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June 29, 2007

Jelena Jankovic


Q. That was a real fight, wasn't it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It was a big battle out there. At some point I was thinking, my God, is there any way out? I thought that my opponent played really well. She has nothing to lose, so she was just swinging at the ball, and she's making some unbelievable shots.
I was generally not feeling that well. I was feeling heavy in my legs and not really moving well, which makes a huge difference, because I was late on half of the shots, and I give her -- if you are late half a step, then you give her the chance to play her points and play her game.
But I managed to win the second set somehow. I was fighting. I was staying strong, and that was the difference. Even though I was not on the top of my game, I still found a way, and I'm happy to get through.

Q. Who was up in the coaches' box that you were gesturing to?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I was just getting frustrated with myself mainly. I was really not talking to anybody. I was just with myself. I don't know, I'm angry why I'm playing and not feeling the ball that great. It's windy and so many things going in my head, and I was frustrated.
The most important thing is that I was just -- I wanted to win. I never gave up. You know, winning that second set 7-6 gave me confidence when I came back in the third, and then in the third I was solid and won it quite easy, was very focused.

Q. Your mother was upset, but not about the tennis, about all the requests for tickets. She said she's going crazy, all these people asking.
JELENA JANKOVIC: She said she didn't even watch my third set. I said, where is she, she's not in my box. She probably got lost somewhere giving tickets to people. People think that we have like 100 tickets, and we have just a certain amount. She's just trying to help everyone, and she's really -- her head was -- she was all over the place.

Q. Why were you fighting it so hard to concentrate out there?
JELENA JANKOVIC: (Sighing) When you play a player like Safarova, she's quite dangerous, and it's very difficult. You come out, and she just doesn't have anything to lose. I'm the favorite, and I'm supposed to win, and she just came out and she was just swinging at the ball. You know, she was lucky a few times, my break point, hitting a let, and then I make a bad error, and when it all adds up, I lose my -- she got the break.
All of the things that ended up happening, I was really, really mad with myself, why is this happening, why am I not doing the right things? I'm really thinking, what should I do in order to win this match? And then luckily I won that -- but I think in general if I would have won the first set it would make a huge difference overall, but I was up 3-1 in the first and then lost unluckily that break which made her come back, and then she has the momentum, she has the confidence, and she's the one -- when you have one set under your belt, it's a big difference than when you're fighting to win the second and then have to play the third. Well, now it's finished and now I'm in the fourth round, so that's in the past now.

Q. Can you talk about all the challenges in that match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I was glad -- in the third set especially I think I was right on all of them, which was --

Q. Do you know how many you made?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I really don't know, but maybe about three or four, and it was big points, very important, like 15-30 and whatever it is. But they were huge, and I made the right choice and got them all and was glad about that, was very pleased.

Q. It's a golden age for Serbian tennis at the moment, so obviously at the French Open you had three semifinalists and the Serbs are filtering towards the top again here. What is the characteristic of national pride that makes Serbian tennis so strong at the moment?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know, but we are here to do our job, and we are very hungry to do well. That's all we care about. We care about winning and being the best that we can be.
As a nation we're not satisfied with being second or third. We want to be the first, and that's how we are and that's how I am. I'm just going after my goal and just trying to play the best that I can.

Q. Have you found any empty swimming pools to practice in around here?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I am not really into the swimming pools and everything. I don't know why -- Ana brought this up, and it's nothing to be to proud of, at least from my point of view, because these are the facilities that we have in Serbia when you have to practice there. But I wouldn't be proud to say I'm practicing in a swimming pool. It's just sad that Serbia has such facilities like that and that we don't have many different surfaces and big clubs there so we can practice and big gyms and everything. So we don't have that.
Now we are over that; no more swimming pools, now we're on Wimbledon playing on beautiful courts, on grass courts, and I'm just enjoying the tournament. I'm not really thinking what happened ten years ago when I was really small and had only one racquet in my bag. (Laughing) it's a complete different story, totally in the past.

Q. Are conditions now better for youngsters?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, actually not. Little by little, hopefully it will change, and they're working on building a tennis center, which would be a big help for the younger generation to develop their games so they don't have to go outside the country and practice somewhere else. I would love to see a big change there.

Q. Just before you served at 5-6 in the first set today, you had a conversation with Kim Craven, and I was wondering what you all were talking about.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Who is Kim Craven?

Q. The umpire.
JELENA JANKOVIC: 5-6, when was that?

Q. The first set. It was kind of an extended conversation.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I really don't know.

