Janković has reached the singles final of the US Open and the singles semifinals of the Australian Open and the French Open. In 2007, she won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with British partner Jamie Murray.
In October 2003, Janković entered the top 100 at No. 90 for the first time after winning her first ITF title in Dubai. Three months later, Janković garnered her first top 10 win against Elena Dementieva 6–1, 6–4 in the first round of the 2004 Australian Open. In May, Janković won her first WTA title, a Tier V event, in Budapest, defeating Martina Suchá in the final 7–6, 6–3. Following her win in Budapest, she reached No. 51 in the world. Elsewhere in her 2004 season, she defeated top 20 players Nadia Petrova (twice), Vera Zvonareva, Patty Schnyder and Paola Suarez. Janković finished 2004 ranked No. 28 in the world.
2005 is considered Janković's breakthrough season. In March, at Dubai, she advanced to the final following Serena Williams's retirement in the semifinal. Janković then lost in the final to Lindsay Davenport 6–4, 3–6, 6–4. She made her first Tier I semifinal in Berlin, losing to Nadia Petrova 6–4, 6–7, 6–3. In June, she reached her first grass court final at Birmingham, but lost to Maria Sharapova 6–2, 4–6, 6–1. In October, Janković reached her third final of the year in Seoul, ranked No. 17 in the world, her highest ranking at that time, losing to 16-year-old Nicole Vaidisova 7–5, 6–3. Her ranking at the end of the season eclipsed her 2004 record at No. 22.
After winning her first round match at the Australian Open, Janković lost ten straight matches, not winning a match from late January into early May. She then reached the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome before losing to Venus Williams in three sets. The following week, she reached the semifinals in Strasbourg, retiring against Nicole Vaidisova in the second set.
At the French Open, Janković upset 25th-seeded Marion Bartoli before losing to World No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo in the third round 6–3, 6–3. At Wimbledon, she upset sixth-seeded and defending champion Venus Williams in the third round 7–6(8), 4–6, 6–4. She then lost to ninth-seeded Anastasia Myskina in the fourth round 6–4, 7–6(5).
During the North American summer hard court season, Janković reached her fifth career final at the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles, defeating tenth-seeded Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals and unseeded Serena Williams in the semifinals before losing to third seeded Elena Dementieva in the final. At the US Open, Janković defeated World No. 10 Vaidisova in the third round, World No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round, and World No. 5 Dementieva in the quarterfinals 6–2, 6–1. In the semifinals, Janković lost to Justine Henin 4–6, 6–4, 6–0 after Janković had led 6–4, 4–2 and was one point from leading 5–2. Janković argued with the chair umpire when the umpire refused to offer an opinion as to whether a service call had been correct, suggesting that Janković use one of her electronic challenges. Janković then lost ten consecutive games.
At Janković's first tournament following the US Open, she reached the semifinals of the Tier II China Open, losing to Mauresmo 6–1, 3–6, 7–6 after Janković served for the match at 6–5 in the third set. The following week, Janković reached the Guangzhou semifinals, retiring against Anna Chakvetadze while trailing 7-5, 2-0. In her last four tournaments of the year, she lost to Kuznetsova, Vaidišová and Olga Poutchkova in the quarterfinals of three of them and to Kuznetsova in the second round of the other one.
Janković finished the year ranked World No. 12.
To begin the year, Janković won her second title at the Tier IV ASB Classic in Auckland, defeating Vera Zvonareva in the final. At the Tier II Medibank International in Sydney, Janković defeated World No. 7 Martina Hingis and top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo on the way to the final. There, she lost to Kim Clijsters after Janković served for the match in the second set. She then reached the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she was eliminated by the eventual champion Serena Williams 6–3, 6–2. Because of her results at these tournaments, her ranking rose to World No. 10, the first time she had been included in the top ten.
