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January 25, 2009

Jelena Jankovic


M. BARTOLI/J. Jankovic
6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your feelings now? Disappointment? Despair?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it's obviously disappointing. Nobody likes to lose. Today was a tough day for me. You know, I had a slow start. I let my opponent completely come on top of me and play her game.
I had some chances in the first set as well, but I just didn't take it. I gave her a lot of confidence throughout the match. And then in the second set, you know, I also had a lot of opportunities to come back and try to get in the game somehow.
But I just, you know, also didn't -- you need a little bit of luck as well, but overall played wrong tactically, didn't do what I was supposed to do to beat my opponent.
So she was the better one, and all the credit. She played really well, went for all her shots. Even played first and second serve the same. She hit whatever she could. So she knew that she had to do that in order to win, and it was her day.

Q. Her shots are so hard to read, it would seem because they're so flat.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, because I let her play that. You know, I let her hit all the shots that she wanted to. I let her play her game. I didn't do what I was supposed to do, and this was wrong for me. Couldn't get my rhythm out there.
And she hit whatever she could. Her goal was just to get the first strike and go for it, because she knew if I get in the point she'll be in trouble.
So a bad day for me. You know, good day for her. And all the credit. She was the better one today.

Q. How do you explain the slow start?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I just started slow. I, you know, was completely not moving my feet. I was late on many shots. I was really not there, for some reason. I don't know why. When I tried to focus and get into the match, things just didn't work out for me.
You know, whatever she did was great for her. So, you know, she played really well, and I just couldn't do what I needed to do. Really wrong tactically. My shots were not where I wanted to be. I wanted to open up the court a lot more.
I was just giving the shots like one meter away from her so that she can step in and hit those shots.

Q. Do you think you're paying for the fact that you didn't have the preparation you would have liked to have had?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Also it's just my first tournament of the year, so there's many more tournaments to play. You know, many, many matches to get in and hopefully improve.
From every loss I have to learn and have to analyze what I have done wrong, what I have done good, which is not the case today. I don't think I've done anything right today (smiling). So I just have to learn and try to keep improving.
I have to go forward and forget about this tournament and, you know, hopefully get back in form as soon as possible.

Q. Did you think this could happen to you because of the lack of preparation?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not really. Today is not really a lack of playing. I thought, you know, just my opponent was really -- was on fire today, and she was hitting everything and really went for her shots. Most of those were going in.
It was, you know, tough. And if I couldn't do my own thing, it's tough to win like that.

Q. When you made the sign of the cross in the second set...
JELENA JANKOVIC: I needed a little bit of help, yes (smiling). What can I do?

Q. You're likely to probably lose your No. 1 ranking. Is that at all a concern or not a priority?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Well, I'm not really thinking about that. If whoever gonna come back to, you know, that spot, if maybe Safina can do it if she wins this tournament. You know, she deserves to be there. If she doesn't, then I will stay there.
You know, it doesn't matter because it's just the beginning of the year, and there is many more tournaments to play. So, you know, maybe it will change, the No. 1 ranking, but it's not important what you do now, it's the whole year ahead of us. A lot of tournaments, a lot of battles out there. You know, the best one will finish it.
I think, at least for me, the most important thing is how you finish, not how you begin.

Q. How hard is it for you to shake off a loss like this? Will you be thinking about it for days, weeks?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Months (laughter).
No, no, I mean, I'll try to forget it as soon as possible, of course. It's not so easy when you lose, especially like this. But it's part of the game. It's part of the sport. You have to just keep going forward and keep learning and improving. That's all.

Q. It seems you didn't play your best tennis throughout the tournament.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not really, you know. It's my first tournament of the year, and it takes time. I'm this kind of a player who needs a little bit of time to get used to it, you know, to get the routine playing matches and get the confidence. Then, you know, I feel that I can do whatever I want on the court.
At the moment I'm still not there. I'm still, you know, finding my range, to get that confidence when I'm playing. The most important thing is, you know, when you're playing those matches, figuring out the way how to win, you know, to change your tactics, to change your shots, you know, do something differently in order to come back and win those matches.
Today I just couldn't do it. I was a little bit lost in the match. That's maybe a lack of playing, you know, playing those matches and being in those situations. But, you know, it will come. It's just, like I said, first tournament of the year. There is many more to play. I just have to go forward and be strong and just keep going.

Q. Has it been difficult to put sort of the questioning of your worth, of your No. 1 ranking out of your mind?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Was it you there in the match, or was it somebody else talking to me during the match? When I was getting a towel, there was a man just like you (laughter). To be honest, it's for real. Maybe it's your clone or something.

Q. Talking to you over the wall?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, he was cheering for me. I don't know. He looked just like you. Now when I saw you... (Laughter).

Q. The questioning of your No. 1 ranking and your worth of that, has that been difficult to play in this environment?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not really. You know, I really enjoy to be under the No. 1 ranking, and I proved that at the end of last year when I won three tournaments in a row. I really wanted to be here in this position. You know, just started this year.
You know, I haven't played for a while. For two months I didn't compete. I was supposed to play an exhibition in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, me and my mother, we got sick, so it was very hard where I couldn't play some matches over there, which I wanted, just to feel the atmosphere, get the rhythm on the court. Playing especially against the top players, which were in Hong Kong, I couldn't do that.
So then I came with completely no matches into this tournament. Little by little I was, you know, getting better and better. But today I just couldn't find it. It was very difficult for me.
But what can I do? You know, it's a bad day of tennis, bad day at the tennis. But what can I do?

Q. You might still stay No. 1 depending on how the results fall. Do you hope that's the case, or is it easier to play not as the No. 1?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I want to be the No. 1. I don't want to be No. 2 so that I don't have any pressure. I don't think that's right. And also I don't feel any pressure whatsoever. I just want to lift my game up. I want to play better, and that's all.
When I'm on the top of my game, you know, it's very hard to beat me, because you really have to kind of spill blood if you want to win the match. But the moment, I'm not there yet. I still need to get better, to improve, be much, much tougher out there.
So just, you know, have to do some work on the practice, play some more matches, analyze what I have to do, and get back on track.

Q. What did your coach say to you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, you don't want to know (laughter). It's hard, you know. It's not so easy, you know. Especially he told me what I need to do tactically, and I completely didn't do any of those things. I just couldn't execute those shots.
It's easier said than done. He tells me to do something, but my opponent gives me such a hard time with her shots, I cannot do what I want to do. So it was very difficult for me to come back.
Normally I can turn around the matches and find my way through, but today it was very difficult. But what can I do? Have to learn, have to keep going. It's disappointing, to be honest, but what can I do?

Q. Tactically what did your coach want you to do? You mentioned opening up the court.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, but if I tell you this, I don't think it's right, no? I will have to play those players again, so if I tell everything openly, I don't think it's right (smiling).

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