Bojana Jovanovski introduces new Serbian tennis generation to the WTA tour
Serbian women’s tennis was flourishing in 2008 with Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic both reaching the very top echelon of the women’s game. When their names were mentioned in tennis circles, one question arose: “Was Serbian tennis success just a flash in the pan or will the South-Eastern European country continue to provide high-quality players?” I’m here to tell you that Serbia is breeding young tennis players to keep their country on the tennis map for a long time to come, and one player you need to watch in 2011 is 18-year-old Bojana Jovanovski.
Jovanovski is a former fifth-ranked junior and No.3 in Serbia. She started playing on the ITF circuit in 2006. In 2008 she won three ITF titles in Serbia and neighboring countries, finishing the year ranked 561st. She played her first WTA tour qualifying event at the 2009 US Open. In 2010 she started making a name for herself, especially with a top 20 win against Aravane Rezai in Cincinnati and a top 10 win against compatriot and former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic at the Premier-level tournament in Beijing.
Even before the two notable wins, Jovanovski stood out in Serbia’s Fed Cup tie against Slovakia in April with her courage, fighting spirit and blistering forehand. Jovanovski was far from intimidated against experienced and higher ranked opponents such as Daniela Hantuchova and Magdalena Rybarikova, even though it was one of her first big exposures, she was fearless and focused, with precise hard shots, she defeated then the world No.53 Rybarikova and attracted much attention to herself.
In 2010, Jovanovski played her first WTA tournament, the Malaysian Open, and her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon. Finishing the season ranked 71st, Jovanovski is currently the youngest player in the top 100.
It is evident that Jovanovski’s 2010 achievements were not just luck, rather the start of her maturing as a successful professional tennis player. The aggressive baseliner boasts a power forehand as her strength, and is looking to improve her movement (ideally to match Jankovic’s golden days.). Moreover, she wants to accumulate match play and gain the necessary experience to be a threat at the very top.
The Belgrade-born Jovanovski has just started her assault on the WTA tour, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to draw more attention to this player to watch from Serbia.
What are your thoughts? Do you also believe Jovanovski will build upon Ivanovic’s and Jankovic’s Serbian foundations?
Marija Zivlak writes about women’s tennis at www.womenstennisblog.com.