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August 18, 2011

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/F. Schiavone
6-3, 5-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What did your coach tell you after you got broken at 4-3 in the first set?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, in the first set, I don't remember. I stayed out too long of the court. It happened so much since then.
You know, I don't know. I was playing well in the first set and I was up like 4-Love, and then I kind of stopped paying playing my game and I kind of, you know, started being a little passive and I kind of let her play, you know, her tennis.
When she gets you -- when she takes control and starts spinning those balls around the court, she gives you a hard time. So I let her play her game, and I was really struggling at some points. But I managed.
First set I did pretty well. I won 6-3. But then I was serving for the match at 5-4, and that was just, I mean, I don't know. I got frustrated because, I mean, I hit a good serve at 30-All and had an easy ball and she read me and just played some lob over my head, which really kind of hurt, you know.
I just didn't want that to happen at all. She did well. She won this set, and I was really physically exhausted, and mentally as well. It took a lot out of me, you know, to win this match overall and to be out there for about three hours.
And especially against Francesca, which, I mean, she's one of the greatest fighters that we have on the tour. It was not easy to beat her at all. I just had to really give my all, especially at the end. I was fighting for every point, and somehow I did it.
It was really lucky at 5-4 in the third. I didn't want that to happen the same thing like it did in the second. I was praying to God, I hope I'm going to do to this time, because it's just like somehow it seems like she's never going to go away and she's never gonna lose this match.
I feel like I watched a lot of her matches, you know, where she played like for four hours. She holds the record. She seems like she's the queen of these kind of matches. I was part of the spectacle, but I managed to win this time, so I am really lucky and I am happy that I was able to do it.

Q. How do you rate your defense tonight?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, my God. I don't even know what I can rate this in moment, because I'm just -- I mean, I played -- first of all, it's very hard to play, you know, your game against her, because she plays a different game than most of the girls. She mixes up her game and doesn't let you hit through the ball, because she puts a lot spin and then she slows it down with the slice and then she plays it high and low and comes into the net and all of these kind of things.
She doesn't really give you a good rhythm so that you can really go and hit a lot of balls and hit them how you like it. So I really had to kind of adjust and kind of do what I -- you know, figure out a way to play my game, you know, under those circumstances, and figure out a way to win.
Because she has a difficult style. Some players like this kind of game; some players don't. So you have to, you know, find a way to win.

Q. At 5-4 in the second set, 30-All, you were two points from the match, you came into the net, and I was just curious, why didn't you try a lob?

Q. This was at 5-4 in the second set, 30-All.
JELENA JANKOVIC: That happened -- I think 5-4, 30-All in the second, I think I hit a good serve and then I hit a backhand cross and she lobbed me. That was the point that...

Q. You came into the net. I was just wondering where you didn't lob at that point, because she was so far behind the baseline.
JELENA JANKOVIC: How could I lob? She lobbed me.

Q. Because she was at the baseline. You came into the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, but I couldn't -- I mean, she read me and just lobbed me, so I had no chance to get the ball. It was -- I mean -- she read me like a Bible, like a book.
So it was my mistake that I had a good, you know, approach. And instead of, you know, hitting a winner -- you know, I didn't hit a bad approach it was just that she was on the ball and she read me. So she was there and just played an amazing shot after that. So credit to her.
I mean, I could've done better, but it happens. You just have to go with it.

Q. How does that rank in terms of dramatic matches that you've played? You've had a lot them.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I had a lot, but not in a while, though. So I was kind of in a, you know, difficult situation, you know, to handle, because it's been a while since I've been in those kind of, you know, three-set matches where it's like do or die and kind of hanging in there and being mentally strong and physically as well.
So I was -- you know, at the end I was proud of myself that I was able to do it, especially it was not easy -- you know, when you lose a second set the way I did, you know, after having a lead and serving for the match, you know, and whatever happened, it was not easy to stay strong mentally and then continue to play the third set.
A lot of the players would kind of break down mentally and almost kind of give up. I still was hanging in there and trying to do whatever I could to come back and try another time.

Q. When you win something like that again, does it make you feel that, yes, I'm on my way back?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Sure. If you can win against a player in a match like this playing well or not so well, you know, throughout the match, gives you a lot confidence. You know, I fought very well and I was, you know, there the whole time, no matter what was happen. If I was down, if I was losing or if I was winning, I was still there, you know, every point.
Obviously there are things I've done not so well, and then I played some great points as well throughout the match. But, you know, the most important thing is I handled the whole situation and I was able to come out as the winner, which is the most important thing. I move into the quarterfinals, and I'm very happy about that.

