Istanbul Profile: Jelena Jankovic
Published October 15, 2013 12:01
Highlights: Bogotá (champion), Beijing, Charleston (runner-up)
Grand Slam Performance: Australian Open (third round), French Open (quarterfinals), Wimbledon (second round), US Open (fourth round)
Win/Loss Record: 45-18
Record Against Top 10: 4-6
WTA Championships History: semifinalist (2009, 2008) round robin (2010, 2007)
However, a quietly impressive campaign, capped off with a strong finish, saw her end a three-year exile from the season-ending showpiece, securing the penultimate place with a few weeks to spare.
"I think this year has been great for me as far as coming back and making that step forward," Jankovic said during her run to the final in Beijing. "Reaching the Championships is a great achievement for me. In January, I thought it wasn't even my goal as I didn't think I could make it."
Having begun the year outside the Top 20 for the first time since 2005, Jankovic quickly went about reversing her rankings slide, picking up the title in Bogotá before deep runs in both Miami and Charleston.
Her performance in reaching the Charleston final, where she lost in three sets to Serena Williams, augured well for the European clay court season. And Jankovic did not disappoint, continuing to rebuild her reputation as a force at the top of the game with a quarterfinal run at the French Open.
An early exit at Wimbledon was followed by a disappointing start on the North American hardcourts, before the Serb kicked on again.
A semifinal defeat to Victoria Azarenka in Cincinnati and a fourth round appearance at the US Open suddenly put Jankovic in with an outside chance of a seat on the plane to Istanbul. It was an opportunity she grasped with both hands, rolling back the years to reach the final in Beijing.
"I want to reach the Top 5 next year, then the Top 3 again," Jankovic said ahead of Istanbul. "Now I've made it to Istanbul, where it is the very best players competing, so I will try to produce my best tennis and go as far as I can."