“Overall, everything is wrong.” Jelena Jankovic said about her game this week after losing to 42nd ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round of Indian Wells. This loss was a hit bottom moment in what has been a steady slide of confidence and results for the World No. 3 in 2009. She’s suffered round of 16 losses to Marion Bartoli at the Aussie Open and to Kaia Kanepi in Dubai, and has yet to reach a tournament final in 2009.
JJ opened up to fans today via her website, claiming that worries over her mother’s health and her own fitness issues have hampered her performance this year:
Firstly, I want to apologize for not writing in so long. I’ve had some problems in the family and haven’t been playing my best, so I’ve been quite preoccupied. I’m happy to write to you all again now, though, and tell you what’s going on.
I haven’t started the year like I wanted to. As you can all see, I haven’t been playing well at all. I’m struggling with my game, most importantly my reactions and speed. I feel quite heavy on the court. I’m getting to my shots late, and I’m never in the right place. At this level, at the top of the women’s game, you need this. It has been my biggest weapon in the past, too. Even when my shots weren’t working I always had my legs, and I’ve won many matches because I’ve moved and competed well. It was always my Plan B, and it’s not there anymore. I’ve lost it now. I’m just trying to find it again.
My preparation in the off-season was different this year, and I don’t think the change has worked out for me. These weren’t the results I expected. Especially after ending last year so well, my goal this year was to start dominating women’s tennis. I wanted to be even better in 2009. I feel like I’ve gone down a few levels. My whole game is suffering, and I’ve lost my confidence.
I’m making changes, like I’ll be working with a new fitness coach. I hope to find my game again soon. I’m staying positive. I need to keep growing and working hard, and keep my head up high even though it’s not so easy sometimes.
I’m here in Indian Wells with my mom, who hasn’t been feeling so well. She’s struggling with some health problems. I’m really worried about her. That also affects my tennis, because I’m so close to her and the last few nights I haven’t slept many hours. If she needs something, I want to be right there with her. As a tennis player you go through a crisis now and then with your game, but it’s just a game, and at the end of the day there are more important things: the people who are close to you, the ones you love a lot. I just hope she gets better, that’s what I care about most in this moment. My game can come together sooner or later, hopefully. It can be hard to talk about these things… hopefully you can all understand.
I’m leaving for Miami soon and will write to you from there next week. I hope things will start to change for the better. Many people have been asking me why I haven’t been smiling on the court lately. All I can say is, hopefully you’ll see the smile back very soon
Hopefully you’re all doing well. Take care and a big hug to all of you.
Yep, this is a low point for poor Jelena. Let’s all hope both she and her mother feel better and that she finds her game again – soon!