Jelena Jankovic FINALLY breaks the silence, first interview in years

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Jelena Jankovic, former world No.1 in tennis, has found a new rhythm in life away from the spotlight. After welcoming her daughter Una in April 2021, she has embraced a peaceful family life, preferring to keep her personal life private.

Jelena Jankovic

In a recent interview with Slovenian portal Dnevnik, Jankovic opened up about her decision to step away from the media. During her tennis career, she felt an obligation to engage with the media due to her large fan base. However, now that she is no longer playing, she believes she deserves privacy in her travels, family life, and other personal activities.

Reflecting on her tennis career, Jankovic praised Serena Williams for her significant impact on the sport: “Serena Williams is, in my opinion, the most recognizable tennis player of at least the last few decades. She has done a lot for our sport, and I appreciate her a lot.”

The 39-year-old Jankovic was surprised when the interviewer reminded her that she had defeated Serena four times in her career: “Really, I beat her four times? I can really be proud of that. As well as the fact that I beat both Serena and Venus Williams in less than 24 hours at one of the tournaments. Not many players have achieved such a feat. American women must not have slept well then. I remember that at some point I had a positive win-loss record against Serena, and in the last matches she regularly beat me.”

Despite her achievements on the court, Jankovic is now focused on her family and taking care of her toddler. When asked about the current state of women’s tennis, she declined to comment, stating, “Sorry, I won’t reply to this topic. I have too much work to do with my child to give any reviews. I have practically no free time.”

Tennis fans were treated to a nostalgic experience as Jankovic competed against other retired WTA stars at the legends event at Wimbledon 2022. She also participated at the 2022 Luxembourg Ladies Tennis Masters, but she got badly injured at that exhibition and was urgently flown back home to Serbia to undergo a surgery.

Earlier in 2022, Jankovic traveled to the Credit One Charleston Open, the tournament she won in 2007, for the occasion of the tournament’s 50th anniversary. Then she described herself as a sleep-deprived, full-time mom, revealing that she didn’t have nannies and prepared all her baby’s meals, although she did have a chef for herself.

Jankovic met her husband, a Serbian doctor Branko Barac, in spring 2020. They supposedly met after Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour exhibition tournament in Belgrade. Jankovic took part in the June event and since Djokovic tested positive for coronavirus, Jankovic also needed to take the test, which is when she met the doctor at one private clinic in the Serbian capital.


  1. Thanks to the Women’s Tennis Blog for this article and for some of the consistently best tennis coverage in the world.

    We love Jelena, We loved her when she played, and we love her now. She deserves her privacy and the tennis world owes Jelena much more than the prize money and trophies she has earned. Jelena is a living legend and she has nothing more to prove.

    I find it charming that she gives credit to Serena. There would be no Serena as we know her, without her rivalry with Jelena. If Serena watches her past matches, there will always be JJ for her to see. She will see herself interrupting JJ’s serve in South Carolina. She’ll see the 2008 US Open when JJ was within a game of winning the event and the partisan crowd helped Serena out of that game.

    It’s 2024 and JJ is still one of the top 10 women with match wins. She did it without steroids and she brought so much personality and style to the game that she did what only the truly great players do: Grow the sport itself.

    She inspired so many new players. She brought respect for Serbian tennis — and for women’s tennis.

    And, she put so many tennis balls in the hospital.

    Jankovic. That is a name worthy of respect.

  2. Julian Lavreau, thank you for your kind words and for appreciating my coverage of women’s tennis! Jelena Jankovic is indeed a remarkable player who has left a lasting impact on the sport. She was not only a great and entertaining tennis player but a wonderful personality. She continues to be my favorite, even though she hasn’t played in years. It’s admirable to see her now embracing a more private life, focusing on her family, which only adds to the depth of her character and the respect she commands.


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