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January 17, 2011

Jelena Dokic


J. DOKIC/Z. Ondraskova
6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must feel pretty good. Looked pretty happy after that match there.
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, it was good. I think I played a pretty solid match. I had a tough match with her last year on clay. You know, she plays with a lot of topspin, can get a lot of balls in.
I had to find the balance between being aggressive and, you know, not making errors. I think I did it perfectly.

Q. You said last year you came into this tournament a bit flat and tired, emotionally spent. How different is it this year?
JELENA DOKIC: It's good. I feel good. You know, I've really had now two wins this year. It's a great start to the year for me. And always the first match, especially in a Grand Slam, is tough. I really wanted to get through this match.
You know, no matter what happens in the next round, you know, I think I will build a lot of confidence from this. And, yeah, I think if I continue like this, it should be a good year.

Q. Do you feel significantly better than you did this time last year?
JELENA DOKIC: Yes. I feel physically better, better with my tennis, and I think most of all mentally much better.

Q. Can you say what's happened with the coach? There's some suggestion you split.
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, we split a couple days ago, right before the Australian Open. Nothing special. No hard feelings, you know. There are certain people that suit you for your game and for your personality. This was just not one of them. This is the first time we traveled together, so it was all kind of a test period anyway.
Yeah, I feel like, you know, he didn't suit the type of tennis that I wanted to play. You know, just one of those people. Maybe he's good for somebody else, but I didn't feel that click, basically. That's it, you know, nothing else.
Yeah, that was my feeling inside. I went by my instinct. I think I made the right choice.

Q. Have you made any decisions on who you might lean on for this tournament?
JELENA DOKIC: I'm working with Tennis Australia, actually with Louise Pleming. She's helping me out. I'm playing doubles with Sally. She's working with Sally, and that's why we thought it would be best. She's just helping me with my warmups and hits until I get through this tournament.

Q. Tough to make a decision so close to a major with so much on the line?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, it is. I made the decision three days ago, so, yeah, it was tough. But, you know, I felt like even in the playoff and Brisbane and Sydney, I didn't feel good, didn't play the way I wanted to play. We just had different opinions on what I should do.
I think it's tough. I do want to listen to the coach, but at the same time, I'm also not 15 years old. So I have some experience and I know what I want to do. I just want to focus on that and make that better.
But, yeah, like I said, you know, you just don't click with certain people and that's it. It was a hard decision, but I had to do it.

Q. You played more aggressively, swinging for the lines.
JELENA DOKIC: I played too much up and down, you know, in the playoff as well and also in the last two tournaments, just going for too much, just finishing points too early. That's not the way I wanted to play. I wanted to build up points more, play a little bit like I did today.
It's hard to change your game three days before a tournament, but I had to do it. I did it. I think I did pretty well, especially in the match, to come out and beat a girl who's ranked 70 or 80 in the world, beat her comfortably with just two or three days of going back to my old things.
So I think it's very positive, yeah.

Q. Tell us about the expectation of last year, center court, 500 ranking points, compared to nothing to lose as today.
JELENA DOKIC: It's different because I have nothing to defend until July. It's really a big difference. It feels good. I got some points now already, got some matches. You know, I can really look forward to the next match and the next tournament. Yeah, it's a big difference.
Sam has it this time around. I'm kind of in the shadow, which is good (smiling).

Q. Did you feel it was a bit of a release, not playing under Glen's style and playing to what you felt was more natural?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, actually I did. Like I said, as much as it's really difficult to go back, because I've been doing kind of his kind of game for three months, so in the whole off-season, and you come into a Grand Slam three days before trying to change something.
So I was very, uhm, nervous about doing that in the match. I only had I think three or four hits just trying to go back to what I want to do a little bit further back, doing a bit more moving, a bit more mixing up. So I was nervous, but I think I did it well.
I'm actually surprised how well I did it.

Q. How much more do you think you can achieve?
JELENA DOKIC: Well, I think matches like this give me a lot of confidence. You know, I feel, like I said, physically much better. I'm getting there. Yeah, I think I can still do a lot.
This year is really, really key for me, especially the first few months. I'm going to try to play, week in, week out, all the way until I get really tired, because I think that's what I really need to do, and play as many matches as possible. Try to play doubles, too. I'm already playing doubles here already, so I'm focusing on getting back.

Q. Do you feel you still have a lot of tennis left in you?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I feel like I saved myself for quite a few years. I didn't play. I feel really actually fresh mentally. My motivation is back. I think that's something that Glen did bring back with the hard work and motivation.
I always had it, but he brought that extra bit of hard work that you have to do to get back. Sometimes you get lost and you forget just how much you have to do. I have to give him credit for that, of course.
But, yeah, I'm really, really working hard right now. Yeah, I think I can play for five, six years minimum, that's the plan.

Q. You talked about this year being a good year. What is a good year by your standards?
JELENA DOKIC: Well, obviously top 50 would be my first goal. That would be really good if I can get back in the top 50. And I think for me, I mean, everybody, the more confidence you get in matches, the better you get, and you improve really quickly.
So I think if I get to top 50, I think I can go much further.

Q. What about the next two weeks?
JELENA DOKIC: I'm really happy with the first-round win. You know, I really wanted to get this win under my belt, no matter what happens in the next round. You know, I can go relaxed into the next match. I'm going to try my best, just work on things that I need to work on, play the way that I want to play.
If it happens that I win, great. If not, you know, I'm gonna learn from the mistakes that I did. I'm really looking forward to play again in two days' time.

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