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September 7, 2008

Jelena Jankovic


S. WILLIAMS/J. Jankovic
6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In spite of the loss, this must be an improvement in your Grand Slam resume.

Q. This is definitely an improvement in your Grand Slam...
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I had a great two weeks. I really fought hard out there every match, and tonight I really gave everything I had, you know, on this certain day.
Serena was a little bit better on the important points. I had my chances the first set, and the second set, as well, and I just, you know, some unlucky points. I should have won them, but I didn't. You know, I let my opportunities slip away.
But overall, I was -- I'm happy that I made it to the finals, especially that I struggled a lot this year. I had a lot of injuries and all these problems, and I really worked hard to be here on this stage.
For me, you know, I'm proud of that, and it will give me hopefully a lot more motivation to continue to work hard. Hopefully I can be healthy and work on my game and become even a better player.

Q. Could you feel that she was a little tired in the second set?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I felt her -- she was tired and I really had my chances. I really, you know, was a little bit upset about the umpire, you know, not -- she took quite a lot of time in between the points, and I thought it was not fair.
Because when I played against, you know, against Dementieva and I just went to take the towel, I received a towel, a time violation.
So I think it should be for all the players. If she goes and takes more than 15 seconds - and not once - many times. She took her time to recover and get back herself together.
You know, but maybe it wouldn't make a difference, maybe it would. But you can, you know, talk all day about this. I lost; she won. That's, of course, what counts.
I let it go. I had it. I had, you know, a lot, lot of chances. Second set I had a lot of set points and I didn't do the right things. You know, I let her come back into that set and win it in two.

Q. Since you have never gotten to this point before, what about this tournament and about this final in particular and you learned from for the next time?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's a great learning experience for me. This tournament is great. It's one of my favorite Grand Slams, and I really love the atmosphere here. I really enjoy the whole, you know, the crowd, the people, you know, the city. It has so much energy, and it suits my personality quite well.
I really had fun the whole two weeks, and I really gave my best throughout the whole tournament. Tonight was also special, you know. It was my first final of a Grand Slam, but I didn't look at it that way.
I really went out there like it's just another final of a tournament, and I really tried to play my best tennis. You know, we had great points. It was some entertaining tennis out there, but she was, you know, the better one tonight.
So hopefully, you know, next time that I can do better.

Q. Serena says she's playing more consistently now because she's playing more. Do you see that? Is it harder to catch her on a bad night now than it used to be?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I thought, you know, before she played -- you know, because I played her quite a few times. This year we were 1-1 before this match. In Miami I thought she was hitting a lot harder the ball, and a lot -- she had more power.
And now she's a little bit more consistent, and she, you know, she's not making as many errors as she used to.
But I felt that, you know, I had her, you know. I had her, because she was really tired at the end of the second set. You know, I'm really disappointed that I didn't use those chances, because who knows what would have happened if I would have got into the third set?
I would probably have the upper hand, but who knows? You know, if -- what if that happened, you know, you can talk all day, all night. It's too late now. I didn't do the right things and I lost, and that's all I can do.
I can just be positive and learn from -- analyze what I've done wrong and go from there.

Q. Do you feel if you had slam-final experience in the past the result could have been different?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't think, you know, it would have been different. It was not -- that didn't make, you know, a difference at all, you know. I didn't look at it -- like I said, I didn't look at it was a Grand Slam final.
I believe that I will be playing many more finals in the future, so it's not that it's like my last final of my career. I'm only 23 years old, so my time will come. I just went out there to enjoy my tennis and to really go out there and try to play my best. That's all I cared about.
I didn't think about, Oh, my God, it's my first final, whatever. I need to be nervous; I need to be scared to be there. I just went out there and I really enjoyed the whole experience. Unfortunately I didn't win, but, you know, I still have to take the positives out of this tournament.
I have done a great job to even be in the final despite having, you know, so many bad things, so many injuries and so many problems. You know, being here, it's a great achievement for me.

Q. On what you just said, physically it's been a very tough year for you. How are you feeling now?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I feel great, you know. Believe it or not. I feel that I have been improving since the beginning of the tournament. I was really working hard with my coach and my fitness coach, and they really have done a great job with me, because otherwise I wouldn't be here tonight.
Because I was really out of shape. I was really not confident with myself, with my body, and I was really weak. I felt that, especially in the Olympics and the tournament before. I had no endurance, I had no strength, I couldn't hold my ground, and it was very hard for me to compete at this level.
I felt that, you know, all of these girls were much powerful than me, that they had all this power, they were faster, they had, you know, everything better.
And since I started working -- because I didn't have injuries, you know, I'm now at the moment healthy. So I've been working every, every day to try to improve some of the segments, you know, in my tennis and in my fitness, which is all this hard work is paying off.
That's why I probably came quite far. I made it to the finals of a slam, so for me, I'm really proud of that. Hopefully, you know, I can continue to work and, you know, I have a lot of room to improve, a lot of room for improvement, to get better.
I haven't still reached my limits. So this is the good thing.

Q. Okay. Out there on court you're sighing, you're smiling, you're laughing. You said that your personality suites this tournament. What's the one thing in your personality that clicks with this tournament?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know what? You know, I got the trophy here, and you know what I was thinking? Because you guys or the commentators said all about this drama and all this, I thought, you know, I should have gotten an Oscar for all this drama throughout the week. Despite, you know, getting a trophy, I should have gotten, you know, a trophy for the acting, for my drama.
I think I've done a great job.

