Serena Williams v Jelena Jankovic in US Open Final
by Richard Vach | September 5th, 2008, 8:39 pm

The No. 1 ranking will be on the line Saturday night in Flushing Meadows, rain permitting, when Serena Williams attempts to keep the US Open title in the U.S. against Serb Jelena Jankovic.
The younger Williams sister had a surprisingly easy time in the semifinals after suffering an early break, strolling past Russian Dinara Safina 6-3, 6-2 on Friday.

“An American back in the finals,” Serena said. “I am really excited.”

Jankovic gained the final by also out-slugging another Russian, beating Elena Dementieva 6-4, 6-4.

“As you could see, I was fighting out there,” said Jankovic, whose fitness critics and she herself have questioned during the event. “I never give up. I’m there until the last point, trying my best. This is really what has helped propel me through this tournament and now into the final.”

It is also the first Slam final for Jankovic, who earlier this year in the wake of Justine Henin’s retirement had the non-distinction of becoming the first player to become No. 1 with only a Slam semifinal on her resume.

“Mentally I’m a lot stronger now; I really believe in myself,” Jankovic said. “It’s about time for me to make that step forward, break that barrier and go a long way. I want to win a Grand Slam. This is why I came here.”

Williams came for the same reason, and sent a message not only by taming the windy conditions, but by drilling her opponent Safina in the shoulder in the second set.

“I thought, ‘OK, if it’s so windy, then I’m not going to go for so many winners,” Williams said of her controlled attack.

Safina blamed the result on losing her mental composure.

“I think I was behaving like a really spoilt girl today,” Safina told reporters. “I have to learn from these things if I want to get better. If I want to make one step in front, I have to learn to handle my emotions better. I think today I was feeling physically better than previous days but it’s too bad behavior from my side. Maybe I was 80 percent physically and mentally but I spent 60 of it being negative on the court, like shooting around and complaining about everything.”

Jankovic was also overcome but by a different kind of emotion, getting teary-eyed after reaching the final.

“I have tears in my eyes,” Jankovic said. “I’ve played five Grand Slam semifinals and to get to a final for the first time is unbelievable. I’m thrilled.”

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35 Comments for Serena Williams v Jelena Jankovic in US Open Final

zola Says:

this is funny:
***I think I was behaving like a really spoilt girl today,” Safina told reporte***


Still, great effort. But She could have gone to the final. She is right that she needs to get tougher mentally. I don’t blame her after playing all these matches and the olympic. She is on the rise anyway. Go home and get some well-deserved rest Dinara. you will be the star of 2009.

Go Serena. I think she has a real chance to win the final. come on!

tiberiu Says:

I believe Djokovici is the man with a huge mental problem and in this moment any normal man with a logical think can’t listen to him. He must to play and let the annalists to talk. He is right or not, doesn’t matter.
He’s loosed his fans, the public support and even the respect of the others players. He starts a dangerous game where he was the clown and now, that game’s starting to turn against him.
He can understand a joke? Probably a new job will be soon on rail: Joker – explainer. Sound good.

Mary Says:

I am amazed at what Henin leaving the sport has done to the WTA! Who would have thought that Serena had a chance to be No. 1.

It would be interesting to know what player has held no.1 while playing the least amount of tournaments for the year since the new ranking system has been put into place.

zola Says:

that would be nice to know. The ATP page is easier than the WTA to find information.

there is also this one:

but I guess it needs some digging.

Novak Djokovici Says:

Go Jelena!
I’m with you.
If somebody try to anger you, just tell me.

NachoF Says:

What do you guys feel about the idea of the Fedrer-Djokovic match being at Arthur Ashe while Nadal-Murray at Louis Armstrong…. doesnt it seem like they havent realized Federer is not the #1 anymore but Nadal is?

Natasa Says:

Djokovic and Jelena Jankovic are the best. Good luck and CCCC

Novak Djokovici Says:

The match Nadal – Murray is scheduled on Ashe Stadium, but if I have some problems with Federer and I can’t beat him in 3 sets, probably they will move the Nadal match on Armstrong Arena.

NachoF! Don't worry about which court Federer plays on! It would be his grave! Says:

Federer will gets humilate by Djokovic on that court!

NachoF Says:

We’ll see… maybe Djokovic will be affected by anthrax.

Friend Says:

“when Serena Williams attempts to keep the US Open title in the U.S. against Serb Jelena Jankovic. ”

Isn’t the title with the defending champ, till there is a new champ? In which case, the US open should be now in belgium, right?

