London: Whenever Jelena Jankovic is playing at Wimbledon, it seems as if the emergency services need to be on standby.
Two years ago she complained she needed a helicopter to transport her to a court that was so far from the locker room that it was like she had been banished to play “in a parking lot”.
In 2009 Jankovic wondered whether she would end up in hospital after “women’s problems” and the searing heat left her feeling delirious and with blurred vision.
So was 2010 going to be a drama-free year at Wimbledon for the Serb? No chance.
On Monday the Serbian fourth seed was again in need of medical attention as a back injury cut short her All England Club campaign in the fourth round, beaten 6-1 3-0 by Russian Vera Zvonareva.
She had walked on court resembling a wounded warrior with heavy strapping around her right thigh but that proved to be only one of her problems.
After struggling to keep the ball in play during the 24 minute first set, she started grimacing each time she launched into her service action or made contact with the ball during the second set.
At 3-0 down, she called for an injury timeout and lay face down on an official pink Wimbledon towel as the trainer tried to coax her body back to life by massaging her back.
She gingerly got back to her feet but three points later it was all over and blinking back tears, she collapsed into the comforting arms of her mother Snezana.
Zvonareva was so focused on winning the points, she had no idea about Jankovic’s injury woes.
“To be honest, I wasn’t paying any attention to what was going on on the other side. I (didn’t) notice anything until she called the trainer on the court,” said the 21st seed.
“I’m not sure exactly what it was. She said something was really bothering her. I just wished her a quick recovery. I hope it’s nothing serious and she can recover quick.”
Her exit meant Wimbledon remains the one grand slam event where the usually bubbly Serbian has failed to reach at least the semi-finals.
Zvonareva, the 21st seed, will face Kim Clijsters for a place in the semis.