- “It would be an honour for us if Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic played together for the national team. It’s all exclusively up to them, though. They may be exhausted or have problems with injuries. Unfortunately, both of them have been knocked out of the Australian Open in the early stages and that will most probably influence their plans about the choice of next tournament to appear at. Jelena has said herself she would discuss everything with her associates and come to a decision. When she returns to Belgrade, we will call a press conference and explain everything. At the moment I think she more likely to play than not,” says Zivojinovic.
Jelena Jankovic has yet to sign a three-year contract with the Serbian Tennis Federation, while Ivanovic has, conversely, already done so. Jankovic is expected to sign the deal before the new Fed Cup season starts, while last season she received €150,000 for the contract. Given both Serbian stars managed to climb to the WTA position No. 1, Ivanovic and Jankovic will receive a bonus from the Federation of another €150,000 each.
- “We offered exactly the same terms last season. We at the Federation have done all we can and it’s our maximum. We are currently engrossed in the organization of the Fed Cup event, which is a huge job. All is going smoothly for now, while the president of the ITF, Francesco Ricci Bitti, has announced he will be present at the tournament,” says Slobodan Zivojinovic.
If Jelena Jankovic returns to Belgrade from Melbourne by the end of the week, that will be a clear sign the Serbia Fed Cup team will boast its best line-up for the tie against Japan. The current WTA No. 1 has said she will be coming to Belgrade only if playing for Serbia is one of her plans for the season.
- “Whether I play for Serbia or not will be decided by my team after the talks with the Federation reps,” Jankovic told the Melbourne media.
Zivojinovic returned from the USA on Monday, while further negotiations can be expected to take place by the end of the week.
I hope this really isn't about money. I'm trying to give JJ the benefit of the doubt here.