At the first Tier I event of the year in Tokyo, Janković lost in the quarterfinals to countrywoman Ana Ivanovic 3–6, 6–4, 6–2. At the Dubai Tennis Championships, she retired from her semifinal match with Mauresmo because of an ankle injury. The following week in Doha, Janković again reached the semifinals, losing to Justine Henin in three sets. After that, she played at the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California where she was eliminated by Na Li in the fourth round 6–3, 7–6(1). To complete the spring hard court season, Janković lost in the third round of the Tier I tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida to Italian Mara Santangelo 2–6, 7–6, 6–4, despite holding a 6–2, 5–2 lead.
Janković then started her clay court season at Amelia Island, Florida, where she lost in the quarterfinals to Ivanovic 7–5, 6–3. She then won her first career Tier I title, at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, defeating Venus Williams in the semifinals 3–6, 6–3, 7–6 and Dinara Safina in the final. On European red clay, Janković then lost to Henin three times and won one tournament. At the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Janković lost to Henin in the semifinals 7–5, 2–6, 6–4. At the Qatar Telecom German Open, Janković lost to Henin in the quarterfinals 3–6, 6–4, 6–4 after failing to hold a 4–0 lead in the third set. Janković next won her second career Tier I title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, defeating second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. Janković was the fourth seed at the French Open. She defeated Venus Williams and Nicole Vaidisova, among others, before falling to Henin in the semifinals 6–2, 6–2. Her results at these six clay court tournaments increased her ranking to World No. 3.
On grass, Janković captured the DFS Classic title in Birmingham, beating top-seeded Maria Sharapova in the final. Sharapova led 3–0 in the third set before Janković rallied to win the match. This was her first career victory over Sharapova. The next week, Janković reached the final of the Ordina Open in the Netherlands and became the first player since Chris Evert in 1974 to win 50 matches in the first half of a year. Janković, suffering from a hamstring injury, lost the final to Anna Chakvetadze. At Wimbledon, Janković was the third-seed but lost in the fourth round to Marion Bartoli of France 3–6, 7–5, 6–3. In the mixed doubles competition at Wimbledon, Janković teamed with doubles specialist Jamie Murray to win the title by beating the fifth-seed team, Jonas Bjorkman and Alicia Molik, in the final 6–4, 3–6, 6–1.
During the North American summer hard court season, Janković lost in the third round of the Tier I Acura Classic in San Diego. Janković blamed her loss on the flu. In spite of her illness, she reached the semifinals of the East West Bank Classic in Carson, California the next week, falling to Ivanovic 4–6, 6–3, 7–5 after Janković led 4–1 in the third set and had two match points at 5–4 in that set. Janković said, "I cannot expect myself to play my best tennis when I am still blowing my nose on each changeover with paper towels. In August, Janković reached the final of the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, where she lost to Henin on Henin's sixth match point. Janković had led 4–1 in the first set and 4–2 in the second set but was unable to maintain her lead. At the US Open, Janković lost to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals 4–6, 6–1, 7–6(4).
To complete her hectic playing year, Janković traveled to Asia for two tournaments, Europe for one tournament, back to Asia for one tournament, and finally back to Europe for two tournaments.
At the Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic in Bali, Janković was upset in the quarterfinals by former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport 6–4, 2–6, 6–2. This was Davenport's first singles tournament since giving birth. The following week at the China Open in Beijing, Janković received a wildcard into the tournament after top-ranked Henin withdrew due to illness. In the second round, Janković defeated Virginia Ruano Pascual 6–0, 6–0, the third time in her career she had won a match without losing a game. Janković lost only four points during the second set, all on her own serve. In the semifinals, Janković beat Davenport 6–3, 7–5 but lost in the final to Hungarian teenager Ágnes Szávay after Janković had a match point in the second set.
After a two week break, Janković then played three consecutive weeks but won only two matches. At the Tier II tournament in Stuttgart, Janković lost to Henin in the semifinals 7–6(2), 7–5. Janković then retired from her first round match in Bangkok with Yan Zi. After a first round bye at the Zürich Open, Janković lost to Vaidišová 6–4, 6–4.
Janković took a three week break before playing the year-ending WTA Tour Championships in Madrid. However, Janković lost all three of her round robin matches, to Henin, Chakvetadze, and Bartoli (retiring in the second set after losing the first set).
