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August 19, 2007

Jelena Jankovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are very tired about this big game?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, for sure. I'm tired. It was a very exhausting game. I think both of us played very well, and there was a lot of great points. A high level of tennis, so it was great for fans to see that, and I really enjoyed it.
But unfortunately, at the end, I was a little bit, I couldn't hang in there with her, especially the game at 5-All was quite long. But, you know, she was the better one at the end for sure. And all the credit to her.

Q. How's your knee? Do you feel pain? Do you still feel sore?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I crashed it yesterday, and it was bleeding a bit. But then today I ripped the Band-aid again. So...but it was fine. It's not a big deal.

Q. I take it you were able to hear the crowd and see the Serb flags. What did you take from that with the crowd clearly cheering you on?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I really appreciate their support. It means a lot to me. And they motivate me too. Even when I'm tired, when I'm down and I cannot go anymore, they kind of lift me up and then they cheer me on to keep going and to play even better.
So I'm really thankful to all of my fans. And hopefully, you know, my fan club will grow even more, and it's always nice to play in a full stadium.

Q. At 5-All, you seemed stunned that Justine was able to get some of your shots. Were you amazed that she was able to get a few of them back there in that game?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, there was a lot of great points. Not just in that game. There were so many amazing points that we both played. She came up with great shots for sure at 5-All.
And that game lasted so long, that at the end, I had so many chances. And there is no excuse about that, but I just didn't take them.
You know, I was very tired, and needed a few steps, you know, here and there. But you know I couldn't ask for a better match. I'm right up there with her, and it was a high level of tennis. And Justine is always great for me to play against her and see where my level is at, because she's obviously the better player.
She motivates me to work harder and to keep improving on my game. My time will come. I'm young, and we'll see.

Q. What will you do now heading into the US Open, and what parts of your game do you think you have to work on for the Open?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think I improved, actually a lot since playing in L.A. If you saw my games when I was playing there, I was completely slow and was struggling with every shot. It's a huge difference coming into this tournament and playing the matches.
So I couldn't ask for a better preparation before going into the Open. And I will go right tomorrow to New York, and I will have a whole week to get ready and prepare and be ready for the US Open which is very important to me.

Q. Both you and Justine's physical game was very high. What about the mental game? Facing other opponents this week, a lot of them had short fuses. Does her stability and her ability to stay calm affect your game a lot? Do you wish to crack her sometimes?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Well, she's a player who she takes every chance that you give her. I played some great games and was really playing well, and then I would just let down and make a few mistakes and she would just take advantage of that.
And with her, you have to be right up there, because you cannot give her anything. You give her one point, she'll take -- it's like, I give her one finger, she takes my whole hand, you know (laughing).
So I mean, she's a great champion, and she pushes the standards of the game. And for me, it's great always to pair up against her and see what I can do and what I can improve. It always can make me better.
I have no excuses about this match. I played, you know, great game. And you know, here and there a few mistakes and you know, I let down a bit at the end, was tired. But I have to work hard to be physically a little bit stronger so I think I don't have to lose the matches because I get tired at the end. I lose because she makes some great winners or whatever she does.

Q. You've lost to Justine all the times that you've faced her. Is it getting to the point where she's in your head and you're thinking what do I have to do to beat her?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No. But at least, you know, if I played against her and she has a bad day, you know, then I would love it. But she always seems to play (laughing) -- she always seems to have like great days against me. She plays, I mean, amazing tennis against me. How am I supposed to win, you know?
But it's always great for me to do that. It was a great match today, and I was right up there. It was 7-6, 7-5 and I had the lead in the first set, and was quite aggressive especially in the beginning.
But it's just very tough to play consistent, you know, every game. You have to be focused and play every point at a high level 100%. And I still, you know, cannot do that yet, but I'm working on that. You know, sometimes maybe I can do it some time in the future.

Q. The question is do you think that the final result would be in your favor if you got the first set?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. It could -- anything could happen, but I cannot think like that. If I, even yesterday, if I won that set, I would have maybe more energy to play today. But you cannot think like that.
I think she played great games. At 4-1 she was playing great tennis, and I couldn't do anything. It was not my fault. I didn't give her the points. It's just that long points, great passing shots when I came to the net, or amazing points. So I couldn't do anything about it.
And I was fighting until the end, and tried my best and I lost the match. You know, there is not -- we cannot win both of us, you know, so one has to lose.

Q. Do you think tactically maybe you could have played her forehand a little bit more?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I could have, it's just -- it's just tough with all the spins that she puts to the ball. You know, she just moves you around. And I tried to move her around, so it was like playing chess kind of everywhere, all over the court. And I tried to come in to the net a lot more. But, you know, she just, I think I have her, you know, and she just comes up with a great shot.
. But I also did that to her, so it was kind of like back and forth. And you know, the better one won today. The most important period of the match in the tiebreaker, I let down. I played some loose points, you know, made some mistakes that I shouldn't have made. But she took advantage of that. She took that set.
And then at the end at 5-All, I still had so many chances and didn't execute them. So I mean, I couldn't -- if I took those chances, you know, maybe the match could go in my way, but I didn't. So it's the past, and I cannot cry over spilled milk.

Q. Were you proud of all the match points you saved?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I never give up. I was just hanging there. I thought I could come back and even it out at 6-All and maybe I have a chance in the tiebreaker, but it didn't happen. She just came up with some great shots.
But I was very tired. I don't know if I could keep going, even if I made it to the tiebreak, I don't know how much of a chance I would have, because I was really at my limit. I'm starting to kind of shake at the end. I just couldn't hold it. But I was giving it my best, and that's important.

Q. There was the one point where someone called out on a ball that was right at your feet, and you seemed a little frustrated after that point, which I believe you lost. Did any of the crowd bother you at all today? There were a number of, I think, requests from the umpire to quiet down?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, but it's -- they were a little bit when we would serve and you make a first serve mistake, and then somebody would scream like "one more." You know, I don't like that in the middle of the point when people are screaming. It can be a little bit distracting, and I think it's not fair to any of the players when you make a first serve mistake and then somebody screams one more. Make a double fault. I think that's not nice and that's not fair.
But you know, you cannot do anything about it. You cannot control how many thousands of people in the stands. But I liked the crowd. They were quite fun and it's always exciting to play. There was a lot of enthusiastic people, they love tennis, and it's great to see that.

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