home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 10, 2009

Jelena Jankovic


Q. So, just coming for the first time to this tournament after a weekend of Fed Cup, how do you feel? And what are you looking for this time?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm really excited to be here. Because I only played one tournament before coming here in Paris, which was the Australian Open. Just in a weekend I played the Fed Cup, and I won two matches. And we beat Japan, which was very exciting for us to be playing in Serbia, the Fed Cup for the first time in front of all our home crowd. It was an amazing experience for me.
I decided at the last minute to come here because at this moment I needed to play matches. I've practiced a lot, but it's time for me to get match tough and feel the pressure that you have from playing matches, and the whole atmosphere and energy, and just finding the concept of my game again and get back in form.
So I think this is a great opportunity here in Paris for me to try to get back a little by little.

Q. Do you feel better than in Australia, because you were not playing so good in Melbourne?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I was really disappointed the way I played the whole tournament in Melbourne. But it was my first tournament. I played in Hong Kong before in an exhibition. But I completely came without matches. It was difficult for me, that's why I know I also trained and I feel much better. I feel that I'm moving a little bit better.
I had problems with my reactions and just seeing the ball early. Because I guess when you don't compete for two and a half months, you kind of lose those -- you lose the automatism. I am on the court, and I'm thinking where I need to go, where I need to play and normally it comes by naturally. It comes on instinct, and it's much easier to play.
So in this moment, I need to get that back again. I think here I hope that I will play much better than in Australia. That is my goal. We will see. I will try my best.

Q. You've been hit by a string of injuries in the past. Do you feel that it's something that you left behind? And is that something that you took into account while training during the winter break?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I trained very hard, you know, to prevent injuries and to just keep my body in shape and be strong because we play throughout most of the year. We have a lot of tournaments, a lot of matches. And if you're not strong enough, and you're not fit, you have a huge risk of getting injured and not being able to play at your level.
You know, I am doing well so far. I haven't had any problems. And you know, I'm just I hope that I can stay healthy as long as is possible.

Q. You speak French? You like Paris? Can you tell us a little bit more? Do you have time to visit to do something special here in Paris?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I actually, to be honest, I like Paris. I used to go to the French school. I can speak French, but I never really spoke before, and I always said you know when I'm going to go to French Open, I'm going to give -- if I go to the final and this is my goal and my dream to give a speech in French.
But since I came here, I just arrived yesterday because we played Fed Cup until Sunday night. So I didn't have a chance yet to do anything. Also, it was raining and the weather is not so promising. It's not so nice to walk around and to do something. But I hope that while I'm here I will have some time to have some fun.

Q. Was it a huge disappointment to lose your No. 1 spot ranking?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's okay. You know, it's just the beginning of the year. There is -- it's not how you begin the year, it's how you end it. We have many tournaments to play. Then we will see who will finish.
Because during the year some players defend the points some players don't defend, and it's a temporary ranking. You're moving back and forth, you're not going to always stay in the same position. In the end, it is how well you have done throughout whole year.

Q. Going to the ranking question again. You've been overcome by Serena Williams and Dinara, and Dementieva is not far behind. Who among you do you reckon is the most dangerous opponent for you during the year for the No. 1 spot?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, it's difficult question because it depends how all these girls will play. You know, it's a long season. You need to play nine or ten months and the most important thing is to play on a consistent basis.
You can play great a few tournaments and then don't do so well the wrest of the year and then you do well a few months. And the others get on top of you. What matters is playing and making great results the whole year. And that player will be the best player at the end of the year.
At the moment it's very hard to say which one it will be. It also depends who is healthy, who is going to play their best tennis. Who is going to have more luck as well. Everything it comes into consideration, and everything matters.
But Dinara, Elena, Serena, all these players have a huge chance, and we are all fighting for this position to be the best player in the world, which I have achieved last year.

Q. You said in Australia that your goal was to win a Grand Slam tournament this year, so the next one is Paris on clay. How do you assess your chances to win on this surface?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, I like playing on clay, to be honest. The last two years I played two semifinals, and I would like to make it to the final this year to make it a step further. And everybody dreams of winning a Grand Slam and winning this big tournaments and having the satisfaction. Because when you play and you practice so hard and this is your reward for winning the Grand Slams and for becoming No. 1 in the world. It's the most you can get in this sport. This is what the whole sport is about.
We all strive after these goals and we want to achieve them in just a matter of who will do it, and if your dreams are going to come true.

Q. There is a new tournament in Marbella, Spain right after Miami. Katrina Martinez, the director of this tournament did say that you're coming to this tournament. Can you tell me how difficult it will be to play right after Miami on clay in Europe? Because it's just after, if you make the final like last year, it will be very tough for you to adjust?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, but after that, clay season starts. My coach is Spanish, and, you know, I'll do my best to prepare for this tournament.
I like playing on clay. I think Marbella is a great city, and a great place to play tennis. It's a new tournament. I'm excited about that tournament. I look forward to it.
I cannot say how quickly I can get adapted from playing on the hard court and then right away moving to clay, but it's, I think the same for all these players who are going to play there.

Q. Could you tell us how was the atmosphere, the ambience for Fed Cup. You said it was the first time in front your home crowd. Was it great, was it fun? What was it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: To be honest, it was the most amazing experience if my career, actually. All the players, a lot of players, not all, but a lot of players have the opportunity to play at home in front of their home crowd, in front of their families and their closest ones. We don't have that chance.
We've never had a tournament in Serbia, and now that we passed a long way, you know. I've played in Turkey, in Bulgaria, in Croatia, I don't know where we've played. It was very hard to pass those groups.
And to get this opportunity to play in Serbia, it was, I think we broke the record of the crowd. 15,000-something people came to support us. It was the energy over there and the vibe, and the whole atmosphere was unbelievable.
And nothing could be compared to it, because you have 99% of people cheering for you, which is not the case when you're playing in the other tournaments. Of course you have people cheering for you, but it's not like the whole house is on your side and they're behind you and cheering for every point.
As well as playing in front of your family, it was very emotional as well. And just sharing the victory with everybody over there was amazing. We all supported each other, and the team, we all had great positive energy which is very important. It's not individual, it's all the team. It's a team sport. How do you say? Atmosphere as well that has a huge role. And I think we have done a great job, especially being in that situation for the first time.

Q. Serena's won the last two Grand Slams now. In the modern game is there any likelihood at all she could win all four in a year?
JELENA JANKOVIC: If she can win all four in a year?

Q. Yeah.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. It's tough to say. You can ask her that. But all I know that a lot of players are going to have the same goals as her, so it's very difficult to say that. Because if you ask Safina or Dementieva or me, I also want the same thing, so it's difficult to say. If she can do it, well done, you know. It's a huge task to ask, and it's very difficult to do. But it's not impossible.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297