Jelena Jankovic goes into Thursday's French Open semi-final against fellow Serb Ana Ivanovic with both form and fitness weighing heavily against her. Second seed Ivanovic will walk on to Court Philippe Chatrier as fresh as a daisy after conceding just 20 games in her five matches so far as she seemingly walks towards a first grand slam title with total assurance.
Jankovic, meanwhile, has also not lost a set at Roland Garros but her progress has been, by comparison, tortuous.
Treated for a wrist injury in her second-round match against Marina Erakovic, she also needed medical attention on a stiff neck and shoulder in the fourth round and made a dash home to Serbia before her quarter-final triumph to receive treatment.
The pair have met six times and Jankovic has prevailed only once in Los Angeles two years ago, and Ivanovic won in straight sets in their only previous meeting on clay.
But what Jankovic lacks in fitness and previous form, she more than makes up for it in self belief. "My dream is to become number one in the world, and now I'm very close. So I will try my best, and hopefully I can do it," said the third seed, who will replace Maria Sharapova at the top of the pile if she takes the title. "I had troubles in the past against her, but I don't think we played on clay many times.”