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March 11, 2011

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/C. Vadeweghe
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. About what you anticipated for a first-round match or opening match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, actually I didn't know what to expect, because I only played my opponent maybe like three years ago, actually, at the US Open. So I didn't really watch her play much or, you know, like I said, didn't play against her for a long time.
I didn't really, you know, know what to expect. I knew that she kind of has a really big serve. She serves well and she hits her first shot, but there wasn't a lot of rhythm out there. The points were very short, so you know, all I had to do was, you know, get the ball in play and kind of wait for my chances, and that's what I basically did. I won in two sets.

Q. Playing early, like you did playing early this morning, couple of times looked like the sun was bothering you in the first set. Was it difficult out there?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, it is pretty hot out there, and the last few weeks, you know, I played -- mostly my matches were played at night, so I kind of -- I'm not really used to playing during the day and in such heat.
But it wasn't really a problem, you know. It was bright out there, but, you know, so is my dress. You know, I just did my job. I didn't really think about that.

Q. Looked like when you had done that split like you had hurt yourself.
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, no, no. I'm fine.

Q. In the second set you spoke to the umpire about something on the far end. You had the sun in your eyes. He said, We can't see. What were you talking about?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, because the linesperson said there was a ball behind my opponent, actually close to the ball boy, which nobody had seen. You know, nobody saw that ball, but except him.
He was telling me to tell the umpire that the ball should be picked up, so I told the umpire. He's like, I cannot see it. It's behind the wall. So if nobody can see it, you know, he shouldn't really be involved.
But it was nothing really major. It was like a ball hanging there.

Q. The first time you played Coco, she was 16 years old and was ranked in the 600 or 700s.

Q. She won four games. Now she's ranked in the top 100, and she won three games. What does this suggest? That you're getting better or that she's not making progress? Where are we with this?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. To be honest, you know, it's hard to say. It's hard to compare, you know. Each match is different, and each day is different.
So depending on the day and how you're gonna feel, you know, the conditions, you know, my playing and all these things are gonna matter and make a difference.
So, you know, I just really -- you know, it was my first match, you know. I just, you know, tried to keep the ball in play. I tried to make her hit a lot of balls and tried to basically rush her serve and start the point.
So that was basically what I did, and she made a lot of mistakes. She didn't -- I didn't feel like she had a lot of rhythm. The points were quite short.

Q. At what point in the last month did you feel like, Okay, my game is really coming back now?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Actually in Dubai. I played -- I beat Stosur and Kanepi, which I lost to both of those girls the last time, so it was nice to get those wins.
Then I continued in Doha; I played really good matches. I felt like my game was really starting to pick up, and I was starting to play some really good tennis. So the last couple of weeks I'm starting to feel more confident with my game, and hopefully I can continue in this tournament.
You know, today was my first match. You know, my opponent didn't really give me much to play. You know, I didn't really have a chance to play, hit a lot of balls, because that's the style of play she has. She really goes for every shot, goes for a big serve and a big first stroke, so I didn't really have a chance, you know, to hit my shots and really get a rhythm.
But, you know, I did what I had to do, and I'm happy to get to the next round.

Q. So before last month, did you feel like at the beginning of this year and end of last year were you playing a little bit afraid?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, actually, I was struggling with, you know, with my foot, with my movement. I wasn't moving well. I was, you know, really -- I had no confidence in my game. My movement was not there. I was making a lot of unforced errors, and so it was really -- I had a hard time on the court. I was basically a shadow of myself.
That's the past. I've worked really hard in order to come back and start, you know, winning matches again, and, you know, beating the top players. You know, I'm gonna continue, you know, to work on my game and keep improving on my shots.
We'll see how things will go. I'm enjoying that. That's the most important thing. I'm enjoying my tennis.

Q. If I could ask, what are your thoughts about Serena, and do you think her absence hurts the game?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it's really sad, you know, what she's going through. Just, you know, I wish she recovers really fast and comes back on the tour. She's, you know, a great champion. You know, she has great personality. I think tennis really needs her. You know, we all miss her, so hopefully she'll come back soon.

