March 25, 2003
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Not a good result tonight, but you won three straight matches at this tournament, which you haven't done for some time. So are you making progress?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, overall, I'm happy with this week. I had a tough start to the year and it always takes me a few matches to get going. So I was happy to get three in a row. I haven't had that in six months. So in that regards, I'm happy. I think I played my best tennis that I played the last six months, so yeah...
Q. How is it working out?
JELENA DOKIC: It's good. We're working on some things. I think it's getting a little bit better. Yeah, I think I haven't made that transition yet to -- I don't think my game is where I want it to be still. But we're working on things.
Q. Are you aware of when these things started going downhill, that you couldn't change anything, could you?
JELENA DOKIC: No, I hit the ball very well for the first half an hour. She got everything back. So, I mean, overall, the way that I played first half an hour, I cannot be unhappy with myself. But she just played, you know, she just got everything back and was better. After that, was hard to keep up. But overall, if I look at the first set, I think it was, you know, very close. I had chances, I missed some. But I couldn't have hit the ball any better than what I did.
Q. Jelena, she played really spectacular defense tonight, retrieving balls in the corner. Did it ultimately frustrate you, you made some bad errors off of some of the retrievers she made?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I think it's difficult to play against someone that attacks and retrieves that many balls at the same time. I think, eventually, it makes you miss a little bit more because she gets so many back. But, again, that's why I said I don't think I hit the ball bad. I think I hit the ball fine. It was just a matter of finishing the points and just not get frustrated with her getting everything back.
Q. Could you rate your fitness level right now?
JELENA DOKIC: It's not there yet. I think it's pretty good. I think it's better than it's ever been. But I could still get stronger a little bit and just fitter, overall.
Q. Where will you play next?
JELENA DOKIC: Sarasota.
Q. Are you having still home in the area of Tampa?
JELENA DOKIC: I do, yes.
Q. When you speak with your coach about progress, how do you see it growing? What time should you pick, one month, two months? Does he have an any opinion on that?
JELENA DOKIC: No, I think we're working on my game right now. I just started working with him. I don't think I have a peaking time or when I want things to happen. I think things will happen when they happen, when things start to improve in matches. Overall, I think I made a big difference from the beginning of the year to now. Hopefully, I can continue. I think I still have a lot of things that can improve. I don't expect to see anything huge still for another three months at least.
Q. It seemed from the outside, maybe you see it differently, after the sixth game in the first set, that was a game that made a decision, enough to doubt -- almost all your balls were...
JELENA DOKIC: She played good. What can I say? I hit the ball fine. That was no problem. Again, she got a lot of balls back and she hit winners. She didn't make errors at all, hardly. So it's difficult to play against someone that does that. You know, I'm disappointed with the result, but I think overall, she just played solid. So I cannot say that I beat myself too much.
Q. This sets up a rematch between Serena and Kim, the Australian Open, which was a wonderful match. Kim came so close to winning it. Do you see her as strong enough to beat Serena Williams?
JELENA DOKIC: I think she's -- you know, she's gotten very close. She has beaten Serena, so you always have to give her a chance now. I think it would just be who's better on the day. Serena's played very well since the Australian Open, so it just depends who plays better and how the conditions are.
Q. Do you see a confidence in Kim's eyes that tell you anything about her mental strength right now?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I think she's improved everything. I think she's also -- she's raised the bar a little bit also from the other players. I think fitness-wise also. She's, you know, she's been playing very well and she's very confident right now and you can see that.
Q. When did you last time play Meghann Shaughnessy?
JELENA DOKIC: Scottsdale.
Q. That's not that long ago.
JELENA DOKIC: No.
Q. Do you think that Venus might have been run down a little, or they're catching up with her, with them?
JELENA DOKIC: No, I think Venus has gone down. I think the fact that maybe she hasn't won a Grand Slam and that Serena's dominating, I think we can see a little bit of a lapse in her game. I don't think she's as solid as she was before. But, you know, she's still done I think well this year, and I think, though, I don't think she's where she was, I think, maybe a year ago.
Q. Do you watch a little bit of matches?
JELENA DOKIC: No, no.
Q. What do you think of the courts at Sarasota?
JELENA DOKIC: They were fine last year. I don't know, I mean, clay's clay, I think. So I think it was okay. I think it was -- I had no problem. I was always on center court, so they made that -- I think it was pretty good.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.