Jankovic Hires Her Brother As Coach

Written by: on 21st October 2013
Print This Post Print This Post
Tennis China Open
Jankovic Hires Her Brother As Coach

epa03899273 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia hits a return against Serena Williams of the US during their final match of the China Open tennis tournament at the National Tennis Center in Beijing, China, 06 October 2013. EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA  |

Jelena Jankovic maintained her decision to take on elder brother Marko as her permanent coach was the catalyst for her 2013 comeback that has seen her qualify as one of the world’s top eight for the first time since 2010 in the season-ending TEB BNP Paribas–sponsored WTA Championships in Istanbul.


Three years ago Jankovic was ironically one of a trio of players flown to Istanbul for a public relations exercise just after the venue had been announced to succeed Doha, Qatar as the venue of the women’s calendar ending event. But she hadn’t gotten anywhere near to qualifying in the last two years and many thought her days as a top flight competitor had gone.


Her formative coach Nick Bollettieri even joked she’d had more coaches than he’d had wives (and he’s been married eight times). But after Jankovic couldn’t train for three weeks after tearing a muscle in Australia, she began working with her brother.


“When I was a little girl he was a tennis player and I wanted to be like him,” Jankovic recalled. “I guess that’s why I ended up doing what I did.


“But then he gave up competing and went to university. Then I didn’t think about it again as I had success but I never really found the right match in all the coaches I’ve tried in the last few years.


“Then I realized my brother knows me best. He knows my game best, knows my character and knows me as a person, what I like and don’t like. What annoys me, what makes me happy. He’s my blood. And it’s really worked.”


Marko Jankovic possessed a positive attitude that perhaps hadn’t always been the case for his sister in recent years and she recalled: “He told me from the beginning that his goal was to bring me back to top ten.


“So with the hard work, we believed, I got new motivation and it gave me great satisfaction. Now all that hard work has paid off. I’m very happy.”


Jankovic became the world no.1 ranked player just prior to the US Open in 2008 but earlier this year she was struggling to hang onto a place in the top 30. She returned to the top 20 for the first time in almost two years following March’s Sony Open in Miami and soon after overtook Ana Ivanovic as Serbia’s leading female player.


“A lot of players do well for a few years but once they drop they never come back,”she maintained. “Now I’ve proved there is another story.


“I think this year has been great for me as far as coming back and making that step forward. Reaching the Championships is a great achievement for me. In January, I thought it wasn’t even my goal as I didn’t think I could make it.


“Now I want to reach the top five next year, then the top three again. Now I’ve made it to Istanbul, where it is the very best players competing, so I will try to produce my best tennis and go as far as I can.”


Now she exudes confidence and determination. Contemplating the upcoming action in Istanbul, she said: “It’s my fifth time playing the Championships, so I know what it takes to be here. But it’s a difficult road.


“It’s a lot of hard work and determination and sacrifice. But it’s do-able. Everything is possible. I’m one of those that it shows that you can come back. Hopefully I can continue in this way.”


And even though, at the age of 28 she is now one of the week’s more senior competitors, she retorted: “I’m one of the younger ones. I’m still below 30. I believe there is a lot of room for improvement in my game, and I think mentally, as well.”

Topics: , , , , , , , ,

10sBalls Top Stories

In Case You Missed It

Women’s Tennis Tour Results thumbnail

Women’s Tennis Tour Results

Things just keep getting better for Simona Halep, who will end this week at #14, with every reason to think she can go higher next year.
Rafael Nadal Has Called It Quits On Trying To Reform Tennis thumbnail

Rafael Nadal Has Called It Quits On Trying To Reform Tennis

But the Spaniard, who admits he's no good at the internal politics game, can't keep himself from voicing concerns for future players if hardcourts continue to dominate on the ATP in coming years.
Kvitova Arrives Early In Istanbul And Is Raring To Go thumbnail

Kvitova Arrives Early In Istanbul And Is Raring To Go

Former champion Petra Kvitova was among the first to arrive for this week's WTA Championships in Istanbul, with the Czech more than happy to be back in the thick of the wrap-up week after being unable to complete the event a year ago.
ASICS Tennis Update – Stosur, Haas & Gasquet thumbnail

ASICS Tennis Update – Stosur, Haas & Gasquet

Here is an ASICS Tennis update from this week...Sam, Haas & Gasquet are in the semis!!
Men’s / Women’s Tennis Tour News thumbnail

Men’s / Women’s Tennis Tour News

And so Roberta Vinci loses yet another chance to reach the Top Ten; indeed, it appears she will fall a couple of spots. That means the final Top Ten spot would go to either Caroline Wozniacki or Sloane Stephens, who were contesting it at Luxembourg.