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June 30, 2000

Jelena Dokic


MODERATOR: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. We have Jelena Dokic. Can I just say prior to the start that we're answering questions on tennis matters only. Can we keep questions to tennis-related matters? Who would like to start?

Q. You seemed to enjoy the match. Was it good fun playing doubles? Do you find it enjoyable?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah. You know, we started playing at the beginning of this year. All the tournaments we've played, we've done really well, getting our doubles rankings up. I think we combined very well. We've had some good wins. We've really played well in this tournament.

Q. After making such an impact last year on the tournament, how do you feel it's going this year? Have you learned from last year's experience?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I had a great tournament last year, obviously. I like playing on grass. It suits my game, I think, as well. You know, coming into this year, a year later - like I said, I really like this tournament and the surface, you know - I think I'm a better player than I was last year. Hopefully I'll do as well, and maybe even better.

Q. How do you feel about what happened yesterday?

MODERATOR: We're taking questions on tennis matters.

Q. Is your game ever affected by what happens off the court?

JELENA DOKIC: No. You know, I played very well yesterday. I think even the first match, you know, I played very well. I feel really good on the court. In singles and doubles, I think doubles also helps my singles game, as well. Like I said, we played really well today and got through.

Q. You have a lot of points to defend from doing well last year. Does that put a little extra burden on you?

JELENA DOKIC: Well, I think, if you're going to be a top player, you'll have to defend points week in, week out. That's something you've got to get used to. I'm still in the tournament and doing well. I think I can do as well as I did last year. Hopefully I'll defend those points. If I don't, you know, I've got a lot of tournaments to go until the end of the year. The last couple tournaments, I've been playing very well, had some really good results. I feel confident.

Q. How do you compare your game with this time last year?

JELENA DOKIC: I just said I think I'm a better player than I was last year, a year older. I feel really good out there at the moment. You know, I've worked a lot on my game, on everything, especially coming into the grass tournaments. I've been working a lot on the grass, getting ready.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about whether the influence of parents is good or bad for players like yourself. How do you categorize your father's influence?

JELENA DOKIC: Well, I've said this many times. I have a great relationship with my dad. Him going to tournaments with me, he's always been with me in tennis, a big influence. I like having him around. Doesn't bother me at all.

Q. Do you sometimes find his behavior a distraction to you?

MODERATOR: Can we keep it to tennis-related questions?

Q. I'm asking if she is distracted in her game by his behavior.

JELENA DOKIC: I said to you, I played really well yesterday and got through, which is the main thing for me, the most important. My dad is a big influence on me and my tennis. He knows my game more than anybody else. He knows me more than anybody else. I like having him around. He's somebody that I can work with. He's on the court always with me. We do things together.

Q. You would really miss his support then?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah. I think, you know, parents and the family is the biggest support you can have. Especially if somebody like that is involved in your game like he is. If somebody like that watches your matches, it means a lot. I think any support you can get is huge.

Q. Are you making a conscious effort to sort of recreate the support you had last year? Are you staying at the same hotel? Is there anything superstitious there? What's the reason for that?

JELENA DOKIC: I am a little bit superstitious. Like I said, I had a really good tournament here last year. I played really well here. I really liked this tournament. It's worked so far. Hopefully it will continue.

Q. Were you surprised at the large crowd around your court today?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I was actually. Even yesterday, my singles match, a lot of people around. I get a lot of support from the people outside. It feels great to have all those people support you. It was huge today. Everywhere you looked, there were people supporting us. That's something, you know, that sort of gets you up in matches, helps you a lot. I think I had a really tight first set there yesterday. They helped me through it.

Q. How do you find the spotlight? Do you find it hard to deal with? Does it come naturally? Are you embarrassed by it sometimes?

JELENA DOKIC: Well, I think it's something that every player has to deal with, especially if you're at the top. I've always liked the hype, being in the centre of everything. I don't seem to have a problem with it.

Q. Jennifer made a huge impact when she was even younger than yourself. Has she had any advice for you on how to cope when you're a teenager?

