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July 4, 2015

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/P. Kvitova
3‑6, 7‑5, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Have you stopped smiling in the last two hours or so?  You seem pretty happy.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  In the last hour.  No, I cannot stop smiling.  I'm really, really happy.  I don't know how to explain.
But it's a really big win for me, especially playing on Centre Court against a two‑time champion, Wimbledon champion.  It's really amazing.
I was just happy to be playing and competing on grass.  Grass is not my favorite surface.  And Petra plays so well on it.  I think it's her favorite surface.  It shows by winning two Wimbledon titles.
So overall, you know, I'm glad I was able to stay strong and positive.  I was down a set and a break in the second.  I was able to just stay calm.  I just played one point at a time and held my ground and won that second set.
After that I knew, you know, I could do it.  I was fighting.  I was very brave at the end.  You know, here I am.  Unbelievable (smiling).

Q.  Tactically, did you make adjustments the middle of the second set to turn things around?  Petra was at a bit of a loss to explain what happened out there.  Game‑wise, how did you do it?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, you know, I think she was the better player, especially in the first set.  Mid second set she was hitting the ball very solid, very hard, very deep.  There was not a lot of long rallies.
You know, I had a hard time kind of, you know, just staying in the point.  It was happening too fast.  There was not a lot of rhythm.  She was the better one.
You know, I lost two breaks.  They were really bad mistakes from my side.  They were loose games from, you know, my service games, those two that I lost in the first set and in the second.
I had a hard time, you know, breaking her back.  I could not do it until late in that second set.  Once I broke and leveled to 4‑All, I kind of, you know, got my momentum.
I change a little bit.  As the match was going on, I was starting to feel better and better.  I was moving better.  I was, you know, timing my ball a lot better and hitting the ball deeper.
I tried to not give her a lot of angles.  I served very well, as well, which helped a lot.  I was holding my serves.  I was waiting, as well, for my chances to strike and to kind of attack as much as I could when I was returning.
It was a matter of who was going to hold longer, who was going to play the points.  Especially in that third set, you just have to stay focused and play one point at a time.  You know, I was a little bit better at the end.  I was a little bit lucky as well.  So I'm very happy.

Q.  Grass is not your favorite surface, it's hers.  You're down a set and a break.  Having all these things against you, does it bring something out in you?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, it's nothing against me.  I think, as well, maybe one of the reasons I made myself think that grass, I cannot play on grass, because the last couple of years I've not done well here.  One of the reasons is because I never played, you know, a warmup tournament before.
So I would just come from French Open.  I would come here and wouldn't know what I'm doing on grass.  It's happening so fast.  The points are going so fast.  Before I know it, I'm out of the court (laughter).
So this year I decided, you know, to make it a little bit different.  So I played two warmup tournaments.  I played 's‑Hertogenbosch semifinals, then I played in Birmingham, which I won in the past, many years ago.
I think it helped.  You know, it helped a lot to feel more comfortable on grass, to adapt to the surface.  As well, I just wanted to give myself a chance to make something, to do something, at least better than in the previous years.
Here I am in the fourth round, in the second week of Wimbledon.  I just beat a defending champion.  I mean, it's unbelievable.  You know, I don't think I can ask for more.  I hope to keep going.

Q.  The stats before this match had Keys, Vandeweghe, all these top servers.  You were right next to them.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Is that for real (laughter)?  Someone told me.  I'm like, when I step to that line to serve, I just focus on hitting my spots, holding my serve.  I never think about those aces.
But I'm right up there.  It's unbelievable.  Maybe my serve is not as fast as some of those big girls.  But if I'm hitting my spots, it's quite effective.  Today as well, once my serve was working, especially that first serve, I was holding my games quite easily, you know.  I think it was, as well, hard for Petra to attack and get some returns on it.
I think that stroke has improved.  I think it can always get better.  But, you know, I'm on the right track.

Q.  We remember you from way back.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  My serve was so bad, yeah (laughter).

Q.  It was not your best shot, but...
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I remember (smiling).

Q.  Was there a point where you thought that you wanted it to become a weapon?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, back in the years, my serve was really, really‑‑ I don't know how many years ago, but now I laugh when I see myself doing those serves.
I think we are all improving.  You know, you can always get better.  Nothing will ever be perfect.  I always strive to add new things to my game.  As I'm getting older, I'm a lot more experienced, a lot wiser, so I can use that to my advantage.
I think, as well, with hard work, anything is possible.  I was a little bit unfortunate this year, where I had a lot of injuries and I could never get that continuity with my work.  I'd would start and I'd start playing well, then one month out, then again.
Now this year has been the first time that I was able to play three tournaments and be fine.  So I'm happy.  I'm very happy, guys (laughter).

Q.  You mentioned getting older, problems with consistency, partly because of injuries this season.  You've been No.1 in the world, made it to a final at a Grand Slam tournament.  Was there any point where you wondered whether you could get back to those levels?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, yeah.  I think I always believe in myself, no matter what.  Like I said, if I'm healthy, if I can put that work in on a daily basis and work hard, improve.
You know, to be honest, right now I'm not at the level I want to be at.  First of all, physically I have to get a lot stronger a lot faster.  As I said before, getting injured, not being able to go to the gym, to spend some time on the practice court.  I will need some time to get to the form, to the level I want to be at, and where I can be.  That's what will satisfy my, you know, needs and wishes.
So we'll see.  I always think I can do it.  I'm not old.  I'm still young at heart.  I look pretty good, so why not (laughter)?  I mean, give me a break, guys.  What's old?

Q.  Are days like this the reason that you are still playing and are still determined to get back to where you were?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yes, I'm very determined.  Like I said, I want to get, you know, to where I think I belong.  I've done it in the past.  I've been many years in the top 10, I've been No.1 in the world, I've played against all these players.
Like I said, just if I'm able to work hard and believe in myself, hopefully my time will come again.

Q.  You have Radwanska next.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Actually, I didn't know who I was playing.  Today was quite a big task.  I don't think a lot of people believed I could win, and I did.  So I think that's why I'm here, yeah.  So unbelievable.

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