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September 8, 2006

Jelena Jankovic

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Of course you're disappointed now. You came out to win. You said two days ago that you were ready to quit tennis. Are you still happy despite the loss today that you didn't quit because you played a great, great nearly two weeks here?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, but that was a time when I was playing bad when I didn't enjoy to play tennis. But now I am enjoying. I am a different player. I want to compete. Even though today I lost, I'm still happy what I did in this tournament, you know.
Obviously, I'm disappointed that I lost in the semifinal. I had the match. I thought that in the first set I was the better player way better. I was controlling all the points, was on the top of my game. She didn't know what to do. That's how I felt. I was dominating.
But then in the second set, it was 4 2 for me. I kind of had a little bit my concentration went down because of the umpire. He didn't know if the ball was in or not. Then I make the double fault on the game point. I think that was a huge point for me. I could have been up 5 2 and would have been a different story.
And then all of a sudden I felt the wind started blowing so hard when it was in the end of the second set. I had a tough time. I didn't even know where my ball were where my balls were going. I was hitting as hard as I could and it was landing like in the middle of the box. It was flying all over the place. It was difficult. The wind started blowing in the wrong time for me. I was really disappointed. I lost my concentration. I gave her that set.
And I thought that I was better, until then I was the better player. I thought that I was gonna win in two sets, but...

Q. Near the end of the second set, she began to take a lot of time between points, bending over a bit. Did you sense she was getting tired?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know what she was doing, but she was acting like she had pain in her back, and she was, like, trying to get start me thinking or something, you know. Because I was looking at her, and she was, Oh, I have pain in my back, or whatever she was doing, I don't know. That's the time when she was losing.
Then when she was winning. All of a sudden she's hitting the biggest serves ever and all that. I'm like, Now your back doesn't hurt? Actually, I was the one who couldn't even tie my shoes the other day, two days ago. I was the one who was...
No comment (laughing).

Q. Do you mind sort of explaining your feeling about what role the chair umpire should play in helping players decide whether to challenge.

Q. Could he have handled that better, in your opinion?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think he could have. I mean, because, when the ball is close, the main umpire, he doesn't say anything. He just tells me it's close. But he also has to be involved in that and make his call. If he saw the ball was out, he has to make a correction. Why does he always have to leave to the players to challenge? We have only two challenges, then it's 50/50. You cannot waste them. Then when it's big points, what are you gonna do?
So I you know, it was a tough, tough point. I had a game point and I served that shot and I made double fault just because I was telling the umpire if he saw the ball or not. Then I lost my concentration. I made the double fault. It was huge.
But what can I do? I learn from my mistakes. I am young, and, you know, I hope I will get the next time I won't do the same mistake.

Q. At that moment when you're serving, was your mind still on the argument with the umpire?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, no, no. I was still in the game. I was thinking how I needed to play. But just that little point, you know, you can't waste any chance, especially against Justine. You have to focus and play every point and give your best.
But that was a big mistake for me. I cannot do this kind of mistakes.

Q. There was another curious chair umpire decision in the ninth game of the second set.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Ninth game, when was that?

Q. It was 4 4.

Q. Yeah, she hit a ball very close to your backhand sideline. You played the ball back. It went out. Then you went over and challenged. We thought that you couldn't challenge if you played the ball that you wanted to dispute. He allowed the challenge on that.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I really wasn't thinking about that. But I think, you know, the umpire has to be involved in the game, as well. If he sees, he also has to make his call, you know. Not just leave the linespersons to make the call and make the mistakes. Then we challenge. I think that's not fair. What is then the purpose of the guy? Just to keep the score and tell us 15 All, 15 40 or...

Q. Do you think because of the instant replay, I mean, that's been one of the criticisms, that the umpires are going to sit back now and just sort of
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, that's why I'm thinking. I think it's not fair. Why the players always have to challenge? Sometimes we look stupid because just because we can't see it that well, but we know the ball is close. And so you never kind of know how far outside or maybe it's touching little bit the line because those balls are so close. So it's 50/50 chance. If we had like ten challenges, I would challenge all those calls, balls. But I have only two, so what can I do?

