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November 7, 2008

Jelena Jankovic


V. ZVONAREVA/J. Jankovic
2-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jelena.

Q. We hope that your back is much better than Serena's stomach?

Q. Your back.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, yeah. I was stiff and I took, you know, medicine and I did all the right treatments, so I was able to play. And I didn't really feel some problems when I was playing which was good.
Also you don't want to get it worse, because no matter what the outcome of the match is today, I'm still in the semifinals, and I have to be ready for the most important one, which counts. This one just decides who is first or second in the group. But the next match is the one that's going to, if I win, bring me to the final. So that is the important one. This was important, but not -- doesn't matter, you're still in the tournament, so it's different.
You don't have the same motivation, and it's not the same match, and also your opponent doesn't have the pressure, doesn't have anything to lose. So it's a completely different atmosphere.

Q. You say you've already qualified for the semis, so the result didn't really matter that much. But there's a lot of money involved in the match, is it not?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Doesn't matter. If I win it all, there is a lot of money. So if I stop here, then, yeah, I lost a lot of money. But, you know, I'm still in the tournament. I still have my semis tomorrow, and hopefully I can do it. Then it will be, you know, good money and good result for me (laughing).

Q. Rather surprised personally that when we spoke to other tennis players they say we're at the top, and to be at the top every game, irrespective of who you play and what situation you play, you do your best shall and you try to win.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I try to win every match that I play. Nobody likes to lose no matter if the match counts, it's important or whatever. Every match is important, and you want to win every match.
But it's very hard sometimes, because today was very, very windy. I was not happy with the way I played. I was playing very well in the first set, but then I completely let my opponent play her game, and I didn't make many first serves in. I didn't return very well.
And that is the difference that, you know, when you don't start the point very well, you let your opponent play the points. And Vera is one of the best ones. She can rally all day long without making many mistakes. If you get involved in her game, you're done, and that's what I did today which was a mistake. But what can I do?

Q. I noticed that at quite a few occasions you were cleaning your nose. One of the other players has suffered from a viral infection. Could you have possibly come into something, a cold?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's so windy. You have air conditioning everywhere. Outside it can be warm, and then you get inside, it's air conditioning, it's cold. You have a lot of changes.
And for our bodies we travel almost all year. You know, our bodies are tired, so it's not so abnormal that we get sick or something is happening with our health.
But I don't know. I'm still alive. I'm able to play, which is the most important thing. You have some issues here and there, but it's not something that's going to unable me to play my tennis, especially tomorrow.

Q. What kind of issues?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Well, I have my back is not 100%. That's why I have to take like painkillers before the match, so I don't feel it. I put a lot of cream, treatments. It's not so comfortable. And I'm not serving very well at all. And it's very important to get free points off of your serve. It's important to start the points very well. To get the first strike, so you are able to dominate.
But when you don't do that, it's a struggle. But it's better to have a bad day today than tomorrow. So, hopefully, I can play better tomorrow and bring my game to the next level, which I will have to do if I want to win.

Q. Can you explain how you're going to do that?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I have to. If I want to win, I have to play my best tennis. I'm playing Venus, right? She's a great athlete. I've always had tough matches against her. But I've beaten her the last couple of times, so I know that I have to move well. I need to get -- I need to do the right things if I want to win. So it will be tough, but it's doable.

Q. Obviously, it's not a good idea to criticize the tour, perhaps. But we've had two leading players pulled out today, which is damaged the tournament. Do you have any comment that you can make on how and why that happens and how it can be prevented and will the road map help prevent that in the future?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. But I cannot comment on other people when they pull out. It's not my -- my problem. I cannot say why they're pulling out or what their problem is. I'm here to play, and I'm here to do my job.
And you can ask those players why they pulled out and what the problem is and why they are not playing. But here, you know, from my perspective from my opinion, this is the last tournament of the year. I have also problems, but, you know, I'm willing to try my best and to finish the year in the best possible way.
If it was some other tournament, you might pull out. You don't want to risk an injury that can be worse, and then you have to be off the court for a long time. But this is the last one. It's the Championships. It's a very big tournament. You know, I'm motivated to do well. So this is my opinion, and I cannot say about the other players.

