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No Place Like Home For JJ

Jelena Jankovic is moving into a new pad in California. The weather is great. The reception from the neighbors less so.

Published July 28, 2012 08:18

No Place Like Home For JJ
Jelena Jankovic

The life of a tennis player is a nomadic existence, travelling across the globe, from one hotel room to another, for 10 months of the year in the quest for those all-important ranking points.

Yet with such a hectic schedule, it is important to have somewhere to kick back and relax during those rare weeks not spent living out of a suitcase. Somewhere quiet, somewhere homely and, if your name is Jelena Jankovic, somewhere with eight bedrooms, a tennis court and a swimming pool.

This summer, World No.20 Jankovic has been adding the finishing touches to her new pad in the salubrious surrounds of Rancho Santa Fe, California, which she plans to call home in the not-too-distant future.

"Yeah, hopefully I can move there in the off-season," Jankovic said during an interview in the build-up to the Olympic Games tennis tournament. "Hopefully maybe I can train there. It's just so beautiful. Just traveling around here is amazing. I really love it, so I cannot wait."

And the former World No.1's arrival in the neighborhood has not gone without notice.

"I was walking around there the other day and the neighbors were looking at me like, 'you're the owner? You're only like 27 years old! Get out of here. You don't belong here.'

"When I was entering there I had to say to them, 'I'm the owner'. But it was funny. Although no wonder they asked questions; I had on like a cap and some sunglasses and I don't think even my mom could recognize me dressed up like that!"

However, despite the frosty reception from the neighbors, Jankovic has already found plenty to look forward to when she finally moves in, including a new sporting challenge.

"I've also started to learn to play golf. I was playing the last couple days," she said. "I was driving around with the golf cart, and people are like, 'aren't you playing the wrong sport? You're supposed to be on the tennis court!'"

"I'm trying to play and, you know, hopefully when I finish my tennis career I can just enjoy it for recreation. You know, obviously I cannot be a pro. It's too late and I'm no good at it! But for fun, I think it's a nice sport."

For the moment, though, Jankovic has her hands full with life on tour, and admits she may have to leave lowering her handicap in the La Costa sunshine until she hangs up the racquets for good.

"While I'm playing, I'm going to be all over the place," Jankovic added. "I'm traveling all the time, but when I stop, when I finish my career, I'm probably going to spend a lot of time here."

Nosey neighbours, you have been warned.

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