The same inherent grit, tenacity and attention to detail enabled a former No. 1 in the world female singles tennis player, Jelena Jankovic, to design and construct a luxurious personal retreat east of Rancho Santa Fe. Jankovic traveled the world for tournaments during the past fifteen years and could’ve built a home anywhere in the world — she chose the Crosby Estates.
Ryan Dalzell, a realtor with the Dalzell Group of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing on the 15,113-square-foot, eight-bedroom, 11-bath estate on two acres at 16443 Top O’ Crosby in the exclusive golf resort community. The listing price is $13.5 million.
“Her favorite stops (during her tournament career) were Indian Wells in the desert and San Diego — she fell in love with San Diego.”
Dalzell said Jankovic selected a vacant lot at the extreme top edge of the Crosby Estates with “incredible views out to the west over the community and gorgeous sunset views.”
Jankovic, born in Serbia with family in Europe, a home in Dubai and one in Florida, spent a lot of time traveling across the world staying in the finest resorts and was determined to create a property of equal quality.
“She built it in a way that the style and finishes are really absolutely top notch, world-class,” Dalzell said.
Jankovic brought in an Italian design firm, Santo Passaia, from Italy to assist her in the design. The team, a father and two-sons, created all the built-ins, the coffered ceilings, all the carpentry in the office “all of it was hand crafted in Italy, shipped over, and then they came over and installed it themselves,” Dalzell said.
Dalzell, who along with his father and brother have a development/design business specializing in spec luxury homes, said: “I have an appreciation for the quality and the materials that she put into this property.”
The home is on the far southwestern edge of the Crosby community. The back of the home is on the street side and the front entrance is away from the street to the southwest. A small iron gate at the top of a long driveway to the motor court leads into a sunlit outer patio. Ahead, a massive, arched, double-hung front door with leaded glass side lights opens to the foyer and formal living room.
It’s from this moment that it’s clear this home is unlike any other.
“All of the chandeliers are imported from Serbia, all of the ironwork, the marble — the detail is really incredible.” Dalzell said. “You marry the metal with the wood and the stone and it’s a beautiful combination.”
The home has dual masters. The main master suite is on the main/entry level and has all white finishes. The bathroom is done in a stunning white onyx. There is a hand-carved marble fireplace that was a custom design done just for Jankovic with a European, old-world feel to it.
The secondary master on the second floor has dark wood with a view deck that has some of the best views of the property, according to Dalzell. The honey-colored onyx bathroom complements the warmth of the wood used in the bedroom.
The family room on the main level has a soaring, exposed wood-beamed ceiling with stone-clad walls that surround a large, carved-stone fireplace. Massive lift and slide pocket doors open to a loggia.
“That’s (the family room) really the heart of the home, it’s a very warm and inviting entertaining space where they spend most of their time,” Dalzell said. “It’s a large property but entertains on a more intimate scale so that it doesn’t feel too large.”
On the lower level of the property there’s a tennis court Jankovic uses to train, a recreation area, personal gym and massage room, “it’s the ‘one-stop shop’ concept, everything is there,” He said.
Other amenities include a lavish, tiered movie theater, a grand billiard room, trophy cases, a 1500-bottle wine cellar — and for the car collector, two garages. One is a standard garage on the top level. The second garage is a 2,400-square-foot space with handmade Saltillo tiles that can easily accommodate 12 vehicles, “it’s spotless, you can eat off the floor,” Dalzell said.
Along the wall of the car collectors’ garage is a shoe cabinet for Jankovic’s personalized embroidered shoes that she got from Fila and endorsement deals, “she likes showing off her tennis shoes,” Dalzell said.
Dalzell said the level of construction/quality is second to none and that it couldn’t be duplicated for the asking price. There has been interest in it already and he’s setting up a showing to someone who saw it online and was taken aback by the finishes.
“It looks like something out of a castle in France, it’s literally got everything,” Dalzell said. “It’s just a lost art; it was a labor of love for her.”
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