I just heard the shocking news that Jelena Jankovic won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year award. Jankovic definitely had a solid 2008 she reached her first grand slam final at the US OPEN this year and the semifinals in Australia and the French Open. Jankovic is currently the number one female tennis player. However, Jelena Jankovic also is not a champion she hasn’t won a grand slam singles title yet.
I am confident Jelena will win a grand slam eventually she is just too talented not to. How can Jankovic be the ITF female player of the year when she did not win a grand slam in 2008? Grand slam singles titles separate the champions from the wannabe champions. Jelena is obviously a solid player but she does not deserve this award. It appears to me this is another snub against the Williams Sisters.
The WTA computer rankings value quantity over quality it is obvious Serena Williams had a superior year then Jankovic.
However, grand slam titles are the jewels of tennis therefore I don’t believe she deserves to win the International Tennis Federation player of the year award. It is obvious that Serena Williams should of won the ITF player of the year award. Serena won the US OPEN, she was a finalist at Wimbledon and she also won tier I titles in Charleston and Miami. Serena has a winning record over all her rivals except her older sister Venus.
Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova started out 2008 strongly but both women fizzled in the second half of the year due to injuries. Sharapova has a chronic shoulder problem she says she will be ready to defend her title at the Australian Open in January 2009. Ana Ivanovic I am not that impressed with her. I think Ivanovic was able to win the French Open this year because Justine Henin retired from women’s tennis. I still don’t understand why Henin retired she is only twenty five she is still in her prime. The media talk about Henin’s mental strength but I actually think Henin is very fragile she doesn’t take losing very well. Henin tends to be a quitter she just can’t handle pressure and she burned out.
The Williams Sisters are the only women from their generation still at the top of women’s tennis. The Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin retired, Martina Hingis quit due to controversy over drug use, Davenport is pregnant again, and Amelie Mauresmo is fading. Venus and Serena’s strategy of playing a limited schedule helped them obtain longevity. Serena and Venus also won grand slam singles titles in 2008.
Venus won Wimbledon and the WTA Championships. The Williams Sisters are the best players of their generation when they are serious. There doesn’t seem to be any new players that can crack the top of the womens’ game and no one is dominating women’s tennis right now at the top. 2009 should be interesting I still feel that Serena Williams is the best when she is motivated and serious. I expect Serena to do well in 2009 if she is injury free.