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January 9, 2007

Jelena Jankovic


Q. So you're on a wonderful winning streak, aren't you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I won how many matches now, seven in a row? It's not bad, it's a good start for me for the beginning of the year. I am really happy and I am enjoying my game and having a lot of fun.

Q. Why do you think you've started so well?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I worked really hard in my off season. I really was giving it my best, and maybe this work is starting to pay off.

Q. Is there any part of your game that you feel you can still improve?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think I can improve every shot in my game. You can always get better, and nothing is perfect. I'm always working. But I think the most I need is to improve my fitness and to be a lot stronger so that I can play three-set matches without getting tired and so I can play at the same level the whole match.

Q. You were struggling a little bit physically yesterday?

Q. Did you get a good rest overnight? Did you feel better out there today?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I felt a lot better today in my match. Obviously yesterday I just arrived from Auckland, so I didn't have much time to recover, but I did my best and I won that match, and today I felt a lot better and played a lot better. I felt a lot better on the court. So it was good for me.

Q. Have you set goals for yourself for this year?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not really like ranking-wise. I just want to keep improving and I want to go forward, want to get better and better at every tournament, every match. I want to be better than myself. I am just competing against myself and want to be better tomorrow than I was today. This is my goal.

Q. You're very close to the top ten now. You must be thinking about that.
JELENA JANKOVIC: At the moment I'm 12 in the world, and I don't have many points to defend; actually until May I have almost nothing. So I have a pretty good chance to go in the top ten. But I don't want to really think about that; I just want to play my matches and enjoy.

Q. What did you think of Sam's game?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think she has one of the best serves in the women's tennis. It was so tough for me to break her, but I was -- sometimes I was lucky and I frame the ball and it goes here or something like that. But it was a tough match for me; especially Australians, she's playing here at home. But I gave it my best.

Q. You had some support in the stands, though, as well?
JELENA JANKOVIC: They were quite loud for me, as well. It was nice to have people cheering for me.

Q. In the break that you had, and you said you worked on your fitness a lot, what did you do? Did you do any kind of cross-training or --
JELENA JANKOVIC: I did so many things. I also did a lot of work in the gym and I did running on the beach, sprints, many different types of exercises to get stronger to have stamina so that I can last long without getting tired.

Q. You obviously got a very good run through the second half of last year.

Q. Were you really keen to build on that through the break so that you could go even higher?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, of course. It motivated me, and I think that I can do even better, I know, than I did in the half year last year. I just want to go forward, just do -- I don't know how to say it, but just keep improving. I don't want to stop here; I want to be better.

Q. Is there a certain player that you've always admired in the game or that you admired when you were a younger player?
JELENA JANKOVIC: When I was younger I admired Monica Seles.

Q. And what was it about Monica that you --
JELENA JANKOVIC: Just her fighting spirit and the way she played. She never gave up, and she was an aggressive player, and also a very nice person off the court.

Q. Were you in Florida during the off-season? Is that where you were training?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I was in Colombia in the hot weather. It was 35 degrees plus high humidity. I felt like I was training in a sauna (laughter). Actually if I can train in these kind of conditions, when I come here it's easy for me.

Q. So was it high altitude, as well?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not high altitude, it was sea --

Q. Sea level?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Sea level, but so hot and very good for training.

Q. Why Colombia?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Because my coach is from Spain and he was there, and I went -- first time I went to Colombia and it was a good choice for me to go there, and I'm happy that I went there because the facilities were great, the weather was really good, never rained one day the whole stay when I was there, so it was really good.

Q. So you felt it prepared you very well for the Australian summer?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, especially here in Australia I know the summer can be very hot; especially in Melbourne the heat goes quite high. So it was good that I prepared there in the hot weather because if I would practise in Serbia, it's like minus, minus 10, minus 15, not a good choice. I was there in Serbia before New Year's, and I had to practise with my winter hat with my gloves, with a jacket. It was just so cold, I didn't even feel my racket. It was just the worst (laughter). So I don't think I want to practise in Serbia in wintertime.

Q. So Colombia it is from now on?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know, but some warm places for sure.

Q. When you speak about Sam's serve, saying it's one of the best in women's tennis, would it be like in the top five of women's tennis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, maybe even one of the best. For me, it's just my opinion because I returned so many serves against Williams sisters and everything, but just that she has maybe -- the second serve is really good. She has a really good kick, which is really difficult for the girls because most of the girls have a slice and she has a really strong kick; it's almost like the men.

Q. Is it comparable to anyone on the Tour at the moment or is it up there with sort of a Serena Williams?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, like I said, it's one of the best, in the top. I don't know if I can say top three, top five, but one of the best for sure.

End of FastScripts…

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