Q. Going into the third set, I mean, it was still tied 1 All in sets. What was your thinking at that point? Did you feel like the momentum had already shifted to Justine?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I was really disappointed in myself. I was really mad because I lost that second set. I was up 4 2 and lost my concentration with the umpire, and then with her, she was kind of saying, Oh, I have pain in my back, I can't do this and that.
And then when she started winning, she starts playing all of a sudden so good, so well, and serving big and everything changed.
I kind of let down. I lost my concentration. Wasn't the same player anymore. You know, then she beat me quite easy.

Q. Did you hear her say anything when you say, Oh, my back? Did she actually say her back hurts?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, but she was like (bending over holding her back).

Q. Do you think there was some gamesmanship?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. But I think from my point of view, I think you should play fair. And if you have pain, you have pain. But then when you if you have really pain, then you gonna have pain when you're winning, as well. But then how come when she's winning, she serves like 120 mile serve, and then when she's losing, she barely pushes it back? Just to kind of say, Oh, that's why I'm losing or something.
For me, that's not quite fair play. I'm a quite fair player. I give the credit to all the players, it's okay, I lost this match, but... (smiling).
I don't know.

Q. Do you think she was faking?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know what. I can't say if she's faking or not. Because for me, I can't judge that. That's not my job. But I think when you playing a game, you should it's my fault that I actually was looking at her. I shouldn't have even looked at her. I should just continue to play my game and just try to finish off the second set.
But then all of a sudden the wind came and I didn't know how I made some mistakes, big mistakes, like big outs. I had a lot of game points. Like at 4 All, the wind was just blowing all over the place. My balls were just flying. I couldn't control the balls.

Q. Were you mad that she held you up on your serve a couple of times?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, then also she did that. But what can I do? I don't blame her. I lost this match and it's my fault. I made those little mistakes. But I am young. I will learn from my mistakes, and this is something, a new experience for me. I couldn't ask for more. I was in the semifinals of this tournament, and I'm really grateful.

Q. What do you think will be the one or two things, when you boil it down, that you'll learn from this tournament?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, but I you know, this match especially, I have to keep my focus the whole time, you know. I lost it because I was looking at her, what she was doing. You know, the umpire and all that.
But next time I'll just try to play my game, and I wouldn't let the other things distract me, you know. 'Cause I was I thought that I was really a way better player in the first set, you know. I was in the top of my game, playing quite aggressively, hitting all the winners from all over the court. I think she didn't have a chance.
If I continued like that, I should have won in two sets.

Q. A couple points in that first set you seemed to actually surprise yourself. One where you fell backwards.

Q. Is that as good as it gets?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, of course. I was like I was really enjoying the game then. I was having fun on court. I hit some amazing shots. I even fell back when I hit that volley and all kinds of things.
But that's fun. Why not? This is a great game, and it's good to smile sometimes and hit good shots. You know, enjoy the game. That's what I was doing.

Q. You said you had to learn new things. Would you ever pick up from like what Justine did and do those kind of things?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Well, to kind of like stop the player? Kind of act, be a good actress? Maybe I could be a good actress off the court, but I think I like to play fair. If I am hurting, if I have pain, you know, like I did in the doubles. I was really in such pain, I didn't want to retire my match even though I hardly could even hit one shot. But I still finished the match, and then, you know, I didn't want to retire.
And I'm so also a big thanks to Amélie Mauresmo because she how do you say? gave me her physiotherapist. He helped me a lot. Without his help, I think I wouldn't be playing this semifinal. So I'm really thankful to her.

Q. When did that happen? What was wrong?
JELENA JANKOVIC: In my warm up, before my doubles match two days ago, I just was practicing and hit just one backhand and all of a sudden I got stuck. It was something there, and I couldn't move anymore. I thought, "This is it." It was so painful, and I couldn't even bend. I couldn't turn. Everything was I thought I was disabled; that's how I felt.
And I was really in doubt that I could actually play this semifinal, but I was lucky that I got this treatment and that I could play this match.

Q. How did that come to be? Did Amélie hear you were hurt? Did she see it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It was a friend and we heard that her physiotherapist is excellent. My mother, or I don't know who asked her, if he's able to help me. She was quite nice to offer to help, because I don't think any other player would do that.

