Perth, Australia - Jelena Jankovic defied an injury Wednesday, playing just hours after hurting a hamstring, to lead Serbia to a 2-1 win over France at the Hopman Cup.
The world number three, who won the Wimbledon mixed doubles last year with Jamie Murray, looked like she was out for the count after pulling a right upper hamstring in her first game in a singles match against Tatiana Golovin.
The French youngster was handed the victory after a few moments and just 14 points played as Jankovic retired. She went to hospital for a scan that revealed no serious damage.
With that somewhat reassuring news at hand, she decided to give the deciding mixed doubles match a go after teammate Novak Djokovic levelled the tie 1-1 with a win over veteran Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-3, 6-3.
"I could feel the pain in my thigh, my back, everywhere, "but I had such a motivation to try and help us win," Jankovic said. "I have to thank Novak, who ran everywhere for me on court. He gave such an effort."
Djokovic, a US Open finalist in 2007, gave full marks to his partner as the Serbs stayed in the chase for the Friday final at the eight-nation, mixed-team event.
"I was trying to run all over the place, but Jelena played on one leg, and she gets credit," he said. "If we didn't have the good hands and the feeling from my partner, we would not have won.
"I had to rely on her even if she was injured," Djokovic said.
Djokovic double-faulted on his first match point against Clement, finally closing out the victory on his third winning opportunity. The Serb posted 24 unforced errors, seven aces and broke on four of eight occasions.
Jankovic suffered her injury midway through the opening game of the match at the Burswood Dome. She won the game, then took treatment on and off court.
She came back out and played two points before giving up.
Serbia face a concluding group match Thursday against Argentina while France play Taiwan.
By Bill Scott, dpa