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February 19, 2014

Jelena Jankovic


J. JANKOVIC/L. Safarova
7‑5, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Congratulations.  Can you just talk about the match.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Yeah, it's always so difficult, you know, to play against a left‑hander like Safarova.  We have had a tough match in Beijing, 6‑4 in the third.
She gives me a hard time, you know, especially that lefty serve.  I have a hard time breaking, so it was a matter of who breaks first.
I was able to stay focused.  That was my goal, to stay focused on my serve and try to hold it as much as possible and then try to break her.
So I broke her once in the first set and, you know, twice in the second.  I got broken in the second.  So a little bit lost my focus, and she played some games really well.
So overall was a tough match.  I think the conditions were tough.  It's quite windy, and you play a left‑handed player, it's twice, you know, the amount of work.
So I was able to stay strong I think mentally, as well, and then pull the match off.

Q.  You get to play Serena now.

Q.  How confident are you heading into this match?  And it's going to be on center court.  You played your first two matches...
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Doesn't matter.  I'm going to have challenge for the first time.  (Laughter.)  Yes.  It's like every close ball, you pray, Call it, please.
So it's exciting to be back on center court and to be playing Serena Williams.  It's going to be our first match this season.  I look forward to it.

Q.  Your match with her the end of last year was a very close one.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  6‑4 in the third in Istanbul.  I will see now how it goes.  Hopefully I can do it.  I have a lot of fans here behind me, a lot of support, and I love playing here so we'll see.

Q.  How do you feel your game is shaping up after the first two rounds?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I think I played much better than I did in the first round, but, you know, playing at this time of the day, it's so windy, it's not easy.  You know, the ball is swirling and you have to move your feet and you cannot go as much for the lines.
It's completely different, you know.  And on the serve, as well.  Sometimes the toss goes all over the place, so it affects, you know, certain strokes at times.
So you have to adapt and get used to it, and then, you know, you have the opponent who is giving you all these hard balls and hitting, you know, so well.
I think I'm improving with each match, and that's positive.

Q.  Must be nice to be drawn against Serena, because presumably you'll be playing in the evening.
JELENA JANKOVIC:  Whenever I play her, fine.  I look forward to the match whenever it is.

Q.  You're someone who had a lot of early success and did well and then had a little bit of an in‑between patch.  When you look at somebody like Sloane Stephens who last year, you know, was a semifinalist at the Australian and now Genie Bouchard this year was a semifinalist, inevitably it doesn't stay on that high and they kind of have this kind of thing (indicating up and down), what kind of advice would you offer them from your experiences?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  You know, it's difficult, you know, to give the advice, because I think, you know, as a youngster when you're coming on the tour, sometimes it can be an advantage that the other players don't know your game so well, so you can get‑‑ you know, they don't take you seriously, and then once you kind of make a breakthrough and you do a great result like they did like semis of the Australian Open, then people start to take notice, you know, more of you and they start to analyze your game a lot seriously.
So then it becomes tougher, you know, for them.  They've got to prove themselves.  In order to kind of establish yourself as a player and as a top player, you've got to do it not once; you've got to do it consistently.
So that's, you know‑‑ I don't know.  As young players, you know, the longer they play, the experience they get and they learn and they grow as players.
So far they are doing very well, and it's just to continue to work hard and they will just become better and better.

Q.  So do you ladies sit in the locker room giving each other tips on the newcomers?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  No, it's not that, but, you know, for example‑‑ it's not that, but, you know, when people ‑‑sometimes like, for example, when a really newcomer comes, if you haven't seen that many, you know, matches, so it's of course you go on the court, and that player that you're playing against has seen you play so many times, you know, and knows your game.  Then you go and you haven't seen much, you don't know exactly what they play, how they react, what their weaknesses are because they haven't been on the tour so long.
So it's of course different.  Like I said, the longer, you know, they are here and they play so well, you know, then it becomes more difficult, I think.
But, you know, if you're good, you're going to make it.  That's it.  There is no secret.

Q.  Did you watch Serena's match last night, or were you at the player party?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  I was actually playing my doubles match.  And then what was I doing?  I watched maybe one or two games, not much, because then I showered and had to go and eat and do the recovery, and then I went to the player party to just to have dinner.

Q.  I don't suppose you especially need to watch her match to know where you're going to face her?
JELENA JANKOVIC:  You kind of know what to expect.  It's kind of like you know ‑‑everyone knows Serena's game, but it's a matter of what kind of form she's in, if she's, you know, confident or if she's, you know, not in the top of her game.  Depends.
So that's what you're looking for, because not everybody can stay up here, you know, forever.  So of course it goes up and down.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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