US open women’s singles title left US in 2003 and the men’s singles left in 2004.

Weather Says:

“If rain wipes out all play Saturday, the men’s semifinals would take place Sunday, starting at 1 p.m. and the women’s final would be at 9 p.m. In that case, the men’s final would be at 5 p.m. on Monday.

If the men’s semifinals are finished Saturday and the women’s final isn’t, then both championship matches would be scheduled for Sunday, one at 4 p.m. and the other at 9 p.m.”

S Green Says:

Looking at the 1st five games, Federer will win this match. And as promised, I will be a reborn Fed supporter after a year and half. It may look strange to some for a couple of days, but that’s ok.
What this means is I will only say positive about all players, not a word of negativity in any direct or indirect form.

Ra Says:

Wow. Federer has come out looking better than any reasonable fan could’ve expected. Djokovic does look reserved, but that isn’t totally unusual for him so early on, and it’s not as if he isn’t playing well.

Daniel Says:

Wow, Fed played great! 3 unforced errors. There was no deuce in this set, that’s why it was over in 24 minutes.

Lenny Says:

Hey guys,
A heads up.
Dunno what feed y’all are getting. But in India, we’re getting the World Feed (Wilander commentating) and if you’re getting the same one, don’t keep track of the Rafa-Murray score – they’ll be showing the match from the beginning after this.

Friend Says:

Strange match this! Absolutely no rythm or feel to what is happening. When one guy is playing good tennis, the other is shanking it or choking it. Hard to see the winner of this final win the tournament.

Shabby match from both Federer and Djokovic. I hope they pick it up and play a great best of 3 sets!

Mary Says:

It is a strange match. It is so freaking humid outside. Air conditioning isn’t doing much to help it.
Murray cruised through his first set, now it looks like he slowed down.

Ra Says:

Mary, please don’t comment on Nadal v Murray if you could be so kind; many of us are hoping to watch it without knowing the results in advance.

Thank you.

andrea Says:

Well done roger!

I can imagine Novak’s dad must be looking at his notes from the past year and thinking that his comment about last years US final being the last time Roger beat Novak might have been a BIT premature. Since then it’s been 2-1 in Roger’s favor.

at least he didn’t retire.

S Green Says:

Congratulations to Fed !
Started strong and ended strong. Big statement from the resurrected Fed !
Good luck for the Final !

NachoF Says:

Sweet Justice!!…. Djokovic got what he deserved… Now lets just hope he doesnt give any injury related excuses in the press conference.

jane Says:

Congrats to Roger – he did play well today.

Still love Novak though!

Can’t believe how well Murray is playing. First set off Rafa with ease, hanging with him in the second! Could be a Fed/ Murray final!

Daniel Says:

Murray is playing great but he must had won one of those break opportunities. I thingk that almost all the games Nadal served he faced break points and save them. That’s what he does best and this can cost Murrays mind, that he almost lead the second set over and over again. Will see, he is pretty solid on his own service games!

JCF Says:

Looking at the stats, Murray has been playing REALLY good. Had 9 break point opportunities on Nadal’s serve and converted 2. Nadal has not even seen one break point opportunity on Murray’s serve.

He is in a world of trouble right now, and needs to win a tiebreak and hope that Murray won’t be able to keep up his level of play.

CBS has decided to play the match on tape delay from the first ball, which takes a lot of the tension out of the game. I’m not sure whether I should just follow the live scores page or actually watch this.

NachoF Says:

Im not sure if I should root for Nadal (cause I want Federer to get his revenge) or Murray so that Federer can stay closer to Nadal on the ranking.

jane Says:

Ra, et al,
I’m so sorry I commented above on the murray / rafa match. I didn’t see your post until after the fact.

Ryan Says:

I wonder where the pussies who kissed djoker’s ass are now?….. especially the ones who yapped after the australian open.
It was payback time for fed and he killed the so called hard court king.

Ra Says:


thank you for the consideration. It may be a lost cause or unfair of me to even ask. I tried to skim through without seeing anything relevant, but I guess if I really want to avoid spoilers, it’s up to me to be vigilant and stay away from the blogs and forums. I appreciate that you care, though.

Ryan Says:

Many djoker fans had a tough time accepting that fed was playing badly because of mono against the djoker in the australian open.They were like fed was not allowed to play at his best by the djoker who was outplaying him….wat happened now? wat happened to ur invincible hard court king?

Novak Djokovici Says:

I’ve let Federer to win the match.
I’m still suffering of 23 injuries.

