Former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic’s streak of 56 straight Grand Slam main draw appearances will come to an end next month as the Serbian announced her withdrawal from the Australian Open due to a back injury.
The 32-year-old has struggled mightily with various injuries over the last two years, falling to a ranking of No. 137. She has not played since the US Open and last won a match at a WTA 125K Series in Nanchang back in July.
Jelena Jankovic won't be in Melbourne for the Australian Open 2018. For the first time in her whole career she won't play a Grand Slam event. Still uncertain when (or if) she will comeback to the WTA tour.— Diego Barbiani (@Diego_Barbiani) December 8, 2017
The streak of GS (MD only) in a row ends at 56.https://t.co/uu7MZlApDX
*extreme JJ voice*— Courtney Nguyen (@FortyDeuceTwits) December 8, 2017
Despite dealing with many injuries since 2016, this Australian Open will be the first major Jankovic has missed since 2004, putting into serious doubt when, or if, she will return to the tour.
The Serb, who ascended to the top spot back in 2008 and made her lone Grand Slam final at the US Open that same year. After a third-round showing at the Australian Open, she failed to make it past the second round of any WTA-level event, amassing a 4-13 record.
Jelena Jankovic will not play at the Australian Open and her return to the tour is uncertain :-— Adam_Addicott (@tennisbanter) December 8, 2017
"In my heart I would like to continue my career, but I will not make a decision now" - via B92
Given Jankovic’s struggles with form and injuries, its very possible the Serb could decide to hang up her racquet—a move that would be a big loss to the sport.
Follow Thomas on Twitter @thomas_cluck917.