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November 6, 2008

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/S. Kuznetsova
7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So it's 2-2, all going well?
JELENA JANKOVIC: What does that mean?

Q. Two wins in two matches.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, okay. Yes, it's great to win two matches. And go to the semifinals no matter what I do tomorrow. Today was a tough match. I had some problems with my back in the beginning of the second set, and I was struggling a little bit. And I had to take some pace off of my ball and all that, but I managed to win my match.
So, you know, I'm happy that I was able to get through and looking forward to my next match.

Q. With the treatment you received for your back, is it an injury that you've had before, or is it something new?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I didn't have this injury before. I just started today during the match. I had it in the past, but not recently. It decided again to hurt me and to bother me during the match. I dislocated something when I ran for some ball, and that is the problem.
So I hope that the physios are going to help me and that I'm going to be able to play tomorrow.

Q. Does it feel okay now?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It feels painful now. It's a little stiff, and when I bend down to tie my shoes, I have pain and all these kind of things. But hopefully it will be okay. We'll see. I will have treatment. I will try to recover it as fast as possible.

Q. At the end of the game you acknowledged the crowd and you looked up at the sky to acknowledge possibly some sort of divine intervention. Did you feel you might have had a bit of luck today with the injury that you suffered and maybe God was looking down on you favorably?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. But I always do that. I always look up the sky when I win my matches. This is just my -- something that I do. You know, maybe I received a little bit of help.
You know, it's always tough when you have some problem with your body, some injury, and you're not able to play hundred percent. You're struggling. But, you know, I tried my best, and that was the most important thing in those kind of circumstances.

Q. How are you going to prepare for the semifinals with the injury possibly bothering you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I hope that I will be okay. I hope that when I will have treatment and they will -- because this thing has moved out of place, I hope they put it back in the normal position. And I don't know what you have to do. That is what the trainer told me when she saw me on the court. So I don't know what happens. How it will be, I cannot tell you. If I knew it, if I would have pain tomorrow or not, I would lie.

Q. How do you feel now after going through such a grueling match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, overall I was not really happy with the way I played, but it's not so easy. Especially against Kuznetsova, she plays, I have always tough matches against her. Especially having this kind of problem in the second set.
First set, in the beginning for a couple of games I played very well, but then I kind of stopped. Then in the second set I took a lot of pace off my ball, which allowed her to step in the court and start hitting some of her shots. But then at the end of the second set I was able to focus a little bit more and push myself and finishing in my favor in two sets.

Q. You mentioned the other day that being No. 1 there was a perception that everybody was out there to get you, now with the injury as well, does that bring added pressure, and do you feel any sort of way of tackling with it differently now?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I don't feel any pressure whatsoever. I'm proud to be No. 1. I love being in this position. I look at it as a challenge. I don't look at it as a pressure at all.
I have the confidence. I have what it takes to stay up there, and I hope -- I hope to stay there as long as possible.
This is just my point of view, you know, looking from my perspective. I love being on this position. This is something that I worked for since I was a young girl. It was a dream of mine. Being on the No. 1, having that No. 1 ranking is something that nobody can take away from you, and you can just enjoy it. You have nothing to lose.
When you retire you can always say you've been No. 1. And it's something that not many girls in the history of tennis have done. So why do I have to put pressure on myself?
I'm healthy. I have the No. 1 ranking. I'm enjoying my tennis. I've made a lot of money. What else can I ask in this world? That's all.

Q. You're definitely sleeping at night?
JELENA JANKOVIC: This is the truth. It's the reality (laughing).

Q. It's shaping up as though you and Vera from this group are going to play the Williams sisters from the other group. Any preference from your point of view? Which one would you prefer to take on first?
JELENA JANKOVIC: What do you mean?

Q. It looks like the two Williams?
JELENA JANKOVIC: The Williams? Well, it's the same. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best players in the world. For me, it doesn't matter who it will be, both of the Williams sisters are tough opponents and really great athletes. I have to play my best tennis if I want to win.

Q. Do you feel beating them here would be an even greater endorsement of your world No. 1 status?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I've beaten Venus in Stuttgart which was just a couple of weeks ago. And I lost to Serena in the U.S. Open in a tough two sets. But I've beaten them both many times, so I know how to play against them.
But I know that I have to play my best tennis to win. So it will be tough either way. I will try my best, and hopefully I can do it.

Q. But there's no reason for you you have any fear about either of them?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I have no fear against anybody. I respect all of my opponents, but I don't have any fear. I go out there believing in myself, and I play my game. I don't really take care of who is on the other side. If she's taller or bigger than me or whoever she is, I am there to compete. And I try my best, that's all.

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