Is it time for Jelena Jankovic to retire?

Jelena Jankovic yesterday lost in straight sets to 277th-ranked qualifier Petra Krejsova, who was playing her first ever WTA main draw, in the first round of the the Ricoh Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and since the former world number one has lost 14 of her last 22 matches, we can’t help but think whether it’s time for her to retire at the age of 32.

At February’s Doha tournament, Jankovic had to go through qualifying for the first time since 2004 and then when she grabbed a spot in the main draw she lost in the first round already. Since then, JJ has not managed to score two consecutive victories and this week’s loss to Czech Krejsova is yet another blow.

Do you remember that in February, after her first-round Dubai exit, JJ said that tennis had exhausted her and that she would continue to compete only if she got back to the winning ways. The situation has not improved in these four months, but JJ, now ranked No.60, is still testing her possibilities and apparently hoping for an improvement.

Jankovic herself definitely knows best whether she should retire sooner or later. Cons are that the piled-up losses are not doing her any favor, as well as accumulated injuries, tiredness and the fact that she’s not getting any younger. Moreover, JJ’s playing style takes a big toll on her body, as she doesn’t have a powerful serve or forehand to shorten points, while she’s lost some of her stamina and speed, which need to be at their best if she wants to be a threat on the court.

On the other hand, there have never been more players reaching their peak later on in life and 32 is not such an old age in today’s WTA world — just think of Flavia Pennetta‘s maiden singles Grand Slam title at the US Open. Moreover, we’ve had stories where players had seriously considered retirement after a desperate string of losses, only to absolutely resurrect their careers laterthink of Zhang Shuai, who made the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open, never before winning a main-draw Grand Slam match in her long pro career. Can you think of any more examples? Please share them in the comments!

How do you predict Jankovic’s future? Will she manage to rebuild her career from the ashes, will she retire soon or will she continue to drag on whilst losing early at tournaments?

I believe that whatever JJ decides must be the best outcome for her, so I trust in her instincts and reasoning. Personally, I wouldn’t like to see her go, but I’m also not really hopeful that she’ll get her old glory back. I’d really like to hear your thoughts!

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12 thoughts on “Is it time for Jelena Jankovic to retire?

  1. Nathan C.

    I really hope JJ can bounce back maybe win a surprising Grand Slam at the U.S open. She is one of the best fighters and deserves more for all the work she’s put into her career. It will be sad to see her leave if this is the way she decides to go. She has one of the most vibrant personalities and is a good example of what tennis players should be like kind,charismatic, and passionate. #AjdeJJ

  2. Emman Damian

    I think JJ is like Daniela Hantuchova. It will be difficult to comeback after multiple injuries. I still believe she can come back but there are a lot of budding new players who are stronger and much fitter. I wish her the best!

  3. Emman Damian

    I think JJ is like Daniela Hantuchova. It will be difficult to comeback after multiple injuries. I still believe she can come back but there are a lot of budding new players who are stronger and much fitter. I wish her the best! 🙂

  4. Marija Post author

    Nathan C, I would also love to see JJ win the US Open, but how likely is that? That title slipped through her fingers, now already 9 years ago! She’s my favorite player because of her personality and I totally agree with your description “kind, charismatic and passionate”. I definitely wouldn’t like to see JJ go, but I also don’t enjoy seeing her on the tour losing so many matches.

    Emman Damian, I hope JJ will not develop into Daniela Hantuchova. She’s 2 years older than JJ and her glory days are long gone while she continues to play and struggle.

  5. Pinky

    Being a JJ fan I hope she can bounce back or switch to playing doubles. Sania Mirza is a player who was forced to switch to doubles and had huge success as a result. I really don’t want to see her retire as much as I want to see Venus retire. I think JJ needs to come a conclusion by the end of the year weather to play another season or retire. I don’t hold at much hope for the grass court season, JJ has always struggled on that surface. The hard court season in America might have better luck. Also the talent has gotten better. JJ fan for Life

  6. Marija Post author

    P!nky, it’s so nice to see how much you support JJ! For 10 years you’ve never skipped to comment on my posts about her. 🙂 Switching to doubles is a good idea that didn’t cross my mind!

  7. Wayn

    Dear old JJ has been on the slide for a few years now. A resurgence in singles would be nice, but at 32 I don’t see it. The 2008 US Open final and 4 set points (on her own serve !!) to level the match against the mighty Serena seems a long time ago.

  8. Wayn Brunsdon

    Hello Marija

    I also vividly remember that 2008 USO final. We should have had a deciding set at the very least. At the time it was a heartbreaker.

    Thank you for providing this blog. I have set up a article feed on my mobile.
    Keep up the good work and see you around for the remainder of the season. 🙂

  9. Marija Post author

    Wayn Brunsdon, Jelena lost that chance and it’s hard to say it, but she may never get one again. Now that nine years have past, we see even more how missed of a chance it was.

    Wow, I’m so glad that you’re a new subscriber! Welcome! 🙂

  10. Djole

    Draga Marija,
    Pisem ti na srpskom jer zelim tebi da se obratim,
    Jelenu pratim jos od 2007 kada je u Fed cup mecu sa Slovackom ostavila srce na terenu, tada sam imao samo 10 godina i nisam razumeo mnoge stvari u tenisu, ali sam navijao i skakao od srece svaki put kad je osvajala poene i taj mec ce mi ostati u secanju, kao i onaj sa AO iz 2008 kada je spasila silne mec lopte protiv Tamire Pasek. Tvoj blog pratim od 2014 godine i kao Jelenin fan dugujem ti zahvalnost, jer si pises o njoj i sada kada je na nju zaboravila i WTA (njima je bitna Busar). Takodje mi je drago sto ova tvoja objava ima dosta lepih komentara. Postoji mnogo neprospavanih noci zbog Jeleninih meceva, mnogo pokidanih zivaca i mnogo radosti i zbog toga zelim da verujem da ona moze da se izvuce iz ove krize…mozda bi je jedna veca pobeda malo podigla, realno mogla je da dobije par meceva koji bi joj popravili sezonu (protiv Kuznjecove na AO, protiv Venus na IW, protiv Cibulkove u Madridu i protiv Gerges u Rimu). Secam se da je 2015 na par turnira jedva prelazila prva dva kola (IW, Vimbldon) ali je na kraju uspevala nesto znacajnije da uradi…Ne volim da je gledam kako gubi, ali mislim da ona igra sada tenis iz ljubavi, a ne zbog rezultata, gledao sam njen mec koji je igrala u dublu sa Andreom Petkovic, koja je u istoj formi i obe su se salile i ponasale veoma opusteno iako su gubile.
    Izvini zbog srpskog, hteo sam da napisem i na engleskom ali sad mi je i tesko da prevodim ovoliki tekst

  11. Marija Post author

    Djole, bolje je pisati na engleskom, zbog drugih citalaca koji takodje zele da se ukljuce u diskusiju. I ja se jako dobro secam tog meca protiv Tamire Pasek, gledala sam ga do nekih 5 ujutro i odmah pisala na blogu o njemu: http://www.womenstennisblog.com/2008/01/14/thankful-jelena-jankovic-survives-epic-scare-in-australian-open-first-round/ JJ je moja omiljena teniserka u svakom smislu i zaista bih volela da vidim njen preporod, iako mislim da sanse nisu velike, ali nadam se da me ona moze demantovati.

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