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June 23, 2009

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/J. Goerges
6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Jelena Jankovic. We'll take questions.

Q. Given your lack of practice, were you happy with today's performance?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes. These kind of matches, you know, for sure I need. You know, I need to compete. I need to be in, you know, a little bit tougher situations just to get myself going.
I think I get a lot of confidence, you know, from passing these kind of rounds. And today was a tough round. I thought that my point played quite well. She was serving well and hitting the ball quite hard. And especially on grass, it gives you a hard time.
But I managed, you know, especially in the important moments to stay tough and to close the match out. You know, especially I was down I think 5-2 or 5-3 in the second, and I managed to, you know, raise a level up and come back and, you know, close the match out 7-0 in the tiebreaker, which was very important for me.

Q. Would it be fair to say you weren't at ease with yourself?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, there comes a time when I'm a little bit disappointed with what I'm doing on the court, but those are the times when I need to push myself and just stay strong and stay positive out there, no matter what.
For sure, you're gonna make mistakes out there, but those are the times you need to stay positive and stay focused because it's very easy to lose your rhythm on grass and very easy to lose a couple games in a few minutes, you know, without even blinking.
So, you know, it's very important to stay focused from the first point till the last point in the match because grass game just goes very fast out there.

Q. You received some treatments after the first set. What was that for?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I had some blisters, you know, as well I had a broken toenail. So, you know, just change of surfaces and all these kind of things, you know, plays a huge toll on my feet.

Q. How is the toenail?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's fine now. But, you know, sometimes it hurts in the match. It's normal, you know. But somehow from playing with these kind of things, I kind of got used to it.

Q. How would you assess your chances now, given the lack of practice and your form over the last six months, which by your own admittance hasn't been great?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm just going one match at a time. The most important thing is just enjoy my tennis, find that smile on the court when I'm competing, and play loose, you know, no matter what.
It's important not to be nervous, you know, not to think about the past, just think about the moment I'm in. Just go out there and have fun.
And then that's the time when I play great tennis, when things go, you know, in a good way for me. When I'm thinking, you know, making -- you know, when I'm disappointed and frustrated with myself, with the mistakes I make, then that is not good for me.
I need to be -- you know, get to that personality that I had before, which was very positive. And, like I showed, you know, my fighting spirit at 5-2. I didn't give up. I just fought every point. I hung in there, even if you don't play your best tennis, be in the match, you know, and always believe you can win.

Q. Sounded very down downbeat after Eastbourne. I take it coming to the championships has rekindled your enthusiasm, one would hope?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I think I'm more enthusiastic. And I'm more positive, as well. You have to look on the bright side, as well. There is, you know, periods where you're gonna be down and you're gonna be up. Life in general it happens like this. And especially for an athlete, you know, we have our lows and highs, especially when it comes to motivation.
And now in this moment I'm just trying to get my energy up on the court and just get, you know, that fighting spirit from the first point. You know, run after those balls and give my best and really give my maximum from the first point, not play with 20% or play halfway what I can.
I'm trying to get to that mode. This is the mode that gives me results. This is the way I play great tennis and, you know, I win a lot of matches.

Q. You mentioned recently you wanted to take a little break from tennis. Are you happy to be here now? Do you want the break to be put off for at least two more weeks?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I'm happy to be here. I'm just trying to play my tennis on grass, which I find is very, very difficult. Playing on grass gives me quite a hard time. It's nothing like on other surfaces, where I have time to prepare, where I have time to set up for my shots.
But I try to do the best that I can and try to stay low and try to fight, you know, until the end.
I'm not really thinking about the break. You know, of course, sometimes when you lose a match it's frustrating, which is normal. You know, nobody likes to lose. I don't think anybody's happy after a loss. And then it comes -- a lot of things come to your mind.
But, you know, after, the next day, when you really think about everything, you're just happy. I'm healthy. I can play good tennis. You know, I can go out on the court and enjoy. What more I can ask for?
And I still have many, many years of playing. I'm only 24 years old. I still have a lot of time to prove myself.

Q. Of course, you were looking glamorous at Cannes at the film festival. Do you ever have days where you think you want to do something totally different, like be a movie star, not a tennis player?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it's nice, sometimes to get your mind off of tennis, you know, think about something else, do other activities. But it's important to have the right balance. You know, you cannot go over the limit doing other things that are not your job, that are not your priority.
My priority is, of course, my tennis, and then there are other things that I enjoy, as well, that make me happy. It's important to be happy in life. If you are only tennis, tennis, tennis all day long, after a while you might say, I cannot do this anymore.
That's why it's important to do, as well, other things that keep you satisfied. Then when you go on court, you're more happy and you feel more relaxed, as well.

Q. Do you think women's tennis might be more dramatic or entertaining if you played best-of-five sets?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I think it's already dramatic and interesting even when we play, you know, two or three sets. You know, I think women's tennis is quite interesting, especially with the personalities that we have. You know, all those girls out there, they're really giving their best.
But when it comes to playing five sets, I think it's more -- it comes more to the fitness of the girls. You know, it depends who is the fittest of them all, who can hang in and play good tennis for five sets. It's not easy.
It's not easy to keep your level, you know, high, from the beginning till the end, play with the same intensity and the same effort. So that's why I think it comes to the fitness more than, you know, the other things.
Would be interesting. We can see.

Q. Why is Serbia having such a fantastic period in sport in so many different sports?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think we're quite talented (laughter).

Q. But you grew up in war, your generation. You're having so many different sports.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, but we're just a talented nation. I don't know how to explain it. But we have, you know, the talent in us. We have that, you know, hunger. We are big fighters. We want to be the best that we can. We don't really accept, you know, second places. We want to be the first.
So I think with this kind of mentality, that's why we are quite successful in sports.

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