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January 24, 2008

Jelena Jankovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How painful was it for you physically and mentally?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it was painful. I was playing throughout the first set, and actually when it was 5-3, when I was kind of coming back, that's where at some point during that game I felt really some strange pain in my back where I felt like I was so stuck.
I couldn't -- and that was the time when I felt it's over. I cannot keep going anymore. Because it's -- it's not a muscle. It's, I think, joints or these bones in there, so I'm not really -- I'm not the trainer to tell you exactly what it is, but I couldn't keep up.
I wanted to withdraw, but it was not fair, you know, for the crowd. It's a semifinal, so I played how much I could to finish the match.
And I thought that Maria played very, very well, and anyway, she deserved to win. But I couldn't really give a match.

Q. What are you going to do now with these injuries? Are you going to take time off?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I will try to recover and get my body back in shape, because I don't like having injuries. When you get one injury, it's kind of like a chain. You get so many others because your body is trying to compensate.
So I will just try to do my best and see my physios at home and try to recover.

Q. In hindsight, should you have played doubles the other night?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, no, I shouldn't even have played doubles, but Bethanie asked me to play when I was in my off-season. I didn't play for two months and then I wanted to have matches, and I didn't know how I was going to feel.
When I came here I completely forgot that I even told her that I was going to play here in Melbourne with her. I saw my name in the draw, and I was like, it was not fair to get out of the tournament. She's here to play these doubles. So I tried my best to play, and -- but it was very tough on my body, for sure.

Q. Before you leave Australia will you have another drive by a yellow Lambourghini?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't think I could put my heels anymore on it. When you have pain in your back, the worst thing is to have heels on and put a short dress, because I can't bend down, I can't do anything.
So I'm -- I don't think I will go in the Lambourghini. Maybe next time.

Q. Do you expect her to win the title?

Q. Yes.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I think she's playing really, really, really well. I was really amazed how well she played, especially in this first five games. Everything she hit, you know, each strike was amazing. Even though when she was late or whatever, but it was all going in. She didn't make a mistake. She was just on a roll.
And I was I thinking, When is she going to wake up from her dream? But then, you know, I got a few games at I was 5-3. That was the time, you know, where I needed to push a little bit more, and that was the time when I got really hurt and I couldn't do it anymore. So it was unfortunate for me.
But, anyway, she was -- she's playing great, and she will -- it will be a good match in the final. She has a big chance.

Q. It seemed like when you came back on the court after that medical timeout you had some emotion in your face. Was that from the pain or just from the situation?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I was in pain. I took so many painkillers. I was telling the doctor, he said I'm going to overdose, and I want to live. As you know, it was a sad story that Heath Ledger died and he took so many things, so I was like saying to the doctor, Please don't let me take so many. I still, I am only 22. I want to live.
But I did the best that I could. I took so many painkillers, I put the creams, you know, to relieve my pain, but it was not a muscle that was the problem. When it's a muscle you can kind of camouflage it, but when it's a bone or whatever it is in there, I couldn't do it. Unfortunate.

Q. We don't know who Maria is going to play, but can you just break down how that match might play out with either Daniela or Ana?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I really don't know, but Maria's playing really solid and she's really going for her shots and she's not making any errors. She's very -- she's in form.
But I don't know the other players. I haven't really watched much of them during much of these two weeks, and so we will see. It will be a good final, anyway.

Q. How have you been going on the way through? Have you been traveling at 70 percent, 80 percent? You obviously haven't been 100 percent since a couple of weeks ago. What percentage terms have you been battling through since the opening round?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I've been struggling throughout the whole tournament. But like I said, I had muscle problems, and so many things were hurting me. I had injuries in my glut muscle, and then it was in my quad and then it was in my back. It was all I was struggling through.
I was going through pains, but I was just taking so many things to relieve it. I kind of make myself feel better when I take these things, and I'm like, Oh, I'm fine. And then when these things wear out I'm like, Oh, my God, I have so much pain. At night I'm suffering.
Anyway, I'm so happy to reach the semifinals in this type of circumstances. When I came here, I didn't really expect myself to go far, especially not having the best preparations and having a surgery, having so many injuries. So I did quite well.

Q. How concerned are you about what the injury might do to your year?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I will see my physios. I have a great team at home in Serbia, and I hope to recover as soon as possible. Because they need to -- I feel like something is rotated in this thing, and they need to put it back in place.
Because I've been, for some reason, throughout this tournament, whenever I played for more than an hour, I started to feel pain.
So I had to always kind of -- after a set or a set and a half, I always had to take something to make it feel better. Otherwise, it's like, kind of like a chronic pain, for some reason. So I have to really treat these things and get better, otherwise I'm not enjoying the games.
I want to play without having all these things. I want to play my game and win or lose, but have fun on the court but be pain-free.

Q. Last year I think you played any tournaments than any other woman in the top 10. Will you rethink that approach?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Last year I played so much, but I didn't even have injuries. I was very well-prepared and I felt great. Didn't really -- but now, because I had -- in my off-season I was lying in bed for a month. Your body completely, I don't know how to say in English, maybe the muscles atrophy, or I don't know in English.
And then you try to get back in shape in two weeks, which is not a huge amount of time, especially before a huge beginning of the year for you. You need to get ready for a Grand Slam, so two weeks not really enough. But I did my best to get ready, the best as possible for the Grand Slam. So anyway, I made it to a semifinal in this way, and it was not a bad result for me at all.

Q. How much did the game against Serena take out of your body?
JELENA JANKOVIC: That game, that match against Serena, was a hard one, because I had to do a lot of moving. She hits the ball very hard, so you have to be really out there if you want to beat her. So it took a lot out of me.
Then I had to play doubles, where that day I played five sets. Who knows, maybe all this when you count how much I've played it took, you know, a toll on my body.
But what can I do now? Now it's over, and I cannot cry. I'm just happy to have made it to the semifinals and lost to Maria and she played great and she deserved to go in the final. She was the better one, for sure. She was in better form the whole tournament, so she's -- she deserves to be playing for the trophy on Saturday.

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