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January 19, 2010

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/M. Niculescu
6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had a very good 2008 obviously and a slightly rougher time last year. How do you view the return of Kim and Justine? Do you see their return as hurting your chances to get back into the upper rung?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think it's great for tennis that Kim and Justine are back. I think when they were playing - and I was obviously younger - but they always motivated me to work hard on my game. And, you know, I always played some of my best tennis at the time they were playing.
I played against Kim just when she came back in Montreal or in Toronto, I don't know. I don't remember anymore where we were playing. You know, it's always great. I think they bring a lot to tennis. That's the most important thing. They're both great athletes. That's fun.
For me, I love the competition, even though it doesn't really sound logical that I'm happy that they're back. For me, it is the case, because I love to play against some of the greatest athletes and seeing where I can -- where is my level. They always bring the best out of me. So I'm happy that they're back.

Q. Did you think it's a bit unfair that everybody is focusing on those two and Sharapova, players that aren't the top 10?
JELENA JANKOVIC: That's the media. You guys are focusing on that. You guys are asking these kind of questions. I mean, what can I do?

Q. Last year you came in as the No. 1 with a lot attention. Do you prefer to be a little bit left alone?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I don't really mind. I don't focus on those things. What is written in the papers is not really my job, what I'm thinking about. You know, there's always gonna to be things that are written, good or bad, about each player. I just try to focus on my tennis and what I do best.
I'm here to play and compete. That's basically what I'm thinking about. I don't really think about the, you know, stuff that goes in the papers.

Q. You were rubbing something on your back between sets. Are you hurt again?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I'm just a little bit stiff. I don't know, I guess it's from practicing and from staying low. I think also as well when you're playing matches, I think your body is a bit stiffer and you're bending a little bit more.
For some reason, I was a little bit stiff in my back. I will get a massage and I will be okay.

Q. There are some younger players than you that are climbing up the world ranking: Wozniacki, Azarenka. Which one are you most impressed about?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. There are so many that are good, and nice girls as well. It's as well good for tennis to have some younger generation coming in and bringing some -- there are some new personalities coming on the court. It's good for the fans. Better entertainment as well, and better competition.
But, you know, I cannot really choose one which I'm the most impressed with. All of them that are coming out, Azarenka, Wozniacki, Radwanska, I don't know, there's -- they're all good, and nice girls as well. So I don't really want to choose one, because I'm friends with them and it wouldn't be nice.

Q. In Ana's press conference earlier, she was saying that it's nice to see so many new Eastern European players coming up, because they add a lot excitement to the game. She didn't really elaborate, but is that something you agree with?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, like I said, these younger players, you know, it's nice to see new personalities. Because as well, the last I don't know how many years, it's almost like the same faces coming. You always see the same players all the time over and over again. Same players, you know, each week.
It's nice, you know, especially after playing for many years on the tour - even though I'm 24 years old - it seems like I've been a while here on the tour.
But it's nice to see new personalities, somebody new to talk to in the locker room and to have fun even outside of the tennis court. When we are competing, we are doing or job.

Q. What do you know about Katie O' Brien, talking about new faces around?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know much about her. Didn't really watch her. I cannot really tell much about her game. I really don't know.

Q. Is it a case of talking to other girls in the locker room just to get some idea of what she might be like?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Maybe. Maybe my coach will do some research or whatever. But basically I go there and try to play my game. I will figure it out. Maybe it'll take me a little bit figure it out. But after warmup and a couple games, I will be fine.
It's not like it's my first match. I have experience and I know what I need to do on the court.

Q. Wozniacki is No.4 in the world right now. Are you surprised that she's been able to climb up that high?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You can ask her if she's surprised or not.

Q. She is.
JELENA JANKOVIC: She is? She doesn't think she belongs there or?

Q. No. She thinks that things have been developing very fast for her.
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, I think last year was really, you know, different year from, you know, maybe the past. Because there was a lot tournaments where a lot of seeds went out, and then some other players who were outside of the top 10, they took advantage of that. They used it.
And especially with the change of the points I think it was great for them, because a lot of times, as you could see in US Open, I don't know, in Madrid, I don't know, in many events, all the top seeds were not performing well due to I don't know which reason. I was one of them.
You know, some of them took advantage. That was the deal.

Q. Just talking about today's game, what was the difference between the two sets? You seemed to struggle a bit in the first set.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, always first matches are the toughest, especially after not competing for two months. You know, it's nice to feel that rhythm again and feel that atmosphere and the pressure that you have from playing a real match.
It's never the same when you are playing practice matches or doing practice drills on the court. But when you are out there, it's the real deal. It took me a little bit to get -- you know, to feel comfortable.
I made some errors in the beginning, and then I just tried to stay calm and just tried to focus. Then I came back into the game.
Second set, I figured out what she was doing and what I needed to do. You know, that was basically it. You know, I finished the job in two sets, and didn't need any more than that.

Q. Does it sometimes feel like you're playing at home with all the supporters?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I really love that support. You know, it's amazing how many people come to support me, and as well the other players. I think this event, it's very patriotic. You see all the, you know, people from each country, they're dressing up with flags and they're kind of getting together, which is a little bit different from other events.
Which, of course we have, you know, Serbian fans everywhere around the world. But I think here it's a little bit more. You know, they're more involved and very, very loud, which I really, really love that. And as well the fans from the other countries as well.

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