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August 27, 2008

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/S. Arvidsson
6-3, 6-7, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There came a time in the third set in which you were on the ground. You were down for about 30 seconds and there was no noise at all. Were you injured at all, or were you just trying to just regain yourself?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I was just tired, and I couldn't get up. I was so exhausted at that moment. I was breathing hard, and I didn't have the energy to get up.
That was the reason I was just lying there without, you know, kind of moving. I was just trying to come back to, you know, normal position where I can just stand up and regroup again and play the next point. That was it.

Q. Was the pavement hot?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, but I thought I was going to get my dress really dirty, and then that was my biggest concern.

Q. Did you think about taking a nap?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I would have loved to, you know, take a nap on court, because I was really exhausted. But, you know, the rules are the rules. I had to keep going.

Q. You remember ever doing that before in a match, being down for 30 seconds or so?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, not really. I do the splits and fall down, but for a few seconds. I get up right away. But I never lie there for -- I don't know how long I was lying there, but that was just -- I fell down.
I don't know what I did, so I couldn't get up. That's just the way it goes, because I was really tired.

Q. Why do you think you were so tired at that point?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. You know, to be honest, you know, after I finished the match I went to jog a little bit on the treadmill. I jogged for three minutes and I cramped.
I couldn't go anymore and I couldn't -- the part where I had the tear in my meniscus after Wimbledon, I couldn't -- my leg was straight, and I couldn't bend it.
It was really -- the muscle was, like, in spasm, and I had a lot of pain. I couldn't make another step, so, you know, I was -- my fitness trainer was there. He gave me a lot of things to drink and, you know, stretching and ice, massage and all this.
I finally recovered and I could go, you know, back to the locker room and take a shower. Otherwise I was really -- it was really uncomfortable.
It's not easy to get through this kind of things, but I'm not in the best shape. For me to play three hours, it's amazing at this moment, because I haven't been training, you know, as hard as I want to. I'm now training to get that, but, you know, it takes time. It's not going to happen overnight.
So I need, still, you know, a lot of days to get better and better. I feel that I'm improving, but, you know, it's going to take, you know, some time.

Q. So you won just in time.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Whew. You know, I was lucky. I was saying to my coach, I was saying, Can you imagine if this happened during the match? I probably wouldn't have been able to finish it. Luckily, I finish before it happens. So just in time.

Q. Is there one aspect of your game that's more difficult to get back after the injury?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, it's tough. Also the confidence in my shots, and sometimes, you know, I want to go for it, but, you know, the balls don't go in, you know. I don't have the same timing. I don't have the rhythm that I would like to.
But as you play the matches, ever day you should get better and better and more confident in yourself because you get match tough. It's not the same when you're practicing. You feel the ball very well, but then you go on the court and you just -- it's a completely, a different story.
So it takes, you know, time to play those matches and to feel comfortable and gain that confidence again where you can, you know, go for your shots and really believe 100% that you're going to make it, especially in the big moments.

Q. I just spoke to Sofia Arvidsson, and she felt you showed bad sportsmanship, especially you serve. She did with this with her hand and you still served. What is your comment on that?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I didn't really see that. Maybe she lifted her arm up, but I didn't see it. You know, I was so tired, and it doesn't mean it's bad sportsmanship. I didn't see that. If I did that, if that for her is bad sportsmanship, it was not my intention.
If she lifted her arm and I really saw it... No. And also, the receiver should always follow the server. When I'm ready to serve she should be ready to receive, as well. Those are the rules.
I mean, it's the opposite, you know. If she was, for example serving and I'm stopping her, you know, breaking her rhythm, and that's what she's doing to me, you know.
It's not -- when I'm ready, when I go to the line to serve the ball, she should be ready, and that's what is happening. And she can keep doing that, and the umpire can tell her, You have to be ready when she's there to serve. Those are the rules.
I'm sorry. Maybe she lifted her arm up once and I didn't see it and I served, but I don't think that would make a big difference in the match.

Q. Is it bad blood between you? Because she was a bit annoyed also when you lie down, you know, the ball we were talking about just before.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know what is -- I have nothing, no problem with her whatsoever. You know, I go out there to play my match, and I tried my best. I don't really think about all the other, you know, factors.
If she's angry at me for going down, if she's angry because, you know, I didn't see her lifting her arm up, you know, you can keep going with all these things that happen in the match.
But all of the players, you know, do this, and we all try our best to win the match. And a win is the most important thing.