Q. There are several Japanese players at this tournament. I guess you heard about the disaster there.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I just heard about the earthquake.

Q. What are your personal thoughts on that?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it's really hard, you know. There are so many things happening around the world that are really, you know, ruining some areas and destroying lives of some people.
So it's really -- you know, those things are really unexpected and you cannot really control. So it's tough. You know, I don't know what to say from, you know, this perspective. But, you know, I just somehow hope, you know, those people get some help. You know, we'll see from different parts, you know, to receive help and support.

Q. The local newspaper here took a poll on the likely women's winner here, and only about 10% of the persons who responded picked you. What kind of chance do you give yourself?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Do you think I care? (Laughter.)

Q. What's that? I didn't hear your answer.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Do you think I care about the statistics?

Q. No.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I mean, so, you know, it's the same like, you know, people -- some people are gonna like my dress; some people not. So it's like, you know, if I really focus on what other people are, you know, gonna think, you know, I'm not really gonna go too far.
So, you know, I really want to focus on my game. To be honest, I don't really read newspapers, and especially not about myself. I read about other things. I don't read articles that are written about myself. That's the answer to that.

Q. We all liked your dress.
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, just kidding. I'm just making a joke.

Q. Have you ever been down 6-2, 5-1 and called for your coach?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Actually, since they have the rule, I only maybe called my coach twice in like the whole period of time, probably like, I don't know how many years now. How many years? 2009? Three years? Maybe about two, three times I've called the coach, so I don't think so.

Q. Well, today you called your coach when you were leading 4-love.

Q. Yeah. According to...
JELENA JANKOVIC: I didn't call. She called. My opponent called the coach.

Q. So what's the real estate report? How's the house coming? Seems like it's been under construction since...
JELENA JANKOVIC: We're putting the floors down now. If you want to have the, you know -- I mean, we're putting the floors down and deciding on the interior stuff. But it's a lot of work, because, you know, the measurements have been done and it has to be -- you know, half of the stuff is custom-made, so it takes time to make it and then shi[p it to California. It's coming from Italy, so all these kind of things.

Q. So Serena once said that it was really exhausting to go out to shop for, what are they called, the chandeliers?

Q. Yeah, very exhausting. Would you agree with that?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, my God. I haven't shopped for chandeliers yet, but we're working with some interior designers. In this moment we are kind of looking at the picture, you know, kind of what my rooms look like and what kind of, you know, furniture we would like and stuff like that. So we are working on that, looking, and, you know, going through some options.
So pretty soon we are gonna decide and they're gonna start making it. Who knows how many months it will be, you know, hopefully ready. I'm actually not in a rush, in a hurry, because I'm gonna be playing. I'm gonna be on the road.
So, you know, if I can move in by the end of the year and spend, you know, my time in the off-season there, it would be great.

Q. Can you be a happy person if you're not playing your best tennis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Can I be a happy person?

Q. If you're not playing your best tennis.
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, on the court, not, obviously.
I don't think anybody can really enjoy, you know, when you're playing really badly on the court and you're frustrated, you know, with your game and you're not doing what you're supposed to do. Your game is really not there.
I don't know one person, you know, no matter how positive you are, that you're gonna be really enjoying it and having a smile on your face. You hit the ball like for the 100th time out, you're gonna be, Ah, nice. Keep doing that. You know? That's the reality. Actually, you try to be positive, but it's hard.
But outside the tennis court I'm always a positive girl. I'm always having fun. You know, that's my job, but there is my private life, my normal life. As soon as I step off the tennis court I don't really think about tennis; I don't talk about tennis. I just try to be a normal girl and you know, enjoy it with my parents, with my friends and have fun. If I stress all day about tennis, you know, it's...

Q. How does it feel to be the champion of Rancho Santa Fe?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Am I the champion of Rancho Santa Fe? I get the title?
You know, if you put it that way, it feels great. (Laughter.)

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