Jelena Jankovic Interview - Indian Wells, Mar 20Posted on March 21, 2008
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 20, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Were you aware she was hurt before she had the trainer come over? Were you aware?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I didn't know that she was hurt. I just came out on the court with the goal I wanted to play her really aggressive and take the initiative from the first strike, and that's what I did today. But I had no idea that she had some problems.
Q. Is it disappointing sometimes, Jelena, in a quarter, you play two matches against her in the fall where you want to test yourself that the match ends that way?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I love to play a full match, but unfortunately, this is the sport. We all get injuries, and unfortunately she had some problem today which unabled (sic) her to finish the match.
But what can I do? I cannot force her to play because I want to play. Lindsay, play, because I want to play a good match. That doesn't happen. But I wish her to recover as fast as possible and to come back.
Q. So you get to play one of your favorite rivals again in the next round.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, my favorite rival. For some reason, I don't have record against her. Some players suit you more, some players don't. It's just the way it goes. But I have to -- I've been working on my game the last maybe 10 days or so, and I'm really feeling a lot better than I was in the beginning of the year, because at the moment I'm healthy.
Actually, I only had a cold the last three or four days, which I'm still -- my nose is a bit runny, but other than that, I have no injuries and I feel ready to train and get better. So I'm improving little by little. That's my main goal.
So we will see tomorrow if I have difficult match. I'll try to play aggressive and go for my shots and we'll see how it goes.
Q. In this event last year, you, Ivanovic and Sharapova all failed to make the quarterfinals. Now here you are all in the semis. What does that tell you about women's tennis?
JELENA JANKOVIC: That a year can make a huge difference. (laughter.) I mean, we get that -- we're all getting more mature, more experience. We are learning more about the game. So I had a great year last year, and for some reason in the past years I have never played well here in the desert.
I don't know why, what is the reason for that. Because maybe the week before I play so well in Dubai, and I would come here and I would just fail. I would just play terrible tennis.
So this year, it's a change, and I made a record so far. I made it to the semifinal, and I don't want to stop here. I want to continue. I'm working very hard at the moment, and little by little I'm getting my game in order again.
Q. Sampras didn't always play well in the desert either. When he would come here, he would find that the ball would fly on him. He hit a lot of balls long. Do you have the same problem?
JELENA JANKOVIC: The balls are flying, and you have difficulty controlling the balls, especially -- I rely a lot on my precision, and when I cannot hit that backhand in that corner there, what can I do?
So it's -- I'm adapting, actually, I'm training, just get my rhythm and getting the feeling how I need to hit the ball so I can really go for it and make all the balls in.
I feel confident and comfortable on the court. I'm doing well so far. Hopefully I can continue.
Q. You said things in a year, so much changes. When we're sitting here next year, what would be a successful year, having become what ranking? Having won maybe a major or two? What are your thoughts?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, I would like to win a major first. Start by winning one. By doing that, I would come close to No. 1, if not No. 1 in the world. Those are my goals. Those are my dreams that I'm going after, and we'll see if I will make this happen.
Q. Do you think that in a year's time you and Ana, who have this momentum going, do you think you'll be at the very top and surpass the others there?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think we are already out there. I think we will play a lot of the tournaments, we'll play semis and finals and really be winning the tournaments. I think Serbian tennis is, at the moment, very strong.
You can see Djokovic, me, Ivanovic. We're doing very well, and we're all very young. We have great games, great personalities, and I think that's what the tennis needs. Today, for example, Ana was the first one at 11:00, Djokovic was the second one after her, and I was the third. It's just Serbia, Serbian tennis players on center court.
Q. You've said before that Ana's game doesn't suit you, but you played her very close the last couple of times and she's managed to pull it out in the end. Is it more mental? Are you finding she's mentally stronger at the end?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, I think it's just -- for some reason -- she played well that match, last time we played, which was, I don't know --
Q. LA, semis.
JELENA JANKOVIC: LA? I don't know how many months ago. I thought she managed to play those important points very well. She really hit that forehand really strong, and unfortunately the balls were landing in.