Janković had successful nose surgery immediately after Madrid to correct a breathing problem. The surgery prevented her from practicing for three weeks.
Instead of defending her title in Auckland, Janković joined Novak Djokovic in playing for Serbia in the Hopman Cup, an exhibition team event sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation. In the final, Janković and Djokovic lost to the American team of Serena Williams and Mardy Fish, with Janković unable to play her singles rubber because of injury.
Her first match at the Australian Open was against Tamira Paszek, which Janković won 2–6, 6–2, 12–10 in three hours, fifteen minutes. Both players needed medical attention during the final set. Janković then reached the quarterfinals for the first time, defeating defending champion Serena Williams 6–3, 6–4. In her third career Grand Slam singles semifinal, Janković lost to Maria Sharapova 6–3, 6–1.
Janković then played two tournaments in the Middle East. At the Tier I Qatar Total Open in Doha, Janković lost in the quarterfinals to Li Na 6–3, 6–4. The next week at the Tier II Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Janković lost in the semifinals to Svetlana Kuznetsova 5–7, 6–4, 6–3. Janković played one more Asian event, the Tier II Canara Bank Bangalore Open in India. Although she was the top seeded player, she lost in the quarterfinals to Yan Zi of China 6–3, 3–6, 6–3.
At the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, Janković was the third seed and defeated 24th-seeded Lindsay Davenport in the quarterfinals when Davenport retired from the match with a shoulder and back injury after losing the first set. Janković then lost to fellow Serb Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals 7–6(3), 6–3. The following fortnight, Janković was the runner-up at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, losing to Serena Williams 6–1, 5–7, 6–3 after Williams was unable to convert on seven match points in the third set.
Janković lost in the quarterfinals of her next two Tier I tournaments, the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina (where she was defending champion) and the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin. Janković then successfully defended her Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia title in Rome. She defeated Venus Williams in the quarterfinals, advanced by walkover against Sharapova in the semifinals, and defeated French teenager Alize Cornet in the final. This was Janković's first singles title of the year.
At the French Open in Paris, Janković would have become the World No. 1 had she defeated Ivanovic in the semifinals. However, Ivanovic won the match 6–4, 3–6, 6–4. Janković failed to hold leads of 3–0 in the first set and 3–1 in the third set, although she did win the second set after trailing 3–1. Janković committed 51 unforced errors compared to 28 winners during the match.
On grass, Janković withdrew from the DFS Classic in Birmingham, United Kingdom because of an arm injury sustained during the French Open. Nevertheless, she replaced Sharapova as World No. 2 following the tournament. At Wimbledon, Janković was the second seeded player and defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the third round despite injuring her left knee. Because of early round losses by other highly ranked players, Janković only needed to reach the semifinals to replace Ivanovic as World No. 1. However, she lost to Tamarine Tanasugarn in the fourth round 6–3, 6–2.
At the Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal, Janković had a fourth chance to claim the World No. 1 ranking. Because Ivanovic had lost in the third round, Janković only needed to reach the final to replace Ivanovic as the top ranked player. However, Janković lost in the quarterfinals to Dominika Cibulkova 7–5, 6–2 after Janković had led 4–0 in the first set. After the match, Janković said, "At the moment I don't deserve the top spot. I am not in the best shape, I am not at my highest level".
Despite the loss, Janković moved up to World No. 1 on August 11, 2008. She is the 18th woman to have been ranked World No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association. She is the first woman to have attained that ranking without ever having reached a Grand Slam final and only the third woman (the others being Amelie Mauresmo and Kim Clijsters) to have become World No. 1 without first winning a Grand Slam title. Serbia is only the third nation (the others being Belgium and the United States) to have had consecutive World No. 1 female players. Janković then lost her World No. 1 ranking on August 18, 2008, to Ivanović.
At the Beijing Olympics, Janković was seeded second and played the tournament with a sore right calf muscle that caused her to consider withdrawing. Janković defeated Cibulkova in the third round but lost to sixth-seeded Safina in the quarterfinals 6–2, 5–7, 6–3.
