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DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS


February 18, 2014


Jelena Jankovic


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

J. JANKOVIC/M. Zanevska
6‑4, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You had to work hard for that, didn't you?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I worked really hard.  It was not easy for, you know, my first match here.
It was quite windy out there, and I felt kind of like I couldn't, you know, play my game totally, you know, play the lines.
So I had to kind of find my way through, you know, and I fought hard.  My opponent played, you know, got through the quallies, so she already got used to the conditions.
I just came from Doha like one day ago, so it's completely different.  Playing there during the night it's slower, and here it's faster and the balls fly and the wind goes quite, you know, fast.
So, you know, I cannot say I played, you know, so well, but, you know, I hung in there and I won my match.

Q.  You are one of the few world No. 1s we have here this week.  How far do you think you are from reaching your top level?
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† No, I have been playing quite well, you know.¬† You know, there are going to be days like this one when I kind of don't ‑‑it takes time for me to get into the match and feel my shots.
I think, you know, hopefully, you know, as I get in, hopefully I will play better in my next match and I will just improve.  So that's, you know, always important to just get your rhythm.
And like I said, when you come, you know, when you play one tournament well, then you come to another, it's not easy to adapt so fast and play so well from the beginning.  So that was the case with me, and hopefully I can just get better.

Q.  You have been coming here probably more years than you care to think about.  What do you like about Dubai?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Actually, I didn't play here last year.  That was I think the first year I missed playing the Dubai Duty Free Open, which was kind of strange, and I went and I played Bogota and I won my first title in a couple of years.
So, you know, even though I missed playing here, I won my title there, so that was kind of a great compensation.  But I enjoy coming back here.  I have the residence here, and I love the weather.  You know, I enjoy really my time, you know, playing this tournament.  I have a lot of fans, you know, and a lot of Serbs that come out and support me as well as the locals here and foreigners.  So it's nice to have that support.

Q.¬† How much time do you actually ‑‑are you like Roger?¬† You use this as your training base?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, I trained here for a couple of weeks before Melbourne.  I came here and I trained, and as well the year before I as well did my offseason here.
So, you know, whenever I have time‑‑ you know, with our schedule it's so tough, you know, to be anywhere for so long, so whenever I can, whenever there is some free time, I like to come and train and enjoy the weather, enjoy, you know, the Arabic food, and, you know, the people here are quite welcoming and I feel right.

Q.  Is it a long way away from here?  Because I saw you in the hotel this morning.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Is it...

Q.  Your place.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, I don't have a place now.

Q.  Sorry, I thought you have a residence.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, no, I don't have a place now.  I just come and stay in the hotel.

Q.  But you used to have...
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, I don't have.  But still I enjoy coming back and so that's quite it.

Q.  Given that you do have a special affinity with Dubai, obviously there's a lot of water to go under the bridge, but what would it mean if you were to able to lift the trophy here on Saturday night?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, it would mean a lot to me.  I think this quite a big tournament and a great tournament, and there are so many great players in the field.  It's going to be a lot of tough work, you know, in  front of me if I want to, you know, lift the trophy on Sunday or Saturday.
But I have been, you know, a finalist and a semifinalist here, so I have never won this tournament before, so that would be a great achievement.

Q.  On to more pressing matters, I think you have Lucie Safarova next up.  How do you see that matchup?
JELENA JANKOVIC:¬† Yeah, that's going to be a tough match.¬† We played against each other in Beijing and I think it was 6‑4 in the third.¬† She's a lefty, a left‑handed player, and it's never easy playing those kind of players.
So I expect really a tough match.  Hopefully I can play, you know, a lot better than I did today and we will see how it goes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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