By: Katarina Jonev
Belgrade, Nov.19, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Serbia is enjoying its Golden Age in tennis. Every day more and more kids want to train to be tennis players ensuring Serbia’s presence on the world tennis stage for years to come.
One representative of a new generation of talented kids is Jovana Jaksic (16), perspective player from Belgrade who plays in Tennis club Gemaks, who started to play as a child. Like many great young players she demonstrated determination early on.
“Even as a little-I went with dad to the tennis courts where he played recreationally. I really liked sport and I wanted to start practicing even though I was told that I am still young. But I was very persistent and I didn’t want to let go that idea. My parents did not understand my seriousness and determination to begin to deal with this sport, They thought it was a passing desire. After my persistent insisting they finally enrolled me in school tennis. When I started elementary school various tennis clubs started informing and inviting children to start training so I also started to train in TK Max. After a few months I moved to club Gemaks which member I still am,” said Jaksic of her formative years in tennis.
Jaksic began to participate in tennis tournaments and compete in 2005. In a very short period of time she has shown remarkable talent and managed to beat other competitors that had been competing 3 to 5 years longer then she had. She has managed to win 41 trophies and 5 medals in tournaments during her budding career.
“I played in 22 tournaments this year and I had 120 official matches. The last one I participated in was European Masters (under 16), which was held in Naples in Italy and I won. At the same time during the year I was seeded 1st on the European under 16 category. Until now, none of the players from our country had ever been first on this list and this tournament was never taken by our players. I consider this my biggest and most important success but I won’t stop here,” said Jaksic of her recent victory in the European league.
Jaksic has competed against players older than herself for several years. She managed to win on tournaments in the under 18.years category. When asked what her most exciting victory was besides the European Master Jaksic had this to say.
“When I was 13, I won in the under 18 years category tournament which was a great success,” she remembers with pride.
When asked how she picks the tournaments she competes in Jaksic has a very straight forward formula, “It depends mostly from my own results. If my previous results are good and if I am in good shape I will choose stronger and more prestigious tournaments.”
Jaksic is a member of national team of Serbia. Her first competition representing Serbiawas in the Junior World Championship was in the under 14 category in the Czech Republic 3 years ago.
“I have been a member of the Serbian team for the last 3 years and I am glad whenever I played for the national team. I participated on a few ETA tournaments where I played in quarterfinals, a few finals and I won the tournament in doubles. I played on the European championships for 14 and 16 years categories that brought us participation in World championships,” said Jaksic.
Jaksic’s main characteristics are primarily offensive play, a crushing service and forehand. Despite the fact that she regular trains several times a week, participate in tournaments and travel a lot, does not neglect obligations at school.
Jaksic is getting ready for a transition in her schedule as she switches to bigger tournament venues.
“Currently I am entering in the preparatory period for next year. Next tournament will be junior Grand Slam tournament. I am expecting to show my really quality next year and to participate on various, good and quality tournaments,” replied Jaksic.
Her tennis model is Lindsay Davenport. She is not superstitious and doesn’t have rituals before stepping on the court because she believes in herself.
“The competition is greater to me is easier to play the match because I have a much greater motivation to fight and success. I respect them but do not fear of them,” said Jaksic with a gleam of conviction in her eyes.
When asked if she would accept and offer to study and train tennis abroad if she would accept it, Jaksic has this to say, “My biggest wish is to be number one in the world. At this moment I see myself here in Serbia mostly because I have adequate training conditions in Gemax. My professional team consists of tennis coach Relja Dulic and professor Miljan Sile Grbovic. My clothing sponsor is a Chinese company Erke, racket I am using is HEAD, and conditions for training tennis club Gemax are remarkable. So far now I am not planning to go anywhere.“