Q. Just to follow up on that, considering how much money the sponsors have put up and how well you're treated here, what responsibility do you think the players have? If they are able to play, if they have -- they've got a long off-season coming up, several weeks, shouldn't they, if they're able to play go ahead and go out there and play?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Like I said, I cannot comment on other people. You know, if they are willing to play or not. This is not really -- I don't have to say anything about that, because it wouldn't be nice to say anything or I cannot say right or wrong.
It's their body, it's their problems, and I don't know what's happening, what their problem is. Why she's not going on the court to compete. All I can say is that I'm ready to play. No matter what I have, I will try my best to get from the last -- how do you call -- the little energy I have left in my body, I'm going to give it all and finish the year in the best possible way. That's all.

Q. Just on Vera, she qualified so she's obviously an elite player, but she came in here sort of a dark horse, an outsider. What do you make of how she's been playing here?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, but also today playing today's match, it was a little bit maybe in her favor as well, because she didn't have any pressure. This match, no matter what she did, even if she lost or won, she's still going to the semifinals, so she can play loose.
She's playing against the No. 1 player in the world. She has lost to me many times, the last three or four times. So maybe it would be a different story if that match was the deciding one, because you have a lot of pressure. It's completely different. Different circumstances.
But anyway, you know, she played really well. She was -- I let her come back into the match. I had the lead in the second set, but I was not serving very well, and made some unforced errors at the wrong time. But the credit to her. She was very solid. She runs a lot of balls down. She's a tough player to beat.

Q. It's something you go through many times during the season, but playing a match late in the evening, and the last match on tomorrow --
JELENA JANKOVIC: When am I playing tomorrow?

Q. You're playing the fourth match.

Q. Second match after 5:30. There are two doubles, then the first singles and then yours is the last match.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Fourth match after 5:30.

Q. The second singles.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Second after?

Q. There's two doubles matches and then two singles tomorrow. The doubles starts.
JELENA JANKOVIC: That would be nice, you know. To come and play the semifinals right away. Serve it, then you go to the final, you play two matches and then you getting to to vacation.

Q. So become a doubles player.
JELENA JANKOVIC: We have to go through round robin, three matches. Then you have to play your fourth one tomorrow. It's a lot of work.

Q. Can I ask my question now?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, sorry (laughing).

Q. You're playing the last match late at night, how do you pace yourself during the day?

Q. So you don't get too tired?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I sleep a lot. I sleep a lot. All I do is sleep. I eat, I sleep, and I play a little bit of tennis just to feel the ball. Especially when you go out here, you're training, you're practicing.
It's so hard to train and in a proper way, because the wind is all over the place, especially playing in the outside courts. The balls are going all over the place. It's very hard to get your rhythm, to work on certain shots, because you just cannot get your timing and you cannot form this kind of automatism. Or how do you call it? To hit many balls like a machine.
What can I do? I try my best. Tomorrow is an important day. It's a big day for me. It's the semifinals, and I hope that I will get a good night of sleep. You know, no bad dreams or something like that that's going to disturb me, and I'm good to go.

Q. Before entering the court, were you aware of the fact that Serena was not playing?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I didn't. I had no idea who was playing, who was not playing. I just went out there to play my match.
But that won't make a difference for me. Okay, if it was two Williams sisters, it's almost the same. They are both tough opponents. But it doesn't matter.
If you want to win the whole tournament, you have to beat whoever is on the other side of the net. Whoever I'm matching up with, doesn't matter. I have to do it. And I will try and give everything that I have and we will see what will happen tomorrow.

Q. Have you got a preference, playing Dementieva or Venus?
JELENA JANKOVIC: My preference is Venus, because that's who I have to play (laughing). Whatever I cannot choose. That is my next opponent. I have to go out there and I have to play my tennis.

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