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August 27, 2007
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. How has your personal changed at all in the past year? Have you had any time to really enjoy it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I think I'm the same person. I live my life the same as I used to live. Obviously some of the things change, but I still enjoy it and I love what I do.
I'm living my dream, travelling the world. I'm trying to make the most of it.
Q. Anything you've done while you've been in New York City?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I've done so many things, you know, activities for my sponsors. I did (indiscernible) activity a couple of days ago here in New York for magazine editors. That was a lot of fun, for Reebok.
Then I had a kids clinic. I never really had time for myself maybe to do some shopping, to have fun. I had all these activities, but I really enjoy to do something like that. It was a lot of fun for me.
Q. Did you give any thought to playing mixed doubles with Jamie again here, or was that out of the question?
JELENA JANKOVIC: We might still play together, you mean?
Q. You're not playing together at this tournament. Did you think about it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, unfortunately not, and I feel very bad about this, that I had to say no, that I cannot play. But I would love to play with him again in the future. I look forward to that because I really had so much fun with him.
He's a great guy, very nice guy. I've seen him around. He came back from New Haven. We're friends, just having fun, enjoying. Unfortunately we cannot play together this year here at the US Open.
Q. Just because you want to focus on singles?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, it's been too much for me. I had a very difficult, you know, schedule, played a lot of matches. I am very tired. It's almost coming the end of the year. I'm not in the greatest shape. This is the last Grand Slam of the year, so I would like to save my energy, that little that I have left in me. I would like to focus that on the singles.
Q. Considering your success here last year, do you come into this Grand Slam feeling as confident as you ever have coming into a Grand Slam?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I have a lot of expectations. I'm very excited to be here. I would love to do well. I was semifinalist here last year, so I know how it feels to go far and do well.
Today I was really nervous, for some reason. First round of the tournament, it's always difficult. Doesn't matter if it's a Grand Slam or just a regular tournament. I was just feeling a little bit not that comfortable. I wasn't playing well, was struggling out there.
But, you know, it's always good to have some competition in the first rounds, to feel that, so you kind of wake up so you're ready for the next ones.
Q. The match started 30 minutes later than most expected. Was there a reason for that?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I received a call last night. They told me that we are starting at 11:30. I really didn't know why or what was the reason. I just said, Okay, half an hour more for me to get ready (smiling).
Q. Since last year, you've become, along with Novak and Ana, a national hero, which is something you weren't two years ago. How is that for you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's not that we were not heroes or whatever we were two years ago. I think nowadays, tennis has become very, very popular there because there's three of us. When it's one, just one tennis player, it's not the same. Then when it's three that are doing well, that are in the top, it makes a huge difference.
But tennis was never really popular in Serbia because we didn't have any good players coming from there. But now that we have, these things have changed. It's good to see something like that there. We are very proud what we have achieved.
Hopefully we can keep going and make our country proud.
Q. I understand Novak's parents might be building a tennis center or some facility.
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I'm not involved in the building of the tennis center. I think the Federation is trying to build something like that. Maybe Novak is trying to build his own private one. But I'm not really sure about that.
But I have my own foundation in Serbia to help the kids. This is what I'm doing. This is what I'm involved in.
Q. To help kids in tennis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: To help, you know, just in general, just to help sick kids, kids who don't have money, who are in need. So this is what I'm doing. I like to help. If I ever have an opportunity, this is what I'm doing.
Q. What's the name of the foundation?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's in Serbian. It's in my own name.
Q. Clearly a difference between this year and last year. What did it feel to be the first match on Arthur Ashe court, first day of the US Open?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. Oh, my God, I'm walking on Arthur Ashe. And I was just thinking what happened on that court one year ago. I was in the semifinal. You know, it was a great atmosphere.
Playing the first match, it's always great to open the tournament. I was a little bit nervous. I was excited and nervous at the same time. You know, I wanted to play. I was looking forward to compete and do my best.
Of course, today was a little bit of a bad day for me. I didn't play great. I was very nervous. But it's always good to get through matches like this, and then you can play better and better.
Q. Do you still have the ATP flip-flops that came from the player gift sack that you wore last year?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No. I think I've worn them out. Probably you cannot even see the ATP sign any more.
Q. You said you were nervous, not playing well. Did that just catch up to you in the second set?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I think my opponent was really hitting the ball and she was going for broke. All of the balls were going in. It was just so hard. The balls that she was hitting, they were really like so hard. I was very nervous.
I got tight at the end, but I managed to kind of recuperate and do my best as much as I can and finish the match. Because also I broke somehow my shoe. My shoe broke at the end of the first set. I kind of lost my concentration a bit because I was thinking, you know, what am I going to do if this shoe completely wears out? Can I play barefoot? What am I supposed to do (laughter)?
It was a little bit -- it was difficult. The trainer came out. I didn't even know if she was allowed to come if the shoe breaks because that's not a medical timeout.
She helped me. She put some glue, which she stuck my sock to the sole, so I had some other problem there. I managed to get through everything and win the match.
Q. Are you still continuing your studies?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I'm still continuing. I'm trying to do the best that I can, preparing my exams. After this tournament I will really start to pick up the pace of it because now I'm at a Grand Slam, I'm really focused to play here.
After that, I have my books with me. It's so many kilos. I have extra luggage always to pay. But I will do some of the studies as soon as I'm done here to catch up a bit.
Q. Is there any time right now during the Slam?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I read when I have time, when I'm relax, when I can learn something. When you're very tired it's not the best thing.
Q. Your major?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Two years I have many different subjects. In third year I will choose. Now I'm doing in the third year and I have many exams to do.
Q. After a couple years, what would you say is your favorite tournament on tour?
JELENA JANKOVIC: This is one of them for sure. US Open, I have great memories from here. This was my first semifinal. It's always great. The atmosphere is very electric here. It's something special to play in front of the crowd, American crowd. I really love it here.
I would say this one is maybe one of my favorites, but I also love Wimbledon. I don't know. I don't really have one. There's so many great tournaments on tour.
Q. You mentioned fatigue, not playing in the mixed doubles. Do you owe that to a sort of a natural thing for all players at this time of year, or is that because you play a fuller schedule? Do you think it has to do with the schedule you have?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I played so much this year. I never have played so many matches like I did this year. It's a little bit of a difference from a few years ago because I had consistent results, and wherever I played I always made quarterfinals, semifinals, winning tournaments.
I'm going to a tournament, losing first round, and then you have a whole week to rest and practice. Like semis, then you go to the next one, then final. So many matches under your belt not having much rest.
It has been a great experience for me so far. It's been an amazing year. But I think in the future I will play a lot less. You do maybe something like this for one year and see how it is.
I think most players, they have done something like that at the beginning and you see how everything is, but then you kind of going to change your schedule a bit and play a lot less and, of course, focus on the bigger tournaments.
Q. The big rally in Belgrade after Roland Garros. Were you asked by the government to do it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it was all organized by the government. It was their appreciation of how well we have done this year. We had a finalist and two semifinalists in a Grand Slam. It's not something that you see a lot and many times.
This was something special for us. We are, I think all of the three of us, we will never forget when we were there, when we saw all these people cheering for us, saying our names, just being there. It means a lot.
Q. Do you know how many people were there?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. Thousands of people. I really don't know.
End of FastScripts