World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, known for being one of the more emotive players on tour, is now taking her theatrics off-court – and to the big screen. Jelena Jankovic
Already a fixture on Serbian television, the 23-year-old can now be seen in Jelena’s World, a new biographical documentary. The film chronicles Jankovic’s rise to tennis stardom.
The project came about when director Tanja Brzakovic, who had seen Jankovic play, approached her and “took an interest [in making the documentary],” Alastair Garland, Jankovic’s agent, told TENNIS.com.
“I am fascinated, above all, by Jelena's energy and her being a real fighter: even when it seems a match is lost, she never gives up,” Brzakovic said in Blic, a daily newspaper in Belgrade.
The 80-minute film was shot over the course of a year, starting last November at the Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid and ending in Belgrade, just before Jankovic headed to the 2008 season-ending championships in Doha, Qatar.
Garland said that the film focuses at Jankovic’s life off the court, examining the “person behind the player.”
“She had a great time doing it. The key was for it not to interfere with her tennis and she is happy with the end result,” Garland said. “In the future she is interested in acting [so] this was a nice stepping stone for her, as she got to spend a lot of time in front of the camera and off the tennis court.”
Jelena’s World, which was released in Serbia in November, has been well received by both critics and fans alike, with strong early box office sales. Representatives of Talas Film, which produced the movie, say they hope to distribute it worldwide.
Jankovic, meanwhile, was present for the film’s Nov. 12 premiere in Belgrade. The following day, she appeared in a fashion show, modeling a new clothing line she helped design for Serbian label Mona.
“That’s just a hobby, and I really love designing. I do it in between tournaments or even during them if I have some free time,” she said.
She has also been busy taping a new commercial for Aqua Viva Hydroactive water.
But as the 2009 season approaches, Jankovic’s on-court focus will likely be on retaining her No. 1 ranking, and winning a first career Grand Slam title. If the aspiring actress manages that kind of on-court success, maybe she’ll start filming a sequel.