Back pain could force Jankovic to miss U.S. Open

Jelena Jankovic is struggling so badly with chronic back pain that she could be forced to miss the U.S. Open this month.

Former world number one Jelena Jankovic   -  Getty Images

Former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic may miss the U.S. Open as her 2017 season continues to be hampered by injury.

The Serbian was ranked as the world's top player in 2008 after reaching the final at Flushing Meadows, her best performance at a Grand Slam.

Steadily her career has stuttered and she now finds herself ranked 69th in the world and has failed to get past the third round in her last eight appearances at major tournaments.

Jankovic has won 15 WTA titles but the last of those came in 2015 and she has been troubled by back problems this year.

The latest flare-up came in the opening round of the Citi Open in Washington against Oceane Dodin, with Jankovic forced to retire at 2-0 down in the third set, an outcome that has made her consider the rest of her 2017 schedule.

"I will see how it's going, but I will probably end the season soon," Jankovic told Excelle Sports.

"It's not working. I haven't made my decision yet. 

"Maybe I will [play US Open]. I will give myself another chance to recover, but we'll see. I still don’t know."

She added: "I basically have chronic pain in my back and I've been suffering quite a lot. Before playing in China, I had three weeks off. I did not touch a ball, just trying to do rehab to settle this area down to help my body heal, but unfortunately it's not enough. 

"As soon as I have to do those turns and as the match goes longer, I start suffering. I have pain, numbing in my leg. It's really unfortunate. It's been basically agony health wise, because I enjoy still competing and I love being out there.

"It's a shame my body just doesn't let me, doesn't help me. It’s really disappointing.

"People think I’m so fit, [but] that's just my genetics. That's how I look without doing anything, but honestly I'm really not in good shape and I’m hurt. I'm suffering with this health problem."

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