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October 25, 2010

Jelena Jankovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Compared with your previous three appearances, what's state of mind and body do you come here in?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Um, you know, first of all, I'm just happy to be here. You know, obviously in the beginning of the year, one of the goals is to make it to the Championships.
You know, I was able to make it despite all the injuries and health problems that I've had, especially in the second half of the season. So I'm just going with the mentality I just want to give my best here.
To be honest, I'm not really playing my best tennis. I think anything can happen. I just want to try and fight hard. We'll see how things will go for me. It's the end of the year. Just one more week to go.

Q. Do you still regard it as a good achievement to be here?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, it is. You know, it's just the top 8 here in the world. It's obviously an achievement to be here. I would like to win as many matches as possible. We'll see how things will go for me.
The most important thing is to enjoy my time out there and play with the best players.

Q. A few weeks ago we had a new No. 1 in the world, Caroline Wozniacki, who has not yet won a Grand Slam. You've been in the same situation a few years ago. Talk about being No. 1 and not having won a Grand Slam, the criticism.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Um, really I think what Caroline has done is a great achievement. I think for every player who becomes No. 1 in the world it's a dream come true. She really played, you know, well. She played very consistently throughout the year. I think in this moment she deserves to be No. 1, and the ranking shows.
So without a Grand Slam or with a Grand Slam, I think, you know, becoming No. 1 in the world is amazing. Not many players were able to do that, so congratulations to her.

Q. But how did you feel when you made it yourself, being criticized about being No. 1 and not having won a Grand Slam?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Being No. 1 is about playing through the whole year. It's not about making one result and then fading away and not being able to make any other good results.
So it's good, consistent results throughout the year. I think she was able to do that the best this year.

Q. You talked about not playing some of your best tennis. I guess in Moscow you ended up crashing out. What's happening with you right now. Is it physical?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, I'm having some health problems. I have sinus problems. You know, I was sick before I came to Moscow, and I'm still not 100%.
But, you know, for me to be here, it's already amazing. I already said, you know, I'm not really playing my best tennis. I'm not in the form like maybe I was in the first half of the season.
But that's due it a lot of injuries. I twisted my ankle and had back problems, so that also resulted in, you know, not good preparation, you know, not being able to practice as hard as I normally practice.
That also affected my confidence. It's the end of the year, like I said, and I think all of the girls are excited to be here. I just want to give my best.

Q. How important is this week, do you think, for the women to showcase the very best of what they can offer here? You get a once-in-a-year opportunity of the top 8 to be playing at one stage. Do you think it's a very important week for the women's game?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I think it is. It's a very important event for all of us. The top best 8 players are here. Everybody wants to show their best tennis. Some are in better form than others, which is normal.
I'm here to play and just fight hard. I think anything can happen out there.

Q. And you've had experience with the conditions here. It feels a little bit warmer than the last time. What special things do you have to do to make sure you can cope with the conditions here?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I think for me it's a change, because I came from Serbia. I came from home, which was very cold. When I showed up here at the airport I was with my winter boots. I went outside and I was in shock. I was sweating and it was very hot.
You know, you just -- I have to just try my best to adjust to this heat and the humidity. But I've been here in the past. It's my third time to be here in Doha to play the Championships.
You know, I think whoever is going to be the fittest, whoever can, you know, survive in these kind of conditions is going to do the best.

Q. You have a base in the middle east here in Dubai. Has that helped, and you will it help with the conditions here?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Obviously throughout the years I've been playing in many hot places. I'm kind of used to the heat, and as well I train in Florida.
Now, in this particular moment, I was at home in Serbia and in Moscow, which was zero degrees and minus. So I'm white. You can see I have no tan. I haven't been in the hot places for the last, you know, maybe a month or so. In China was not very hot either. In Tokyo either.
So I'm not kind of used to the heat. But I'm just going to try my best to adjust and adapt to those conditions as fast as possible.

Q. The Williams sisters, as was mentioned earlier, you beat them in one tournament, one of the few people to do that. What difference does that have on the tournament? What's missing when the Williams sisters aren't here?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It would be nice to have the Williams sisters. They're I think the greatest players in our sport.
But unfortunately due to injuries and health problems, they weren't able to be here. Actually, the last two times I player here in Doha I lost to Venus in the semifinals, and she's not going to be here this year.
So, you know, we would all love them to be here. Unfortunately they're not. I think there are still many great players here to compete. I think it's going to be a great competition out there, and hopefully some great tennis. I think the fans will enjoy some good matchups.

Q. The men's tour is going through the process of trying to shorten the calendar, which the ladies have done with their Roadmap. How beneficial do you think that's been for you and the other players that you stop your season at the end of October and have two months to recharge the batteries?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, I think it's great, because we have a month or couple weeks to rest and not play tennis and just recover, recharge your batteries and get the motivation and feel for training again.
Then we have like about a month or so to do very hard training and a lot of fitness and prepare for the next season. I think that's very important for us to get some rest and then do good preparation for the upcoming season.
I think without rest, it's very tough to have a long career, because you going to have injuries, you're going to have problems.
So I think it's very important for us after a long season to have, you know, a couple weeks of rest and then start training very hard for the next season. I think it's -- you know, tennis has one of the longest seasons. Other sports have more breaks and more months off.
You know, it's hard. But I think the Roadmap, you know, it's good for us, for women's tennis. Men have not so much break as us.

Q. How do you rate your draw? You have Azarenka, Zvonareva, and Kim.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think I have a tough group. Zvonareva has been playing very well. Kim, she's always a great champion. And Azarenka just won a tournament. So they're all in good form and playing very well. It's going to be tough.
But like I said, I just want to try to play the best that I can and we'll see what will happen.

Q. What do you remember from your last meeting with Kim Clijsters? You beat here in Toronto, but it's more than a year ago.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I remember we played such a great match. I think it was 7-5 in the third, but I think we both played really good tennis. It was a good fight out there.
You know, hopefully I will be able to, you know, produce good tennis and play at a high level. I think anything can happen. I think against her I played some of -- I remember the match in Sydney like maybe in 2007 was one of the best matches I played in my career. Even though I lost I think 6-4 in the third, it was really, really exciting.
Hopefully I will be able to play well and, you know, play those kind of matches again.

Q. Who would you put your money on this week?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's tough to say. Anything can happen. I think, you know, every match counts. I think maybe you can lose one match and still win the tournament. So you just have to be positive. You just have to, you know, focus and really try hard.
Like I said, anything can happen. You know, some of -- I think it's going to be an interesting competition. That's all I can say. Hopefully a good week of tennis.

Q. Do you have a favorite?
JELENA JANKOVIC: In my mind, I think, you know, maybe Kim Clijsters or Wozniacki.

Q. This is the last year before the WTA Championships moves to Istanbul. You have been here for a long time. What are your feelings about Doha?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think it's great. It's great hospitality here. They treat us very well. The people are very nice. I think we had everything, you know, that we needed in the last couple of years.
It's sad that we are not going to be playing here anymore. You know, I had such great memories and such good times the last couple of years, so I'm really thankful that we were able to play in this part of the world and we're moving to another city next year.

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