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March 28, 2013

Jelena Jankovic


M. SHARAPOVA/J. Jankovic
6‑2, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Obviously pretty good tournament for you and on the comeback trail, but did Maria just have too much firepower today?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Maria played really well today.  You know, she was playing her tennis from the start.  But I think the opponent plays as much as you give her, as you let her play.  From my part, I didn't do my job.  I didn't do what I was supposed to do.
I served poorly today.  I had a really low percentage of first serves.  Overall, I wasn't moving.  I felt heavy on the court.  I felt really tired and exhausted.
So I didn't really have enough time to recover.  I finished the match last night at 11:00.  I went to sleep at 1:00 by the time I came back to the hotel.  Woke up early, had to play.
So the schedule was tough.  You know, I played yesterday three hours, last night.
So today I wasn't on the top of my game, and I wasn't playing the way I wanted to, you know, especially on a big occasion like playing the semifinals.
But all the credit to Maria.  She played very well, and she was the better one today.

Q.  Did you ask for a change of schedule?  Do you think it was unfair scheduling and did you ask for a change?
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† I didn't ask for a change, but I didn't understand why, you know‑‑ because we were playing last night really late, and then we were first on today.
The girls who play tonight at 7:00, they had a day off yesterday.  So was kind of crazy.  I had a couple of hours of sleep, and then I had to be back on the court.  Then, you know, these other girls in the other semis, they, you know, have a day off.
I played four matches, only had one day off.  Last night, couple hours of sleep.  (Smiling.)
So it wasn't ‑‑it wasn't easy, but what can I do?¬† You can't ‑‑ you know, I wish it was a little different.¬† I wish I had a little more time to recover and be in better shape for today.¬† It would give me a much better chance to play better, but it was the way it was.
Like I said, Maria was playing very well.  But like I said, the opponent plays as well as you let her.  I didn't do what I wanted to do on my side and complicate things on the court out there.

Q.  Were the dramatic conditions from last night to today also a factor?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, it's obviously different.  I played in the cold yesterday.  I was playing in long sleeves late at night.  The conditions were slow.
Today was windy and warm and the sun was, you know, when you're serving ‑‑it's different.¬† But, you know, I'm used to that.¬† It was just a matter of, for me, I really felt a difference that I didn't have enough time to recover.
My legs were really heavy.  I wasn't feeling great on the court.  I didn't feel fresh.  I think Maria was the fresher one.  She finished early or in the afternoon, so she had a lot more time to prepare and get ready for today.
I just didn't feel good.  I wasn't playing my tennis.  She took advantage of that.

Q.  Given that situation, it almost seems a shame for the spectacle of the match for it to be influenced by scheduling like that.  Is this something that players can do to make the points to the authorities that this shouldn't happen?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah.  I guess I'm not the one who's gonna make these changes or something, but I think it should be worked by logic.  Someone that plays in the evening late and that has to play the next day should have a little more time to recover.
Because it really does not make sense that the girls that had a day off, they play late at night today.¬† So they had like 48 hours to recover, and I had, like ‑‑I mean, it's...
It's like the way it is.  It was unfortunate for me that I didn't have enough time to recover, especially that I played a long match yesterday against a player who plays those slices and it was tough on my legs.
Today I felt really sluggish.  It really affected, you know, the way I played.  If I had more energy, if I was moving much better, I would hit the ball much better.  I was late on every shot.  I was serving poorly.  I didn't use my legs at all.
Maria was taking advantage of that and did her job.  She did play very well.

Q.  Maria has been in four finals here and she's lost them all.  Do you think that this could be her year?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I don't know.  Depends on who's gonna be in the finals.  Serena, as well, is playing very well.  I think Serena has a lot, a lot of wins against Maria.
I don't remember the last time Maria won against Serena.  When was that?

Q.  2004.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I guess.
My pick would be Serena, but you never know. Women's tennis is quite unpredictable, so anything can happen.
Maria is in good form.  She's playing very well.  But my pick would be Serena.  I don't know.

Q.  What does Maria do very well, or what is she doing exceptionally well right now at this phase of her career?
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† I can say particularly for today's match.¬† I cannot comment on ‑‑you can ask her that.¬† She will answer to that question a lot better.
She was striking the ball very well, you know.  The way she plays is very aggressive, and today she was, you know, on the ball and hitting very solid and didn't make a lot of errors.
She moved pretty well for her size, too.  Today she did quite a good job, and she made it difficult for me to play.  It's important for when you play against her to move her, to not give her time to get, to prepare for her shots and get the first strike.
If she takes control of the point, then she's the better one because she's a big girl.  She has a lot of power.

Q.¬† Do you still walk around thinking you can win a major?¬† At this stage of your career‑‑ you got to the final at the Open.¬† Do you still think, you know what, if things fall right, why the hell not?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I really think so.  I had, the last two years, I had a lot of injuries.  Even in Australia I tore my muscle in the stomach and I couldn't play for three weeks.  I had to recover and then get back on the court and start working hard again.
I still believe in myself.  It's a matter of working hard and of course staying healthy, because like I said, I had a lot of trouble with my body and I wasn't feeling great.
Of course, when you have some problems physically, injuries, you can't work.¬† You just ‑‑you're frustrated with yourself and you can't, you know, get to the level you want to be at, even better.
I believe in myself.  I believe I have a lot of qualities that I can compete with the top players, and it's just a matter of just working hard consistently, day in and day out, and hopefully my time will come.

Q.  Do you feel a gap between the top three, Azarenka included, is widening to the next group?  Almost like the men have the top four.  Do you feel that way on the women's tour, as well?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I don't know.  You know, first of all, I haven't been, you know, up there.  I haven't been competing against them for a long time now.
Now it's maybe about time for me to move up there and just start competing, you know, going deep in the tournaments.  That's my goal.  That's where I want to be at.
But those three girls that are playing quite well and they're playing very consistently.¬† That's how I was a couple years ago when I‑‑ every time I played was semifinals, from quarters on.¬† That's what they're doing now, and they are doing very, very well.
So we'll see how it goes, you know, if the other girls are going to catch up.

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