I will have to try to really take the initiative from the beginning and try to move her around, not give her the chance to hit the shots that she likes. Of course her forehand is her favorite shot, so I'll try to move her around a bit and open up, you know, my shots and try to get the shots that I like to hit, which suits my game.
So we will see. It will be a good match, and hopefully I'll play good tennis.
Q. Has there been like one major adjustment you've made here that allows you to be successful, unlike past years? Like has there been one thing...
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's not just one thing. It's so many things I'm really working on. I was really -- before I came here, I was really not happy with my game, not happy with my movement, not happy with anything that goes, you know, with my tennis.
So since I came here, I'm working on my fitness, I'm working on my tennis game, on certain shots to improve those things. So far I've been doing really well.
In the last tournaments I have been playing three sets with many of these players that I've beaten in this tournament in two sets, so it's already a step forward.
Q. You played Fed Cup with Ana for the first time. Did your relationship change there with her?
JELENA JANKOVIC: We are fine. We get along nicely. We didn't have any problems there. We played for our country. We tried our best to win the matches. We were quite exhausted after Australia from a hot country going to Budapest, which was cold and being indoors, and playing all those girls which we didn't know.
But we still managed to pass that group and have a chance, have an opportunity to get in a World Group for the first time, which is very important to us. Because for the first time in history we played as a strongest team. Before that we didn't have a chance, we didn't have good players, and now that we have, I would like that we play many, many times together so that one day we can even win the whole Fed Cup.
Q. What I meant was I wasn't saying you're friends or not, but did you have a chance to talk with her more?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, and we even played doubles together for the first time, and it was actually the side match. It was actually -- it's different, because we are both singles players and we had to play a doubles match. We are very, very different girls.
Ana is more quiet; I am a little bit more open. I tend to speak my mind a lot. She's more kind of conservative. She wouldn't say much, and if she would say, it would be very little. That's what my opinion is about her. She's more of a shy girl.
But I am -- but that doesn't matter. I mean, we're all individuals and that doesn't -- those things don't matter with the tennis game. When we go on the court, of course we try, we're opponents, we try our best to win those matches. But whatever happens off the court doesn't matter.
Because this is -- we are here at the tournament, we are not here to, I don't know, to -- whatever you guys...
Q. Have a party?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, have a party, yeah.
Q. You were a student a while ago. The other day Ana was talking about her interest in psychology and Freud and some books she was reading. Are you doing some reading? Do you have some interest in those type of areas?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Philosophy. My mom had an interest in philosophy, and she's my main philosopher, you know, in my life. (laughter.)
She's the one who's teaching me so many things, because she had the biggest influence in my life. She has taught me so many things, and I think without her I wouldn't be where I am at the moment.
Q. She seems like a very special tennis parent and embraces...
JELENA JANKOVIC: She is a very special tennis parent. My mom never really put any pressure on me to play tennis, first of all. I play because I like to play. I enjoy the sport. I have fun doing it, and that's why I play. If I didn't enjoy the game I would quit the sport. I would hang my racquet on the wall and just say good-bye to the sport and do something else that I love.
Maybe that's the difference between my mom and my parents and maybe some of the others which push their kids to play the game and maybe become famous and make money and have all this, you know, have a great life. So for me, tennis was never my No. 1 priority. I always went to school. I always focused on other things.
Then when I finished my high school I really started to train a little bit more, to see if I can go professional, and then here I am. It's been a great journey so far. I've come a long way.
Q. Can you treat a match against Ana like any other match, or does it mean more since you guys are both from the same country?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's okay. At the end of the day, you realize that tennis is just a game, and you go out on the court and you try to do your best. You try to win, and that's -- that's what matters. After that, you're just regular girl. You do your things. That's it.
I don't really like to think over, oh, we're same country and all this pressure that goes on. We are young girls and we will play millions of times throughout our career. So we'll try to get better each time, to get better rankings to achieve our goals. As individual I'm trying to do that, and I'm trying to become No. 1 in the world, trying to win Grand Slams and just going after my dreams. I don't really focus on the other things that are around.
Q. Your mom's an economist, so who spends more money when you guys go shopping?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I'm pretty -- I'm a big spender. I like to swipe my card. (laughter.)
I like just doing it, you know, that motion. (laughter.)
