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By Rohit Sharma
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When Serbian Jelena Jankovic acquired the top spot in WTA rankings during the European hardcourt season of 2008, many tennis pundits considered her unworthy of the billing. Fellow tennis stars including Roger Federer attacked her with verbal vollies saying that a player should not be granted the top rank if he/she hasn't won a Grand Slam event. Despite all the criticism, the Serbian star finished the year ranked No.1 and ever since maintained a reputable performance in all major tournmaments.
But a loser-tag kept following her wherever she went. After winning the title in Cincinnati last year, Jankovic clinched another huge victory in Indian Wells. But for the first time in her career, she did something which is worthy of a lot more than just a praise. She became only the seventh woman in the WTA history to beat both Williams sisters in the same tournament. After a straight sets drubbing of Venus Williams in the quarterfinals in Rome, Jankovic went on and pull a nail-biting victory over Serena Williams. In both the victories, the decisive factor was Jankovic's improved play and mental toughness rather than her opponents' bad form or a flurry of unforced errors which is blown out of proportion in interviews every time a Williams loses.
Jankovic also did pretty well against arch rival and compatriot Ana Ivanovic when she beat her in impressive fashion recently. She is hitting the ball hard and well, her on court movement is really impressive and above everything, her will to win and the determination to reach out to her slam dreams is more prominent than ever.
The 2010 French Open draw is also favourable for the Serb who is not likely to face any serious threats before the semifinals where either Serena Williams or Justine Henin will await. Henin beat Jankovic in the duo's previous meeting in Stuttgart, but ever since the Serbian star has been pretty consistent.
Only time will disclose the fate of this former slam-less No.1, till then here's wishing Jelena Jankovic a very best of luck in all her endeavours so that the fans across the world get to witness the best of women's tennis on the tennis court.
Will Jankovic prove her mettle by claiming her first Grand Slam title? Ind out her chances at the 2010 French Open by tracking her progress in the draw, click here.
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