Tenaciously Tennis

Safina, Jankovic Continue to Disappoint

Current number two player in the world, Dinara Safina, and former world number one, Jelena Jankovic, continue to disappoint with the former sidelined by injury, while the later exits from a tournament early.

Safina, who had a rocky Australian Open, pulled out of the Indian Wells tournament recently. After fizzling out at the finals of the 2009 Australian Open and French Open, Safina has simply not looked the same. Citing injury, it seems that mentally, she’s also suffering. Big time. Not quite to the same extent as former top-ten player and French Open semifinalist, Nicole Vaidisova, but if things don’t being looking up for the Russian, she just may end the year outside of the top ten. There will inevitably be a slippery slop back into the top-tier of the woman’s game, especially with Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, and Maria Sharapova making strong comebacks. Safina needs to regain the power and mental toughness that took her to the number one ranking. It won’t be easy, but I believe she still has the ability to make it to a Grand Slam final. The only question is, can she actually win one?

Like her struggling compatriot is the Grand Slam-less and other former world number one, Jankovic, who bowed out early to Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, at the Monterrey Open. She lost to…who exactly? Apparently, Sevastova is a 19-year old player currently at her career-high ranking of #73 in the world. With solid play like she took to Jankovic, maybe there’s a strong career from her for the future. She might be someone to keep an eye out for.

Anyway, Jankovic needs to get back on track and possibly take advice from her compatriot, Ana Ivanovic who, although struggling, is showing signs of life by recruiting Heinz Gunthardt, Steffi Graf’s former coach, to her team. I don’t see things picking up for Jankovic, or Ivanovic for that matter, before Indian Wells.


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