I expected top seed Jelena Jankovic's knee injury to prevent her from winning the East West Bank Classic, or perhaps from even getting to the final. I was right. This is not to say that a healthy Jankovic would have definitely defeated 4th seed Dinara Safina--only that there would have been an even playing field, so to speak. Jankovic's doctors told her to take six weeks off; she took ten days. When she felt no pain, she decided--against all wisdom--to go ahead and play.
Last year, we went through Jankovic's over-scheduling herself and wearing herself out. This year, we are going through the consequences of that. She is playing fewer tournaments, but she is not heeding medical advice. I am a really big Jankovic fan, and I am angry because I think she has let her fans down. If she had skipped the U.S. Open Series, her ranking would have gone down, and she would not have been that well-prepared for the U.S. Open, but she would probably be healthy. Now she may have really wrecked her knee, and who knows what the consequences will be?
Fortunately, I am also a Safina fan, and I am very pleased to see her go to the Los Angeles final, if JJ cannot. To complicate matters more, I am also a fan of Flavia Pennetta's. Obviously, Safina is favored to win, but if Pennetta keeps her head together, it could be a very good final.
Safina def. Jankovic, 7-6, 6-3