Jelena Jankovic shares why she 'completely disappeared' in first interview in years

Jankovic has not posted on Instagram since 2020 and giving interviews is something she almost never does since concluding her pro tennis days

by Dzevad Mesic
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Jelena Jankovic shares why she 'completely disappeared' in first interview in years
© Getty Images Sport - Srdjan Stevanovic

Jelena Jankovic has given her first interview in years and offered a glimpse into her life as the former world No. 1 reveals she is absolutely enjoying motherhood and also shares that she has been staying low-key over the last couple of years because she now prefers peace and quiet life. 

Jankovic, who turned 39 last month, played the last tournament of her career at the 2017 US Open, where she got bounced by Petra Kvitova in the first round. 

After the 2017 US Open exit, Jankovic had surgeries on her back and eye. In 2020, Jankovic made her first tennis appearance in years when she took part in an exhibition organized by Novak Djokovic during the pandemic in Belgrade. Although Jankovic didn't return to the WTA Tour after the Belgrade exhibition, the official confirmation of her retirement only came in 2022 July.

Three months before officially announcing her retirement from pro tennis, Jankovic welcomed her first child. Since giving birth, Jankovic has been pretty low-key and not much is known about her life as her last Instagram post was published in 2020 July. When it comes to the media and interviews, the 39-year-old has gone completely silent there. 

"Very nice. It's been three years since I became a mother. I live a peaceful family life. I moved away from the media world. After many years, you are the first to have my interview," Jankovic told Dnevnik.si.

After spending 17 years in pro tennis and being constantly at the center of attention and surrounded by the media, Jankovic now likes to keep her life as private as possible. 

"Because I want to have my privacy," Jankovic noted. 

"I think that when something important happens, it is right for the media to know about it. It was different when I was an active player. Then I realized that people were rooting for me and shaking their fists, so I felt a responsibility to tell them something more. 

"Now I like peace and don't want to be the center of attention. Where I eat, what I drink, and where I travel is my private stuff."

Jelena Jankovic
Jelena Jankovic © Getty Images Sport - Srdjan Stevanovic
 

Jankovic recounts her matches against Serena Williams, on the WTA state

Early in her career, Jankovic achieved big success as she was 23 when she made her first Grand Slam final at the US Open and also reached the world No. 1 ranking. Unfortunately for Jankovic, she lost her first Grand Slam final to Williams, who claimed a 6-4 7-5 win to win her third US Open title at the time. 

At the time, it was the eighth meeting between Jankovic and Williams and the Serb had three wins and four losses to the American going into their 2008 US Open final. Jankovic - who at one point had a 2-1 head-to-head against Williams - ultimately finished with four wins in 14 matches against the former 23-time Grand Slam champion. 

"Really, I beat her four times?" Jankovic asked. 
 
"I can really be proud of that. As well as the fact that I beat both Serena and Venus Williams in less than 24 hours at one of the tournaments. Not many players have achieved such a feat. American women must not have slept well then. 

"I remember that at some point I had a positive win-loss record against Serena, and in the last matches she regularly beat me."

Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams
Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello
 

When a reporter tried to ask her about the state of women's tennis, Jankovic interjected by saying that she was too busy with her kid and "practically had no free time." With that being said, she believed that she was not in the position to give any reviews.

Jankovic on if she keeps in touch with Novak Djokovic

The 2008 season was pretty special for Serbian tennis as Jankovic made her first Grand Slam final and reached the world No. 1 spot - Djokovic won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open - while Ana Ivanovic became a Grand Slam champion at the French Open and also made the top spot that year. 

16 years later, Jankovic and Ivanovic have been retired for years while Djokovic - who is turning 37 in May - is still the world No. 1 in men's tennis and he is coming off a season in which he won three Grand Slams and became the first man with 24 Majors. 

When asked about Djokovic, Jankovic shared that they keep in touch occasionally and also issued the ultimate praise on his astonishing success. 

Jelena Jankovic and Novak Djokovic
Jelena Jankovic and Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Srdjan Stevanovic
 

"We talk occasionally, but I regularly congratulate him on his successes, which are almost inhuman in my terms. He is a true ambassador of our country, who has improved all records. I want him to build on them and later enjoy with his family for the rest of his life," Jankovic revealed.

Jelena Jankovic
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