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January 18, 2011

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/A. Kudryavtseva
6-0, 7-6


Q. How can you explain a 6-Love first set and a 7-6 second set?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I thought I played pretty well in the first set. I was really solid. I really moved my feet.
But then in the second set I kind of relaxed. My opponent started playing much better. She started really going after her shots. She gave me a really hard time.
But then I just, you know, somehow regrouped and played one point at a time and kept going, you know, just trying to, you know, stay positive. I was able to do it and win in two sets.

Q. So it was a good match for you to progress your level up from then?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes. I think first matches are always the toughest, especially in the Grand Slam. You know, I just can hopefully get better. I have a day off tomorrow, so I can as well work on certain things.
But I thought I played, you know, pretty well. I haven't played for a really long time. It's just my second match of the season. So I just have to get myself going and get into those matches and get match tough again.

Q. Physically are you okay?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yes, physically I'm good. I'm healthy. I'm really looking forward, you know, to this season.

Q. You play a fighter next from China. You've played her before.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think I played her before quite a few times. But actually I don't really remember, you know, what our score is. But I know the way she plays. I know what I have to do. I just have to focus on myself, on my game, kind of do the right things.

Q. Wozniacki has the No. 1 ranking but hasn't won a Grand Slam. I think you had a similar situation in 2008. Does that add pressure?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Always the same questions (laughter).
I mean, what kind of pressure? I mean, it's a Grand Slam and everybody wants to win it. I think every player has extra motivation when they're playing a Grand Slam because they want to really win it.
Doesn't matter if you're No. 1 or not. I think you just have to go out there and try to play your best tennis and really go for it. You know, when you are inside the court, doesn't matter you're No. 1 or you're 100, anybody can win.

Q. What preparation do you have for a big event like a Grand Slam?
JELENA JANKOVIC: To be honest, I worked really hard in the off-season. I'm working with a new coach now, Andrei Pavel, so that's something new for me. Again, I worked really hard on my fitness just to be strong and be fit enough for the upcoming season so that I can, you know, hold up in those matches and play hopefully injury-free. Because last year, especially the last six months of last year, I had a lot of injuries. I had a really hard time. You know, I couldn't even practice. I had a hard time playing the matches.
So that was one of the things that kind of took me off. But now I'm feeling good, looking forward to competing and battling.

Q. How do you feel now? Do you think you need more matches before the Grand Slam?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, I feel good. Hopefully I'm just going to go out there and play one match at a time, really be positive, really try to focus on my game, try to hang in there and fight really hard. So we'll see what can happen.
I'm really looking forward to the challenge.

Q. Can you talk more about your next opponent. You lost to her in 2009 in Beijing. What would you expect from her in the second round? Do you think she's going to surprise you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: To be honest, is that the only time she beat me?

Q. I think so.
Well, you know, I think she hits the ball really hard. She hits really flat. I really have to play my game. I don't really focus too much on the other players; I focus on what I have to do; I focus on certain elements in my game that are the keys especially for me when I'm playing, when I'm inside the court. Just do those right things and try to kind of transfer the game that I've been working on the practice court, transfer that game into the matches, and I think build my confidence from there.

Q. As a top player coming into this tournament, do you think you are a contender in this championship this year?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm always positive, you know, just like I said. I want to go one match at a time. I think favorites, they have done better in these few tournaments that they had at the beginning of the year. I just started. I feel fresh. I feel motivated. I feel ready to go. So we'll see.

Q. You looked extremely fit on the court. Is your physical shape better than it's been for a long time?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think so. I worked really hard. Like I said, I had a lot of injuries last year, so my fitness, really I couldn't work on my fitness. I couldn't really do what I'm supposed to do in order to play with the top players. So I really put the accent on getting physically ready. That makes me mentally tough as well because I know I can play those matches. I know I can play those longer points, and it won't be so tough for me.
So I'm ready in that department. Just like I said, I need to get those matches and kind of get the rhythm and confidence again.
So hopefully, you know, I'll just play one match at a time and hopefully get better with each one.

Q. Is there extra excitement, the fact that it's wide open, the women's draw?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm really not looking too far ahead, if it's wide open or not. Like I said, just focus on myself, on my game, don't really think too much ahead, don't think about other players. I just, you know, stay within myself and do what I have to do.

Q. Is there anything different about Kudryavtseva compared to other players who are at her level of ranking?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know the difference maybe between her and some of the other players that are in her ranking level.
But I think she plays really well. I think she has had really some really good wins against some of the top players. So I think when she's on her game, she can really give you such a hard time out there. She really goes after her shots, especially on her forehand. So she can be really tricky and dangerous opponent.
But it was a tough one for me for the first round, but I'm happy to get through this one.

End of FastScripts

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