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26th Jun, 2022

Jankovic speaks of her hero, but who is yours?

Worcester Editorial 22nd May, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

THE WORCESTER Observer has teamed up with the Aegon Classic – the world renowned tennis tournament which takes place in Birmingham in June – to find and reward the heroines of Worcester.

As part of the search, world number eight, Jelena Jankovic, who has just been confirmed to compete at the Aegon Classic, has spoken out about her personal hero of the game – her doubles partner Alisa Kleybanova.

Russian player, Kleybanova, has recently returned to the WTA Top 100 after her battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Kleybanova’s career was put on hold three years ago when she was diagnosed with the rare cancer, which develops in the lymphatic system – the network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body.

Now the picture of health, she has returned to tennis playing alongside Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic, who cites Kleybanova as a huge source of pride and inspiration.

After a recent match, Jankovic praised her partner.

“Kleybanova showed that she is such a strong girl and it’s very inspirational to others that she was able to come back after such a tough illness and it’s even more amazing that she is here competing at such a high level,” she said.

“I’m very proud of her and I’m a big fan of her. I cheer for her every time she plays against other people and I support her.

“She’s a lovely girl and an amazing person which is more important than being a great player, at least in my opinion.”

Do you know a woman who has faced adversity but still remains unbeatable? Someone who has played a key role in shaping the local community? A friendly face that is always there to offer support? Or even a female who regularly goes above and beyond for others? Well, we want to hear from you.

Up for grabs is an all-expenses paid trip to the final of the Aegon Classic on Sunday, June 15, including transport and refreshments, as well as two of the best seats in the house.

Returning to Birmingham’s Edgbaston Priory Club for the 33rd year and upgraded to a WTA Premier event, the Aegon Classic is now one of the top 21 tennis events in the world – offering sporting fans in the Midlands the chance to see some world class tennis on their home turf.

If you know a local lady who deserves recognition then get in touch by emailing or by post at Aegon Classic c/o Willoughby PR, 43 Calthorpe Road, Birmingham B15 1TS. The closing date for entries is 5pm on Sunday, May


Tickets to the tournament start from £15 per person and are available at or call 0844 209 7359.

*Calls cost 6p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

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