Jelena Jankovic looked all out of sorts during her third round defeat at the hands of Alona Bondarenko at the Aussie Open and now she's telling us why.
In her latest blog entry the former top lady baller revealed she's been in Florida rehabbing a back injury sustained in Melbourne and may not be fit in time for this weekend's FED CUP tie versus Russia:
Although you have expected to see my photos in the papers today, and the videos on TV from my practice in "Belgrade Arena", where the first round of the Fed Cup World group tie between Serbia and Russia is to be held, everything is still in doubt. No, I haven't come to Belgrade yet, and I'm still in Florida, where I'm fighting with back injury received in Melbourne. I didn't want to speak in public about the problems that struck me in Australia, about the cold and the back injury that occurred during a practice while trying to change the way I served, because many would describe it to as a justification for the lost match. Furthermore, I didn't want to make a fuss about the injury, which I thought would go away after all those therapies I had in Australia and here in the States.
In the same time I hoped that would be able to go to Belgrade in due time, fresh and ready for the new battles for Serbia in the Fed Cup. Unfortunately, the situation got complicated, so I'm still in Florida, sad and in great uncertainty whether I would start the journey to my home town. I was in certain isolation, not giving any statements, also because the Russians would not hear of my injury, which would probably encourage them before arrival to Belgrade, knowing that the Serbian team would be weakened, and their job made easier in the battle for the semifinal of the World group.
JJ isn't sure whether she should play and risk further injury to the rest of her season, though:
Now I'm in dilemma whether to do the same, to compete with an injury against the rival, because it may cost me in the coming months and competitions. The pain and desire are fighting inside of me, since I want to wear Serbian jersey once again in the crowded Arena, and be there for my country, fighting without mercy to the last breath, as I always did before. I always gave more than maximum playing for the national team, where I was particularly inspired for the triumph. Those are the matches and moments which cannot be forgotten and replaced by anything, because you fight for your people and your country which is always an honor and commitment.
There is little more time, and we shall see what's happening with my injury in the next 24 hours. After that I will decide if I'm the passenger for Serbia, or I stay in Florida, healing and mourning for not being able to play in Arena against Russia, for Serbian victory, for the entry into the semifinals.
Listen JJ, I understand it's important for you to represent your country in FED CUP and it's an honorable intention but getting healthy and not endangering your efforts for the remainder of the season is vital. This game, like a tennis match, is all about momentum and if you're forced to take more time out because the injury has worsened it will put you further back than you already are. And this situation won't help you or your FED CUP team mates at all.
It's all about a short-term sacrifice for a long-term game. That's smart tennis.