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October 30, 2009

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/C. Wozniacki
6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jelena, please.

Q. It was a strange match, a strange qualification for you, in the semifinals.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I did my best. That is what counts. I knew that today's match was really important. I knew that I had to win in order to go to the semifinals, and if I lost this match, I was out of the competition. So it was a lot of pressure.
But I just took it really as a challenge and I just wanted to play my tennis. And especially I didn't know what to expect from Caroline, with all of the things that have happened in the last two days, as you could see, a lot of drama out there.
I came to really focus on my tennis. I did a good job. I'm happy that I was able to win in two sets. I'm happy for the second time in a row I'm in the semifinal.

Q. In the first game you lost very quick. Today you have done a great job. How did you step up your performance in just two days?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It was disappointing, you know, the first day when I played because, you know, I arrived on Sunday and I had only one day to get used to the conditions, to get used to the courts and, you know, playing outdoors, because I came from Moscow, which was really cold, and here is very warm. So you could see, my timing was off. I wasn't used to all of those things. So I had a bad day. I had a bad day of tennis.
But here, you know, the good thing about this competition is not how you begin, it's how you end it. And I lost a match, and I still have, you know, I had a chance to go through. So I just kept myself positive. I was looking in optimistic way. Here I am, I'm in the semis.

Q. Would you say the conditions outside maybe are preventing people from playing their best tennis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, I'm getting used to it. In the first day, I had really a lot of trouble. You know, I was not used to it. I got tired after, you know, running two balls down. I had trouble getting oxygen.
But, you know, now I'm getting used to it and I'm feeling much, much better. But still it's tough conditions out there. We are sweating a lot. It's very humid. You could see, our dresses are completely soaked. You know, my hair is full of sweat. So when I'm serving, it's sweat going all over the place.
But it's the same, you know, for everybody, and we have to try to do our best.

Q. Last year you were the world No. 1 in Doha. This year you are the last player to qualify here. How do you evaluate your performance in 2009? What's your expectation for next year?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It was a tough year overall. You know, many things have happened on and off the court. I had a lot of injuries. I had, you know, some personal problems, a death in my family. It's really hard sometimes to be focused on tennis and to only think about the game.
And after those things happen, you realize that tennis is just a sport, and you don't need to take it so seriously. Every time I go on the court, I try to be positive, I try to go with a smile on my face, and I just try to do my best.
So I'm really happy after all that I was able to make it to the Championships here, to such a prestigious event, and that I gave myself an opportunity to go far in this tournament and to play with the best players in the world.

Q. Would it be fair to say after your first match you seemed to be thinking, I'm going into the winter layoff period now to regroup and plan for next year, then all of a sudden Dinara gets injured and Caroline gets hurt, if you like, and you win both matches? It's changed for you now, hasn't it?
JELENA JANKOVIC: That's a good part about the competition. Every tournament that we play, the normal event, once you lose, you're out of the competition and you can go home. Here you lose a match, there is still, you know, the tournament is not over for you.
So I said to myself, you know, I was really disappointed after my first loss, and I was a little bit harsh on myself because I was just so -- my tennis was really awful, I made so many errors, and I was frustrated with my game.
But then I said to myself, you know, I still have a chance. I just have to regroup and focus on my next match, go out there and play, hopefully play much better. I was looking forward to playing against Dinara. I have beaten her in the final of Cincinnati, and I was ready to play that match. I practiced, you know, I got used to the courts, got used to the weather, then played today. So here I am, the semifinal. It's a good result.

Q. But it's fair to say that the message you gave after your first match was qualification was beyond you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, that was after the first hour, you know, when you lose a match. Of course you're going to be disappointed. Nobody likes to lose. We're all professionals. We're all here, just the best of the best players in the world. And once you lose a match, you cannot be happy. Especially after my performance, of course I was going to be frustrated. You know, I couldn't be happy with what I did on Tuesday.
So after one hour has passed, I sat down with my team, I analyzed what I have done wrong, what I needed to do better, what I need to do in order to change, because the competition is not over until it's over, until they say, you know, that you're out.
Today I knew that if I lost my match, I was out of the competition, so I needed to win that match. I was able to stay strong and focused and get through this one.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the strength at the moment in women's tennis with Kim Clijsters back, Justine Henin returning next year. Is that a good thing or do you think that's going to make things a lot more tough for you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, it's a good thing. I always enjoyed playing against Kim and Justine in the past, until they have retired. I always admired their games. They're such great athletes, you know. I have some similarities to Kim, which I used to do a lot of splits on the court, that sliding, all of those, you know, movements.
In a way, in the past, they have motivated me to play my best tennis, to improve. I look a lot after them. You know, whenever I played against them, when I played against them in the past, I was the young player, I was the one who was coming up. And now I'm not young anymore. I'm 24 years old. So I already have been on the tour for many years.
But I think it will be exciting for the tennis, and the competition will be more fierce, much more tough than it is now.

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