home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 8, 2013

Jelena Jankovic


R. VINCI/J. Jankovic
3‑6, 6‑4, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Can you tell us what it was like for you out there on court today with the heat?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Oh, it was very tough.  First of all, it was my second match of the season, and the practices cannot replace playing a real match and being under pressure.
And especially playing in this kind of conditions when it's like 40 degrees, but on court is feels like 50 or ‑‑ it feels so hot.  Then the feet are burning; my head was like going to explode there.
It's so tough to cool down.  Even the drink, like when you're drinking them they feel like you're drinking tea because they get so warm.
But overall, I fought hard and I tried my best.  You know, I lost 7‑6 in the third.  It was a few points here and there that made a difference.
Unfortunately, you know, I lost, but it's just the beginning of the season, so it was good for me to get a few matches before Melbourne, so I'll be more ready, you know.  When you play in those kind of conditions and when you're able to play for like three hours, it shows something.
So we'll see.  Hopefully I can have some better luck in Melbourne.

Q.  What's your outlook for this season?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  For this year?  First of all, hopefully I can be healthy, you know, that I can work hard and work on my game, because last year I had a lot injuries.  I had a lot of up and downs.
My goal is to come back to the top 10.  That's like ranking‑wise.  And of course doing well at the Grand Slams.  That's what I didn't do well last year, and that's something I would like to improve on this year.

Q.  How long have you been free of injury now?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  This year so far I didn't have any.  (Smiling.)
But last year I had the back problem, with my Achilles, shoulder.  A lot.  It's a huge list.  So I put that behind now.  This year is a new year, a new season starting, and so far so good.  I'm just now very sore.

Q.  Is it your back?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Now my body is hurting, my back, my legs.  First of all, yesterday I played a match, so this morning I was sore.  Then today I played a tough match, you know, with the heat and the wind, so you have to move even more because the wind was going all over.  We had to work even harder just to get around balls.
So it wasn't easy, but like it was for me it was for my opponent.  Unfortunately, I was the one who had to lose today.

Q.  With Melbourne I think the draw is happening Friday; is that right?

Q.  Is there anybody in particular that you don't want to meet first up?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No.  I don't care.  Whoever I have to meet, the field is so tough.  It's a Grand Slam.  All the best players are there.  If you want to do well you got to beat them all.  You can't choose.  That's the luck of the draw.
Whoever comes your way you got to play and work hard.

Q.  So did your body allow you to get a proper off‑season?  Did you do all the fitness training you wanted to do?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I worked really hard in the off‑season.  I trained very well.  I think it shows that I was able to last in like 40 degrees on court for three hours.
It's not easy, but like I said, training is different from playing real matches.  You know you're fit, and then yesterday I played a match and today I was sore.  I was sore in my butt and all that.
I can train for four or five hours and I don't feel sore.  You play a match hour and a half, two hours, and you feel aches and pains.  So it's different.  But that's what I want now.
Hopefully I can just start playing really well and just get a lot of matches in and just get my body used to competing, competing at a high level.  That's what I'm looking for.

Q.  You've had such a long career now.

Q.  When you're able to get back in the top 10, how is it emotionally and physically different from the first time trying to get into the top 10?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, it's different.  In the beginning ‑ it was actually long time ago ‑ I spent five years in the top 10 consistently.  I was No. 1, I had finishes at No. 1, No. 3, maybe 7 or 8, like this.
But it's different.  When you are young and you get there you are so excited.  It's my first time for everything.  Whatever ranking I hit, it's a career high and it's just you're so hungry.  You never know where is your limit.  So finally when I reached No. 1, that was a dream come true for me.  You cannot explain that excitement and the joy you feel on the inside.
But now, coming back again, if I want to come back to the top again and to be one of the top players, it's going to be different feeling because I been there already.  I know what it takes to be up there, how hard I have to work.  You know, it takes a lot effort.  Nothing falls from the sky.  It's not like it's just going to come there.
So it's going to be different.  Of course I would be happy, but you can't compare those two.  I think it's even now harder for me to come back there because of course I'm older and my body‑‑ hopefully I will not have injuries.  That's something that put me away from achieving some of my goals.
So that's tough.  Hopefully I can‑ knock on wood‑ stay injury‑free, and then I can compete and do my best on the court.

Q.  What is it that keeps you going then?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I love the competition and I love just being on the court.  To be honest, it's tough practicing every day.  Of course I have my days when I'm really tired and I don't want to hit balls.
But I love competing.  That's something I enjoy very much.  The satisfaction you get from winning matches and when all that hard work from practicing pays off and the crowd, you know, they cheer you on and all these things, I really enjoy that.
That's something that I'm a competitor.  That's why I play tennis.  Maybe that's why I did well in my career in the past.

Q.  Did you think that it was so hot today that play should have been suspended, or were you happy with the break after two sets?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I don't know what are the rules.  I don't think there are any rules.  I think that's really tough.  You know, I think in Melbourne they have a rule.  They used to.  Like after 36 degrees we couldn't go on court.

Q.  40.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  40, and then I think it increased.  And like I said, on the court it's like 50.  The ground, the court gets so hot the shoes are burring and everything is all reflecting.  It's really tough.
It's really like almost like not human.  But, you know, we did our best there on the court.  We fought hard.  We are still alive, and that's what matters.

Q.  That's good to hear.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  What can you do, I mean?

Q.  Actually, does anybody know if there is a rule in Melbourne?

Q.  Play was suspended in 2009.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, and hopefully it can be this year as well.  It's tough to play your top, your high level.  It's tough to stay up there because your physically like exhausted and you can't think properly when your head is going to explode.  (Laughter.)
I mean, that's how it is, and we all have to, I guess, go on court and try to compete.  That's it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297