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I'm like a wounded animal: Jankovic
January 22, 2008 12:13 IST
Written off, recovering from surgery and seemingly perpetually injured, Jelena Jankovic avenged last year's defeat and knocked champion Serena Williams [Images] out of the Australian Open quarter-finals on Tuesday.
The third-seed, who had to save three match points in the first round against Tamira Paszek and then struggled against Romania's Edina Gallovits in the second, beat a sluggish Williams 6-3, 6-4 to advance to her first Australian Open semi-final.
"Defeating a defending champion and a champion like Serena is something that doesn't happen every day," a beaming Jankovic told reporters immediately after the match.
"But here it is very special, because last year actually in this tournament in the fourth round I lost to her. Now, getting revenge it feels so good.
"I'm so happy to be in the semi-final, having no expectations, having injuries, and not really thinking that I can go far.
"But I just played one match at a time, and I really don't know how I'm doing, but I'm in the semis, and it feels great."
Her run to the semi-finals, despite her ranking, could be considered unexpected considering she has a long catalogue of injuries.
"I cannot give you all the details, because if I would begin I would never stop," the 22-year-old joked.
For the record, she had nasal surgery last November to correct breathing problems, sustained a leg injury at the Hopman Cup in Perth and has complained of shoulder and back pain at Melbourne Park.
She also had to have treatment on her left thigh during Tuesday's 99-minute match.
"I felt a sharp pain in my quad, and it was like a knife went in my leg. It was really painful," she said.
"I thought, 'Oh, my God, again, another one? I'm kind of sick of all these injuries'.
"I want to be healthy and I want to play without any pains. But when I have pain I focus more ... and I am doing well."
Jankovic, who will meet either Maria Sharapova [Images] or Justine Henin [Images] in the semi-finals, also said that due to her low-key performances against Paszek and Gallovits, people had been writing off her chances.
"I've been going into matches and people have been saying other girls are the favourite. All these other girls who I played had the advantage over me for some reason.
"But I'm like a wounded animal, I still keep going.
"The most important thing is that I fight on the court, and I always give my best and I never give up.
"Those are the qualities that got me through the semi-final."