SURPRISE, AZ, USA - In an aptly named location, Jovana Jaksic surprised all, herself included, when saving an incredible 14 match points on her way to defeating Tamira Paszek for her first singles title of the year.
Having not dropped a set all week, Jaksic, who has been rapidly climbing the rankings over the last few years, added to her 13 titles won on the ITF Pro Circuit between 2011 and 2013 after first falling behind in the final to Paszek before recovering to record a 46 76(13) 75 win, saving those 14 match points along the way!
Speaking after her win, Jaksic said: "I still can't believe I saved 14 match points, I have no idea how I did it. I have to say that each time I faced a match point, I played an amazing shot and managed to hit winners on most of them. And I was thinking, 'If I can save one, I can save the second and the third.' But I stopped counting after the sixth match point!
I didn't even know the score in the tie-break until the end of the match, I was just fighting and fighting."
"I'm just so happy because it's my first title of the season and I beat two players who were both Top 30 - Sofia Arvidsson in the semifinals and Tamira Paszek in the final. These kinds of matches are a huge experience for me. I definitely learned that I should never give up because anything is possible!"
Jaksic is currently Serbia's No.5 player after No.8 Jelena Jankovic, No.12 Ana Ivanovic, No.42 Bojana Jovanovski and No.115 Vesna Dolonc. And one of them in particular is strongly in her corner.
"I'm friends with all the Serbian players," Jaksic said during her Getting To Know interview with wtatennis.com just after the US Open last year. "Ana Ivanovic is lovely - I keep in touch with her all the time and she gives me advice on what to do and where to go at all of these tournaments!"