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January 12, 2007

Jelena Jankovic


Q. Can you just talk us through that third set? You seemed to be neck and neck for two sets and then she raised it to a four-nil. What was going through your mind?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It was unbelievable. First of all, it was an unbelievable match. I think both of us really fought really well, and it was really unbelievable final. Even though I lost, it was a good battle out there.
I am a little bit disappointed that I should have won in two sets. It's my fault. I had everything under control in my hands, and I let it slip. It was crucial that when I was up a set and 5-4, 30-15, and I had the offense and I had it made because I was so excited and I wanted to make a winner and just pushed it a little bit too long. It went out, but it was a good direction, and it should have been 40-15, and it's a big chance that I can win the whole match. But that was the key point for me.
After that I was fighting. After I lost the second set I was a little bit frustrated with myself because I was thinking, why am I even here? I should have been in the locker room already and preparing my stuff, packing my trophy and going to the hotel, and I'm still here playing and fighting really like an animal.
But this is the game. I was down Love-4 and I started fighting, tried to come back. I didn't give up, and unfortunately I couldn't do it at the end.

Q. Do you learn a lot from a match like that? Do you learn much more than you would --
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, of course. Even though I lost, it was really a great match. I played my best, and it was just a few points here and there that made the difference.
Next time I hope that they will go my way. And also, I had a lot of bad calls that really were against me, and I thought that maybe the referees were wrong, but that's just my opinion. But I was unlucky tonight. That's the main point. I wanted to be the winner really bad, and I wanted to hold the trophy, but it didn't happen.
I thought maybe she was going to be nice, as well, because she's going to retire, but she was fighting. She left her heart out there.

Q. What happened in the tiebreak? You had three double faults in the tiebreak.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I was really exhausted and a little bit angry with myself, but I just couldn't do it. She was just solid like a rock. She just didn't miss any balls. The whole match she doesn't give me any free points. I have to earn them all. I either have to hit a winner or really force her to make an error because she's not going to give me anything. She's just the kind of a player who's really solid and runs well and defends well, just really tough to play against her. But I was doing really well until the end, and then I just let it go.
It's okay, it's a good lesson for me, and I'm ready to go to Melbourne and play there as well as I'm playing now.

Q. How hard is it to -- I know it's a Grand Slam, but how hard is it to motivate yourself after you won in Auckland, you just got to the final here. You must just want a rest.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, tomorrow morning I'm already flying to Melbourne and I will have a day off just to really rest because I had so many matches. I played 10 matches in 11 days, had no rest, and I will try to have a massage tomorrow, have some treatments and try to recover my body.
Depending on when I play, if I play Monday or Tuesday, I will see what my schedule will be for the next days. But I think I will be ready, and I'm really motivated to do well in Melbourne. I'm really enjoying my game and having fun out there, and I think that I can do really well. But no pressure for me; I just want to go out on court and try to give my best.

Q. Do you expect as much support in Melbourne as what you've received here in Sydney?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know, but the fans here were really great. I think it's one of the best fans I've ever had in a tournament. There were so many of them. It was such a great atmosphere to play in. I think the fans motivated both of us to show our best tennis. It's a lot of fun. I felt like I was in a soccer match, it was so loud (laughing). It was just unbelievable.
But it's exciting. I prefer to play in a stadium full of people than to have two people watching. This is what the game is all about. It was a good show.

Q. Do you have any relatives in Australia?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, not at all, I'm just here with my mom and my sparring partner. These are all of my fans from Serbia or all over the world, and I'm glad they're on my side and supporting me. I appreciate their support.

Q. You said the other day that your confidence was very high and you didn't fear any of the top players anymore?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, not at all.

Q. Does a loss like that, when you said you felt you should have won the match, does that shake your confidence at all?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I don't think so, because really I felt like I was the better player. I had it, I should have won in two sets. It's just two points I just made the mistake -- I would feel better if she really beat me, if she was really dominating and she beats me 6-2, 6-2, okay, she was the better player, I couldn't do anything. But when I lose like this, when I had everything, it hurts a little bit more.
Anyway, it shows that I can compete with the best. I showed that I can beat the best players in the world, and hopefully I'll join them soon.

Q. My feeling is a new star in born.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know if a new star is born. Maybe I'm coming up, hopefully I'll get into top ten, maybe I'm already in the top ten. I'm playing well, and I worked really hard in my off season, and this is what it's all about. I just want to do my best and really dedicate myself to the sport and try to achieve great results and see how far I can go.
I'm young and I have so many things to improve; there is a long way to go, as well.

Q. One day No. 1?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know, maybe I can be, but it's just so tough to say. I need to work really hard and improve so many things in order to be that, but maybe there is a chance. I don't want to go too far ahead. My goal first is to go into top ten and my goal is just to keep improving, to play better and better, and the results will come.

Q. You don't need to improve that backhand, fantastic.
JELENA JANKOVIC: My backhand is what let me down today. Okay on my forehand or my serve, but my backhand? My left hand, I've got to cut it off (laughter). Bye.

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