Monday, March 31, 2014

"I feel embarrassed sometimes with what I do on court"

Photo by Daniel Ward

Jelena Jankovic told the press today in Charleston that she saw recent video of herself repeatedly falling down on the court, and it made her say "Oh my god--who is that?" "I was smiling more," she said about her past court demeanor, and noted that these days, she's more apt to be yelling at her box or falling down. The Serbian star also remarked that these antics have come about since her brother began coaching her, and that she thinks she performs them because he lets her get away with it.

Jankovic made a point of explainng that she wants to be able to express emotion on court--that not to do so would be detrimental to her performance--but that she needs to find a balance between expressing emotion and going "over the limit." "At times when I get so frustrated I just lose control and my game falls apart…."

"Sometimes I turn into kind of a beast," Jankovic said. "My evil twin comes on court." Jankovic said she was working on restoring the balance, but wasn't specific about how she was doing so.

The world number 8, who is seeded second in Charleston, said that she can't run quite as fast as she used to, and that the physical demands of the game take a bit more out of her now, yet she feels she is a better and physically stronger player than she used to be. She acknowledged that she was a good mover on the court even when she was very young and just learning, even when she had "toothpick legs."

Jankovic brought up an interesting point--that when a player is going from tournament to tournament and playing a lot of matches, she doesn't have time to train and work on weaknesses and can sometimes lose training momentum.

Jankovic won the Family Circle Cup in 2007 when she defeated Dinara Safina in an extremely windy, post-tornado final. She was the runner-up last year, losing in three sets to Serena Williams. Jankovic will begin her Charleston campaign with a second round contest against Lauren Davis.

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