Q. Let me ask you one other thing. You were 50/50 in challenges on Hawk Eye. The first three you were wrong supposedly and the other three you were right.
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, but in the second set at the end, I was just -- you know, you're at the end of the set and you're almost losing, so why not? If it's a close ball, why not? I feel better if I use it.

Q. I understand that, but that's not my question.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm quite positive that I'm wrong, but at least just to use it.

Q. But my question is do you think Hawk Eye is accurate?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know, I hope so it's accurate, because it would be very -- wouldn't be the best thing if the Hawk Eye is also a mistake, and it's not really what we want. All I know is in the third set I was right all the time, which made a big difference. I was really pleased.

Q. Have there ever been times when you thought you were right and Hawk Eye said you were wrong?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I thought a few times when she hit the ball out and when I stopped the ball and I was almost 100 percent sure that the ball was out. And then a little bit touching or some kind of -- I don't know what it is there. When they show it, it's just, like -- barely there.

Q. The fact is you didn't play your best today and yet you still won. That's got to give you confidence for the fourth round.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, when you're almost at the edge, you're almost -- you're thinking in your head, oh, my God, I'm going home, I'm going to pack my bags and I'm leaving. And then all of a sudden I win this set and I was fighting very hard to be there and hanging there, even though nothing was really going my way. But I found my way and found, you know, the way out, and I'm really lucky to get through this round, and I had such a tough opponent, which was not so easy for me. It made it a very, very difficult match.

Q. Had you ever played her before?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I played her before I think last year in LA and I beat her in two sets. But she's this kind of player, she's quite dangerous because on certain days she can come out really strong and play unbelievable tennis. But that on other days she makes a lot of errors and is not really playing that well. And today she probably had nothing to lose, so she was just quite loose swinging at the ball and just going for her shots. She's not quite consistent. I think that's what she's missing because otherwise she would be -- the way she's playing, she would be in the top ten if she played like this every day.

Q. Do you think the rain break helped you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it did. It did help me a lot, actually. I had some treatment on my leg. I was quite sore and stiff, and also I had a problem with my feet, with my blisters and everything. So I came there, I came out, and the trainers did a great job helping me get taped up again and getting me loosened up. So it was a big help.
And I came out more fresh than I was if I continued to play without rest, and I got some advice from my coach and came out quite solid and finished the job quite nicely at the end.

Q. Are you playing doubles again this afternoon?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm playing mixed doubles with Jamie Murray, and I heard the press was -- it was the funniest thing that I've heard lately, was that somebody said that on BBC they heard that I have a sweet spot for Jamie Murray, and I said, where did they get that from? If I don't really know the guy, how can I like him or how can I have a -- and just to confirm that, it's not true (laughter).

Q. So did he ask you to play?
JELENA JANKOVIC: He asked me to play. Actually his agent said I was first on his list to play, and I don't know, maybe he has a soft -- (laughter) -- I don't really want to get involved with that. All I care is we're playing mixed doubles and that's it, which I don't play so often. It's not my thing. I'm not a good doubles player. I don't think I'm going to be useful for him. He made a bad choice, I think.

Q. Back to the singles, you haven't been past the fourth round before. You're playing it looks like Marion Bartoli. She played Shahar Peer.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I played her at the French Open and beat her quite easily, but I think she has had some great results on grass, which I followed, and we'll see. But I think I know how to play against her, and I think I have a good game for her. So we will see. I'm looking forward to playing the fourth round, and hopefully I can make it further here.

Q. You mentioned your mom left during the third set. Who was up there?
JELENA JANKOVIC: My agents were there, still supporting me, and my sparring partner. The coach was somewhere in there moving around. He was quite nervous. I don't know who was there.

Q. Your father?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, my father was not there. I really don't know. It was a complete mess. You know, everybody was all over the place. They were quite nervous. They're thinking, my God, what is Jelena doing on this court. We can't handle it.

Q. Your mother was answering her cell phone in the press box. She had gotten a little lost and she went up to the press box area and her cell phone that you gave her was ringing, and she was all confused.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I understand. I'm going to call her and I'm going to see her after this and say, "Where were you? You were not in my box. What's that supposed to mean?" Probably she got lost in the labyrinth downstairs that we have. It's a huge walk. You have to walk like for ten minutes in order to come to the court, and her orientation is not the best (laughter). Even if she's walking like 100 times to the same spot, she'll still get lost (laughter). She will tell you the same, so it's not that I'm talking behind her back. She knows it well.

Q. Is your father not your coach anymore?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, my father is not here. My father is -- probably he watched me on TV, and maybe he didn't even watch because I don't think it was good to watch.

Q. He had coached you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: When I was younger, but no, not anymore.

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