Smiling Jankovic pleased with her replays

September 8th, 2008 - 1:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Sep 8 (DPA) Smiling Serb Jelena Jankovic kept her sunny disposition even in defeat, unable to stop glancing at herself repeatedly on the big stadium screen during a 6-4, 7-6 US Open finals loss to Serena Williams.Even defeat in her first career Grand Slam final could not prevent the world No.2 from revelling in the thrill of the moment in front of a 23,000-capacity stadium full of fans here Sunday.

And instead of burying her head in a towel or picking at her racquet strings during changeovers, the 23-year-old instead watched replays of herself on the Jumbotron screen.

“I feel great, believe it or not,” said the runner-up.

“I feel that I have been improving since the beginning of the tournament. I was really working hard with my coach and my fitness coach, and they really have done a great job with me.

“Otherwise I wouldn’t be here tonight.”

Jankovic, a pony-tailed born actress on court known for her expressions which can range from rapture to despair to unrestrained joy - all interchangeable in the space of any few minutes - said she could just not stop staring at the oversized screen.

“You cannot help it to look up, I think they should turn it off,” she suggested light-heartedly. “I cannot focus, because I keep looking at it. I don’t know why.

“You watch straight, and then your eyes just go up, because you know there’s something going up on top. But whatever, it’s just fun.”

That kind of attitude best describes Jankovic on court.

But the Belgrade battler also hides a steely streak which has already taken her to the top ranking for a week this summer and is sure to produce a future return to the summit.

“I’m going to retire,” she joked post-match. “No, I’m just kidding.

“I’m going to take a break and just enjoy a little bit of time off and do something else other than tennis.

“Playing a Grand Slam is always tough because mentally and physically, you’re worn out after a hard two weeks of playing a lot of matches. There’s a lot of pressure to do well.”

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