Jelena's Season-Ending Blog
MADRID, Spain - It has been a busy year for Jelena Jankovic - but after a few weeks off she goes into her very first Sony Ericsson Championships refreshed and ready to make one final push, and she will bring us all along with her this week in the final Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Player Blog of the year. Enjoy!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Although I am disappointed I couldn't finish my match today, there wasn't much I could do. As I told you yesterday I've been sick this week and I just wasn't able to continue. But like I also said, I'm happy about my year and am looking forward to some time off now! And for my last blog entry of the week, I'm really excited to be answering some of your questions... so let's begin!
What is your favorite tournament or tournament location to travel to?
Rome. I love that city! It has so much history and I love the people. I feel great there. I have so many great memories from playing there too - it was where I had my turning point last season and this year I won it, so it's just unbelievable. Actually, when I was like 11 or 12, my first international tournament was in Rome as well. So a lot of important moments in my career came there!
Obviously you travel so much during the season, but is there any place in particular you would like to visit that the Tour doesn't take you?
Hawaii. I've never been there before and I always wanted to go there. There's no tournament there either! I wanted to go there on vacation last year but it was so far and you're right, we travel so much anyway that it's hard to travel too much during the off-season. I don't know if I'll make it there this year either :(
What is your goal for 2008?
My goal for 2008 is to win a Grand Slam! Of course that's everyone's dream, but it's definitely something I'll be going for next year. I can't really pick one though - I'll take any of them! If I win one, then maybe I can start to get picky :)
I was wondering what areas of your game to you intend to improve on in the off-season?
I'm hoping to work a lot on my first and second serve, as well as my transition game to the net. Those are the main areas but you can always improve on everything - I'd like to work on as much as possible!
Last year in December you were training somewhere in South America, which gave you a pretty good kick off for the beginning of the season in Australia. Are you planning on doing that again?
We're still talking to my coach about that, so I'm not sure about this year. But last year I had great preparation in Colombia, probably the best off-season in my whole career. But we haven't figured that out this year yet, so stay tuned.
If you were stranded on an island and were given a wish to have your favorite meal, what would you wish for?
It would be desserts! Ice cream, chocolate, crepes - anything sweet. I have a big sweet tooth! I would live on dessert. Luckily I have a good metabolism...
I noticed you love to talk about eating a good meal, so what would your perfect breakfast be? It may be the most random question ever, but it stands out!
I'm a big fan of cereal actually and also some fruits, juice... and when I said my perfect day would include a nice breakfast, I didn't just mean for the food - I also meant just having the people that are close to you around you for 45 minutes or an hour - it's just a great start to the day.
Who do you think is the cutest ATP player?
Hmm... that's a tough one! I'd have to say... Marat Safin.
I love the tennis dresses that Reebok makes for you - the white one with yellow stripes was super cute. Do you have any input in designs or do they just send you a bunch of them and you pick from them?
I got to choose this year but I'll have some input on the designs for next year. I've become a big fan of bright colors... I've been wearing a lot of white and pink, which isn't my favorite really; in Madrid I wore some really great colors and I hope to be wearing more of those next season.
Is there any way to get your clothing line here in the United States?
I do have my own clothing line, but it's limited edition in Serbia only. As far as I know, there are no plans in the near future to bring it to the States. Sorry :(
I'm 10 years old and play tennis, and my teacher says I'm talented but I'm quite small, and all the boys my age are taller than me. So when I play matches I still lose a lot, and afterwards I'm always sad. The doctor says I'll get taller but still, do you have any tips for me so that I can still smile like you do?
This was by far the cutest question I got today! Don't worry about winning just yet. Right now you just need to work on getting the fundamentals and correct technique, and just make one step forward at a time. Especially at such a young age, it's important just to improve and have fun! Winning or losing isn't important yet - when you get older you can worry about that! I wish you the best of luck and I hope you beat those boys and have the biggest smile. And if you don't beat them, I'll come and beat them for you!!
I've heard you will be in a movie soon... is this true?
Yes it is! I'll be doing a role in a movie coming up, which is going to be directed by Emir Kusturica, who is a great director and has won awards at Cannes. It's just a really cool thing for me. I've always loved acting and it is something I'd like to experience. It'll be a small role, which is perfect for me to start with.
We are reading in Serbian news that you will be having a tennis event in Belgrade Arena on December 7th, where we will be able to see you, Ana, Novak and Janko in action. Is this confirmed? We would love to see you there!
I'm definitely going. I'm really looking forward to playing in front of my fans. It's such a great cause - raising money for poor and sick kids - and when I'm doing these humanitarian events, it's just a great feeling, no matter what.
And that brings my blog to a close. Thank you so much for reading this week and thank you to all my fans for your support. Also, there just wasn't enough time to answer every question I got today, but I appreciated every single one!!
Have a great winter and I will see and talk to you all soon when my new website comes out next month!!
Hugs and kisses,
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Hello again everyone,
It was a tough match today. I lost to Anna Chakvetadze in three sets. Anna is playing well, but I'm still just not satisfied with the way I'm playing. Playing Madrid is a little different than other tournaments - you can't do too much during the day because your matches are at night, and you don't want to use up your energy. Also I've got a cold right now and my nose is stuffed up, which makes breathing difficult when I'm playing. I was struggling out there. It's been a hard week at the Championships for me... I expected a lot more of myself. But I'm really exhausted from a long season. I don't think my preparation went well either. I didn't bring my best tennis here. But, you know, life goes on :) I still have one more match to go, and although it's tough to keep my intensity high because I can't make the semifinals anymore, I can still finish the season with a win. I'll just try my best tomorrow to finish on a high note.