Q. What do you make of this situation where five of you have a chance to be No. 1 by winning this tournament?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's okay, you know. I achieve -- you know, I was No. 1 in the world. By doing that I achieved one huge goal in my career, in my life, and it's something amazing. I would love to come back to that position.
But in order to do that, I feel that I really need to work hard. I need to lift the level of my tennis, and to try to play a lot better. I'm trying really hard, but because I had so many injuries I had a tough time.
You know, I'm trying to get, you know, get back to form, you know, the way I want to. And so I will try my best to do that.

Q. To follow up on that, that question, I mean, obviously you want to be No. 1, but do you think in your mind it's better for tennis to have a dominant player who's No. 1?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. Nowadays, I can see so many injured girls, so many girls that are struggling and are -- especially the top players, because we play a lot and everybody wants to beat us.
You really have to be in shape. You know, you have intense matches, so it's tough on our bodies, and many of us are having some problems.
So in the moment, maybe, you know, there is a chance that, you know, a couple of girls can, you know, become No. 1.
Me and Ana, we already been there, you know. We achieved the No. 1 spot. But the other girls could be the new No. 1s, depending on how we all do in this tournament, so it's going to be a battle.

Q. Aside from injuries, is there any other reason that you think it just kind of keeps being passed from one player to another?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I'm doing fine. I just -- I have no injuries now, and I don't want to say that I don't have anything and the next day I have something. I don't want to bring bad luck.
But now it's just, you know, to get back in shape. I feel a little bit weak. I'm not as strong as I used to be. I'm not as fast as I used to be. My endurance is not there. That's why I cramped after the match.
So it all needs work. In order to improve that, you need to spend a lot of hours in the gym working out, doing all these exercises to improve your fitness, and of course that will help and transfer to my tennis game where I'm going to feel more comfortable with my body and I'm not going to break down at some, you know, certain periods of the match.

Q. Can you go for a second week?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I hope so. I try my best. It's also mental. Sometimes like today in a match, I thought that, you know, I was so tired I couldn't go anymore. But then, you know, I kept saying to myself that I was not tired, I can go, and I pushed myself.
But, you know, with your mind, I think you can achieve big things.

Q. If you look at your draw, though, this is probably your best chance ever to reach a Grand Slam final if you play to your level. Are you saying that you cannot get to the level to reach a Grand Slam final here?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I didn't say that. You know, I will go one match at a time, and I will do my best and we will see how everything goes.
Like you said, you know, I haven't really, you know, checked the draw too far. But many people said, you know, I have the best draw as I ever had in the last two or three years, because I never really had good draws, especially in the Grand Slams.
But that doesn't matter. If you're playing well, if you're doing the right things, doesn't matter if you have a good or bad draw. You're going to go a long ways. I will just go one match at a time. What happens, happens.

Q. Having a good time otherwise?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I'm always having a good time, especially off the court. I'm laughing, I'm enjoying my time. I'm just being me.

Q. Dancing?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't think I have enough energy to do some dancing. Too bad.

Q. You said you cramped on the treadmill after the match; is that correct?

Q. Is that normal for you after a lengthy match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, it's not normal. I haven't cramped for a year or two years. I have no idea when was the last time I cramped, but I guess because I played three hours.
To be honest, when I started in LA I got tired after like 40 minutes; I couldn't do it. I couldn't play anymore, so it's a big improvement. I see already that I can play longer and longer, but, you know, it's still, you know, very far to my potential.

Q. Is it customary for you to go on a treadmill after a lengthy match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You're supposed to just jog very, very -- very easy jog so that you kind of flush and get all the lactic acids from your muscles, so that you feel better. Then you stretch and then you can shower, and then you have a massage so you feel much better if you do that.
As when you just finish the match you're very tight and you're just go in and shower and you feel so stiff. But I didn't have enough, you know, power to jog, because I cramped after three minutes of jogging.

Q. And you cramped where? It was behind the meniscus?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Next to my kneecap, you know, the one I injured in Wimbledon. That was, I guess, the weakest muscle.

Q. How long would you have run if you didn't have the problem?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Ten minutes. After three hours, my work would be three hours and ten minutes.

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