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August 23, 2008

Jelena Jankovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Give us a health and fitness update. How are you feeling this week?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm feeling all right. I don't have -- at the moment, you know, to knock on wood, I don't have anything, any problems, any injuries. I'm trying to get back in shape, so I'm trying to train very hard and doing my best, you know, to get as fit as possible for the tournament.

Q. Did you come directly from Beijing?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I went to see my doctors at home in Serbia. There was a problem with my calf in Beijing, and I was taking injections to play that tournament because I couldn't do it.
Now I'm finally -- I got over that injury so I'm fine, but takes time for me now to get stronger again and fit.

Q. How is it being in New York the last Grand Slam?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's great. I love New York. It's one of my favorite Grand Slams. You know, the atmosphere here is great and has so much energy, so I really look forward to playing this tournament. I will try my best.

Q. Considering the summer that you've had, I mean, how do you feel coming in about your own game, your chances here to compete?
JELENA JANKOVIC: So far I had a tough year with injuries, so many injuries, and I was also sick in the middle of the year.
So I've been, you know, struggling, because when you have this kind of problems it's tough to train 100%. I finally decided to train, and I have some other problem where I have to rest one week or two weeks, so I lose.
It's amazing how quickly you get out of shape, and then it takes you again a lot of time to get back there. And when you start by having one injury, you know, your whole body is compensating and you start having pains in places where I'm not used to.
So it's been tough, but hopefully, you know, that's the past, and hopefully I can start playing without having any problems and just enjoy my tennis.

Q. Was competing, having to, being in Beijing, was that a particularly tough thing to deal with and then to come right from there to here? Was that very trying?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I played Olympics, special feeling to represent your country. I really tried my best, and like I said, I was taking the injections so I don't feel the pain when I was going on, you know, to play my matches. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to go on court and play.
But now I'm finally, you know, I don't have that problem anymore. It's finished, and now it's just a matter of, you know, getting, you know, firm again, you know, getting all these muscles back and feeling like I used to feel before when I was fit and ready to play.
At the moment, I'm still working very hard, and some of the things don't happen overnight. I need time, you know, to train. You cannot get your endurance and your strength back in a few days. So I will try to keep working hard and we will see how everything goes.

Q. Compared to the other Grand Slam tournaments, each one has such a unique feel to it, very different from the other. What are your thoughts on this particular one?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's quite special. Especially playing here at night, it has a very unique atmosphere and energy. I remember playing last year here against Venus. It was a night match, and we had standing ovation when it was 6-All in the third. Just those moments are quite unique, whereas some of the other Grand Slams you don't have night matches.
The atmosphere is completely different. So I really enjoy everything here, and I really, you know, I love the fans. They get so into it and they're quite enthusiastic, so it's a lot of fun.

Q. You said you went to Serbia before you came?

Q. How is it with you, Ana, and Novak having such great years? What is it like every time you go back home?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Every time we go back home, people really appreciate our results, really support us all the way, and they wake up in the morning to watch us play whenever we're playing. People are always up to date and seeing how we're doing.
Because tennis nowadays, believe it or not, is the most popular sport in Serbia. Before that that was never the case, because we didn't have any players and we didn't have a tradition in tennis.
Now that we have three top three, 1, 2, 3 in the world, it's really amazing. A lot of the young kids are playing, a lot of people are so interested in tennis, and it's a great thing for our country.

Q. Do you guys talk about that when you're in the locker room or...
JELENA JANKOVIC: We got used to that. We try to do our job. We try to -- especially when I go back home, I want to be just a normal person. I want to see my family. I want to see my friends. I don't really like to be in the spotlight and all this, do all these crazy things.

Q. Some athletes when they achieve that kind of success in their country can't go home. It's too hard to go home because they are so mobbed and there is so much expected of them. Do you ever feel that way?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, because I try to keep low maintenance. I really don't go to places where I will be seen. I just go there to really rest and recover from, you know, the traveling and from the tournaments.
I go to see my family, and I hang out there and with my friends, as well. When I go out, I don't really -- you know, when you get in the room and you're like, Oh, here I am. I'm here. So of course people will come up to you and they want to, you know, take a picture with you or have an autograph or just say something to you, Congratulations, you're doing well, we're so proud of you.
I don't really -- it's normal. I'm kind of used to it, and I don't feel, you know, that pressure from the people. If I go out somewhere, it's fine. That's the way it has to be. That's the price you have to pay for doing well, for being successful.

Q. How big of an issue is jet lag? Are you still dealing with it now?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, my gosh. After Beijing I went to Serbia, so it's six hours less than in China, and then six hours, another six hours less here, so I've been waking up at 6:00 in the morning every morning here.
By the time it's like 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening, I'm already -- I can't keep my eyes open, so I'm having a hard time. I'm trying to adjust, especially -- you know, maybe I will play some of the night matches here, and it's very important for me to be ready for that.

Q. Are you worried about it at all come next week? Do you think you'll be adjusted?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I hope so, you know. Already I arrived here few days ago, so every day I'm getting better and better. But I'm waking up so early which, you know, it's like a clock. I'm so adjusted to a certain, you know, time, and I don't even need an alarm. I just wake up. It's really annoying. I want to sleep longer, but it's not the case at the moment.

Q. How much pressure do you feel to try to become No. 1?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't understand.

Q. How much pressure do you feel trying to become No. 1?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I already did. (Laughter)
Q. Right, right, but to regain that, and also, do you feel pressure from some of the younger players who are coming up, any specific players that you find that are sort of dangerous that are doing well now?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Pressure for -- I mean, I achieved, I arrived in No. 1 spot last week, so it was a big goal of mine, and not many players have achieved that. And any player to have reached that spot, I'm really proud I joined this selection of great champions.
I don't really feel any pressure, you know. Like I said, I had a tough year and I've been struggling quite a lot. I'm trying to improve my tennis to start training again very hard, because without the training, it's tough to expect results.
Going through injuries, I haven't been able to train the way I wanted, so I hope that I can do it, and now from now on and for the rest of the year.

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