Janković was the second-seeded player at the US Open. She defeated fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the semifinals 6–4, 6–4 to reach her first Grand Slam final, where she lost to fourth-seeded Serena Williams 6–4, 7–5.
Janković has beaten Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the China Open to win her second tournament of the year. In the semis, she defeated Olympic bronze medalist, Vera Zvonareva, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Janković played in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, where she defeated Venus Williams in the semifinals 6-7 (8-10), 7-5, 6-2, and Nadia Petrova in the final 6-4, 6-3. This was her second title in two weeks. After that, she returned to World No. 1 spot on October 6, 2008.
In the Kremlin Cup, Janković defeated Russian, Vera Dushevina 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-2 in round two after a first round bye. The quarter-finals saw Janković beat Italian wild-card, Flavia Pennetta, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3. She defeated Elena Dementieva in the semis 0-6 (Her first set without any return points since November 2007), 6-1, 6-0. She will play Vera Zvonareva in the final.
Janković is often regarded as one of the fittest and toughest players in recent years of women's tennis for her great defensive abilities and footwork, which classifies her as a counterpuncher. Jelena is known for being one of the few players who can slide on all surfaces, further enhancing her defense. In 2007, she played more matches than any other player and maintained her third rank as well, which is the proof of her incredible stamina and well-balanced performance. Janković has very consistent ground strokes and likes to go down the line more often than crosscourt. Her signature shot is her two-handed backhand down the line; she hits it with excellent pace and can drive it deep for an outright winner and also the fact that she can hit her backhand any angle from her court position. She also has a solid forehand and a decent net game, being able to hit effective drive, drop and swinging volleys. Her main weakness is the fact her serve is very attackable. She likes to spin it in on the first and second serve which can lead to her getting broken many times in matches against good baseline players. She has however shown some improvement in this area, hitting several of her serves over 100 mph.
At Wimbledon 2007, in a mixed doubles match at the semi-final stage she invited a ballboy to come and sit with her and began asking him questions, much to the crowd's amusement. Though the boy was clearly enjoying himself, he swiftly jumped out of the chair when a riled Jamie Murray returned from his toilet break. The British press have linked Janković and Murray romantically but she has remained coy about their relationship, though she joked in interviews that she used kisses as a way of motivating the Scot.
In September 2008, Jelena Jankovic announced that she has been dating Montenegrian water polo player Mlađan Janović since August 2008. Two of them said that they have been dating since 2008 Summer Olympics.
On December 5, 2007, Janković has become a UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia, for Children's Fund. "I am happy to have become a UNICEF ambassador for Serbia. This is a great honour for me and I will try to justify the role that has been given to me", she said. Janković is the second Serbian tennis star to have volunteered to help promote the rights of children and collect funds for UNICEF after Ana Ivanovic became an ambassador in September.
|Year||Championship||Opponent in Final||Score in Final|
|2008||US Open||Serena Williams||6–4, 7–5|
|Year||Championship||Partner||Opponents in Final||Score in Final|
