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November 8, 2008

Jelena Jankovic


V. WILLIAMS/J. Jankovic
6-2, 2-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jelena.

Q. Do you think that was really high level game today?
JELENA JANKOVIC: We have to be honest, we have had better matches in the past. You know, today was, it was a good match, but I wasn't really happy the way I was playing. Especially in the first set, I didn't play well. I didn't play well tactically. I wasn't doing the right things. I played everything that allowed her to play her game.
Then the second set, I played a little bit better. Then in the third, I just in the wrong times. I made some errors, and also she had some luck in the important points. Like at the end of this third set.
But, I tried really my best. Overall, the whole tournament, I didn't really play like I played maybe in this last couple of tournaments, which I won, and that's due to not really practicing as hard before this tournament. My level is not in the same.
But, you know, I really fought hard this week, and Venus was the better one. She made less errors, and I didn't do it. What can I do? The season is over for me. That was my last match of the year. Of course it's disappointing to lose.
But, overall, when I look at it and finishing as the No. 1 player in the world, I can only be proud of myself, and I can look at it in a positive way. I can go to vacation with a smile on my face.

Q. That sixth game in the final set which had six deuces, I think, and you had five breakpoints, that was pretty crucial that game, wasn't it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It was. It was very frustrating for me, because I had so many opportunities, so many breakpoints. Really a lot of chances, but I didn't do anything. I didn't convert any in my favor which was the key of the match in that third set, especially.
When you have your chances and you don't take them, your opponent's going to take it. So, today I didn't use those chance that's were given to me. What can I do? It's frustrating. It's disappointing, but one of us had to lose, and today it was me.

Q. She looked physically quite distressed at some stages in the final set, we thought.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, she was. But, you know, I had her on the run many times. I had her under my control, and then I just made the errors when I had to finish it and when I had to do the right things I just gave it to her. That was really frustrating for me. That is because I didn't train enough, and I didn't get my rhythm before I came here.
A little bit of better practice, if I worked a little bit harder, maybe the match would have been in my favor. But I didn't do a lot of work before I came here, and that was the difference as well. Because I wasn't really happy when I did the first press conference on that Monday or whatever, I said I was -- I don't have my rhythm. I'm not really playing my best, but I fought very well, and I really tried.
I gave everything that I have with, you know, that energy that I have left. So what can I do?
It's tough to lose. As the No. 1 player I really don't like to lose. It's something that's hard to accept, but you have to be positive, and you have to learn from it, analyze what I've done wrong, what I have done well and just keep learning. I know what I have to work on when I'm going to start practicing again in a couple of weeks.
Today was the last day of tennis for this season. Now I can just forget about it. From tomorrow I'm not talking about tennis. I'm not going to pick it up. I'm not going to see it anywhere close to me. And just enjoy it, and do something else. And really recover my body and do some other things that make me happy in my life.

Q. What would you most like to do?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Go on vacation. And it will be really weird not to have my racquets with me (smiling). You know, it's something that I carry all year long. It goes on the plane with me every time. Now I can just put my bikinis, my beach stuff and all that and have fun (laughing).

Q. You appeared to get a warning from the umpire?

Q. Well, I thought you might tell us. We couldn't really see?

Q. According to the television, you were engaging in conversation with, we think your godfather; is that correct?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I didn't understand what the umpire was saying. I mean, he was not saying anything to me except like come on or whatever. And she said, I know that he's not coaching you or whatever, but she was saying the things that didn't really make sense to me.
I was just completely focusing on the game. I was really playing my tennis. I didn't really look at who was talking around or what was happening. I really didn't understand what she was saying to me. Especially this 4-3 in the third, she comes up with that.
It was when I just finished the game from the opposite side where he was, and she tells me he's coaching me. I didn't really understand, and I said to her, I need to focus. I need to play my game. I don't need any distraction with that kind of matter. But that was what she was saying.
I didn't have anything to do with him. I mean, I wasn't even looking at him, I wasn't listening to him, I was just playing my tennis.

Q. Did that distract you the last couple of game when's it was a really crucial point?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I mean, it was really she came up with that and I didn't get her what she was saying. I really had nothing to do. He's my godfather, he's not coaching me at all. It's like you say my mom is coaching me. It cannot be true.
I really didn't understand the umpire. And especially at 4-3 in the third, and I'm sitting and drinking my water thinking how I need to play. It's important moment of the match. And she's telling me about this. But what can you do?

Q. Just the two road maps and the two calendar changes that are taking place next year, going to have more combined events, men and women. Are you personally and for the tour, do you think that's a good thing? Are you in favor of combined events, men and women? Do you like that format?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You mean there will be many more combined events with the men?