I think we are pretty similar, you know, at spending money. But I prefer to go with my dad, because he's really -- with dads and daughters, I mean, just he cannot resist not to buy me something really expensive.
So I'm always -- if I'm going after something, I'm like, I bring my dad. Can dad go with us, mom? Oh, okay. I just get like -- I just bought like limited edition of Louis Vuitton bag. I'm like, dad, can you buy me that? Yes, of course no problem.
If I said to my mom. Oh, now is not the time. And for her, when she buys something, yeah, it's always the right time. But when I'm the one it's never the right time. So I said, dad -- or I just go myself and I just swipe it. I don't even ask.
Q. So how much was the bag?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Do you want to know?
Q. I do want to know.
JELENA JANKOVIC: $4,000. That's why I tell you, my dad is better for that. Because he wouldn't think twice. He thinks, Oh, it's for my daughter. I mean -- if my dad had to buy for my brother he would probably say no.
My dad is quite generous, so he just buying whatever. He just tries to make us happy.
Q. Is that the most expensive thing he bought you?
JELENA JANKOVIC: No, he keeps buying -- I already -- I cannot talk about these things. If I keep going with all these prices and all these things I bought, you guys would think I'm crazy. But I think the most important thing is to invest your money in property where -- because when you buy bags or shoes, which I have a lot, I even have to buy whole house to put all these things.
But I think it's worth it to buy, for example, houses or some type of properties where you're always going to have that money. Where when you buy shoes or bags, who you going to sell that to?
Q. You're right.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Just waste your money. But it makes me happy, so that's why I'm doing it. Otherwise...
Q. Have you bought property in Serbia and more in Florida?
JELENA JANKOVIC: To be honest, I have a house in Miami and I also bought a lot in San Diego.
Q. Nice. Close to the tournament?
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's in Rancho Santa Fe.
Q. Yeah, close.
JELENA JANKOVIC: It's beautiful. It's on a hill and just amazing, and so -- it will take time. It will take maybe a year and a half or two years to build a whole house because it will be big, and I can almost invite all of you guys to stay there and have a huge party and go to -- we'll have huge swimming pool, tennis court, sauna, whatever, spa. Anything you want, watch movies.
Q. We each get a bag?
JELENA JANKOVIC: You can enjoy it. You can come away from this tennis world and just have some real time. I mean, just like real people.
Q. Is the property by itself or is it in one of those developments in Rancho Santa Fe?
JELENA JANKOVIC: To be honest, I have no idea about anything. I haven't even seen the lot, but I hear all these stories. It's amazing. It's all this, and it's like a fairytale to me to listen to it. So when I have time I will go and check it out and I will tell you more about it, because I have couple of gates. It's quite restricted area so you guys cannot get in.
Q. Where again is the lot?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I cannot tell you.
Q. Rancho Santa Fe?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, but I'm telling you but you're not supposed to write it in the papers, because then -- I mean, it's not nice to say where it is and where -- because many people can be dangerous sometimes.
Q. Are you designing the house? Are you going to do the architecture, or is your mom or dad?
JELENA JANKOVIC: The architect just -- he came a couple days ago. We were looking at the plans for a house and all these rooms and I have -- it's amazing. I mean, I'll be like -- I'll get lost in my house.
Q. Nice to have money, eh? How many shoes and how many bags do you have?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Sorry?
Q. How many shoes and how many bags do you have?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Thousands. That's why I separate them. I keep some in Serbia, some in America. So my winter shoes in Serbia. And, of course, every year I buy new ones and add to them.
Q. Serena Williams said that when she was decorating her house she got very tired of shopping for chandeliers. Can you imagine getting tired of shopping?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't have to deal with that. My mom, she loves going to those shops, and she drives me nuts. Sometimes she brings me to those shops where you buy, you know, like furniture, chandeliers, candles, whatever, plates, glasses and all that. She loves -- she goes there like she's in a museum and she just keeps looking at all those things.
I'm like, I hate that. I really -- I don't like that at all. So she's really the expert and she'll do all the job. She has really good time because she was a designer before when she was younger, so she has good taste for that.
People don't put in the papers Rancho Santa Fe, just in San Diego.
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