Extra muscle throws Jankovic game into crisis

March 16th, 2009 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Indian Wells (California), March 16 (DPA) Jelena Jankovic is carrying more than the weight of expectations on her shoulder after going out to 17-year-old Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at the Indian Wells Masters.
The Serb is also concerned about the results of an off-season training programme which added perhaps a bit too much extra muscle to her finely balance frame.

“I was never used to having like five kilos more than usual, like ten pounds,” complained the world No. 3 after her Sunday loss.

“It’s like when I had to move, especially playing in Australia and some other tournaments, I felt really heavy on the court and really had no reaction.

“Playing like that, you don’t feel satisfied, you’re just trying to find the game back. Last year I finished number 1 in the world and I was playing great tennis, especially at the end of the year. This year I’m not the same player.”

Jankovic added altitude training in Mexico with track and field experts to her routine in December but has yet to feel good about the changes she made.

“In the beginning, I felt really different with my body because I got a little bit of muscles and I felt heavier on the court. It took me time to adjust to that. Now I’m coming back to normal.

“I wish I had a magic stick and just fix my game and just playing awesome tennis again. I would like it to be that way, but sometimes it’s not.

“Maybe I’m fat,” said the player listed at 59 kg. “I got really bigger and it was something that I was not used to. I was always a certain weight and my best weapon was my legs.

“Now I’m one step too slow or one step too much into the shot. All the strokes break down and I don’t have the timing and my accuracy is not there.

“Everything is wrong. I need a lot of work.”

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