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Pacific Life Open: Jelena Jankovic, March 21, 2008
   

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PACIFIC LIFE OPEN


 

March 21, 2008


 

Jelena Jankovic


INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It is a Serbian semifinal. Obviously it was difficult to play a fellow countryman. It was challenging. Can you tell us what did prevail in this match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think it was a difficult match. I think the main strokes for me, the serve and the return, which I wasn't able to do very well. But when we started the rally I felt like I had the control, but unfortunately in the tiebreak I made a lot of errors and just let that go.
But other than that, you know, she played -- you know, she was very solid, but I made a lot of mistakes from my side. But I need to realize what I need to work on, and especially my serve and my return is usually better, but this is what I rely on.
But today it just had a bad reaction. Couldn't really put pressure on her on that aspect. But I lost the match. She was the better one today, so good luck to her in the final.

Q. What happened in the tiebreak? Looks like you kind of checked out there, so many errors.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I know. I made a lot of errors and it was basically all me. I made -- I mean, I think, seven in a row or whatever and did just erratic from my side. What can I do? But I felt like when really we got into the point I felt like I had all the control. I had the dictation of the points, but unfortunately I went for too much or just made errors at the wrong times.
But -- and the serve was really -- I didn't make many first serves in, and of course that doesn't help, but not a good day for me.

Q. Any particular reason for that, or just one of those nights?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No. I thought I was doing better. I am really happy with the way I'm improving throughout -- how I was improving throughout this tournament, because before I came here I was really happy with my game and everything, and every day I was getting better and better. But today just those two strokes were not really good, and so, especially with her, you need to really serve well and try to return.
Because when I got into the point, I had everything. But I just couldn't do that, so next time.

Q. What makes her game effective? What made her effective tonight?
JELENA JANKOVIC: She just served well, and I didn't even start the point, especially when she was serving. I didn't make many returns in the court. Her serves were not that great, but I just, for some reason, didn't have a good reaction.
Also, maybe I also didn't play at night throughout this tournament and probably I was a bit slow motion out there. But, I mean I can make all the excuses all night long, but it's just not right. I have to keep improving, keep working on my game and things will come.

Q. At least you took some more risks this time in the rallies when you got...
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I did, and I had -- like I told you, when we started the point I felt like I was the one who was dictating unless she would, you know, kind of just go for broke on the forehand when she had the chance, but she didn't have many of those chances.
And especially at the end, she was really lucky on that shot. But anyway...

Q. You mean the lob, not the forehand crosscourt?
JELENA JANKOVIC: The lob, the lob. I mean, what are the odds of making that shot? I thought the point was over and all of a sudden the ball comes back and lands on the line.
But what can I do? It's all right.

Q. How is your cold?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm still like blowing my nose all the time and still trying to get over a cold, but somehow I'm not -- it's not happening. I don't know what my mom gave me (laughter.)
And I didn't -- I would prefer to play during the day because it's a lot warmer, and it helps me for some reason. During the night is a little bit -- so I'm even more -- it's running, but it's okay. I have a couple days, you know, before Miami starts, so continue to do some of the things. I already have to do a lot of improvement, especially on my serve.
I think if I improve on that shot, I will be -- I will be very dangerous to beat. Because when we start the rallies I can hit both shots, and just a matter of improving that serve and getting that first strike so I can get easy balls, also get some free points and help with my game overall. I'll try to do that in the future.

Q. How do you think Ana has improved over the last few months six or year?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I played against her in LA. For me, I don't know, she just seems a lot more stronger, a lot fitter. I think she lost some weight. She looks little bit stronger. But I don't know if she added something to her game, because for me, I didn't see that tonight. But I think she's physically a lot better, and I think that makes a huge difference for her.

Q. Where do you put her chances against Svetlana then with the way she is playing?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know. I think it will be an interesting match, and I think for some reason Svetlana doesn't really score good in the finals. I don't know why is that. She's just kind of -- it's all mental, and why in the world would anybody get nerves in the finals and always like lose like I don't know how many matches she lost.
But it will be interesting match. They're both great players and good for the fans to watch.

Q. Apart from Justine, when you play Ana, you have I think the worst record of any other player you play against. Do you try and adjust your game?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Some of the players suit me more than others, and that's just the way it is. Justine had a lot of difficulties with her, and my game for some reason doesn't match up with hers. With Ana, I just have difficulties reading her ball from her forehand side, but that's just the way it goes.
I mean, maybe I can play, I have a good score with Williams sisters, for example, the other girl doesn't. And so it's just a matter of how the game works for you and all these other things.

Q. I think you were looking for a coach when you came here. Is that true? Have you found one? Have you talked to anyone?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I was -- a Spanish coach was helping me throughout last year on and off, and I really loved working with him. I think he helps me a lot, but I hope, you know, maybe he will be my coach in the future.
I would like that to happen, because I was struggling to find a good coach and I was on a trial period before that, and it didn't work out. I think it's very difficult to be at the top level without a coach. I can rely on my talent and everything.
But I think to be beating those strong girls I need some, you know, somebody who will bring my game to the next level, and I'm really looking for that. Hopefully I will find a solution.

Q. You mentioned that you want a coach who knows tennis better than you. Is that really that hard to find somebody who is good?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's not a matter of who knows tennis better than me. It's sharing his knowledge with me. You can have great players who are ex players and who retired and come to coach you, but they don't know -- for example, I've been one of the top players, and if I had to coach somebody I wouldn't know.
It's a whole different coaching somebody and not just being a player. So it's just -- you have to know how to give advice, you know, what to do at a certain time, you know. When the player is challenging you need to help that player, not just hitting forehands, backhands, whatever.
It's really a lot more than that. Hopefully I will find that right person who will help me do all this.

Q. As I say, it was a Serbian semifinal, and you can just imagine how many girls in Serbia were maybe watching or...
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know how many girls were watching at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning (laughter.)

Q. It may be exciting for them, and in that retrospect, if you'd be kind to tell us, what's going on with the tennis center in Belgrade? Is it going to be realized? What's the stage of that?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know what is happening with that, but hopefully there will be one which will help the younger kids to develop their games, which would be nice. It's been amazing what we have done for Serbia, and I think we are the future.
I mean, we have Ana and me will be playing for hopefully a long time. I hope we will stay healthy, and also Djokovic. We are the ones coming up, and hopefully one day will dominate. We are at the top of the game. We will play many, many finals and semis and the Grand Slams, as well.
I think it will be very, very useful for the younger generation, Serbia, to practice there, to also have good coaches to educate them very well, to help the kids develop their games so they don't have to go out of the country and train somewhere else like we had to do.

Q. I live in San Diego County. You know if you're going to be moving to Rancho Santa Fe?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You're going to be my neighbor. Are you going to invite me for coffee?

Q. If you're going to move to Rancho Santa Fe you're going to have to have a horse.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I will have a horse and a golf course, so I'll just run over to your house.

Q. You don't have to have a horse, but it's a very horsey kind of area.
JELENA JANKOVIC: What if I fall off the horse? What if he panics or something and gets scared?

Q. We're happy to have you --
JELENA JANKOVIC: -- as your neighbor, right? You'll invite me for coffee and cookies and I'll be glad to come.

Q. Any time. Why San Diego? Did you talk about this yesterday?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't know why I picked San Diego. I think the weather is really great here in California. I like the people. As a young kid I was in Florida and had a house in Sarasota, and I still do. I have a house in Miami, but I don't really like the humidity in Florida.
And it's so much nicer and easier to live, and it's -- I really like it and I have a lot friends there, as well. I mean here in California.
So I'm looking forward to having the house and when it will be ready, it will be great.

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