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January 4, 2015

Jelena Jankovic


7‑6, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Second set were you a bit fatigued?  Was there a reason for the score in the second set?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I don't know.  I mean, it is my first match of the year, like everyone's.
You know, there was a lot of the things, you know, that ‑‑ I kind of had to get in the match and just overall feel the whole atmosphere and the game.
And just being in those situations again after not competing for a while, it was not easy out there.
In the second set I really kind of went down.  I went downhill.  I stopped moving feet.  I was just making errors.  I let her play, and that was the case.
But I think in the first set I had a lot of opportunities, and I think the key was I did not serve very well.  I did not hold my serve, and I broke her many, many times.  I was serving for the first set.  I just did not, you know, do enough with my serve.
I think I served a lot slower than I usually serve, and just overall the placement wasn't good enough.
But like I said, it's the first match of the season after long break, and I need some time just to get in the rhythm and be match tough again, just dealing with those situations a little better.

Q.  You played her once before I think in Charleston.

Q.  That wasn't that long ago.  I think last season.  Do you see any changes in her game?
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† Yeah, I mean, I don't see a lot of changes.¬† I think she's a great player and she's a young player.¬† She's a tough opponent to play against.¬† I cannot say that ‑‑ I'm not the one to say if she improved or not or she's playing better.
All I can say is she played well today.  She served very well and has a great backhand.
It was a tough match for me today.

Q.  What bothered you the most?  Backhand looked like...
JELENA JANKOVIC:  She has a really good backhand and a really good serve, yeah.  She's a great competitor.

Q.  So J.J., this year coming in, changes overall?  What were you thinking about in December coming in this year?  First of all, I stopped my season a lot earlier because of my back.  I had a back injury, so I was not playing or doing any activities for two months.
            So it took me a little bit of time to just get active and kind of start doing just normal things, and then kind of getting to the tennis and training properly.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† So, you know, it's not easy.¬† And after not competing after just practicing and just trying to get in form and get in shape after being completely‑‑ I lost my muscles and I look like jelly.¬† You know, there was nothing there.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Then when I saw myself in the mirror a month ago I was like, Oh, my God.¬† You know I got to do some work, so I think I've improved a lot.¬† With that all said, I don't think that‑‑ I still need to do a lot of work to get where I want to be.
            Because of that injury, I needed more time to recover and heal, because it was a bad injury.  Two months I was really like in bed and like just walking barely.
            So it took...

Q.  What were you thinking then?  Is this going to last two months?  Three months?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I thought this maybe could be the end of my career.

Q.  That could be it?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah.  It was really bad.

Q.  So you just felt really sick?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Not sick.  Just when you are injured and you have a bad back injury, you're thinking maybe you're never going to be able to play again at a high level.
Just kept doing therapies.  I was just trying to recover.  And I did.
But there is still something in the back of my mind, you know.  Sometimes when I play I'm a little bit tense where I just don't want to get there again.  Especially it's my first match and I don't know what to expect from myself and how I will feel on the court and if I will be able to do those turns.
When you play a match‑‑ when you practice you can kind of maybe stop when the ball is far away from you.¬† When you play a match, you don't think about maybe slow down.¬† Don't twist that much or something like that.
But now I feel fine.  It's just a matter of just kind of feeling comfortable out there and just competing without having anything on your mind.  Just going out there and enjoying, and just with time get better, stronger, and get match tough again.

Q.  Are you playing Sydney?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No.  I'm just going to take care of my body and take it easy.  I have to, you know, train again and just hopefully be ready for Melbourne and play there a lot better.

Q.  Are you thinking, I'm going to be top 10 again?  Top 5?  Or does it really matter now?  No?  Just going out there and having fun...
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, I'm not really thinking about rankings.  I'm just happy that I'm playing, that I'm back on the tennis court and competing.
I just want to get to the level I think I can be.  You know, I believe I can be there.  Like I said, I just need little bit of work, a little bit of cleanup to do, a little more, you know, tuning up.
Hopefully I can get there in Melbourne.  I wanted to get some matches in here.  That was my wish, to kind of get some matches under my belt.  But unfortunately that didn't happen.
That's okay.  Like I said, it's never easy playing your first match of the season after a long break.  I probably had a little longer break than some of those girls, so it takes time.
You know, I been through times like this, and you just got to stay positive and just continue to work.¬† You know, I think everyone around this time needs to just play matches and just‑‑ because practicing is another story; playing matches and being in those situations and playing the points right at the important times, that's what matters.
Sometimes I overthink.  I think maybe I should go there or I should go there, and then the last second I make the worst decision.
When you're playing and you're in there, you kind of‑‑ it happens by instinct.¬† You already know what to do.¬† Right now I'm at the stage, Maybe there; maybe there.¬† Should I do this?
So the more you overanalyze things the tougher it is for you.  That's what kind of mistakes I made today.

Q.  Who is coaching you now?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I'm just with my brother and my hitting partner.

Q.  He must be around all the time.  Saw you all last year with your brother around every day.
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† Yeah, yeah.¬† He's my brother, and, you know, I don't think I can ask for more‑‑ you know, when you have a family member with you through the good times and the bad times, I think it's great.

Q.  So your mom was around all the time, too.
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† Yeah, but it's not likeyou ‑‑ it's a big deal.¬† I got injured.¬† I got injured and it was a bad injury.¬† It can be tough on you just overall on the mental aspect where you cannot even brush your teeth properly.¬† You have to find a technique to bend down.
You kind of get down.  You don't feel happy where you cannot do normal daily activities, such as brushing the teeth; putting my shoes on was a tough task for me.
So it took a while to get better and to kind of heal.  Like I said, two months without any activity, that's the longest I've been out of not doing anything.
You know, sometimes you get injured.  You know, let's say shoulder injury or something else, then you can do other things.  When you injure your back, it kind of involves everything.  Whatever you do, your back is involved.

Q.  Yeah.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  So I run, I feel my back; I walk I feel my back; just if I turn, I do anything, I feel it.
So I just had to kind of be completely in the passive mode and do the treatments and recovery and just hope for the best.
Like I said, now I'm healthy, knock on wood, and I just need a little bit of time to just get‑‑ you know, to get into the competition mode where I just go out there and hit balls without overthinking.
Because I think I haven't played for a while and I think I guess that's normal.  You're just not sure.  Should you play there or should you... and that's what happens.
I had my chances in the first set.  I had set points, and I just didn't do good enough, you know.  That's the mistakes I got to just clean up and kind of learn and just work and just add little things.
I don't think I'm playing that bad.  I have a lot of ups and downs, but I have moments where I play quite well.  Then there are moments where I'm just all over the place.  I make bad decisions.  I want to come in and I don't come in.  I'm in the middle of the court.
You know, I can be talking all day, you know.  But still, I just got to stay positive.  It's only the first tournament.  Yeah, it was my first match.  There is a long way to go.  I can just get better from here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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