June 5, 2008 / 6:01 PM / 10 years ago

Despondent Jankovic takes defeat hard

PARIS (Reuters) - A dejected Jelena Jankovic exited the French Open at the semi-final stage on Thursday, promising to “kill herself”, “get drunk” or do “anything that makes me feel better”.

The third seed was beaten 6-4 3-6 6-4 by fellow Serbian Ana Ivanovic in a topsy-turvy semi-final, having rallied from a set and 3-1 down to lead 3-1 in the deciding set.

Missing out on a first grand-slam final and the knowledge that had she won she would have become the new world number one when the rankings are released on Monday, was too much for the 23-year-old.

Jankovic admitted that she was crying so hard afterwards that she did not want to talk about the match with the assembled media.

Asked what she would do to get over the defeat, she responded: “Kill myself?”

“No, I will have some dinner and maybe get drunk or do something. I don’t know. Whatever makes me feel better.”

Having lost all three of her previous grand-slam semi-finals, Jankovic twice led by a break of serve in the final set, only for last year’s runner-up Ivanovic to hit back and clinch victory.

“I am very disappointed but I still cannot go and kill myself and put myself down,” she said.

“The year is still long. There are still two more grand slams, many big tournaments to play. I still have to work hard and believe in myself, and I will achieve my goal.”

Jankovic said she had given her all after a fortnight in which she had struggled with right arm and shoulder problems.

”I tried my best,“ she said. ”I‘m very disappointed that I lost this match. I didn’t go to the final. I lost the number one spot. This match was very important.

”Sometimes you cannot control the injuries, and especially with my arm. I had problems hitting the ball as hard as I could, and she was the more powerful one.

“I need to work on that, get healthy, and then it will be better for me. I have to keep believing in myself and I have to work hard, and believe that my time will come.”

editing by Justin Palmer

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