This content was published 13 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.
Playing first Venus then Serena Williams is a tall order for any person. Doing it within the space of less than 24 hours is an even bigger ask
Surely anyone who manages that feat should be given the trophy outright. Unfortunately for Jelena Jankovic, that is not how it works, and in Saturday’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia final she found that she did not quite have enough left in the tank to chase down the endless drop-shots of Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who wore down the Serb to take the title 7-6(5), 7-5.
“Yesterday I had a tough match and I played the past two days against the Williams’ sisters, so I’m tired and a little bit flat at this moment. I had to do a lot of running forward which is something that you do not do that often. In this match, especially at the beginning of the set I had to sprint forward so it was difficult for me, especially after having had tough matches. I tried not to think about that and I did my best today but unfortunately it was not enough,” said Jankovic, who has now won 12 and lost 12 of the 24 finals she has contested.
“She is very different from most girls,” said the Serb of Martinez Sanchez. “She makes a lot of drop shots and volleys and she is also left-handed, so it’s a little bit tricky. I did not serve well and that was a problem. I was down in the first set and then I managed to come back. I didn’t play well in the tie-break and then the rain started and that was a little bit frustrating, but what can you do? I tried to be more aggressive and I started coming back. I got to 5-5 then I lost my serve again. Those are the times when I prayed to try and hold my serve and hold my ground and I did not manage today, and unfortunately she won. Credit to her.”
“I did not return well,” said Jankovic, highlighting another problem she had during the match. “I was returning well throughout the tournament, returning really aggressively, especially with the Williams’ sisters. Then today… I don’t know, perhaps it was because it was a lefty serve so it was a little bit tricky, especially those returns and getting the first ball inside. I had to be aware and alert for those drop shots because they were coming from everywhere and anywhere. It didn’t matter if she was in the back of the court or inside the court, she does it so well.”
“I’m still happy with the final and it was good tournament for me,” the No.7 seed concluded. “I just have to stay positive and work hard. My objective is to be ready for the French Open.”