BELGRADE - The first documentary on tennis-world number one, Jelena Jankovic, opened in Serbian cinemas Friday. Producers hope to distribute the film world-wide soon.
The 80-minute film, "Jelena's World," follows Jankovic over a 14-month period, tournaments in Madrid and Berlin, and her frequent, but brief, visits to her hometown of Belgrade. Director Tanja Brzakovic said the documentary was born from her fascination with Jankovic, the charismatic Serb who secured the year-ending women's number one ranking with three successive titles in recent months. "I am fascinated, above all, by Jelena's energy, she is a real fighter. Even when it seems a match is lost, she never gives up," Brzakovic said, reported Belgrade daily Blic. The film opens with Jankovic beginning her day like any ordinary girl. But it soon switches to Jankovic's strict daily regime, packed with training sessions and calls from the press and fans. Not a superhero "Although a fighter, mentally and physically strong, she is not a super-hero, she is above all, natural and honest ... which the director recognizes skillfully," a review in the Politika newspaper said. "She will laugh at herself, cry over sad memories, swear if she is angry, be shy about intimate details, and that is why she is a perfect movie hero," film critic Dubravka Lakic wrote. The documentary is showing in several cinemas in the Serbian capital, while its maker, Talas Film, hopes to secure global distribution soon. On Thursday, Jankovic posed as a model in Belgrade for a line of fashion clothing she designed herself for Serbian company Mona. "That is just a hobby, I really love designing. I do it in between tournaments or even during them if I have some free time," Jankovic said.