Head-to-head: Jelena 3, Serena 3
Last meeting: Miami '08 final (hard), Serena 6-1, 5-7, 6-3
We've reached the final Grand Slam match of the 2008 WTA Tour season and we'll have a fourth different lady baller to join Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, and Venus Williams as major champions this year. But that's not all: the winner will also move into the WTA penthouse as the top lady baller. Fun, huh?!
Second seeded Jelena Jankovic will be going for her first Grand Slam title when she takes on fourth seed Serena Williams, who will try to tie the legendary Monica Seles with 9 Grand Slams, for the US Open championship.
How they got here: JJ covered the court beautifully in her 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Russian Elena Dementieva chasing down seeming winners and forcing errors - 42 for the Russian against only 22 for JJ - out of the gold medalist. In breezy conditions, ReRe out-steadied Dinara Safina and stomped all over the frustrated Russian 6-2, 6-3.
The last meeting for these lady ballers was in the spring when ReRe defeated the Serb 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 for her fifth title in Miami continuing her 15-match win streak at the time.
Here's what JJ had to say about facing ReRe again:
This year we are 1‑1. I beat her at the Australian Open; she beat me in Miami in three sets. So it will be a tough match. She's a powerful player. She loves to play here at the Open, but so do I. I love being here. I love the atmosphere.ReRe had this to say about the challenge the second seed brings to the court:
I don't know too many people on the tour that can hang in there as much as she can, and it's definitely ‑‑ she's playing well, and she's just going for glory here...Outlook: JJ has shown throughout this fortnight that she will defend all day long forcing her opponents into errors and taking her chances when the ball is short. But she's never been a mental giant on the court and the pressure of appearing in her first major final may rattle the Serb's nerves.
But seriously, this match rests on ReRe's racquet. If she's focused, and no doubt she will be, she has the better overall game - power, movement, groundstrokes, serve - and experience to earn her ninth major championship.
And I believe she will.
(images via Getty)