Q. Combined or back-to-back, yeah.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think it's good for the fans and for the tournaments to have both men and women, especially the best players in the world. It's really exciting for the fans. It's a little bit different for us. There's a lot of matches, a lot of people.
When it's combined, it's so many more people than when we play just us, the women. Especially in the locker rooms, in the player lounges, it's full of people because there's men and women, and their coaches, our coaches, all these other people around.
It's a different atmosphere, but I think it's great. It's exciting, and I don't have anything against it.

Q. But personally do you find it a little bit chaotic?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, especially in the beginning of the tournament, it's a lot of people. But after that when you go further in the tournament, it clears up, so it's okay. I like it. I'm not really -- I'm in favor for that. So it's fine.

Q. What about on-court coaching? Not tonight but next year.
JELENA JANKOVIC: So, I mean, if they are telling me about coaching and all that from, you know, I don't know from the stands. From my opinion, I really never used on-court coaching in the past when there were experimenting with that, with that system.
But I think it can help the players play their tennis on a higher level. Because when you are playing your match, sometimes you don't see the things that you are doing wrong when you're playing. And the coaches or people from the side can really see so much better and can see the mistakes that you're doing, and the weaknesses from your opponent.
When the coach comes in, he can really give you a couple of advices which can help you really rotate and turn the match around and do the right things and help you win, sometimes.
But I like to do everything by myself. I like to think with my own head and try to figure out a way to win. But that's me. That's how I do it. But a lot of players have used the on-court coaching in the past, and I like that system. But I am not using it, so.

Q. There were a few line call challenges that were overruled. Did that frustrate you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Today was not my day with the -- every time I hear I went for a winner I made it by a hair out, always. You know, it's frustrating, but I wish those balls went in and were in my favor, but sometimes it's not meant to happen. I mean, it's the beauty of the game. You cannot always -- you wish some of the things happened, and were, some of the balls were in, and I did the right things, but I just didn't.
So this is what keeps you working and keeps you going forward. You keep learning, and until I die, I will learn. So it's the reality, and it's something that I have to accept.
I just have to be positive. When I start training again, I have to -- I know what I have to do. I would have a plan on what I'm going to do with my fitness, with my tennis, with all that. I hope to begin the year in the best possible light, because I want to get stronger.
I want to improve my tennis. I want to bring everything to the top level, because I haven't still reached my full potential. My limit, which is a good thing, because I'm No. 1 in the world, and I have so many things to improve. So it gives me a lot of motivation, and I really am determined to work hard and to become better and better as a player.

Q. You mentioned though that you weren't really affected or aware of what was going around you, but sure you must have taken note of the large vocal support that you had?

Q. The vocal support that you had from your fans. What message do you have for your fans?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I always appreciate my fans. I appreciate those Serbian people who came to watch me play. They're always very loud. And no matter where I play around the world, I see the Serbian fans coming and cheering and supporting for me. It really means a lot to me.
I love having all these fans. Especially when they're on my side, it's great. They really push me and motivate me to play my tennis.

Q. You finish your season as the No. 1, but don't you feel any frustration not having been able to win one big, big title? Grand Slam or this week in the championship?
JELENA JANKOVIC: That I can leave for next year (smiling). Now I became, I'm finishing as the No. 1 player in the world, and all those big titles, I'm leaving it -- if I do everything now, what will I do next year (laughing). So that is my goal for next year to win Grand Slams, to win all these big tournaments.
And I'm really going to work hard in my preseason, in my off-season. I'm really going to give it my best. And it will be the first time in my young career that I'm going to hopefully begin the year 100% ready, and ready to compete at my highest level. Because last year in December, I trained one week before Australian Open, one hour a day like a recreational player. And I made it to the semifinals of the Australian Open with those kind of circumstances.
So it's really unbelievable. What I have done with all these injuries and not really prepared 100%, not really playing the tennis that I would have loved, I finished No. 1 player in the world, it's really amazing.
I can just imagine when I'm going to be working how I would like to work with my coaches. Hopefully I'm going to be injury free, and I'm going to try everything possible to keep my body in shape so I avoid injuries as much as is in my will. You can always twist your ankle or do something that you cannot really control. But everything that I can control, I will try it. Then we will see.
When you really give everything that you have, you really try your best, then you're not going to have any regrets. You can say to yourself this is my limit, this is how much I have reached, and I cannot go any further, okay. That's it.
But I still have so many things to do in my game, and so many things that I can get better, so that's the good thing. That's the positive. And there's nothing to be sad about. I mean, how many people or girls would have loved to be in my shoes in the moment. I'm finishing No. 1 and I can just smile. I don't care (smiling).
I mean, everybody wants to be the No. 1 player in the world, and I have that spot, so I'm keeping it warm for the winter days, you know. During the winter days, it's mine (laughing).

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