Q. Maybe best supporting actress?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Best -- no, the leading role, you know. The best one. (laughter.) I enjoy the crowd and I have fun.

Q. Since '95, the US Open final never went to the third set, and today you were, very close.

Q. You went very, very close to it. Four set points; the fourth was a double fault. The double fault was the point that you missed when you were close to 6-All and the tiebreaker. Why that happens? Tension?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. It was not really tension. We had some low points, and, you know, I got tired. I don't know. I didn't use enough of my legs or I didn't accelerate enough with my arms. I made all these double faults, especially at the wrong times when I should have, you know, made those balls and started the point.
You know, I gave her a lot of gifts when it was crucial. But, you know, what can I do? You know, these things happen, and I'm disappointed, of course, about that, but there's nothing I can do now. I had a lot of chances, so many set points, so many things to win that second set and go into a third.
I let my opportunities go away. I was really frustrated out there, but... Now I can -- I cannot do anything. I cannot turn back the time. I wish I could, but it's too late.

Q. Still, it was a great match.
JELENA JANKOVIC: It was. Entertaining. The crowd was really great and enthusiastic and really involved. It's quite special, you know, to be playing here, and I think it motivates you to fight even harder and to really give your best.

Q. Given this is your first Grand Slam singles final, what pleased you most about your performance tonight?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I have -- I don't know. I don't know what pleased me because I lost. You know, it's not really pleasing when you lose, you know. (laughter.)
No matter what you have done right, you know, it's not -- you know, it was not good enough, you know, especially playing Serena. You know that you have to be at the top of your level, because just in general she's a lot more powerful than many of the players.
She has all the strength. She's a great athlete. So if you want to really beat her, you have to be even higher than a little level above your best, you know, because you cannot do it with her.
So I really tried everything that I had on this certain day, and unfortunately it was not enough.

Q. During changeovers when a lot of players are very focused, you're looking at the TV screen.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I was laughing at all these people dancing.

Q. Is that something you do to relax?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Probably that's why I lost, the concentration, and made all these double faults. I probably -- that's why I made all these mistakes when I shouldn't have.
I don't know. I just -- you know, I had fun. I think they should turn it off, because I keep looking at the screen. (laughter.)

Q. Did you really not know how much the runner-up check is?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I didn't. So now I have a lot of money to spend. (laughter.) Tomorrow is my day to go shopping.

Q. Mary Carrillo said that you enjoyed watching television, especially when you're on television. Do you have any thoughts about that?
JELENA JANKOVIC: What television? Who?

Q. The TV screen.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, I keep watching, because you go to serve and you see your big face up there. You cannot help it to look up. No, I think they should turn it off, you know. I cannot focus, because I keep looking at it. I don't know why. Just the -- but you see it. You watch straight, and then your eyes just go up, because you know there's something going up on top.
But it's -- whatever. It's just fun.

Q. You said in the past that your mother obviously has a hard time sometimes with, you know, what goes on out there. What did she say to you afterwards?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Actually, I haven't even seen her. You know, I don't know where she is now. I just received a vaccine, you know, so that's the first thing I've done, receive the needle in my arm and some more torture.
You know, it's -- you think it's easy being a professional athlete, what we go through? You would feel a little bit sorry for us. (laughter.)

Q. At one point in the second set of the match, I'm not sure just which point, you turned around and you looked at the crowd as if you were trying to see who was yelling down at you. Did they make you lose your rhythm then at that point?
JELENA JANKOVIC: What did I look for?

Q. I don't know what you were looking for, but you were looking up.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I wasn't looking for anybody. I was probably just frustrated with myself that I lost the point or whatever. I wasn't looking for anybody. I was just -- that's not the case.
The only people I look at is my entourage, my box, my coach, my mom, my supporters. Nobody else.

Q. The No. 1 position was at stake. If you had your choice, what would you --

Q. No. 1 position was at stake, the US Open title obviously...
JELENA JANKOVIC: I wanted to take both, but it didn't happen. I don't want one or the other. I wanted both.
But next time, I guess.

Q. What was the vaccine for?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. It's -- all these women, I guess, for papilloma. I don't know what it is. I have no idea. I took three. You have to take three vaccines per year, and then women under 26 years old, I guess that's the time when you're supposed to take it and then you're free.

Q. After the championship match of the US Open you got this?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I just got it. Here. It's here. I have a Band-Aid. I have to do the doping test now, so I have another Band-Aid here. I cannot even go to the toilet, so I have to drink. (laughter.) I have to drink some more, otherwise I'll be here until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and I wouldn't feel good tomorrow for my shopping, which is not good.

Q. Is it a little strange to get this shot right after you come off the US Open final?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's a little strange, but do you think the trainers and the doctors will be waiting for me at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning? Of course they want to get it done so they can leave.

Q. Are you going to take a long break after this or get right back to work?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I'm going to retire. (laughter.) No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I'm going to take a break and see what I, you know -- just enjoy a little bit of time off and do something else other than tennis.
You know, especially playing a Grand Slam. It's always tough because mentally and physically, you're worn out after a hard two weeks of playing a lot of matches, a lot of -- you really give your effort. There's a lot of pressure to do well.
So I did my job, and now it's, you know, time to relax a little bit and have some fun, do other activities other than hit the ball and watch this, do a lot of running on the court.
Now I can, you know, put maybe high heels and do something else. (laughter.)

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