Where has this Jelena Jankovic been hiding? Once upon a time, JJ was the world #1 and playing at an incredibly high level despite not capturing a Major. But for a long while she took a slide down the rankings, losing to players she would have torched at her best. In fact, as a Jankovic fan I had sadly resigned myself to the thought that she would slowly fade into journeywoman status, eventually retiring. But recently, Jelena has shown that she has plenty left in her tank. Strong play has seen her climbing the WTA rankings once again. Still, I never saw coming what she put on Carla Suarez Navarro at the 2013 China Open. The former world #1 Jankovic laid a double bagel on the overmatched Suarez Navarro. Granted, one could point out that for all of Carla’s ability she did suffer a double bagel against Serena Williams last month at the US Open. But that was Serena at the Open. Never did I think JJ could do that to Suarez Navarro. I honestly don’t think Jankovic will win the title in Beijing, but if she keeps up playing as she has been of late anything is possible.
Another former #1, Caroline Wozniacki, took out Sloane Stephens 3 and 1, but the match was tighter than that score suggest. There were lots of long rallies. However, while 2013 was a breakthrough year for Sloane in the Majors, the goal for 2014 should be a year where she goes deep into tournaments on a weekly basis. It’s tough. The tour is a grind. But the greatest rise to occasion. I believe when Sloane’s career is over, she will have enough accomplishments to rate as one of the greats. Next year would be a good time to get started collecting titles.
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