Jankovic hopes Mallorca tonic can lead to upturn

Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:40am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - After a season plagued with injuries and a health scare Jelena Jankovic, perhaps more than anyone, needed the tonic of a few days soaking up the Mallorcan sunshine last week.

Despite the shimmering allure of the Mediterranean from her hotel balcony, it was no holiday for the Serbian former world number one who is closing in on 1,000 WTA Tour matches since turning professional 16 years ago.

At 31, she remains as motivated as ever and has taken heart from some of her fellow 'veterans' who joined the grand slam singles winners' club past their 30th birthday.

That is despite going nearly three months this season without winning a match as she struggled with shoulder and back injuries so painful that she even found it difficult to wash her hair.

While that was frustrating, when a routine MRI scan in April showed a cyst on her thyroid gland she was forced to deal with the possibility she may have cancer.

"It was a scary thought", Jankovic said.

"They did a biopsy and they removed the cyst with a needle and luckily, it was benign."

With that behind her and her injuries healing, she is hoping the second half of the year is kinder.   Continued...

Serbia's Jelena Jankovic reacts during her second round match against Germany's Laura Siegemund at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Holland