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September 1, 2009

Jelena Jankovic


6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about how you felt out there today in your match.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I felt really good out there. You know, I came out really focused and I wanted to do my job in a good way. I wanted to get the first strike, hit first, and try to dominate as much as possible. And especially knowing that I had tough matches against her in the past, she has that slice and, you know, a little bit different style of game than most girls. So can be difficult and tricky out there.
So I managed to dominate as much as I could, and I finished I think in two good sets. I played well.

Q. Winning in Cincinnati, I assume this has really given you a nice boost of confidence, is that right?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, for sure. I played well in Cincinnati. Every match I was getting better and better. And for sure my confidence was rising.
I have beaten lot of top-five players, which is what you want, you know, in order to come back and feel where you are at in the moment, it's by playing the top ones. And I was able to win against them and see what I need to work on, what I need to improve, what I am doing well.
You know, I think I'm on the right track. My level of tennis is rising and rising, and I think I'm getting more and more dangerous.

Q. What were those levels that you felt were exposed or that you thought needed extra sharpening?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I needed to improve on my serve especially. In Cincinnati and Toronto, my serve wasn't really that accurate. I didn't have, you know, a lot of pace on that serve, you know, like some of the other bigger girls. I worked on that.
You know, I served very well today. I made five aces. You know, I thought that the serve helped me a lot today. I held my serve every time and didn't really have any trouble holding my serve, which is important.
You can then play much looser when you're returning. Then everything gets a little bit easier out there. Then when you're struggling with the serve, it gives you a lot of trouble and then you're a little bit more restricted and a little bit more tight.

Q. How fast are these courts compared with Cincinnati or with most hard courts? Are these faster?
JELENA JANKOVIC: They're fast. I mean, normal pace. They're a little bit faster than Cincinnati. But I like to play on these kind of courts. For me, you know, they're not too fast; they're not too slow. For me they're just the pace that I like to play on.
I played on faster surfaces. I thought maybe Stanford, that center court in Stanford was much faster than these courts here.
But I like it a lot here. I'm enjoying my tennis. I hope to continue like this.

Q. You talked over the last several months you wanted to gain weight, then maybe you gained too much. Do you have the weight, fitness level and strength where you want them all now?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I'm back to normal. You know, I'm feeling good about my weight, you know, to what I used to be before. In the beginning of the year, I had a lot of kilos, more than usual. I had maybe seven kilos more, which is like almost fifteen pounds or so, which maybe you couldn't tell by the looks, but that was the case with me. It made me much slower. I felt really awkward on court. You know, I didn't feel comfortable out there.
Now I lost weight. I'm not as muscular as I was before. Maybe bulkier. I never was really big. But for me that was big enough. That was very big, which I wasn't used to that kind of body. I was never one of those girls who had those muscles. That really suits my game. I thought I was going to be better being stronger, but it didn't make me better; it made me worse.
I play my best tennis when I'm light on my feet, when I'm dynamic, when I can move. When you have the movement, you are on the ball, you have the balance, you can do whatever you like with the ball. When you're slow, sluggish, you're always late, then you're struggling by yourself. You are your biggest opponent. You don't know what you're doing out there. So now I'm doing good and I'm feeling good.

Q. What did you do to lose the weight?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Nothing. I changed the way I trained. As well, I changed a little bit the way I eat as well. I'm a big fan of chocolate, these kind of things. But I never really had a problem with my -- issues with my weight, meaning that I'm not allowed or I cannot eat chocolate or these fatty foods because I was going to gain weight. I gain weight by adding muscle.
I went much more in the gym. I was lifting more weights and doing exercises that made me stronger. And muscle weighs more.
So I stopped going to the gym and lifting heavier weights. I'm lifting very light weights just to get definition and be, how do you say, have the power, but at the same time be explosive. So I don't just have power and I'm really slow. And that's what I did. All the exercises are related to tennis.
So, you know, I'm moving really good on the court in this moment and I feel that, you know, my game is getting better and better, which I'm happy about.