Really, it has been a great year for me. I've been very consistent and have had some excellent wins. I am very proud of my year, regardless of whether it had a happy ending here. I'll learn from this. And I haven't had a coach this year so next year can be even better, as I am starting to work with a coach during this off-season. I'm really looking forward to some time off as well! I'm definitely going to put the racquets down for a little bit. I'll spend time with my family and friends for sure; I'm not sure if I'll travel anywhere as I've travelled so much all year but who knows. I just want to do the simple things. A perfect day would be sleeping well, getting up in the morning with a smile on my face, eating a nice breakfast, having a light hit, being with friends and family, getting some more presents (haha) and then maybe practicing some more... then playing really well at the Championships and qualifying for the semifinals! Well, I guess it's hard to stop thinking about today!! That was my plan for this year and it was a nice try, but I'll have to keep that dream for next year :)
I'll be writing again tomorrow, but it'll be a little bit different than normal - I'll be answering some of your questions too!! As I have said before, I love to keep in touch with my fans. So please e-mail me some questions!
Talk to you all then,
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
My dear fans,
First off, I want to thank everyone for the gifts I've been getting! Today in my hotel room I heard several knocks on the door and although sometimes it's housekeepers, some of them have brought me presents. Like today I got some flowers, a beautiful necklace, cards and more. They're coming from the tournament, from fans and other people I know. Today I got a card from a fan that said "No matter what you do from now on, you have already done a lot and you are our No.1 and a true champion." I loved it. For me, it's the little things that keep me going, keep me motivated. And I love all of the little teddy bears too. I've gotten a lot of them, so much that I actually have a collection of them now. They're so cute. I remember where I got each one, too. When I'm older and looking back at my career, they'll bring back memories. I really appreciate all of the support and it helps me because this a tough road.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to beat Justine in my match today. I was disappointed with the way I performed. When I came off the court, I wasn't in the mood for anything. But then I saw I was getting an award for my ACES, which are my off-court activities. That definitely made me feel better. Because I was still feeling a bit down about the match, I couldn't quite express my feelings at the time, but it was a huge honor. Giving back to tennis is something I love very much; this sport has given me so many opportunities and each and every time I do something - an autograph session, a clinic, anything - I'm happy to do it. If I didn't have fun doing them, I wouldn't do them. And I remember each one. I do it with joy and enthusiasm; when I see a kid smiling because they got an autograph, I'm the happiest person in the world. So I'm very thankful for today's recognition.
I'll probably grab a quick dinner, head back to my room and rest for tomorrow. After a loss, the most important thing is to stay positive, especially right now when we're in a round robin format - even if you lose one match, you're definitely not out. You have to learn to be a good loser and keep your head held high. There are two matches to go. I'll learn from my mistakes and move on, and I'll be stronger tomorrow.
I'll probably just take it easy tonight, maybe talk on the phone to the people I am close to and try and rest up for another tough one tomorrow.
I'll talk to you all afterwards!!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Hello again everyone! It's been a while but I'm back for my second blog... Last time I spoke to you I was talking about sneaking chocolate from Beijing buffets and eating snakes in Guangzhou, which was over a year ago, so it's time we caught up.
The food here in Madrid is fantastic. We've been eating at the restaurant at the tournament and other ones nearby the hotel, like this Argentine one and Spanish ones, and it's great. I try to experience as many different types of restaurant while I'm traveling. When are you going to have the chance anywhere else?
So I arrived here last Wednesday after a little bit of time off. I spent around 10 days with my family at my home in Miami, then two more days at my other home in Serbia. In the cold winters I prefer to be somewhere warm like Miami. I love swimming, spending time at the beach and sunbathing... although this time I had no time to sunbathe, and that's why I'm pretty pale! It's not a good thing. You always look healthier with a tan. We're going to be playing indoors here and it isn't that warm outside here either, so I may disappear altogether this week!
Interviews, photo shoots, football matches...
After a few weeks of rest and recovery, I was ready to get back to work; and it has been nothing but work since I came here! I'm here with my team - my mom, my brother, my physio and my coach - and we've been training really hard, for like three hours a day. But after a few days the real work started...
On Saturday I did a few off-court things. First I did a photo shoot for a new Sony Ericsson product, this bluetooth headset, which is a really cool product, and I had a lot of fun at the shoot, it was very energetic. After that, me and my mom met with some WTA and Sony Ericsson people and we took a private jet to Sevilla to promote the Sony Ericsson Championships at a football match, between Sevilla FC and Real Madrid... it was an experience I will never ever forget! We watched the game live, and then at half time they prepared a tennis court in the middle of the field and I went out and played with a former player from Sevilla FC, in front of 40 or 50 thousand people!!! I was soooooo nervous when I was going out. We are used to playing for 10 or 20 thousand people, and football fans are very loud and much different from tennis fans - but it was an amazing atmosphere, just euphoric. Normally I don't watch football (I'm more into basketball), but I think I may start now! And I also brought them some good luck I think - S