JELENA DOKIC: Like I said, we started playing at the beginning of this year. We're just concentrating on playing doubles together. I think also in our doubles game, we've come a long way, are playing very well. I think we help each other out, as well, on the court. I think we combine very well.

Q. Is she a friend?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah. I mean, I think I can say that. I think we get along very well.

Q. Patrick Rafter said a couple times this week that he's a better player the more tennis he's playing. Are you like that or do you think you might reach a stage where you'll concentrate wholly on singles?

JELENA DOKIC: Well, I think for me also it's better; the more tennis I play, the better it is. I think I'm a confidence player. Like I said, playing doubles also helps you in your singles game. Whether it's singles, doubles, or mixed, the more matches I play, the better it is for me. Whether it's, you know, doubles or mixed, it helps me a lot in my singles, as well.

Q. When do you feel more nervous, entering Centre Court on Wimbledon or coming into answer silly questions from us?

JELENA DOKIC: I think Centre Court at Wimbledon. It's great to come out on a court like that. I think it's normal to have nerves, you know, going out onto a court like that. I know I played there last year, No. 1 court, as well. You come out of the court, all those people clapping and everything. It feels great. I get rid of the nerves very quickly. I don't think I get nervous on the big occasions.

Q. Have you found over the last year that you need to become sort of mentally tougher to succeed at this level, at the senior level, as well as the skill and technique?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, definitely. I think it's one thing to work on your game; it's another to be mentally tough. I've never had that problem, especially in matches I think I've got good concentration. I think I'm mentally quite tough. But it's something that, you know, can be worked on. I don't think I have a problem with it.

Q. You haven't had a great year since you were here last year; not sort of consistent results like what was predicted. Has there been a particular thing you felt has been holding you back?

JELENA DOKIC: I think after I did really well here last year, I think people expected me to do as well as that everywhere else. It's hard to do that. I've played some matches where, you know, I lost to some very tough opponents in tough matches. You know, you've got to get past that. I also could have won those matches. Then you would have said, "She's done very well." You won't always win matches like that. You know, I've tried to learn from that. I think I've come a long way because, you know, I've tried to work on the things that didn't go well in matches. That's what I'm concentrating on. I think eventually it will work out like it has been in the last five or six months.

Q. The singles draw is looking pretty good for you at this stage. Have you looked far ahead?

JELENA DOKIC: I haven't. I know a lot of seeds have gone out in the draw, both the top half and the bottom. It's always wide open. I've just looked past the next round, I know who I play. That's the most important thing for me. If I get past that round, you know, I'll look on to the next one. You know, the draw is open, but you can't get too excited about it because every match is tough in a Grand Slam.

Q. You were a little bit upset when you lost at the French Open. Emotionally sort of, how do you feel at the moment?

JELENA DOKIC: I think it was a tough loss for me, probably the one I thought I could have got through, probably wasn't as satisfied with my game. I didn't think I played as well as I could have. Again, you've got to get past that and go on. I've played very well here this week. You know, if I continue, I'll be happy because I think I can get through. You know, you won't always have weeks where you'll play really well. I think emotionally I feel very good this week and confident.

Q. I know Tony Roche is sort of your part-time coach, but your father has coached you a lot during your younger years. What is his specific coaching role at the moment, or does he not have any, your father?

JELENA DOKIC: Like I said, he does everything pretty much. You know, he's on the court with me. You know, he knows me better than anybody else. I need somebody like that, who knows me, knows my game, can help me with it. You know, no matter who I'm working with, he's a hundred percent there on the court, looks after what I'm doing.

Q. Is he a hard taskmaster? Does he really push you to practise hard?

JELENA DOKIC: I think I push myself more than anybody else. I work hard, work on everything. I think I've been taught to do that, as well. I don't think I can go any other way but working hard. He's like that, as well. Whether it's a practise court or a match, I give 110% everywhere. I think that's just the way I am.

End of FastScripts....

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