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January 19, 2009

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/Y. Meusburger
6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You must have been happy with that game first up.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, you know, always the first matches are the toughest for me, especially I haven't played for about two months. I didn't compete. So, you know, it's nice to get going and get off to a good start.
I played well in the first set. A little bit, you know, slowed down, lost my concentration in the second. But it's all right. You know, it comes with playing matches, you know, getting the routine, and, you know, just the whole rhythm out there.
So happy to get through, and looking forward to my next round.

Q. Did you feel the benefits of your rigorous training schedule in the off-season today? Did you feel fitter on court?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I feel fit and ready to play. You know, conditions are quite tough out there. It's very warm. One problem that I had was my feet were burning. You know, the soles of my shoes got so hot. Probably you have seen in the changeovers I was putting my feet on ice, you know, kind of trying to cool it down.
But I don't know if the other players are having that problem, as well. But that was, you know, my main kind of a little problem out there.

Q. What can you tell me about Kirsten Flipkens, your next opponent?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't really know much about her. I think I played her once maybe two years ago or something like that. But I haven't seen her play lately. I will just go out there playing my game.

Q. When we speak about Belgian tennis, I guess you rather think of Kim and Justine, no?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, you know, but this is the same, for example, like Serbian tennis. When you think of Serbian tennis you think of me and Ana. Maybe afterwards maybe there will be nobody coming, or maybe even players better than us.
You know, this is the way it goes. That was a great generation coming from Belgium.

Q. If I tell you she's a bit of a mix of Kim and Justine, will you trust me or not?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't need to trust anybody (laughter). That is the best thing to do. I don't trust anybody. I go out there and play my game and compete and fight until the last point. You know, I hope that I can do it.

Q. Do you adjust your game to your opponent?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You adjust. It's always nice to know a little bit about the opponent's game so that you know, you know, the weakness and the strength, so how you need to play tactically.
But most likely you play your game. You try to set, you know, your rhythm and try to go your way. You know, you don't want to let your opponent dictate the points and play the way they want to play. You want to go on top of them and do, for example, what I do best.
But especially playing opponents that you don't really know so well, uhm, it's a little bit difficult. But, you know, the coaches I think are there to see my opponents a little bit and see what they do, kind of just a little bit to know so that I'm ready and prepared for my next one.

Q. How do you like your new dress, apparel line? Are shoes part of it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, you have seen the dress on the court. I think it's a nice dress. You know, I like the green. It's bright. It's a quite comfortable dress. I think it looks feminine. No, I also like my shoes.
You know, the whole outfit is kind of coordinated. I have white and green shoes. I have my little wristband, my dress. I think it looks like. I'm happy that, you know, I'm working with this new company, which is called ANTA.
This dress I haven't designed, but in the future I will be working with a designing team and I will have my own dresses and a whole range of clothes with my name on it. So it's quite cool. You know, I'm happy, really happy about it.

Q. You're the first tennis player of the rank. Are they familiar with the needs of tennis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: They are new in tennis. For me, it's an honor that they have chosen me as their first spokesperson. They want to grow in tennis, as well, worldwide. They want to have a big name. Hopefully we can go forward and succeed in that manner.

Q. They're doing your shoes right?
JELENA JANKOVIC: They're doing my shoes, everything.

Q. Can you get them to adjust the shoes because they're too hot?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I will tell them to put some air-conditioning in there (laughter). Especially with the technology growing and getting better, I believe in the future we will have these kind of things, too. It would be nice (laughter).

Q. Did you have this problem with other shoes?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes. I think every year when I come here in Melbourne, and Sydney as well, because the weather goes over 30 degrees almost to 40 degrees. The court gets so hot, you know. It's normal that the soles of the shoes will get hot, as well. Especially moving, from the friction, it gets warmer and warmer. Really it's like fire, my soles of my shoes.
I don't know what to do, how to help that. You know, ice a little bit in the changeovers. That's basically it. What can I do?

Q. Does it surprise you coming in here that Serbia has the top couple of women and that Novak is defending champion?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Why is it surprising?

Q. In terms of Serbia wasn't a powerhouse tennis nation such as the United States or Australia.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, Serbia before, you're right, didn't have tennis tradition and didn't have players in the top of the game. Now we do. Now we have established ourselves as the players who are in elite group.
You know, I'm No. 1 in the world. Ana has been No. 1, as well. Novak, he's No. 3, and he's on his way. We are doing very, very well. I hope that we can continue to have many more years. I hope that we will have more success in the future.

Q. When you think of the tradition that you are setting up for future generations, what do you hope that is to people?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I hope that in a way we can inspire and motivate younger generations to develop their game and go our way, go our paths. Just the fact thinking if Jelena or Ana or Novak have done it, they made it to the top, why can we not do it? If they have that kind of mentality, they see how we are doing. If we can motivate them, I think we have a bright future ahead in Serbian tennis.

Q. Is there any talk yet of building a national tennis center?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know about that. I hope they're going to build something. It would be nice. Would be a really huge help. You know, having also highly educated coaches, you know, that have the knowledge for bringing the players to the top, traveling a lot and seeing.
Every year the game gets better and better. You're learning, so I think that's very important, too. But hopefully we will have all of this in the future.

Q. Ana and you are, on paper at least, the best combination to probably unseeded the Russians as Fed Cup champions. How tough of a team would they be to challenge?

Q. Yes.
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, to be honest, we are for the first time just entering the World Group. We are playing against Japan in Serbia for the first time. We never had any success in Fed Cup because we never played, you know, as the strongest team.
Me and Ana just teamed up for the first time last year. We have played against Croatia. We won that tie. Now we are going to play against Japan. So I hope that we can start playing with each other more often, and hopefully one day we can win the whole - how you say - competition.

Q. Do you think Russia is tough?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I think Russia, and United States as well, they have two strong girls. Not many countries have been proud to say that they have two top-5 players in the world. But Russia is one of them, or two top-10 players. United States, as well, has two elite players.
You know, it will be tough if we get to play against them. But, you know, we still have to pass I don't know how many rounds before we get there.

Q. Other players describe the Aussie Open as the people's slam, the weekend slam, the happy slam.
JELENA JANKOVIC: The weekend slam, what is that (laughter)? The party slam, as well.

Q. Maybe you call it the hot feet slam. How would you characterize this tournament?
JELENA JANKOVIC: This tournament, it is true, it's one of the most relaxing Grand Slams out of the four. The people are so outgoing and relaxed. The whole atmosphere, it's not so noisy when you're around this tournament. You know, I really enjoy it. It's quite laid back, especially where I'm staying. I'm here with my family. I'm staying in an apartment. I feel like just, you know, quite peaceful.

Q. Do you feel like your spirits are higher here than at other points in the year?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Especially traveling here like 20 or 30 hours to get here, you know, you feel like you're at the end of the world. That's how I feel. I feel so far away from home. When you come here, you really want to give your best and you want to enjoy.
This is one of the countries I really like a lot. The only thing I don't like is traveling here. That is the only thing I dislike.

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