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January 22, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Your best ever Grand Slam win?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I didn't understand the question.
Q. Is that your best ever Grand Slam win?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. It's probably is, because defeating a defending champion and a champion like Serena is something that doesn't happen every day.
I've beaten the Williams sisters a couple times. But here it is very special, because last year actually in this tournament in the fourth round I lost to her. Now, getting revenge it feels so good. I'm so happy to be in the semifinal, having no expectations, having injuries, and not really thinking that I can go far.
But I just played one match at a time, and I really don't know how I'm doing, but I'm in the semis, and it feels great.
Q. What did you like about your game?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I thought I played very well. I came out very strong, and I was going for my shots, especially my backhand down the line was working unbelievably, and that's how I hurt my opponent. I just kept hitting it, and luckily it was all going in. It was going very deep.
The only thing, my game plan was just I can do whatever, but just not give her the balls in front of her, especially when she serves. Obviously she's the best server out there, and she likes to get all the balls in front of her and really pound them.
I just tried to move her and get the balls away from her, and it worked.
Q. Congratulations. You served for the match. Did you get a little shaky in that game?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I did get shaky actually after the match. I went to her chair; I was so lost. I was like, I didn't even know where I am now. I was so shaking. Then I got to match point, and I was like hold the racquet in your hand and just try to hit it, you know, just go through the shot.
Somehow I won that point, and it was amazing.
Q. Do you think you played your best tennis ever, or do you think we can see even better?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I think it will never be perfect. You can always get better, and I played - especially one shot: My backhand was really going very well, and that was the shot that was, that hurts. That's my biggest weapon, and I hurt my opponents with this shot.
So it worked very well and I believed in myself, and I went for it when it was the important time. So I'm glad, you know, to be a winner.
Q. I bet you remember your first match here and now you're sitting here. Did you say a little prayer?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I know. When I think about this, I get goosebumps, actually. It's really scary, scary thought. If you see the match point that I saved on that first day, you wouldn't believe I could actually win that point when it started, because I kept hitting the balls like a slice.
It would go out and somehow landed on the line. Then the next shot I hit a slice and it floated and it landed on the line again. Then the next backhand went in the corner all the way on the line again.
And I was like, I don't know who was playing or what's happening out there, but it was really unbelievable. And then being in a semifinal after those matches where I survived, it doesn't get better than that.
Q. Must give you incredible motivation.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes. Especially I've been going into matches and people have been saying other girls are the favorite, Casey had a chance against me, and Razzano was the winner. All these other girls who I played had the advantage over me for some reason.
Even though I was better ranked on the paper, but they just knowing that I'm injured they think that I cannot play. But I'm like a wounded animal, but I still keep going. The most important thing is that I fight on the court, and I always give my best and I never give up.
Those are the qualities that got me through the semifinal.
Q. Did you feel as if Serena was wounded in any way? Were you surprised at how slowly she started the match, especially?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I really didn't know what was happening. I wasn't looking at her. I didn't want to think, What she's doing and get kind of caught up in that situation. I just tried to focus on myself.
Because I can also start dragging myself. I have pains here, here, and here, and then I will be walking like belly going from one side to the other returning balls. I act like I'm strong and I'm ready to play, and I just try to play my game. That's all I did.
I didn't focus on my opponent. I just focused on my game and what I have to do in order to win.
Q. How injured are you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I cannot give you all the details, because if I would begin I would never stop.
Q. Are you seriously hurt somewhere in your body?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't have big injuries, but I have pains and soreness in many places. I try to recover and try to kind of think that I'm fine. I'm just -- just in my head, I try when I go on the court, and especially when it was 3-2 I think in the second set. I felt a sharp pain in my quad, and it was like a knife went in my leg. It was really painful. It was during the game, actually, and I played a couple of points.
I thought, Oh, my God, again, another one? I'm kind of sick of all these injuries. I want to be healthy and I want to play without any pains. But, again, when I have pain I focus more.
When I don't have pains I'm kind of like, Okay, whatever. I have time. I can play three sets, no worries. Three hours on court is fine.
So now I pay more attention to myself, I have more focus, and I am doing well.
Q. All that twisting the trainer does with your leg, does that give you relief, or are you going to have to get a new leg before the tournament is over?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think I need to change my oil and my wheels. They're a little bit old.
I think I have, you know, who knows how many thousands of miles to run more. So I think I should change at least one, so we'll see.
You know, this one that's taped would be good. It would be a good idea. Don't you think so?
Q. You almost lost in the first round and you struggled through most of your rounds. How do you explain sort of your more solid performance today?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I have no idea. My goal only was when I passed the first round. You know, I went one match at a time and didn't really think about going too far, because I didn't know how my body was going to hold up.
But my goal was to somehow get into the second week, which I did. And then when you get all these matches under your belt, you kind of -- anything can happen in that time. When you play all these matches, the pressure is on, of course, and anybody can beat anybody on a certain day.
It's just a matter of who comes out stronger or who plays better, especially those important points. I just went for my shots today. I believed more in myself, and I was the better player today.
Q. Did you feel less pressure? Did you feel like the underdog?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not the underdog, because I want to win, of course. She's a defending champion, so obviously she might have felt, you know, more pressure than I did. Because I already did better than I did last year, and she wants to defend it somehow.
I just came out, and especially losing to her last year, I kind of had more motivation to give her revenge.
Q. How did you obtain such mental toughness? Were you born with it, or have you worked on it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I have no idea what it is, but I'm really proud of myself, how I'm doing and how I'm surviving all these matches and going through all these times. I'm just having a lot of fun.
Maybe today I was a little bit better. I started today smile a lot more, and I also was angry very much. You could see with all my faces on the screens and all these things that are happening.
But I'm really just enjoying it, and I'm just trying to play my game and just going for the win. So semifinal, and I'm good to go in the next round.
Q. Have the aches and pains subsided at all for you, or because you're playing they haven't had the chance to heal yet from the start of tournament today?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I know, but I've been -- I go through all this other times. They put me in an ice tub, a tub full of ice, and I freeze till death, actually, to kind of recover my muscles.
So I try to do all these type of things, and in order to recover and feel better for my matches. I put -- of course, I take painkillers. I rub the cream and all these type of things.
But I'm doing fine. I just wanted my body get stronger so that I can play without any pains. But it just shows that I'm not really in the best shape, so when you're not very well prepared and you playing these type of matches against the top players, of course you're going to get hurt and you're going to have all this -- especially this court. It's kind of tough on your body, you get so tight and so sore everywhere.
Q. It could be Justine again?
JELENA JANKOVIC: What do you mean again? This is just -- this is a new year. This is 2008, and 2007 is behind me. I don't know what the score is against her, but 2008 is a new one, and it's a new start of the year, so we begin at 0-0.
So the next one, if she wins, she has a tough one tonight, so we will see what will happen.
Q. Are you able to breathe better now that you've had the nasal surgery?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I'm breathing a lot better. I'm still a little bit swollen. It takes time to recover, but I'm breathing so much better than I used to.
Q. You said you were looking forward to your day off. Is there anything that takes your mind off tennis during those nearly 48 hours?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I wanted to go with my friends. I have a lot of friends here, and they keep telling me they want to take me on a helicopter, and they want me to drive them. I don't know how safe is that.
Actually, I did it last year in Auckland and I drove my mom and some friends in the back. They turned so pale, they were so scared. They couldn't wait until they landed. But it's so much fun. I love doing that, and I want to see Melbourne from the top. And it will be a nice experience, but I don't know if I do it now or when I end the tournament.
End of FastScripts