Apr 082013

CHARLESTON: Serena Williams earned her 49th career singles title and third of the year by rallying to beat former world number one Jelena Jankovic in the final of the Family Circle Cup.

The world number one Williams and former Charleston winner Jankovic got into a testy verbal exchange early in the second set, after Williams accused Jankovic of trying to rush her on the service return.

After the exchange, Williams won 12 of the final 14 games, successfully defending her title by claiming her third overall Charleston crown.

“I am definitely happy to have another win under my belt” said Williams of her 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory on the green clay surface. “I’m excited to hold my title.”

However, bad blood between the two surfaced early in the second set with Jankovic serving after having just won the first set.

She was in mid-swing on a serve when Williams stopped and held up her racquet indicating she was not ready to play the point. The two then verbally sparred with Williams telling Jankovic to “wait until I am ready.”

“Honestly, you have a problem,” Williams shouted across the net at Jankovic.

Jankovic then protested during the change over to the chair umpire telling him that Williams should not get ‘special’ treatment.

“I wasn’t ready,” said Williams. “I am the most respectful player, other than Venus (Williams). I am so respectful to my colleagues.”

Unfortunately that respect does not always extend to line judges. At the 2009 US Open Williams once told a line judge she was going to shove a tennis ball down her throat.

Serbian Jankovic, who won this event five years ago, was aiming for her 14th career title. The ninth-seeded Jankovic had won 14 of her previous 16 matches.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2013.

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