Serbian Pro Tennis Player Jovana Jaksic Ready for 2019 Season


Steven Pisano

Aidan O'Connor

The 2019 professional tennis season is just a few weeks away, and players are in the last step of their preseason training. Serbian world number 289, Jovana Jaksic, has been preparing for the 2019 season for four weeks now, putting in the work and is excited for what the new year will bring.

Jaksic ended last year a few months early, having to withdraw from multiple tournaments after being diagnosed with mononucleosis, a disease that leaves players tired and out of energy. After taking a period of time off to rest and recover from the disease, Jaksic feels much better and ready to compete. Jaksic said, “I’m really very excited and pumped for the upcoming season! I feel like it has been forever since the last time I’ve competed, I really miss that feeling of being on the court and fighting! My preseason has been going really well so far so I’m really excited to hit the road in about 10 days!”

Jaksic will be starting her season in Asia, competing in a series of ITF $25,000 events for two weeks in a row, each of which is a week long. The first event starts on December 31st, and it is held in Hong Kong at the Victoria Park Tennis Center. The next week she will stay in Hong Kong for another tournament of the same level as the week before. Afterward, she will return to her home in the United States, and then play a WTA 125k in Newport Beach, California. This tournament will be followed up by a 100k in Midland, Michigan. 

Excited and energized for the upcoming season, Jaksic hopes to improve her abysmal ranking, which fell drastically from her career high of 102 in the world, mostly due to various injuries and setbacks. When asked about her goals, Jaksic said, “Well number one is to try and stay healthy. I’m going to focus even more on taking care of my body- nutrition, right workouts- and also focus on the court on all of the stuff I’ve been working on, and I know that the results will come. My goal is to make the cut for the Roland Garros.” This goal is surely attainable, as a ranking of roughly 200 in the world is needed to play in the French Open (Roland Garros), an event in which Jaksic has played multiple times.

With a new year always comes change, and the ITF has made serious changes to their structure and format of professional tennis tournaments, including prize money, levels, entry acceptance into tournaments, and setting up a whole new “minor league” tier of professional tennis. All of these changes were made in hopes of making tennis a more profitable sport, as many professionals struggle to make a living after having to finance their travel, hotels, food, equipment, and coaches year round. Several players have complained about the new initiative, explaining that it is confusing and will deter players from professional tennis, saying that they are making it harder to get to the top. Jaksic voiced her opinion on the matter, saying, “To be honest, I haven’t went through all of the rules. I believe if you have the quality it doesn’t really matter what rules they put out. It’s how you perform on the court.”