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September 2, 2008

Jelena Jankovic


6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. First of all, just, you know, congratulations. It was a great performance tonight. Do you feel really happy about the way you played the match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm happy about winning in two sets. I feel that every day I'm better and better. I'm moving a lot better. I'm feeling my shots a lot better.
I think that is the most important thing for me right now. I'm just here to play one match at a time, and so I'm happy to be in the semifinals again.

Q. You talked about some issues with conditioning, and I know a couple of matches ago you had some leg cramps coming off...
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, in the beginning of the week. And you probably can see the difference that, you know, I was not moving as well. I was really struggling. I was, you know, getting tired quite quickly, but I have been working with the Pat Etcheberry quite a lot. Every day I feel that I'm just little by little I'm getting stronger. I'm getting firmer.
I'm not doing the exercises that make me tired. It just helps me to tone my muscles, and really, you know, we do a lot of exercises for agility, a little bit of strength. Not too much that it's going to make me tired for my match.
So it's just enough. And I feel that every day I'm seeing the difference, I'm seeing the progress, which is the most important thing.
So right now, I have two days off, which will help me to recover even more, and then do some more work and hopefully I will be ready and try my best for in semifinal.

Q. How hard is it when you come into a tournament, you know, you're in a two-week tournament, and you're not feeling 100% to actually gain strength and a sense of good conditioning?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, it's not important how you start. Of course, it's important how you start, but it's not important if you're maybe struggling in the beginning, but it's important how you end the tournament. So if every match if you're feeling you're gaining your confidence back, you're really finding your game little by little, you're feeling a lot more comfortable on the court, and I'm kind of gaining my concept of the game. I'm really getting informed little by little.
And in the beginning of the tournament, I was really not feeling that great, because I wasn't able to practice. I was injured at Olympics and throughout most of the year. So, you know, of course I couldn't expect for myself to be at the top of my game and in top shape.
But I'm willing to work hard and trying to get better every day, and I'm really happy how I'm doing, how I'm progressing, how I'm developing.
So that is, for me, very satisfying.

Q. To have the match moved over to Louis Armstrong, does that make any difference to you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I was actually happy to be playing on Louis Armstrong, because we would have to wait a long time for Federer to finish. He was in the fifth set, and they told me that they needed an hour at least to clean the court, and prepare for night session. So all these people from the day session needed to go out, and then all these people who had a ticket for night match, they need to get in.
So in order to do that, you need at least an hour, because you need to get all these 20,000 people out and put them back in.
So I would probably go and play my match around this time, and so I'm happy to -- I didn't have a problem going to Armstrong and playing my match there, and I got my job done. That is the most important thing.

Q. In the next match, you've played Elena a number of times. Sort of mixed results with Elena. She's coming in obviously very confident from her Olympic victory and has managed in straight sets, hasn't lost a set yet, actually. How tough a challenge do you think she's going to present to you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: She's a tough player. She's very solid. She moves great. It will be a tough match, for sure, but I will try my best. I have beaten her I don't know how many times, and I think I've beaten her here two years ago in the quarterfinals. So it will be another experience, and I was really -- I would love to make another step forward and reach my first final of a Grand Slam, and then play on Saturday.
So I will try really my best, and hopefully I can do it.

Q. And of course she is certainly one of the players that's made a pretty good case for reaching that No. 1 position you've held before. I've asked you this earlier in the week, but we're getting to the point where you could retain that No. 1 ranking, especially, with a victory here.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it would be nice to regain the No. 1 ranking, but I'm here to -- I'm here playing the Grand Slam, and my goal is to win a Grand Slam. That's what I'm really focusing on, and I'm here to play really one match at a time, really go out there and really try my best, try to fight until the end and just, you know, do whatever it takes to win all these matches.
So this is what I really want, and this is what I came here to do. US Open is one of my favorites. It's quite exciting to be here. I would love to do something special here.
You know, we will see what will happen on Friday and hopefully it will be my day.

Q. Only two sets tonight. Your mother wasn't as nervous as the last few matches?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I think she's always nervous. I think it's normal for a parent to be nervous, sitting in the box and watching their kid play.
I think it's always harder to be sitting there than, you know, playing itself. You don't know how the player is feeling, you don't know what is going on in the player's mind and when you're playing, you know what you're doing. But when you're sitting out there, it's quite a lot of stress.
I really understand her. I know it's quite tough. I'm happy to win in two sets, so I didn't give her a lot of trouble.

End of FastScripts

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