Q. Safina has been struggling with this No. 1 ranking and the pressure of it. We saw the same thing with Ivanovic. Why is it difficult, and did you struggle with that pressure?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No. To be honest, once you hit that No. 1 ranking, you have achieved a huge thing. And, you know, for me, you know, until I got there, I had pressure because I really wanted to be No. 1 in the world. I wanted to be able to say one day when I'm going to be older I was the No. 1 player in the world. And that's really huge. Not many people can say that.
Once you are there, for sure there is people gonna be going after you. They have nothing to lose. You are the one to beat. When I was No. 1, I finished the year as the No. 1 player in the world, I finished in a good way. I won three tournaments in a row and played semis at the Championships. I played quite a lot, but I had great results, beat all of the top-10 players, which was great.
I wanted to be better in 2009, which I thought, you know, by being stronger physically will help me, you know, get a better serve, move better, hit harder, and all of these things. But for me didn't work out, which led to bad results.
As well, I had some personal problems, too, which distracted me and got me a little bit away from the court from thinking only about tennis. But now everything is clear. I'm enjoying again. I'm back on the courts with a smile on my face.

Q. No. 1 itself didn't pressure you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Really when you're No. 1 in the world, you just got to take that as a challenge and accept it as it is. You got to expect everybody to play their best tennis when they're playing against you. And especially the lower-ranked players which have nothing to lose, which is normal.
But you just got to take that as a challenge and just try to play your best tennis each time. It's not easy, but if you want to be the best, you have to take that.

Q. Finishing the year No. 1 is a rare accomplishment. There are other players who haven't done that who have won majors. Do you ever feel it's a little unfair or you've been unlucky that you haven't done that as well?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No. There is no reason. You know, I'm only 24 years old. So I still have time to achieve many things. My goal in this moment is just to work hard and my time will come. I believe in myself. That's the most important thing.

Q. Do you consider yourself maybe the best player that's never won a major?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't think about that at all. I don't really care about statistics or anything like that.

Q. As you were a girl, what's your very first memory from tennis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Maybe when I began to play at nine-and-a-half years old. I remember I had just one racquet and I had a leather grip. I started in the wintertime. It was in Serbia. It was in that balloon. How do you call it? You know what I mean.

Q. The bubble.
JELENA JANKOVIC: The bubble, yeah. And it's so cold inside. And it was wintertime. I remember I wanted to play so much. I liked the sport. But I never really thought I was going to end up being a professional tennis player. I just enjoyed, you know, hitting balls and learning how to play the game. I never really had that, you know, one day I'm going to be No. 1 in the world. That was not even in my -- even in a fairytale.

Q. Did you have dreams at night when you were sleeping of playing a match in tennis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, many times, especially after you're playing so many matches, I'm dreaming, I'm yelling in my dream. It's out, it's not out, it's in. I'm still playing tennis sometimes at night, which you got to understand. We play a lot of tennis. We are competing every time. Some of those things that happen during the day, you're dreaming about at night. But what can you do? Many times I wake up in the morning and I have no idea where I am, which city I am, all these things. But that's the case of a professional tennis player.

Q. You have your sponsorship with ANTA now. Can you talk a little bit about what the relationship is right now? Are you still giving a lot of input about what kind of clothes you wear?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I really like my clothes. They're much different than some of the other dresses that are out there. I'm wearing at this moment a red dress, which it's a color that I like. Bright colors suit me. I wore last week yellow, now red. Red is a color of good luck, so hopefully I will have some luck in that way.
And, you know, ANTA is a great company. Hopefully we will grow bigger and bigger and get the promotion worldwide. Hopefully by wearing all of these nice and beautiful dresses, and they are very comfortable as well, hopefully the relationship will be very successful.

Q. Why are so many women having so many double-faults? What is so hard about the toss?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm the wrong person to ask. You should ask some of the other players who are making a lot of double-faults. I'm okay in that department. You know, I make a few, but I'm not that bad (laughter).

Q. Is it windy out there?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. Yeah, everyone -- every once in a while you toss the ball bad, which is going to cause a bad serve. You're not going to hit your target, where you wanted the ball to go.
But, you know, some of those girls are having problems with the toss. I'm okay, but I still can improve on my toss. My toss gets off every once in a while, but I try to do my best to throw it nicely and hit my shot.

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