Q. You had to call a medical timeout between the second and third sets. Can you talk about that?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it was a little bit my leg. You know, I mean, I was stretching and turning and running and doing all these kind of things on the court. I mean, you know, it's normal. It's like I'm still kind of -- you know, I'm even, how you say, surprised I'm able to move. Three hours against Francesca, it's notice easy. I'll tell that you.
If you can play with her, I mean, she's one of fittest players on the tour and one of those who can play -- I have a feeling she can play like for three days. Like she's never going to get tired. That's how fit she is. All the compliments to her. She works so hard and she's a great fighter.
So, I mean, I'm happy, you know, I was able to beat her tonight.

Q. When your opponent is clearly frustrated, and she seemed to be frustrated, a lot errors tonight, what do you do to take advantage of the situation?
JELENA JANKOVIC: What do you mean?

Q. She hits a lot errors and she's frustrated, getting down on herself. What do you do? Does it change your game plan?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, obviously. I mean, throughout the match you're going to have ups and downs. You're not going to have all perfect shots and hit them the way you want them to be hit.
So, I mean, I had some times as well where I was frustrated with my game, with my tennis, and the same with her. That's, I mean, part of the game. I mean, if we could all do certain shots perfectly, I mean, we wouldn't be here.
So, um, yeah, I mean, we all get frustrated at times. You just have to continue. Obviously when you see your opponent not doing so well, it can give you a bit of confidence that you can push yourself a little more to finish the match off or, you know, clinch the set or whatever it is.
But, you know, you still have to do it. I mean, you have to go after your shots. You have to move your feet. You have to be positive and stay strong mentally.

Q. She's a lot like you: a very emotional player. Does that also become part of the match, that you're watching each other?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Oh, my God. I think the crowd had a lot fun watching that kind of a battle that we had. You know, it was, you know, kind of amazing, because, you know, playing in these kind of an atmosphere where we almost had a full house and, you know, there was a lot of crowd and a big crowd and, you know, a lot support from, you know, both sides, it was kind of amazing.
And especially both of us, we are emotional and show our emotions and frustration, our happiness when we win the points. So it was, you know, on both sides it was quite exciting. The crowd could see different kinds of emotions and different kinds of, you know, feeling that we felt inside.
I'm one of those that I show everything. You can see if I'm not feeling good, if I'm feeling good, whatever it is. The crowd can see that and can enjoy that.
I think they had a lot of fun watching this kind of battle. They got their money's worth of the ticket. (Laughing.)

Q. Does winning in front of a big crowd like that where people were sitting on the stairs because there weren't enough seats left...
JELENA JANKOVIC: I didn't see that. I was focused.

Q. You were playing. Understandable. Does winning in front of a big crowd give you a spark that could change the momentum of your year and career?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Obviously when you're playing in front of a big crowd you feel that crowd support, you know. I feel in general here I have a lot fans. And I won it here in 2009. I been coming here I don't know how many years in a row, so I see the same people over the years.
I enjoy and appreciate that kind of, you know, support and, you know, that they're cheering for me and pushing me, you know, and motivating me when I'm feeling down, when I'm feeling that I cannot do it sometimes, like I feel like I can't -- you know, it's so difficult that I'm maybe finished, but then somehow, you know, I get this adrenaline going again and I feel the energy that comes from the inside and I feel like I'm there again and I can do it and I can fight and win this match.
So the crowd plays a huge role. You know, I really appreciated it tonight. It was pretty amazing atmosphere.

Q. In your box especially, it's like the loudest box of any player I've seen at this tournament by far.
JELENA JANKOVIC: You know, I'm one of those players that I really like that kind of support. I really don't like when my, you know, my coach or, you know, my hitting partner, they're like sitting like in the theater. Like this or all they need is like a popcorn or something. Watching a movie, like boring or something.
I need that energy. You got to be there and you got to be cheering me on. That's what I need. When I look at them, I need that energy. If they're like half asleep or something, it doesn't work and I don't want that. I don't want to see that in my box.
So I guess you could see the difference maybe between the other players.

Q. Talk about that incredible winner shot you hit to go to deuce at 5-2 in the third. You seemed shocked that it went in.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I hit a frame actually. You know, I had no idea where that ball would go. I was like shocked that it went in. I think she was shocked as well because I came up with something I didn't even know where it came from.
You know, just, you know, I was there on the ball, and then somehow I just did it by instinct. I was glad I did it, but anyway I lost that game, so it didn't matter. I worked so hard at the end for nothing in that game, and then I had to do it again at 5-4 in the third.
But anyway, when you win, doesn't matter how, I wish I, you know, I would have won in two sets and would have been, you know, already showered and probably on my way to the hotel. But now I'm talking to you guys at like 10:30 in the evening.
But I'm not complaining. I'm happy with my win, and I get to go to the quarterfinals.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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