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October 24, 2013

Jelena Jankovic


N. LI/J. Jankovic
6‑3, 2‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You got a lot closer than you did in NewYork.  Is that some consolation?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  That's not why I play, what I play for.  I think, you know, it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it does not matter, you know, the score.  When you lose a match, is the same if you lost 7‑6 in the third or, you know, in two easy sets.  A loss is a loss.
But I think today we had a great fight.  We both fought very well, and I managed to come back in the second set and played really well there, served much better.
In the third set it was just a couple of points.  You know, I got broken in that, you know, game.  She lobbed me, and the ball went on the line.  That was, you know, some few crucial points in that stage at the end of that third set and made a difference.
I think as well in the third set my serve didn't‑‑ you know, I did not make a lot of first serves.  She took advantage of that.
So I needed to pay more attention, try, you know, to make more first serves in, even, you know, not to go for so much but at least starting with the first serve, because in the second when I was doing that, I, you know, I had the control and I did fine.
But overall, you know, Li played a great match.  She was hitting the ball so well, and I was up there.  I was, you know, very close.  Just a few points at the end that made a difference and, you know, decided the winner.
So it's of course disappointing, but, you know, I still have another match to go tomorrow, and hopefully I can do it and give myself a chance to qualify for the semis.

Q.  Obviously it's a bit of a unique format to this tournament here where you can lose today but still, you know, obviously you still have a good chance of making semifinals.  How do you sort of prepare for the sort of unique situation that way?  Is it all different for you psychologically coming back the day after a loss to play?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, but like it is for me, it is for everyone other than Serena who has won every match.
You know, I just have to ‑‑even though I lost today, I think I played a great match.  So there is no reason for me to put my head down or be negative and disappointed.  Just, you know, learn from my mistakes that I did today and move on.  There is another day tomorrow, and I have to work hard tomorrow too to put myself into position to be playing the semis.
So when you're playing this format, every match counts, every set counts, and you have to fight hard.  It's not like in the other tournaments where, when you lose, you're out of the tournament.  Here you lose a match, you still can win the tournament.
So you've got to, you know, keep your head up high and, you know, work hard.

Q.  (Through translation.)  Even though you lost this match, you looked in form and your two matches have been the most exciting matches of the tournament so far.  Do you have a special preparation in order to have these exciting and enduring matches?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, I don't have any specific preparation.  It's my character that plays a role.  (Laughter).
No, it's exciting, first of all, to be here, to be playing against the top players.  I enjoy the atmosphere, and it's the end of the season, so I think, you know, my goal is to give my best and to finish the year strong.
There's, you know, couple more matches to go.  If I win tomorrow, there is a couple more.  If I lose tomorrow, then I don't know.
It's just a matter of staying positive, enjoying the occasion, you know, enjoying the challenge, and performing at the high level.
I think today against Li Na I think we both played very well, and, you know, she was better at the end.  So that made the difference, you know, at the end of that third set.
But overall it was a lot of excitement out there, a lot of fun points, some really good tennis, and there's nothing to worry about for tomorrow.

Q.  Sounds like you're still having fun out there.  You keep saying you want to finish the year strong.  Can finishing the year strong give you a momentum going into the next year even though it's only October?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, of course.  You know, finishing this ‑‑first of all, when I made it to the Championships, it was a great achievement for me, and, you know, the fact that I'm going to finish in top 10 is a great achievement for me, as well.
I think, you know, after all of these results you feel a little bit tired, you know, physically and mentally, and you want to make, you know, the last push.  You know, we have a couple more days to go here, and why not give even more than your maximum and just enjoy the occasion?
I think the crowd, you know, really enjoys the tennis, and they push us.  They motivate us to show our best.
It will give me, of course, you know ‑‑even now, you know, even if I stop now I think I'm really looking forward‑‑ does not matter what I do in this tournament, you know, from now on.  I look forward to playing next year, and, you know, even being better.  I feel like I'm really up there these top players.
You know, it's, you know, few little things, you know, that make a difference, you know, in these matches when you're playing against the top 4 or the top, you know, the number, the top 5 players in the world.
So, you know, I'm going to work very hard.  First of all, I'm going to have a break and recover and just to relax my mind and my body and just forget about tennis.  Then I'm going to work very hard in the off‑season to get myself ready for the beginning of the year, which is going to be in Australia.  That's my next goal is to do well there.
So we'll see.

Q.  I notice you tried to put a lot of balls into Li Na's backhand.  It is fair to say that Li Na has one of the best backhands in the tour.  So do you think it's effective strategy to do...
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I didn't know I put a lot of balls on her backhand.

Q.  I think you do or...
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, when I did, I didn't mean to do it.  (Laughter).

Q.  My question is:  Do you think it's effective strategy maybe for you or for other players to try to move her out of pace?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, no, no.  To be honest, first of all, she has one of the best backhands in the world and so do I.  So when we both play, you know, backhand to backhand, you know, those balls, you know, are hit very hard and very deep.
But, you know, due to, you know, the speed of the ball, it's sometimes very hard to control it and push it, you know, to where you want to, you know, place that ball.
It's easy to say than do it, and of course you play your points, and, you know, you have to keep your focus.  For two‑and‑a‑half hours it's not easy to be running, you know, from corner to corner, hitting, you know, balls that are good speed and, you know, place it exactly where you want them to.
And when I was doing that, I won the set.  You know, I had the control.  I think the serve kind of let me down in the third.  Not a lot of first serves in in the third, and it's very important against her to have that accuracy and high percentage.
I think towards the end I was getting a little bit tired and my focus went down.  I think that was the difference.  So she stayed very solid until the end.  She stayed very strong and won the match.

Q.  This is your first time in Turkey.  How does the atmosphere here compare to Doha to you?
I think it's a little bit different, but overall I enjoy ‑‑ you know, it's my fifth Championships and I just enjoy it.  Doesn't matter where I play around the world.  It's a special tournament.
It's very tough competition, and I can say here the fans are so enthusiastic and really into it and they really cheer us on, which is, you know, which is what we need at the end of the season when we are tired you need these people to give you that push, to inspire, to show your best tennis even when you're tired, when you're maybe not playing so well in certain moments of the match.
When you hear people saying, come on, let's go, you can do it, and all these kind of encouraging words, you feel great.  I appreciate that.
So I enjoy this kind of atmosphere, and it's sad that I won't get another chance to play next year, because we are moving to Singapore, I think.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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