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Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic exchange words — again — in Dubai

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Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams

Jelena Jankovic (left) and Serena Williams talk after their quarterfinal match in Dubai. (Ali Haider/EPA)

Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic just can’t stop talking to each other during matches. The two got into it again during the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships on Thursday, and once again it centered on Williams holding up Jankovic on her serve.

Jankovic prepared to serve at deuce at 2-5 in the second set when Williams held her up to cough. Jankovic took exception and backed off the line.

“You can take more time, it’s yours,” Jankovic yelled, with a hint of sarcasm.

“Do you want to do this again, Jelena?” Williams shouted back, apparently referring to two identical incidents from the Family Circle Cup last year and the 2010 Italian Open.

Jankovic complained to the umpire and the match continued, with Williams securing the break to close out a 6-2, 6-2 victory. The two had an extended conversation at the net after the handshake, but the on-court microphones didn’t pick up what was said.

Here’s video of the incident:

Both players downplayed the dust-up after match. Jankovic said she was more annoyed with the umpire’s warnings about her speed of play.

Here’s how The Associated Press reporter on site described the incident:

The only drama in the 76-minute match came in the final game with Jankovic serving.

The umpire, Kader Nouni of France, told Jankovic she was serving too fast and then too slow, when taking more than the 25 seconds allotted.

Williams was briefly brought into the fray when Jankovic made note that Williams often took more than the 25 seconds allowed to serve.

After the match, the players conversed at the net and both reported they left the court on good terms.

”I told her at the end, `Look, I didn’t mean anything. I’m sorry if I played slow,”’ Williams said. ”She was like, `No, it was more like they say (I) play too fast and then too slow.’ She said she couldn’t get it right.

”I was like, `Look, are we cool because I’m cool with you?”’

Williams will face Alize Cornet in the semifinals. Serena’s sister Venus will meet Caroline Wozniacki in the other semifinal.

(H/T The Changeover)

  • Published On Feb 20, 2014
  • 24 comments
    lillisome99
    lillisome99

    This was an interesting match..the drama even added to the fun in my opinion. JJ is a drama queen though.. I've watched her live and she never stops fussing.  ..Funny sometimes she even yells at her poor brother!

    Peterdetruse
    Peterdetruse

    I’m probably wasting my time posting to SI because they have filtered comments made previously, which is their right to do.But, ultimately, when the “reader feedback” is filtered according to the whim of a nameless person at SI, SI is for all intents writing editorial – through the selected comments of readers.

    I’ve said all there is to say about Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams.  In this incident, I have only four things to add.

    1.  Both Serena and Jelena are professionals.  I respect them both and I believe that their rivalry is good for women’s tennis.  I won’t repeat past comments except to say that Serena needs a rivalry more than Apollo Creed needed Rocky Balboa.  My wish is for both of these women to live wealthy, accomplished lives in this sport, and for more women to be inspired by that.  Even if they chose a boardroom instead of a tennis court.  I believe Serena and Jelena are "cool."  With each other, and with us.  I’m a JJ fan, but I love them both.

    2.  The Tennis Channel sucks.  They had no plans to broadcast this match and they decided to add it to the schedule only after the controversy.  This is the first match of the Duty Free open that saw a single pixel of an American TV monitor.  TC's keeping it real.  Women’s tennis is only worth broadcasting when there is a cat fight. 

    3.  David Mercer, the announcer for this match, the babbling patrician-voice partisan who asked Jelena to “shut up,” is what’s wrong with tennis and why it does not connect to “regular everyday folk.”  He was unprofessional.  He was wrong on the merits.  His attitude was one that breathed more life into the sexist notion that a woman, even as a competitor in a sport – playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars (!) must be meek and mild and that assertive behavior by a woman is obnoxious and vexing.  His bias and condescension….watching the match with his commentary was exactly like watching a professional wrestling match, except that the commentator had the voice of a National Geographic narrator describing the mating habits of some obscure insect species.  Real people don’t sound like, or listen to jerk’os like this guy.  It’s one thing to sound like you come from a family that never missed a summer homecoming, indeed, tennis does have a patrician history.  But to have to suffer this guy AND be exposed to his knuckleheaded and sexist bias is unacceptable. We really can’t find some new voices to bring tennis to the television audience?  Really?

    4.  Karder Nouni is apparently Serena Star-Stricken.  The Charleston incident results are unassailable:  Nouni  did not handle that incident fairly.   The reportage that I would want to see is his explanation as to why he was so inconsistent with clock rule enforcement.  We don’t debate facts.  The clock and the video don’t lie.  I’ve said it before, if the WTA will continue to allow rules to be bent like this, it’s a slippery slope to the sport having all of the legitimacy of professional wrestling.


    You know, if Hawkeye technology gets cost-reduced and if it is paired with a computer, we may see umpires as completely superfluous in the future.  The "umpire" function could get reduced to announcing -- and even that can be done with software.  This is one match that makes one wish for that day to come sooner.

    bryanstillman
    bryanstillman

    Why is Serena putting her racket against Jelena? These two both play with so much BS that's why it's so entertaining

    saveserves2371
    saveserves2371

    Venus and Serena looked great and played greater! Go on, ladies!

    saveserves2371
    saveserves2371

    Gooo,Serena! Gooo,Venus! Gooo, Williams! Gooo,USA!

    duckfan59
    duckfan59

    Geez, ladies, just strap on the gloves and settle it already.


    respeckle
    respeckle

    Best announcer ever.  "Oh, just Sht up."

    sunalsorises
    sunalsorises

    Serena might have said, "I swear to God I'm [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God."

    The_truth_hurts
    The_truth_hurts

    Serena should consider playing some nose tackle in the NFL.

    saveserves2371
    saveserves2371

    @bryanstillmanan, Clearly Serena was trying to smooth things over and wanted to make sure Jancovic stayed long enough for her to be assured they were cool. The racquet touch was just a way to get her attention by literally patting her in a calming fashion.

    saveserves2371
    saveserves2371

    @duckfan59  It's already settled. Serena won. And both ladies were fine with one another at the end.

    saveserves2371
    saveserves2371

    @sunalsorises  The Jennifer Capriati's on the women's tour taught Serena to cuss. When Serena was cheated so badly by that umpire at that infamous US Open vs Capriati that it changed tennis history and instant replay had to be introduced, Serena was an angel who remained calm and whose worse word was " heck!"

    DickAdams
    DickAdams

    @sunalsorises LOL--I think that cost her 70k last time said that which is chump change--but she about her coins. Serena is a lot more measured now. I would guess she said something along the lines of don't rush a Queen, you serve when I tell you to Serena got that...

    saveserves2371
    saveserves2371

    @cleopatra209 @The_truth_hurts  Cleopatra, you're right. Lindsay Davenport was taller AND bigger than Serena, but Serena beat her, too. And Davenport had officially reached #1, as well. Safina is one of the other players who was taller AND weighed more than Serena. Serena beat her, too. Stupid, myopic racists turn my stomach. Serena wins because of her consumate skill, not because of her size!