Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic, who fine-tuned their fierce rivalry as youngsters uprooted from Europe to Nick Bollettieri's Florida production line, duel for a spot in the French Open semi-finals on Wednesday.
Defending champion Sharapova has an imposing 7-1 career lead over Jankovic but this will be their first meeting on clay — and it should be a feisty affair. Both women were juniors at Bollettie-ri’s with Sharapova arriving from Russia as a nine-year-old while Jankovic was 12 when she pitched up from Belgrade to work with the renowned US coach. “We pla-yed against each other quite a bit in the juniors, all the time. We spent a lot of time together. We were in the same group,” recalled Sharapova. “It’ll be our first encounter on clay,” Jankovic said.