Serena Williams Beats Jelena Jankovic in Battle of the WTA Drama Queens
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
What was Jelena Jankovic thinking? Did she really think she could "out diva" Serena Williams?
Williams defeated Jankovic 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 to win her second consecutive Family Circle Cup championship. It was Williams' 49th WTA title.
She also won the battle between two of the biggest drama queens on tour.
The match turned on a terse exchange between Williams and Jankovic early in the second set.
After coming out and playing nearly perfect tennis, Jankovic took the first set 6-3. She clearly had Williams rattled.
But up 40-15 in the first game of the second set, Jankovic tried to quick serve Williams. Jankovic had been doing it all match. However, this time Williams raised her racket to signal she wasn't ready.
"You gotta wait," Williams said.
Jankovic took offense. "How long do I have to wait?"
"Until I'm ready," said Williams. "Honestly, you got a problem"?
Big mistake. Instead of walking toward the net and engaging Williams, Jankovic should have addressed her objection to the umpire.
The exchange awakened Williams, who won 12 of the last 14 games.
Drama seems to follow these two. It's not just the play. These ladies enjoy the spotlight. They are among the few who take the court wearing makeup.
Williams' infamous outburst at the 2009 US Open still haunts her. But her exploits are covered more simply because she wins more. Jankovic's meltdowns are far more frequent.
A Tennis.com article by Peter Bodo sheds light on why Jankovic is considered a drama queen.
They both have documentaries. In 2009 Jankovic was featured in a documentary called "Jelena's World" , which covered her rise to No. 1. "Venus and Serena", a documentary based on the careers of the Williams sisters, was released this week.
The added drama makes matches between these two fun to watch. The problem with Jankovic's drama is that it seems to distract her. She loses focus.
Williams uses drama to regain focus. Her screams of "come on" are signature rallying cries.
How these two handle court drama may explain Williams' 15-0 edge in Grand Slam titles.
It may also be the difference between being merely known as a drama queen, and being the reigning queen.
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