Getting To Know... Bojana Jovanovski
Published October 05, 2010 12:00
BEIJING, CHINA - After a string of frustrating early losses, Bojana Jovanovski contemplated not even travelling to Beijing for this week's China Open. But, having beaten Kateryna Bondarenko and then registered her first Top 10 win in the second round - over fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic, no less - the 18-year-old world No.93 is very glad she did.
We caught up with Bojana, a former fifth-ranked junior and now the Serbian No.3, ahead of her third round match against Shahar Peer.
Congratulations on your win over Jankovic - how does it feel?
BJ: I think this is probably the best win of my career. It's the first time I've beaten a Top 10 player. Before this, I had beaten Aravane Rezai, who was ranked Top 20. But it was very hard to play Jelena. We are such good friends off the court, we go out for dinner together and really enjoy each other's company. I don't think she was playing her best tennis, and there was probably a bit more pressure on her, given I'm a younger player from Serbia. In some ways it's a real shame two Serbian girls had to play in the first round, but you can't choose who you play.
How do you describe your playing style? Are you working on anything in particular at the moment?
BJ: I prefer aggressive tennis. I need to improve my movement but then there's the mental side. This is all a new experience for me, there's a big difference between playing players in Top 50 or Top 100 and more, it's a different style and a different way of thinking. And it's not just a matter of practice - the only way to be focused and have the mentality like the top players is to play matches against them.
How did you get into tennis?
BJ: I started with my father, Zoran, when I was seven. He used to be a footballer but he's still my coach and we train at the Partizan club in Belgrade.
Do you do anything unusual in terms of off court training?
BJ: As well as normal fitness training, I do pilates.
If you could steal a shot from another player, what would it be?
BJ: Maybe the serve of Ana Ivanovic, and I like Jelena's movement. And I like Maria Sharapova for her aggressive play and focus - I always wanted to play like her when I was growing up. I want to be like the three of them!
What's your favorite surface? Tournament?
BJ: I like hardcourts and the US Open.
Describe your perfect day in Belgrade.
BJ: I'd wake up about nine, have a longer breakfast, go to practice. I like reading, listening to music and watching movies but I'd make sure to spend some time with my friends and also my family because I don't get to my mom, Snezana and my sister Victoriya as much these days. I love to go shopping with my mum. We'd go to my favorite shopping mall. For me, Belgrade is one of the most beautiful cities in southeast Europe.
If you had describe yourself in one or two words, what would you say?
BJ: That I'm a big fighter.
If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
BJ: Maybe Brad Pitt.
What non-tennis skill do you wish you had?
BJ: I don't know… when I'm free I always want to go out with my friends. Maybe singing. Something funny.
What's the most memorable book you've read lately?
BJ: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.
What might you be doing if you weren't a tennis player?
BJ: I've never really thought about it!
What are your goals in tennis?
BJ: My ultimate goal is to be No.1 but my immediate goal is always to improve my tennis. After Tokyo, I was just mentally so tired with all the losses and being frustrated that my good play in practice wasn't translating into match play. But in the end I decided to come to Beijing and now I've had this great result. It just shows that if you keep practicing hard then the good results will come - you just have to be patient.