Von Says:

S Green:

“Looking at the 1st five games, Federer will win this match. And as promised, I will be a reborn Fed supporter after a year and half. It may look strange to some for a couple of days, but that’s ok.”

I know the two of us had a discussion before the USO draw, where I stated I had a gut feeling about Fed winning this tournamewnt, and then after the draw, I was even more positive, he’ll win. At that time, you felt that he wouldn’t and went out on a limb stating that you will revert to being a Fed fan again — keeping your word so to speak — you were so positive, I would be wrong. I’d just like you to know that I had no intention at that time to hold you to your “word”, and hope you don’t revert to being a Fed fan. I don’t think it’s that easy to return back to a prior state of existence, when one is presently so involved in another. Going back is very difficult, and I’d strongly suggest you think about the ramifications of the situation from all angles, before making such a hasty life-changing decision, based on your word at a time of engaging in light banter. I doubt anyone else remembers or cares what you stated. It’s Ok to change your mind and go back on your word at times, which does not involve any serious ramifications to anyone, but yourself. Most of what was discussed and going on was very trivial indeed. You won’t like reverting back.

“What this means is I will only say positive about all players, not a word of negativity in any direct or indirect form.”

I don’t think this is as easy as you seem to think, because as I’ve stated in the above pragraph, it’s not that easy to go back — one of the toughest hurdles for a human being to overcome, hence the proverbial statement, you can’t go back, but only go forward.

Think about my suggestion and hopefully, you’ll change your mind. You wouldn’t be the first or the last to go back on your word, which was a comment made at a momemnt of very light conversation and some bantering. :P

Well, for once, I hope my public announcement of picking a player to win the USO, which was Federer in this instance, seems like it’s going to happen; I went out on a limb there because I don’t like speculation and predictions. I think Fed’s deserving of it considering all that he’s had to deal with in ’08. He has shown me that he has a champion’s heart, and he wants to win more than anything else, which is what I like to see in athletes. I sincerely hope that he’ll consider ending his season with the culmination of the USO — the guy’s totally burnt out, both physically and mentally. He should forget the ranking points he has to defend and regaing his No. 1 statuss, which could be made up by coming out fresher and stronger in ’09. Instead Fed should concentrate on healing his psyche, which can be done only through R&R.
Skorocel, my friend, I know you are jumping for joy. Enjoy your Fed’s tennis, and hopefully you’ll get your wish, which is, Fed will win the uSO, even though you’ve been somewhat negative about this. Question: How is it a non-Fed fan like me could have so much more faith in your guy, and you don’t? :D But, then, I should be the last to talk. I had Andy Roddick going out in the first round and saying his year is unsalvageable, due to his back/shoulder problems. I’m so happy Andy made it to the QFS. I don’t ask for much — I am only asking for him to remain in the Top 8, to qualify for the TMC. Let’s both hope our guys will have a better and stronger ’09. Talk to you later. :P

As i’ve previously state, the Top 5 and thw whole Top 10, will be a revolving door in ’09. The excitement should be wonderful for the sport and its supporters.

grendel Says:

S Green: I second this idea you shouldn’t take your pledge too literaly. It’s a bit like the person who claims he’ll eat his hat if such and such occurs. And when such and such DOES occur, noone actually expects him too eat the damn thing. He’d just indulged in a bit of thoughtless rhetoric, as don’t we all from time to time.

Even so, it’s rather a fascinating idea. To me, it builds into the slippery notion of “identity”, with which you must be very familiar (didn’t you once say you were a philosopher?).

Sometimes, I’ve made a point of really studying (visually) a player I have an aversion for, and I find that after all, he is quite human, no different from anybody else, really, but somehow – for reasons which aren’t always clear – one has managed to project all sorts of bad things onto him. Unfortunately, this doesn’t resolve the situation, because at the same time that one is (sort of) seeing him objectively, all the history of one’s particular dislike is still there. The slate can’t just be wiped clean. This can, on occasion, make for chronic indecision.

Anyway, we all react differently. But I’ll just assume you’re a Djokovic fan. Hope that’s not presumptuous….

bob22 Says:

Any comments on M. Carillo’s behaviour? Do you notice the difference in attitude towards Jelena, how she was cutting her off?

Von Says:

Sometimes some of us go so far as to say “I’ll kill myself”, and as soon as the words roll off our tongues, we think to ourselves, ‘like hell I will”. The tongue can speak both curse and blessings …. n’est c pas?

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