Jankovic played a total of 22 tournaments this year, reaching at least the quarterfinals in all but Zurich and Wimbledon. This could be due to the lightening fast surfaces of both of those events. Jankovic's unique Martina Hingis-like mix of power and placement seems to perform best on slower surfaces.
Jankovic took her first title of the year on the clay at Rome before she won at Beijing and Stuttgart. Probably not coincidentally, Venus Williams of the USA, whose power game may impose itself best on faster surfaces, took both the Zurich and Wimbledon titles. At Zurich, Williams hit four aces in a row to win one of her service games.
Next year the WTA Tour is set to recalculate its rankings January 5th with a new rankings system which more rewards wins in grand slams and other of the very largest of tournaments. And right on cue Jankovic has expressed that in the new year she would cut her number of tournaments played, in part due to injuries from perhaps overplaying.
“I will not play as much as in 2008,” Jankovic said, “but I am focusing on the grand slams. Also, this year, I was only really injury-free at the US Open and I reached the final.”
In addition to focusing on a more streamlined scheduled for the new year, Jankovic will also look to improve her record against the hardest hitters of the game, against whom she has struggled.
Jankovic lost her only meeting against Maria Sharapova of Russia in the semifinals at the Australian Open in January and went 1-2 against Ana Ivanovic of Serbia as well as Serena Williams of the USA. Against Venus Williams, also of the USA, Jankovic proved she could capitalize on Wiliams' errors in Rome and Stuttgart wins, but failed to post a victory against a cleaned up Williams game in Doha where Williams would win her third title of the year.
Jankovic is the only player ever of the 18 WTA Tour players who have held the top ranking since the WTA began computing rankings in 1975 to have never won a grand slam title.
Jelena Jankovic's 2008 Grand Slam Finishes
Australian Open: lost in semifinals to Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-1
French Open: lost in semifinals to Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Wimbledon: lost in 4th Round to Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3, 6-2
US Open: lost in final to Serena Williams 6-4, 7-5