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February 13, 2009

Jelena Jankovic


Q. So, Jelena, tough match. It seems that you were a little tense by the end of the match, no?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it was actually it was a fast match at the beginning. It was very tough for me as well physically, especially at the end of the third set. It was the one who could stay longer, and who had more endurance and could finish those points off.
Because we played for, I don't know how long, two hours and something. Almost three hours. So and a lot of running, a lot of hitting. It was not easy for either of us.
Especially for me, after losing that first set, I was really angry at myself for letting that opportunity go. Instead of being up a set, I am down a set. And I have it in my head that I need to win another two sets.
It was not so easy to forget that. Especially when I was playing that second set. But I kind of tried to let that go and tried to focus on how I need to play, what kind of game plan I should approach towards the end of this second set and third and what I need to do in order to win. Forget about what just happened. Just focus on that, in the present, and what I can do to win.
You know, by kind of fighting, you know, my fighting spirit, and just playing one point at a time, and keep going, and keep pushing myself. I manage to win this match.
It was not easy playing a French player against, also the crowd obviously was on on her side. So, a lot of things that were not in my favor, but, you know, I managed with all of that to come out as a winner.

Q. But what happened in the first set? You were 5-2 up, playing well, and all of a sudden, you couldn't hit the ball?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know, I started to also make mistakes, and my opponent was putting all these balls in the court. And I don't know how, and I lost so many games in a row. I lost my concentration. I got down on myself.
And you know, I just lost completely the concept of my game. I didn't know what I was doing. And on no, she took advantage of that, and she kept putting a lot of balls, and she made me make errors. And I let her win that second set or first set.
But then, you know, when I took control of the game, when I started playing aggressive, when I started hitting the ball and going after my shots, it was completely different story. And that's what I had to do in that first set and in the second, you know, just to keep going. Then maybe I would have won in two sets.
But if I have, there's always things that I can learn from. All these things I can get better at. And I should have done this or I should have -- there's always going to be these kind of things, but these kind of matches are good for me in this moment to push me and to feel, you know, like I said, the pressure, and get my confidence again.
One thing today I felt I was really out there. No matter what happened, no matter I lost the set, but I still believe in myself. I still kept going. Sometimes you don't play so well. Sometimes you have these kind of ups and downs. You start to play well, then you don't play well. But still you keep going. You feel that you're going to win in the end, and that's what I was -- that was the case with me today.

Q. During the changeover, I think it was in the third set you asked for a trainer, and I think you had the bandages around both of your feet. And I think you had blisters, correct me if it's not that injury. But how did that happen? And did that bother you when you had to serve and move?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I have a little bit of blisters underneath my foot. But because we played so long and my shoes and my socks were completely wet, so the bandage moved. And I started to have pain in that part of my foot. So I couldn't play like that anymore. It was painful, and I had to stop and just, again, put a bandage in the right place. Then after that, well it was okay. I was able to finish the match without any problem.

Q. You've won three matches in three sets. What does it mean to you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Not three. I didn't play three sets the first day.

Q. The last two, sorry. The last two in three sets.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Don't add me another set, huh?

Q. The last two in three sets. What does it mean to you? Is it more of an encouragement or are you a bit worried?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I'm not worried at all. I just playing matches, and being in this situations, it can only help your confidence. Because if you can win this kind of matches when you don't do something right, when your opponent as well plays very well , if you can win those matches and it's great. It's great for me, because when you are playing well, when you're doing everything right and it's easy to win in two sets 6-2, 6-2 and come out of the court.
But when this kind of situation, it's not so easy. Especially here, we don't have a challenge. We have a lot of close balls. The crowd is not on my side. I'm playing against a French player, a young player. She has nothing to lose. She's playing very well. You have a lot of things that come into conversation.
But at the end of the day it's all about me. How I can play, how I can win my match. It doesn't matter you play good or bad, what counts is the winner.

Q. It was strange at the end of the first set, you didn't look at your coach, and he was standing up, he just wanted to go to the court to talk to you, and you didn't look at him. So he didn't know what to do. Did you do that on purpose or what?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, to be honest, when I lost that first set, I was so frustrated with myself that I don't know if the coach came on the court what will happen, you know. When you receive advice, and somebody's talking. I don't think that was the right moment for me to speak to somebody, because I was very angry at myself and I needed some time to forget and to calm down and to kind of regroup again and focus for the rest of the match.
It was not easy. I know it's not an easy situation. And I just was thinking by myself how and what I need to do right now to move forward and to try to win this match.
I started very well after. I lost that first set, and after that was up 4-1, and really was on hitting, and really was out there, and hitting very strong, hitting and doing the right things. I knew what the tactics was. I knew what I needed to do. It was just a matter of doing it.
The coach can tell you you have to play this and that. If you are out there, you don't hit, you don't do what you're supposed to or what you are told, then doesn't matter. Everybody can tell you you need to play this, and that and then I go out on the court and I do completely different story.
And also, we have tactics, but then your opponent doesn't allow you to do that. You have sometimes problems. And this is the way it goes.

Q. But Ricardo was very nervous until the end of the match, especially in the last game when you missed an easy volley. He was like...
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I don't want to comment on my coach. You know, if he's nervous or not. But it's not easy to be there in the box and watching with the player. I think it's sometimes harder to be in the box than on the court. You know, because you get so nervous, and you feel that you have no control over the player because you don't know how the player feels, what the player's going to do.
When you're playing, you know I'm going to serve to the tee. I'm going to hit the next shot. But when he's there, he's thinking too many things. He has too many options. He's nervous. He wants the player, his player to win.
But I think it's with every coach like that. When they're sitting there, they get angry. But I think they should always, no matter what the player is doing, always be supportive and always, you know, give some kind of encouragement during the match. Especially when you're down. This is what you need.

Q. It was a very long match, as you said. When you were attacking and dictating some, don't you think it could be a good idea for you to maybe going more to the net and have more time on court? It could be less time for you? Moreover you have some good net skills, so it could be interesting for you, maybe?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I think it's the best thing to do is to -- especially indoor courts when it's fast serving, you can always get the first strike and really go after your shots and try to dictate and dominate right away. This is, I think, the best way to play. It gives a lot of problems to the player, to the opponent.
You need to concentrate from the beginning and try to go after every shot. And always keep your opponent under pressure. It's the best way to play here indoors. To go after the shots and always try to take the first initiative.
When I was doing that, I was winning pretty easily. As soon as I back-up a little bit and I start to take the pace off of my ball and I start to play her game, you know, because she can rally all day long.
She's one of the best girls, one of the best movers on the tour. And she runs from corner to corner like not many girls can do that. So she's not going to give you -- she doesn't make any mistakes. She's not going to give you many points. So in order to win points, you need to go after it, go hit every ball and really put pressure. Then you can get short balls and you can get a lot of winners.

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