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WTA drama queen Jankovic now fights fatigue

sports Updated: Aug 28, 2008 09:54 IST

AFP
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Jelena Jankovic may have cured her injuries in time for the US Open but the Serb admits that fatigue has suddenly been added to her seemingly never-ending list of problems.

The second seed profitted momentarily by lying face down on court and feigning a nap after slipping during a marathon 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 victory in two hours, 44 minutes over Swede Sofia Arvidsson on Wednesday.

"I was just tired, and I couldn't get up, I was so exhausted at that moment," said Jankovic. "I was breathing hard, and I didn't have the energy to get up."

She also had another more immediate concern: "I thought I was going to get my dress really dirty, and that was my biggest concern."

Despite the unscheduled interruption of less than a minute, Jankovic struggled through into the third round, knowing that winning the event will potentially return her to the number one ranking she lost to fellow Serb Ana Ivanovic at the start of the week.

"I was number one and by doing that I achieved one huge goal in my career, in my life. It's something amazing and I would love to come back to that position."

But she added: "I really need to work hard, I need to lift the level of my tennis, and to try to play a lot better. I'm trying really hard, but because I had so many injuries I had a tough time."

Jankovic said that after her hard-fought win, she got on the treadmill only to cramp after jogging for just three minutes.

"The muscle was, like, in spasm, and I had a lot of pain. I couldn't make another step. But my fitness trainer was there. He gave me a lot of things to drink and stretching and ice, massage.

"Finally I recovered and could go back to the locker room and take a shower. I'm not in the best shape. For me to play three hours, it's amazing at this moment, because I haven't been training as hard as I want to.

"I'm now training to get that, but, you know, it takes time. It's not going to happen overnight."