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April 3, 2008

Jelena Jankovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling? Is there a problem with your neck or upper back or what is it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I got a little bit stiff and I had a little bit of pain during the second set, but I think I will be fine. I will get some treatment now, and then tomorrow, loosen up a little bit, and that's it.
I've been working on my serve quite a lot, and been working on the getting stronger, especially my shoulder, so it's not surprising that I'm a little bit tightening up, but that's what I have to do in order to get better, in order to get stronger.
And I'm really excited to be in the finals here for the first time. I think I played some good tennis tonight, even though it's very difficult to play, you know, at 10:00, 10:00 p.m. and be 100% and move as well as I can do at night, where I felt, you know, sometimes I can be a little bit sleepy out there and a little bit slower than usual.
But I tried to -- and especially being a little bit sick it obviously doesn't help, but I was really focused out there. I tried to hit as much as I can, you know, dictate the points. I served pretty well, especially those last two games. The serve was the main shot that helped me win the match, and I was really happy with that, with that part.
But obviously, you know, during the night, the conditions are a lot different, because the balls are fluffier and the points get a lot longer than during the day. Some of the shots you hit would normally be winners, and then at night it's not. You can still get them back. So the rallies are a lot longer. It's tougher work out there.
But I managed to do it, and I'm happy to win the match and looking forward to my final against Serena.

Q. So what are your thoughts about that matchup?
JELENA JANKOVIC: We played -- last time we played was Melbourne in the quarterfinal, which I won in two sets. It was -- I don't remember what, 6-3, 6-4, something.
I remember that I was really playing really well. That was my best match at the Australian Open, but I have to really go out there and really play aggressive tennis. It's very important to return well against her, and as well, to serve, to hold serves, because it's very difficult to break her.
And just go for my shots and it will be a good fight, hopefully good match.

Q. Did you watch her play this afternoon?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not really. You know, for some reason, in my hotel, it's no -- they don't show Fox Sports or something.

Q. No scouting then? You can't watch it at your hotel room.
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's okay. I go out there and I have to play my game, and it's not like I have never seen her play.
I've played against her many times. I've beaten her many times before, so I know how to play against her and know what to expect from her. But I also know that I really have to play good tennis in order to win, because she's a great champion and a tough opponent to beat.

Q. Are you taken by her physical appearance? There's been a lot of talk at the tournament about how fit she looks and slimmer.
JELENA JANKOVIC: How fit she looks, but I'm also, you know, getting fitter and I'm also getting stronger.
It's not just that one person is getting and doing all this work. We are all working very hard, and we are all trying to be in better shape.
I feel that I'm becoming in better shape, as well. Of course, she's way stronger than me. I cannot compare to her. There's no doubt about that. But I will go out there and try to play my best tennis. It's final of a huge tournament. It's fifth biggest tournament, Sony Ericsson, it's amazing.
So I will just try out there my best, and hopefully I can win the title.

Q. That match where you saved the five match points, does that seem like last year now?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, my God, when I think about that -- I was talking to my fitness trainer when I came out of that match. I was telling him, Can you imagine? You know, I could have been out already in the first round. I was down 5-1. People were asking me, weren't you scared at 5-1? It's a huge gap, you know, to catch.
You cannot -- it's a lot of games. And I said I was not scared at 5-1. The girl needs to win four points, which is not easy. But I was scared when I was down 6-3 in the tiebreak, because you only need one point to win, and you can be lucky and hit some good shot and the match is over.
But I managed, you know, to win that match, and I'm in the final now. So that match really helped me, because that was my hardest match in this tournament. I have been playing very well, you know, the last couple of rounds. I've been winning two sets quite easily and playing really good tennis.
That match was the most important one, the crucial one, because I was not playing well, and I found my way to get out of that match as a winner with, you know -- it was a huge struggle for me, because it's important to win matches when you're not doing well and you're not playing well.
Those are the important times to find a way to win, because when you're playing well, everything's easy.

Q. When you escape like that and almost get a second chance in the tournament because of escaping like that, does it somehow remove the pressure?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's not removing the pressure, because I didn't expect -- you know, I didn't really expect the tough match from the first round, and that's why maybe I underestimated my opponent.
I thought, you know, it won't be such a tough match for me. But I played so badly that, you know, I got into trouble, and that was the big, big problem for me, the issue.
But, you know, I don't want to think about that. I got through this match. It was a good experience. I was -- it was a good thing for my confidence to get through this match in that way, and then now playing with the way I'm playing now, it's really amazing, so I just hope to continue like that, like this.

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