Q. What did the physio do?
JELENA JANKOVIC: He did some treatment. I don't know how to explain this. But he helped me a lot, and he enabled he made me go on court and play without pain. So I'm really happy.

Q. After your doubles match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: After. After the doubles match. In the evening, I had the treatment, and then I had a day off yesterday and just kind of just went on court just to feel how I can how my back feels. That's it. I didn't play a match. Today I went on court.

Q. Did you have to take a shot?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I didn't have to. I was thinking that. When I had the doubles match, I was in such pain, I thought I can't play; otherwise, I need to take a cortisone shot to numb the whole back to play. Otherwise, I cannot go on court. I was lucky I got this treatment and he helped me so I could play without any shots or anything.

Q. Tomorrow when you wake up, you'll probably be thinking about two things: Number one, I got to the semifinals here.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Number two, I could have been in the finals (laughing).

Q. What are your emotions predominantly, I blew a chance to get to the final; or, two, I'm very satisfied because I won five matches?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Of course I am not satisfied. I wanted to be in the finals. Now I thought I had a quite big chance, but what can I do? This was not meant to happen. I made these mistakes. But hopefully next time I won't do the same.

Q. I may be confused, but I thought I had read or heard that you have spoken to Monica Seles lately?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Where (laughing)?

Q. Sorry. I guess I am confused.
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, no, she's writing me e mails. I haven't talked to her. I think she came here, right?

Q. Exactly. I was wondering if she was here at the tournament.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I didn't see her, but she's writing e mails and giving me all the support, telling me I played great. I don't know. But I haven't seen her here.

Q. Did you know her? Do you know her?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, of course I know her. We speak in Serbia. I'm so happy that I can work with her, she can give me some advice. She's a legend of this sport, and I'm so happy and proud to have a mentor like her.

Q. Where did you meet her?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Where, I don't remember exactly where was the first time I met her. I don't know. Maybe in some tournaments, or while she was still playing.

Q. Just so I'm clear, it was during this tournament you got some e mails from her?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, but also before I'm getting you know, whenever I am playing, she writes me, she asks me how I'm doing and how is everything. You know, we talk to each other about other things, as well.

Q. Did she e mail you before today?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, she didn't 'cause I think she's here. Maybe

Q. I saw her in the stands.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm not sure. I'm getting so many calls on my phone and I don't even know those numbers, so I don't answer back. Who knows, maybe she was one of them over there.

Q. Is it 941?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know (smiling).

Q. Now when you come out of this, are you just so hungry to get back? Now that you've had a taste of being this deep into a Grand Slam, what do you think?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Of course, you know. If I could just play again, I would play right now. I would play another semifinal against her again. I could just rest and go again. I would give her a revenge right back.

Q. What would you do differently?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, I wish I could do that, you know. Let's go play revenge like I do when I'm playing basketball games over there in the player lounge, you know.
That's just not possible, you know. I am hungry to play again and to do well in the tournaments. I think I have the game. I have the potential. I can play good tennis, and I can beat the top players like I showed here. I just hope that I will get in the top 10 soon and join those girls.

Q. What do you want to do about permanent coaching?
JELENA JANKOVIC: What do I do? What?

Q. Coaching.

Q. Yes. What do you want to do about a permanent coach?
JELENA JANKOVIC: What does that mean? I don't understand the coach.

Q. Will you get a coach that will be more or less permanent as a traveling coach?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, we are looking for a coach. My agent is looking to find a good coach for me who is gonna fit, you know, tennis wise and off court. I need to also be have a good relationship with him off court.
But it's difficult to find, because all of the good coaches, they are already taken, and maybe the ones that also are really good, maybe they have some problems they don't want to travel or they have a family. So it's difficult to find a good coach.
But I will see. We are looking, and I would love to have a coach that can help me with my game and bring me to the top.

Q. Did you have any fairness questions with her in the one time you played her before?

Q. Justine.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know really because I don't like to talk about the other players. I prefer if I can say something about the player, I prefer to say something nice. I don't want to say any negative stuff about the players.
I just want to say that she's a great player, you know. She has this ability, even though she's losing, she never gives up and she's trying. You know, it's difficult to beat her, that's what I can say.

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