Winning comes with it’s own set of problems. One of them is having to keep playing and often late in events it means playing on consecutive days. And sometimes from night to day.
Yesterday former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic won a tough match in three sets over Italian Roberta Vinci. The match ended about 9:45pm and Jankovic wasn’t pleased that she had to return for her 1pm match with Maria Sharapova who crushed a tired Serb 62, 61.
“I felt really tired and exhausted,” Jankovic admitted. “So I didn’t really have enough time to recover. I finished the match last night at 11:00. I went to sleep at 1:00 by the time I came back to the hotel. Woke up early, had to play. So the schedule was tough. You know, I played yesterday three hours, last night. So today I wasn’t on the top of my game, and I wasn’t playing the way I wanted to, you know, especially on a big occasion like playing the semifinals.
“But all the credit to Maria. She played very well, and she was the better one today.”
The central issue for Jankovic was Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska both had a day off Wednesday and were then given a night match, obviously in recognition of Serena populatirty in South Florida.
“I didn’t ask for a change, but I didn’t understand why, you know because we were playing last night really late, and then we were first on today,” she argued. “The girls who play tonight at 7:00, they had a day off yesterday. So was kind of crazy. I had a couple of hours of sleep, and then I had to be back on the court. Then, you know, these other girls in the other semis, they, you know, have a day off. I played four matches, only had one day off. Last night, couple hours of sleep. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t easy, but what can I do? You can’t. I wish it was a little different. I wish I had a little more time to recover and be in better shape for today. It would give me a much better chance to play better, but it was the way it was.”
Sharapova, who also played a lengthy match on Wednesday, wasn’t concerned with the short recovery.
“Unfortunately I’m selfishly not really thinking about that when I’m out on the court, because it is my job to try to win the match as well as I can, and I did have a late one, as well,” Sharapova said. “Not a late one but a long one yesterday. So it was important for me to physically and mentally be there because I didn’t feel like I played my best tennis yesterday.”
Jankovic’s semifinal run in Miami was one of her best results in a long time. And the effort renewed her hopes of finally winning a Grand Slam.
“The last two years, I had a lot of injuries. Even in Australia I tore my muscle in the stomach and I couldn’t play for three weeks,” Jankovic said. “I had to recover and then get back on the court and start working hard again. I still believe in myself. It’s a matter of working hard and of course staying healthy.
“I believe in myself. I believe I have a lot of qualities that I can compete with the top players, and it’s just a matter of just working hard consistently, day in and day out, and hopefully my time will come.”
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