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March 20, 2015

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/S. Lisicki
3‑6, 6‑3, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What did you do to turn it around in that second set?  Looked at one point a little bleak maybe.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I don't think I was playing that well in the first set.  I think Sabine did quite well.  I was not serving too well, and especially on my returns I did not do too well in that first set.  I was down a break in the second and I was struggling a little bit, and I think Sabine was in control.
But then, you know, I was trying just to stay tough, hanging there, and play one point at a time, stay in the zone.¬† You know, there was, you know, I think crucial point in that second set where I really felt like I could come back.¬† And I did, you know.¬† After I held my serve‑‑ I think it was 3‑2.¬† I don't remember anymore.¬† I spent such a long time on the court.
But I felt that I got the momentum going, and I kind of felt like I had the wind in my back.
I just started playing better and better and I fought hard.  I was not giving any free points, as well.  My serve got a little better, too.  Overall my whole game was a little more complete.  I'm very happy that I was able to stay strong mentally and physically and get that match, you know, under my belt as a win.

Q.  When you have this backhand going on like this, do you feel that nothing bad can happen anymore?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, that backhand started working, as well.  You know, those down the lines that I always say pay my bills, they started going.  I really got my confidence in that shot, and it was one after another.  Especially in important moments I really believed in, you know, in my shots and I was, you know, the brave one.
You know, I went after them, and luckily they went in.  I'm grateful for that, yeah.

Q.  Pretty much when that started to work Sabine started to unravel at that point.  How aware are you when someone starts to lose their focus and concentration?  Does that spur you on?
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† Yeah, you sense ‑‑ there are certain times when you really sense that your opponent is going down mentally and is losing that belief and is kind of going down.
That's where I kind of have to go up and use that to my advantage.  That's part of the game.  You know, we all have ups and downs and our good times and bad times throughout the match, but mainly you focus on yourself and you try to keep your mental toughness, you know, at the high level and just hang in there, you know, those tough moments where you have to really have to grind through and play those points smart.
I was able to, you know, execute my shots when it mattered, especially that third set.  When I broke I really let my shots loose, especially that backhand was working.  I made a couple of those backhand down the line winners when it mattered and it paid off.

Q.  Can you look ahead to playing Simona in the final?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah.  Simona is another tough opponent.  She's a very solid player.  You know, I have had in my draw some really hard hitters like Keys and Sabine, and then I have had players playing different styles.  I have had, you know, different styles of play in my previous rounds.
I'm ready.  You know, I'm excited.  I'm very excited to be in the finals overall.  It's been an amazing two weeks for me and I couldn't ask for more.  You know, I cannot wait to play against Simona.  I will just give my best to win my second title here in Indian Wells.

Q.  I don't think anyone would have picked you to make the final here this week, with all due respect.
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† I wouldn't pick myself, actually.¬† I was like limping three days before the tournament started.¬† I was actually in doubt if I can even play, if I'm able to ‑‑if I'm going to be able to run and move.
So, I mean, it was amazing.¬† When I came to these courts, the first day ‑‑ I did not hit a ball for 10 days.¬† I was hitting but I was standing.¬† I was not moving.
I was hitting the ball so great without any practice.  I was like, I had a good feeling, you know.  But I did not think, you know, it was not even in my mind that I'm going to make the finals after not preparing.
Then it's weird.¬† Like sometimes you prepare, you work so hard and train all day, and then you play so bad.¬† Then there are times like this where you're just‑‑ I came unprepared.¬† I was coming off from an injury, but I felt so great, like just so happy to be out there.
I was losing to him in exhibition match.  I mean, he was beating me right there when we played that exhibition.  (Laughter.)  We played that exhibition when Nishikori and Hingis and Ferrer were playing.  I mean, it tells you all.

Q.  As a hitting partner what percentage of your prize money do I get?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  If you're the only one that's gonna beat me, I'm okay with that.  I'm fine.  You're a man.

Q.  Is this going to be a new approach?  Don't practice, turn up, smile?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No.  It's not the way to go.  I don't encourage that.  People who are hearing this, it's not the way to go.
But sometimes you've got no choice.  I mean, it's just the way it is.  Somehow it worked, you know.  It's unbelievable.  I'm also very grateful to be out there, to be able to have the chance to compete and play outdoors and in front of such nice crowds.
You know, I have such great support here in Indian Wells.  It's amazing.  It's one of my favorite tournaments.  I really feel like home.  I think you can see it, you know, from the smile of my on my face.  I'm just very, very happy.

