The Curious Case of Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic, now spending her 16th week as the #1 ranked female player, has been receiving some harsh criticism as of late, both from the outspoken tennis pundits and from her very own peers. Apparently, there will be no respect for Jelena's game until she wins that elusive Grand Slam title. How fair is that? Even the great Roger Federer pitched in by throwing dirt this week:

I would hope, though, that if he (Andy Murray) were to become world No 1 he would win a grand slam first, not like on the women's side. No disrespect to Jelena Jankovic."
If you ask me, that's a lot of pressure to place on her Serbian shoulders.

Since her thrilling and inspiring loss at the 2008 US Open Final at Arthur Ashe Stadium, I’ve been watching Jankovic more closely than ever, and I have good reason to believe that she will continue to rack up successive weeks at No. 1.

Though any Jankovic fan will admit that she does not have the fire power that makes results come easily, it’s her determination to win and her fighting spirit that is most admirable about her game.

Unlike the hot-and-cold playing of some of the women on the circuit (ie, Dinara Safina), Jelena is consistent at progressing to the latter stages of the tournaments that she enters. Favorable draw or not, Jelena shows up week-in, week-out, and wins….a lot! This proves that there is more than one way to reach the top.

Although other women lifted Grand Slam trophies last year, no one had the consistency or longevity that was required to capture the No. 1 ranking. Therefore, it was up to our JJ to take up the slack of the WTA tour, despite the unfair snickering from the sidelines.

With the 2009 season now underway, her fans can sit back and enjoy the ride as they cheer Jelena on to her first Grand Slam title, and with it the validation she deserves.

Come back tomorrow to read my follow-up blog, with my reasons for seeing Jelena win BIG in 2009!

To be continued…


thesupernova17 said...

It use to bother me when a player reached number one without winning a grand slam. But when Jelena did it I really didn't care. She's a fun player to watch and she's a great ambassador for the sport. She's the kind of player that brings in more fans and attention to the sport. Also I'd rather see a player reach number one without a slam and play and win consistantly than see a player win a slam and then fade into a 20 or 30 ranked player.

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