Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Women's field the strongest in years

Jankovic, Serena top contenders

  • Print
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams think they're entitled to be considered the No. 1 female tennis player. They'll have the chance to prove it at the Australian Open.

Jankovic has bragging rights now, spending the last two months atop the rankings despite a series of minor injuries and health issues last year. But the 23-year-old Serbian has her doubters because she has yet to win a Grand Slam tournament -- something that second-ranked American Serena Williams has done nine times -- and is short on match practice after becoming ill in Hong Kong.

"It will be an extra challenge for me," Jankovic said Saturday, two days before the season-opening major gets under way.

Still, she wasn't short on confidence, saying she feels she deserves the top ranking. She also undertook what she called her toughest-ever training regime in November and December, clearly adding some muscle, to help her stay on top.

"If I win a Grand Slam, it will be great result, great achievement," Jankovic said. "But I'm already No. 1, and I believe all of these girls here want to be where I am now.

"So I'm just enjoying it and really having fun. I play tennis because I like to play, not because I have to prove anything to everybody."

Williams, as usual, is also brimming with confidence.

"I would feel weird sitting here saying I'm not the best," said a relaxed and fit-looking Williams, who won the last Grand Slam, the U.S. Open, in September while briefly regaining the top ranking. "Even if I'm ranked 100 in the world, I would sit here and say I'm the best player.

"Nothing against Jankovic. She went out in the fall and worked hard and got the No. 1 ranking. I feel like I'm the best just because I'm not going to sit here and say anyone is better than me. I shouldn't be in tennis if I felt that way."

Both Williams and Jankovic would have to overcome some serious challenges to get to the Jan. 31 final. Even with the absence of defending champion Maria Sharapova -- still getting back to fitness after a shoulder injury sidelined her for most of the second half of 2008 -- the women's field shapes up as one of the strongest in years.

Russian Dinara Safina, earned the third seeding by winning four tournaments last year and reaching the French Open final and the U.S. Open semis.

No. 4 Elena Dementieva, the gold medallist at the Beijing Olympics, is on a 10-match winning streak.

 

-- The Associated Press

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 18, 2009 C6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets defencemen ready to face adversity

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who should get more playing time in Jets net?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google