|2007||Wimbledon||Jamie Murray|| Alicia Molik|
|6–4, 3–6, 6–1|
|Tier I (3)|
|Tier II (2)|
|Tier III (1)|
|Tier IV & V (2)|
|ITF Tour (1)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Opponent in Final||Score in Final|
|-||October 19, 2003||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Hard||Henrieta Nagyova||6–2, 7–5|
|1.||May 2, 2004||Budapest, Hungary||Clay||Martina Sucha||7–6(4), 6–3|
|2.||January 6, 2007||Auckland, New Zealand||Hard||Vera Zvonareva||7–6(9), 5–7, 6–3|
|3.||April 15, 2007||Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.||Clay||Dinara Safina||6–2, 6–2|
|4.||May 20, 2007||Rome, Italy||Clay||Svetlana Kuznetsova||7–5, 6–1|
|5.||June 17, 2007||Birmingham, United Kingdom||Grass||Maria Sharapova||4–6, 6–3, 7–5|
|6.||May 18, 2008||Rome, Italy||Clay||Alize Cornet||6–2, 6–2|
|7.||September 28, 2008||Beijing, China||Hard||Svetlana Kuznetsova||6–3, 6–2|
|8.||October 5, 2008||Stuttgart, Germany||Hard (i)||Nadia Petrova||6–4, 6–3|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Partner||Opponents in Final||Score in Final|
|1.||June 18, 2006||Birmingham, United Kingdom||Grass||Li Na|| Jill Craybas |
|No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Partner||Opponents in Final||Score in Final|
|1.||July 8, 2007||Wimbledon, London||Grass||Jamie Murray|| Jonas Bjorkman|
|6–4, 3–6, 6–1|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Opponent in Final||Score in Final|
|-||May 20, 2002||Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.||Clay||Erika de Lone||6–2, 6–4|
|1.||March 5, 2005||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Hard||Lindsay Davenport||6–4, 3–6, 6–4|
|2.||June 12, 2005||Birmingham, United Kingdom||Grass||Maria Sharapova||6–2, 4–6, 6–1|
|3.||October 2, 2005||Seoul, South Korea||Hard||Nicole Vaidisova||7–5, 6–3|
|4.||August 13, 2006||Los Angeles, California, USA||Hard||Elena Dementieva||6–3, 4–6, 6–4|
|5.||January 12, 2007||Sydney, Australia||Hard||Kim Clijsters||4–6, 7–6(1), 6–4|
|6.||June 23, 2007||'s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands||Grass||Anna Chakvetadze||7–6(2), 3–6, 6–3|
|7.||August 19, 2007||Toronto, Canada||Hard||Justine Henin||7–6(3), 7–5|
|8.||September 23, 2007||Beijing, China||Hard||Agnes Szavay||6–7(7), 7–5, 6–2|
|9.||April 5, 2008||Miami, Florida, U.S.||Hard||Serena Williams||6–1, 5–7, 6–3|
|10.||September 7, 2008||US Open, New York City||Hard||Serena Williams||6–4, 7–5|
|Tournament||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||Career SR||Career W/L|
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Australian Open||A||A||A||2R1||2R||2R||2R||4R||SF||0 / 6||15–6|
|French Open||A||A||A||LQ2||1R||1R||3R||SF||SF||0 / 6||13–6|
|Wimbledon||A||A||A||LQ||1R||3R||4R||4R||4R||0 / 6||11–6|
|US Open||A||A||LQ||LQ3||2R||3R||SF||QF||F||0 / 7||20–7|
|SR||0 / 0||0 / 0||0 / 1||0 / 4||0 / 4||0 / 4||0 / 4||0 / 4||0 / 4||0 / 25||N/A|
|Summer Olympics||A||Not Held||1R||Not Held||QF||0 / 2||3–2|
|WTA Tour Championships||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||RR4||0 / 1||0–3|
|Current WTA Tier I Tournaments5|
|Not Tier I||QF||0 / 1||2–1|
|Indian Wells||A||2R||A||1R||1R||2R||2R||4R||SF||0 / 7||7–7|
|Miami||A||LQ||A||1R6||3R||2R||2R||3R||F||0 / 7||10–7|
|Charleston||A||A||LQ||A||2R||1R||1R||W||QF||1 / 6||8–5|
|Berlin||A||A||A||A||A||SF||1R||QF||QF||0 / 4||8–4|
|Rome||A||A||A||1R6||LQ||2R||QF||W||W||2 / 6||15–4|
|Montréal / Toronto||A||A||A||A||2R||1R||3R7||F||QF||0 / 5||9–4|
|Tokyo||A||A||A||A||A||1R||1R||QF||QF||0 / 4||2–4|
|Moscow||A||A||A||A||A||1R||A||A||0 / 1||0–1|
|Former WTA Tier I Tournaments5|
|San Diego||A||A||A||A||2R||3R||3R||3R|| Not|
|0 / 4||6–4|
|0 / 3||2–3|
|Year End Ranking||None||361||194||85||28||22||12||3||N/A||'''N/A|
|Year|| Grand Slam|
| WTA or ITF|
|Earnings ($)||Money list rank|