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March 18, 2010

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/A. Kleybanova
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You're on a run.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I'm just happy to be in the semifinal, you know. I've been semifinalist couple years ago here, so I'm really happy, you know, about that. I'm just looking forward to my next match.

Q. What was the best part of your match today?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think overall, it was, you know, difficult match, because Kleybanova is a really tough opponent. You never know what kind of shot you're gonna get from her. She hits really that flat ball. I mean, sometimes, you know, I think I have her on the run, and then she just comes up with some unbelievable, you know, shots.
So it's really not easy. You know, she's a tricky player and can throw you off your rhythm at times. But I just tried to stay focused and tried to play the best that I can under those circumstances. I was able to get through this match, so I'm really pleased.

Q. Have you felt yourself getting better every match? Do you feel like you're playing your way into...
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, obviously you're gonna play different depending on your opponent. But, you know, the more matches I play, the better I'm getting. I'm really happy about that.
So I'm looking forward to my next match.

Q. You had to dig out of a hole there in the second set?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, she was up 4-2 and 40-15 serving, and then I managed to break her; then I served really well at 4-3. Then, you know, couple of points, you know, I was maybe little lucky on that call, you know, on that line. I carved the line a little bit.
But overall, you know, it was not easy. It was hot out there. We played in the middle of the day. The last, you know, three matches I played at night, so it was something different for me.
But I felt okay, and, you know, I felt, you know, good out there.

Q. What's the hardest adjustment to make when you're coming from night matches to a day match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it's hot, for sure. It was really hot out there. You have the sun in your eyes, you know.
But it's hot for me and for my opponent, so kind of doesn't make a difference, but -- so you just have to try your best.
But I'm, in a way, used to the heat. I've been training in Florida since I was a young girl.

Q. It seems like after the Errani match where it was a fight and a struggle and you didn't have your level, and now you've kind of gotten back up again and found it; are you trusting your shots a little more?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, that match against Errani was kind of a wakeup call. You know, I was almost, you know, two matches from losing the match -- two points from losing the match. You know, I fought very hard, you know.
I didn't play my best tennis, you know. My opponent played really great, but I was really -- it was not my day. I just didn't feel my shots. But, you know, I fought one point at a time and was able to get through that one.
Then played really well against Shahar Peer, you know, two days ago. I really was aggressive and really was, you know, top of my game.
And today was just another one where I had to do what I had to do, you know, to win this match. Because today -- you know, I think against Kleybanova it's really not easy to play your game because she plays those really flat shots and you never know where she's gonna hit it. It can throw you back at times.
So it's not easy. But, you know, I find it sometimes uncomfortable, but I did my best, you know, and got through.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about playing either Sam or Maria.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah. You know, we'll see who my opponent will be. They're playing, you know, later this afternoon. Whoever it will be, I will just play my tennis, and I hope for the best.

Q. You've been on top for a long time. What is it going to take you to change your game to be No. 1?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Um, I think I'm -- you know, in this moment I'm really not thinking about that, you know. I'm just thinking about improving my game and you know, getting -- you know, playing my matches and enjoying my tennis, and, you know, feeling confident again, you know.
Being every day in those situations, I think, helps you, you know, come back. And once you start feeling comfortable with your game, you get also much more motivated to work harder on your game, on your practice court, and everything kind of starts going, you know, on its own and you start getting better and better.
That's what I'm looking for, so I'm really pleased that I'm here in the semifinal and I have another chance, you know, tomorrow.

Q. You talked about you didn't feel the ball well early in the tournament. Now you do. When do you all of a sudden feel the ball? What is that like? How does that happen, that you suddenly can feel the ball well?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, but, you know, that's tennis. You wake up sometimes and you just -- you cannot get the ball in, you know. You're just struggling with your game. You know, something is off.
You know, that's -- you know, that's how it is. I mean, I wish I could just play well, you know, every day and be like a machine, but I guess that's kind of not possible.
So on those days when you're not at your best, you really have to try to stay positive as much as you can and just keep going, and, you know, try to get through some of those matches.

Q. After the struggles for the last few months, what would a couple more wins here do for your confidence?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think every win that I'm getting gives me a lot of confidence. I feel that I'm coming back, and my game is getting better and better. And like I said, it gives me more motivation. I feel like I can work much harder. I know what I need to work on just to get better as a player in general.
So just happy, you know, that I'm doing well here in this tournament, and I hope that I can keep it going.

Q. Must have been nice to smile after a win. That's been a while, eh?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, you know, it's nice to get that feeling, you know, back. You know, the satisfaction that you feel after you win a match, after you fought very hard and you beat, you know, a tough opponent, a great player, I think it doesn't get better than that.
So I think that's why you play tennis. You play for that joy, for that feeling when you win a match. It just, it's great. It's a nice, really a nice feeling to have, and I hope that I will have many more to come.

Q. You spoke about how difficult it was getting into the rhythm today. What are you feeling when you were trailing 2-4 down in that second set? Frustration? A mixture of things?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Sometimes I was feeling frustrated. I said to myself I have to feel aggressive, because if I let her, you know, get the first strike, I never know where she's gonna hit it. She can hit it pretty flat and then the ball just skids off and you kind of have no chance to get it.
So, you know, she -- I felt, you know, maybe she got a little bit nervous at times. She made two double faults, and then I was able to break, you know, 4-3. Then I really stepped up and really served well in that 4-3 to come -- to level the game, to be 4-all.
Then just, you know, hung in there and broke her. You know, that's what I basically did. You know, staying positive, staying -- you know, I knew I can do it, I just -- you know, couple points here and there.
You know, I also had a couple break points earlier in the set, in that second set, but I didn't manage to break her, so then she broke me. But, you know, it was not -- it wasn't a big difference, so a few points, you know, made a difference.
I was able to hold my ground and stay positive at 4-2, 15-40 down. You know, I got back and won the set.

Q. Is it different in all of this year reaching the semis compared to a couple of years ago?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, it's different, because when I played semifinals here it was in 2008, and that was the year I finished No. 1 in the world and I was basically doing well in every tournament that I played. Everywhere I played, I was a semifinalist, finalist, and I was going till the end of the event.
I haven't been playing, you know, well. Actually, I've been playing just a couple tournaments, but I didn't, you know, some good tennis. So it's nice to get that feeling back and to be winning again and to be, you know, in the end of the tournament again.
You know, it's nice to, you know, get -- you know, to get used to the situation where you -- when you are coming to the grounds and there's almost nobody -- you know, there is only few players left in the locker room, and you're one of them.
In the beginning of the week, you can't even put your bag down how many players are there, so it's nice. This is where you want to be.

Q. It's not lonely in there?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I like that feeling, actually. I want to be, you know, at the end of the tournament where there's no one and there's only a couple of us standing. That means I'm doing well.

Q. You trimmed your schedule down significantly this year. How has that helped you? You're a lot fitter, less injuries.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I feel fit. I feel, you know, ready to play. You know, I have less weight than I have before, and I'm moving well. I have no injuries.
I just was a little bit sick, you know, just before I began my tournament. So I had a fever and all that, but I managed to recover in the right time.
So that's about it. You know, I'm just playing my tennis, and I can enjoy it.

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