Sometimes when Jelena Jankovic watches herself on video, she barely recognizes the player on the screen. The trademark ponytail, pulled back tightly, and quick smile are there.
But once in a while there is ... the other.
"I put on the video and I'm like, 'Oh my God, who is that person?'" Jankovic said Monday as she prepares for her 11th appearance at the Family Circle Cup. "I have two personalities, one off the court and one on the court. On court, sometimes I turn into a beast. I don't know what happens, my evil twin comes on court."
Always personable away from the court, the 29-year-old Serb - who won the Family Circle Cup title in 2007 - is making a concerted effort to tame her on-court demons.
Ranked No. 1 in the world in 2008, Jankovic is back in the WTA Tour's top 10 at No. 8. A better grip on her emotions might help Jankovic close the gap with No. 1 Serena Williams.
Serena's 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 win over Jankovic in last year's FCC finals featured a moment when Jankovic grew frustrated with the pace of play.
"How long do I have to wait?" Jankovic asked.
"Until I'm ready," Serena answered.
Williams' straight-set win over Jankovic in Dubai earlier this year included a similar confrontation, complete with lengthy post-match discussion.
"I start beating myself, and it's like you get water in your ears," Jankovic said. "You don't know what's going on, you are not aware of how your opponent is playing or the mistakes you are making. I don't play well when I'm too calm, either, so it's a balance between staying calm and being pumped up to play good tennis."
Jankovic, who will open with a second-round match against young American Lauren Davis, will have the rest of the week to work on her emotions before she'll have to face top-seeded Serena. Jankovic is the No. 2 seed and the pair would not meet until Sunday's championship match.
Unlike golf star Tiger Woods, who has made no secret of his desire to surpass Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships, Serena Williams claims to have no such magic number in mind.
"I like to keep it vague," the world's No. 1 player said Monday when asked about her goals. "That's my secret. That way, I don't put so much pressure on myself. I could stop playing today and say that I've had a great career."
It's a canny move for Serena. As great as Tiger's career has been, he's invited critics to see failure if he does not match Nicklaus' record.
The record for Grand Slam singles titles for women is 22, held by Steffi Graf. Serena is fourth on that list with 17 titles, one behind Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.
"It feels good to see your name up there with historic players," said Serena, who is going for a three-peat at the Family Circle Cup. "You never think you could do something as awesome as they did."
FCC to host "Pink Out"
The Family Circle Cup and MUSC Health will team to host "Pink Out Komen Night for the Cure" on Wednesday night.
Fans are encouraged to wear pink for the evening session from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. For every fan in pink, the Family Circle Cup and MUSC Health will donate $1 to the local affiliate of Susan G. Komen.
Players will enter Stadium Court on a pink carpet, and ball crew and umpires will be wearing pink.
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