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January 17, 2009

Jelena Jankovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How was it in Mexico? Do you have the time to spend and sing a song with El Mariachis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I went there to train. I was doing a lot fitness for two weeks, and that was mainly the reason why I went there for the first time.

Q. How is your health? How are you feeling? Are you confident in your body?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I was sick in Hong Kong and I wasn't able to play there and finish the competition, which was unfortunate for me, because the main reason going there was to play, you know, some matches and get match-tough again and get the rhythm and the confidence before going into a Grand Slam.
But unfortunately I was able to do that. But I'm feeling a lot better now, and I will feel, you know, ready and healthy to play by the time the tournament begins.

Q. How do you think that will effect your game, not having those matches?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It will be an extra challenge for me, because in the past years I always played some matches before and warm-up tournaments. But this year I didn't have a chance to do that.
You know, I practiced very hard and, you know, I really tried, because I got sick. I tried really my best, you know, the last week to prepare, you know, the best as possible in this kind of circumstances and be ready for the tournament.
I will try my best here, and we will see how everything will go.

Q. Do you feel like the world No. 1?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah. Yes, I feel as the world No. 1 player. For me, it's really huge achievement. Everybody wants to be in this position, and I'm proud to be where I am now. I just hope to stay on this position as long as it's possible.

Q. Do you feel extra pressure coming into the tournament as the No. 1 seed?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not really. I'm just a girl who enjoys her tennis. I go to the court with a smile on my face, and that's what matters. I don't really think and stress about ranking, Grand Slams, you know, so many other things. It's not worth it.
I just go out there and try to play my best tennis and hope for the best.

Q. What about the critics who say that because you haven't won a Grand Slam title you shouldn't be world be No. 1?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Like I said, I'm only 23 years old. My time will come. This is one of my goals, to win a Grand Slam. My main goal is just to keep improving and getting better and better as a player. I hope that I will do it.
You know, this is something that I want, and I've been trying to get stronger and bring my tennis game on the next level. So we will see.
You know, I don't really have to prove anything to anybody except to myself. I play tennis because I like to play, not because I have to prove anything to everybody.

Q. Would it be extra motivation to win one to sort of shut everyone up?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it would be nice. (Laughter) No, but, you know, like I said, if I win it, you know, it's great for me. But, you know, I play because I like to play. I enjoy the sport.
For me, that is the most important thing. If I win a Grand Slam, it will be great result, great achievement. But I'm already No. 1, and I believe all of these girls here want to be where I am now.
So I'm just enjoying it and really having fun.

Q. Where do you think you're most likely to win your first Grand Slam? Would it be Australia? What do you favor in terms of surfaces?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. My dream is to win all four of them, you know. I want to play well on all surfaces. This is something that I want. This is something that I want to achieve. We will see if that will happen. Everybody has their on ambitions and goals, and we all strive to achieve them.
I'm just one of the players with the same things.

Q. How does a country like Serbia produce so many top players, especially considering the lack of facilities when you were much younger?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, it's a good question, because in Serbia we don't have the best facilities in the world. We don't have, you know, places, especially in wintertime it's very hard for to us train. That's why we go other places to train and prepare, because in Serbia it's really hard.
But we are really hungry and motivated to do well, you know. The three of us that have achieved and came to the top of the tennis game, we all did it in different ways going to different places and, you know, really wanted to become the best that we can be.
I believe from our achievement we can push and motivate the other generations, the younger generations, to come after us. If, for example, they can think if Jelena or Ana and Novak have done it, why can we not do it?
It would be a really huge help if they made a tennis center in Serbia so they can practice there so they don't have to move and go other places to train and get better.

Q. Serena said again this morning that she believes she is the best player in the world. She said if she didn't believe that there would be no point in competing. Do you believe you're the best playing in the world?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes. You know, I think everybody can think what they want to think. Everybody has the right to think and believe that they are the best in the world. You know, we are professional athletes.
You know I'm the No. 1 player in the world, and I believe I'm the best one. I feel as the No. 1 player in the world. Serena can feel the same. Everybody has, you know, their own confidence and the belief in themselves. Otherwise I wouldn't think you could be successful if you think somebody else is better than you and you're not good enough to be here.
So I believe with that kind of confidence, you know, we all go into the tournament and we all want to win here. So the best one will be holding the trophy at the end of the two weeks.

Q. You play a lot of tournaments every year, but you also seem to be to have a lot small injuries that don't keep you out but affect your performances from time to time. Do you ever think, Maybe I should just stop for a little bit and get perfectly right?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes. Last year I had a lot of injuries. I was also sick, you know, during -- in March I was sick for a month and a half or something like that. So despite all of that I still managed to finish No. 1, so it's really huge.
This year, I mean, in December and half of the November I was training really hard, the hardest that I have every trained in my whole career, trying to prepare and be as fit as possible for the new season.
Because in the past I have never really trained so hard and paid attention to get stronger. It was my genetics. People always said, you know, I'm so fit. You know I'm moving well. But it's not true. It's just the visual look.
But, you know, I could never play -- I would always get so tired after the three-set matches, and also getting injured so many times is also a lack of power and not being able to, you know, to play those intense matches every day.
So it's very -- it was very easy for me to get injured and to have pains all over, so that's why I trained so hard to try to avoid that and to be as fit as I can for all these upcoming challenges during this year.

Q. Would you say that the women's tour is probably the toughest it's been for a long time?

Q. Well, the number of players who are beating each other, like Ivanovic and Dementieva.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes. I mean, the competition is very strong, and the girls are getting stronger and stronger and the everybody is working hard. Everybody wants to achieve great things in their career.
I think it's great for the game, and I think it's also great for the spectators. It's great entertainment because you never know who is going to win and it's interesting.

Q. The movie on your career and on your life, is it still No. 1 in the box office in Serbia?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I'm now focused on tennis. My season has begun, and actually will begin in two or three days, so I'm really focused on my job and trying to do my best.
Now no more movies. I'm trying to really be focused 100%.

Q. Who do you think deserves to be the main favorites for the tournament?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I haven't played any warm-up tournament. I haven't seen the girls play. It always depends who wants it more, who's in good shape, and who is healthy. So we will see. I cannot tell you.

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