Q.  I hate to ask you a boring question here, but Sabine, she was serving soft and then she would just serve a monster 120.  I'm just wondering for you how that affected your return game.  Is there anybody else that does that that often in terms of mixing the pace on the first serve?
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† Yeah, that's what I said, you know, in the interview on the court.¬† Sometimes, yeah, the serve can come at really high pace, and she has‑‑ you know, she holds the record as, you know, fastest server out there.
But sometimes she just kind of takes off the pace and it's like 60 miles or 70 miles.  It's really like soft compared to like 120 and then like 60.  It's like double, you know, the amount, like so much slower.
So I had to kind of be on alert.  I had to be ready for anything, you know, a soft serve or, you know, a real bomb that was coming off of her racquet.
So I was coming in, you know, to attack, and I tried to put as much pressure as I could on her second serve and attack as much as I could.
I was not really happy with my return, especially that first set.  I was making a lot of errors and I was getting those balls really short.  I let her attack that first, you know, shot right off, you know, the beginning of the points.
So I did a lot better in the third set and the end of that second, so that made a difference.

Q.  How surprised were you to hear that Serena had withdrawn during your ESPN interview?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I didn't know.  I only heard that when I finished the match.  It's unfortunate.  Injuries are part of the sport.  I wish her speedy recovery.  It's unfortunate she couldn't play the semifinals.
You know, I don't know anything about the case, so I can only talk on my behalf.

Q.¬† Can you talk about after your on‑court interview?¬† You talked about your mom, and then afterwards you went over to her and gave her a hug.¬† High‑fived your team.¬† Can you talk about that moment and anything you said to her?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, it's unbelievable.  Those are the special moments that you have in your career where you can share them with your family, with your close ones, with your entourage, your team that's been there and supportive.
They know and understand what, you know, I went through and what it means, you know, to me to be at this stage and be in the finals and overall make this kind of achievement at these tournaments.
It's unbelievable.  I love my family.  I love my team.  It's nice to have that support and have them here.  It's unbelievable.  You know, I don't think I can ask for more.  I'm very close to my family.  I love them.  I mean, I don't know what else to say.

Q.  The news about Serena withdrawing came out during your match.  So maybe...
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† When I was up 3‑2?¬† (Laughter.)¬† I was really focused on that point, especially when I was down a break.

Q.  Probably beginning of the third set.  Would it have distracted you guys if there had been like an announcement, Serena is out, during a changeover in your match?  Would that have been a distraction?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I did not think about that.  I'd probably be saying to myself, Focus on your play and what you're doing out there to get to the finals.
You know, it doesn't matter actually, you know, who is in the finals unless you lose.  You know, if you lose in the semi.  So it didn't matter if it's Serena or Halep if I lost that match.  So I would still, you know, have to be focusing on my play, on my game, in order to get my win.
So, you know, it wouldn't be nice to hear that during the match because, you know, maybe you can lose the focus or something.  But, you know, that wasn't the case.  That's all I can say.

Q.  You got a coaching violation.  I think you weren't too happy about.  Do you remember what was said between yourself and your brother?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, it was actually the other coach who said something.  I mean, it's part of the game, you know.  They don't even coach sometimes and, you know, I get the coaching violation.  They just even say, Come on, let's go.  If they are speaking something, that's considered as coaching sometimes.
So it's like, you know, I think I made, you know, quite enough money to pay for the fines.  It's fine.  What can I do?  (Laughter.)  If I'm winning, I will pay the fines.

Q.  Aside from fines, does this week's prize money, does that go towards the house?  What's the status of the house?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, I finished my house.  It can go with something else.

Q.  It's completely done?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  It's completely done.  I'm happy for that.  Now I can, you know, spend my money on something...

Q.  Did you get to go shopping?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  (Sighing.)  My brother was like, Yeah, you have an hour to go shopping.  I was like, A girl going shopping on a timer, it does not work.  How I am supposed to try on these dresses and all this nice stuff when I'm like putting it on and I'm like...
And then people asking for autographs and pictures in the mall.  Because, you know, half of the people are coming from the courts.  You know, they are tennis fans.
I was like, I need a whole day, basically, to really do proper shopping.  I enjoy that stuff.  I really do.  You know, I don't like being rushed.

Q.  If you win the tournament then you'll probably be more interested in a shopping day to spend all that money?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Just for me it's just relaxing just to kind of get off the courts and do something.  Just walk around and get your mind off of tennis and just think about something else and enjoy a nice time outdoors with my mom.
Because I have been traveling so, so much, and, you know, I haven't been able to spend a lot of time with my mom and my other brother.  So it's nice to kind of spend family time.  Doesn't matter if it's shopping or it's a nice lunch or dinner or, you know, anything.
So I really need that, and I love, you know, having that nice time with my family.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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