Safin lost in his final bid to win his hometown tournament, losing to Evgueni Korolev.

At the BNP Paribas Open Luxembourg, Kim Clijsters’s win streak, which included her now fabled run at the U.S. Open, came to an end when she lost to Patty Schnyder 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6). Clijsters is not planning to play anymore events until the start of 2010.

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