Jelena Jankovic is putting out an APB for her tennis game after being kicked out of the second round for the second tournament in a row. Her latest loss came in Miami against Gisela Dulko after midnight on Sunday morning. The 6-4, 7-6 (5) scoreline is especially disappointing, considering Jelena was up 5-2 in the second set and then 5-2 in the second set tiebreaker.
The always expressive J.J. hasn’t tried to hide her concerns over her recent slide (click here for her letter to fans), but I sense from today’s presser that she’s now on the verge of despair. I would be too, if my most precious possession went missing.
But at least she hasn’t lost her gift for gab – here she is talking through her grief in her post-match presser:
Q. You were saying before the tournament that you weren’t really feeling yourself in terms of your form. Are you still battling with those same things you were talking about?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes. You know, I started — to be honest, I started to move better on the court and started to kind of, you know, get in the match, but I didn’t play the way, you know, I normally play. That’s a fact. And it’s the truth, in this moment, for the last three months. I haven’t been playing well at all. I’ve been losing to the players because I’m just not at my level. I’m not the same player as I used to be. I lost because, due to those bad results and all this, you know, that I haven’t moved well and I change all these things. I lost a couple of matches which, you know, was for my caliber it’s not really acceptable, and so I lost a little bit of confidence.
That showed today in the match, you know. In important points, I let my opponent come back into the match because I played bad points. I mean, I made bad mistakes and I served poorly. The whole time I didn’t make many first serves, and when you play the whole time with a second serve it’s very hard. During the practice I served well. I started to feel my serve, and then I went on the court in the match and I couldn’t make two first serves in the first set.
So I need to keep working hard. You know, now the clay season starts, and hopefully I will begin my season, because I still haven’t begun at all. For three months I haven’t been doing well at all, and I hope to begin my season sometime soon.
Q. Do you know what you have to do, though? It’s not a mystery to you now? Can you pinpoint…
JELENA JANKOVIC: I just need to, you know, get into — because for three months I wasn’t in this situation when I’m winning matches. Normally it comes for you as a habit, which happened last year and the year before where I won so many matches. All I knew is how to win matches. No matter what, even if it’s — I’m down a set at 5-Love, I still have that belief and confidence I’m going to win, I’m going to stay in the match, and at the end of the day I’m going to come out as a winner.
And now I need to find that habit again, find a habit of winning matches and playing poorly, whatever, tired, not tired, don’t feel the shots, whatever it is. My opponent plays great. I need to find a way to win, and that’s what I’m looking for. Hopefully I’m going to find that, you know, confidence and that, you know, the whole construction of my game sometime soon. That’s all. I mean, it’s very disappointing, and it’s very difficult sometimes, but that’s the way it goes.
Q. Do you feel a problem when you lose lots of points? Because last year you were in the finals here.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I’m not thinking about my points. All I’m thinking about when I find my game. When you find your game, the results come and the season is very long, and there’s a lot of time to play. But I mean, I just need to start playing some tennis. I mean, I’m just looking to play good tennis, and then when you’re going to do that, results come on their own.
Let’s form a search party, tennis fans! Her game’s gotta be out there, somewhere. (Maybe it’s out shopping with Maria Sharapova?)
Photo by: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee