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January 2, 2014

Jelena Jankovic


6‑7, 6‑3, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You knew it was going to a long match probably going in, huh?

Q.  She plays a lot balls back and plays good.  You outlasted her after the first set.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I knew it was going to be a very difficult match.  She's an opponent that never gives up, doesn't give a lot of free points, and is always there from the beginning until the end.
In the beginning I found it very hard, you know, to see the ball with those shadows and the sun that was coming from the side, you know, when you're serving into your eyes.
Then when she returns you kind of lose the ball a little bit.  I found that difficult, especially in this first set, to time the ball right.  We had both a lot of ups and downs and a lot more errors in this first set.  It was very tight until the end.
I had an opportunity to serve it out at 5‑4 and didn't serve well and lost 10‑8 in the tiebreaker unluckily.  There was a lot of close points.  At times I changed direction when I shouldn't and I made some mistakes.  But that's the sport.  That's the game.
After that I tried focus a little more and stay positive and change up few things in my game.  I was much more solid.  Didn't go for many first serves.  I tried to get a better percentage.
Then I started to play a little more aggressive and waited for my chances to go for my shots and it worked.  So I'm really happy that I was able to win against her.  She's never easy to play; always tough.

Q.  You talked about the light.  You've played three matches out there now with the covers.  Wonder what those are like to play with, because it's pretty unusual to have them.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, you have the cover, but then at the time when we play, late afternoon, the sun was coming in, and then we had the lights from like a night match.
So you had to get used to those kinds of condition.  But like was for me it was for her, so we both have to deal with it.  You have no other choice.

Q.  In general have you like getting shade under that?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I think the sun her here in Australia is so strong.  It's really burning.  It gets really hot here.  Couple days it was 39, 37, and on the court it's even more.  So it's nice to have the roof.  Of course you don't feel that sun.
Been practicing outside and it's not easy.  You get headache.  You feel really tired and you really feel the heat.  So I don't want complain.

Q.  Talk about the intensity level of playing Azarenka.  You played at the Championships.  This will be your tenth time playing her so you obviously know her well.  You knew her when she was younger.  You were on top of her then, and she got on top and now you're back to sort of the same level almost, no?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, we played last time in Istanbul, and we played somewhere else‑‑

Q.  Cincinnati.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  ‑‑ tough three‑set match.  Then I was able to win in Istanbul.
It's going to be an intense match.  I just want to go out there and try to play my tennis.  I think I'm playing very well.  I think with each match I'm playing better and better and my game is improving and I'm feeling more confident.
So far so good, you know, in this tournament.  It's a nice beginning to 2014.  I look forward to playing.  You want to play against the best players.  You want to try to play the best you can and have fun and enjoy the atmosphere.
It's nice to be here in Australia, Queensland, and I look forward to tomorrow's match.

Q.  You're relatively quiet on court.  I know you celebrate but don't grunt that much.  Can you hear Victoria when you're playing?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I kind of don't really think about that, you know.  I kind of focus on my game, of what I have to do, my shots, my tactics.  You know, of course I think you hear it, but after a while you kind of get used to it.
Then if it was quiet, then you would say, Oh, where is the noise?  So you get used to it.  I don't get, how you say, distracted by it.  I just try to focus on myself, on my game, and what I have to do on the court.

Q.  How was the off‑season for you?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Off‑season was great.  Spent bit of time at home in Serbia with my family.  Could have been longer.
Not going to complain if the off‑season or my vacation was longer.  Then I went to practice.  Practiced a little bit in Serbia under the roof and in the cold, which is never easy to do.
Then I went to Dubai and practiced there in the heat and enjoyed that very much.
Then I came here six, seven days before to acclimate, to get used to the sun here, the heat, and the time difference.
That's basically it.

Q.  Was that the first time you weren't in Florida at all during an off‑season?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, last year as well I was in Dubai.  But in the previous years I was in Florida and did my preparations there.
But end of 2012 I went to Dubai, and this year as well.  I mean 2013.

Q.  You get the same level of competition with other players and people to practice with in Dubai?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I bring my own hitting partners, different kinds, and I work with my team.  They try to play different styles.  That's their job.  (Laughter.)

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