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Jelena Jankovic Interview - French Open, May 27
Posted on May 27, 2010
J. JANKOVIC/K. Kanepi
6‑2, 3‑6, 6‑4
Q. How did you feel on the court today? Do you consider it taking advantage of the interruption of the match?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, overall it was very difficult because of the conditions. I came here around 9:00 in the morning. You know, to go, to be waiting around, you know, in the locker room, it's really not easy. Then you go on the court, and I started pretty well.
I thought that I played pretty well in the first set, even though the conditions were much more different than in the first round when I played, because the court was much slower, the balls were heavier. So overall the play was much, much slower.
So, you know, I tried my best. In the second set my opponent played much better. She made a lot more first serves. You know, I decided to back up and I didn't really do what I was supposed to do. Then when we had a break, you know, in the third, I thought, you know, I have to play more aggressively. I have to go for my shots a little more. You know, I have to, you know, go out there, and, you know, put some ‑‑ play offensively and try to win. That's what I did.
So overall it was a very difficult match. You know, she's a tough opponent to play against, and I'm happy that I was able to get through.
Q. Last two games you played more aggressive. You came in, you stepped in, you stopped playing so defensive. Did you tell yourself, If I'm gonna win this match, I can't just have her hit me off the court?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, because, you know, that's why I lost the second set. I backed up, and I let her, you know, come in. Balls were coming a lot shorter than, you know, in the first set, and my ball didn't have much pace, you know.
That's why basically I ‑‑ and I started returning very short, so overall, my balls were short, so they were easy, much easier for her to attack.
Then in the third, you know, I was a little bit angry with myself. You know, I was a little bit frustrated. And then when I had that break, you know, I had some instructions. You know, I have to, you know, I have to go out there and I have to play more offensively and I have to go after my shots.
But to be honest, it was ‑‑ you know, it was much more different than in the first. When I played my first round, the court was fast. The balls were going. Here the ball, even though sometimes you hit it really hard, it doesn't really go anywhere, so the points are much longer and it's a much different play.
Overall it was a tough one to get through, and lucky to finish the match, especially with this, in this kind of rainy day.
Q. So how much confidence do you have? You've had a pretty good season on clay that maybe this year you can make a big push in this tournament.
JELENA JANKOVIC: I have a lot of confidence. I've been playing quite well, you know, on clay. I had, you know, a lot of good wins on clay against some of the top players.
So I'm coming into this tournament quite confident, and, you know, I hope that I can just improve it each round and get used to all these conditions. You know, every day it's something different. You gotta be ready, you gotta have your focus.
Like today, it was not easy. I was waiting around the whole day and going on court, you know, after like I don't know how many hours of sitting around, and then you don't finish the match. You stop in the middle of the match, and then you have to go again. It's really not easy. It's tough, you know. You've got to stay warm. You've got to go on court and be ready from the first point.
So I'm just happy I was able to end today. She's a tough opponent, and she had a lot ‑‑ I think she had also good wins against Justine and in the Fed Cup. She's been doing quite well, won a couple of tournaments. That's what I've heard.
And I lost to her in Dubai I think last year, so I'm happy to get a win against her.
Q. When you were a kid in Serbia or training in Florida, when you imagined yourself on the center court of a Slam, winning a Slam, was it this one, by any chance, or did you not have one picked out for yourself?
JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, it was probably ‑‑ it was like ‑‑ you know, as a kid, I kind of always, you know, admired Wimbledon, because, you know, it was just a huge tradition. I never thought I was gonna be, you know, one day over there and be playing this kind of tournament.
I'm not really a fan of grass, but now when I started to play, when I, you know, developed my game, I prefer, you know, French Open and US Open, so my dream is, you know, to win this one and US Open. Those are my favorite ones. Those are the ones that suit my game.
Q. So apparently Ana was talking about what happened in Madrid after the match with you and the fist pump. You want to talk about, you know, your version of that? I know it was a big win for you, but why you decided...
JELENA JANKOVIC: What was her version?
Q. Well, she basically said that, you know, sports reveals character. That's what she was saying.
JELENA JANKOVIC: For me, you know, I don't need really to comment on that, you know. I don't think it's a right time to comment on this kind of thing.
But for me, as a player, it's ‑‑ every player has their way of, you know, motivating themselves and pumping themselves up, you know, if you win a point or you didn't win a point. But I don't think it's nice to put it, you know, the fist in their face. That's what can be a little irritating. That's the only ‑‑ but all the players, they do, you know, different kind of gestures, you know, with their hands.
But, you know, it's a little bit ‑‑ when you do that in the player's face, and especially after not winning a point after your opponent missed an easy ball, I don't think it's ‑‑ I don't think that's fair play.
That's just my opinion, and that's what I, as a player, don't like to do to other players. If I'm ‑‑ if I win a point or something, I do it, but I don't go like that in your face (holds up fist). That was only ‑‑ and especially when it comes to maybe me and Ana, we are two girls from the same country, and it's nice to have a nice relationship and play a normal match. Somebody has to win, and that's normal.
We're both professionals. We want to do our best on the court, and I think we should play fair. That's just my opinion. I have nothing, you know, against her or fist pumps or whatever. I play my game. I have my personality. I'm myself, and it's none of my business what Ana does or all these other girls on the court. But for me, I prefer to this kind of way like I already explained.
Q. One more question: You had that great win over Serena in Rome, and then at the end there was the whole thing about the hand. Then she came up to you at net and appeared to apologize in some way, saying she wasn't trying to stop it? Did she say, I'm not Justine, or I'm not like Justine? What do you remember?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't want to comment on that, because that's between me and Serena, and, you know, she said that I have a nice dress and a nice size, you know, after the match. (laughter.)
So I don't really want to comment on whatever she said. It doesn't really matter for the public. It's ‑‑ you know, we are ‑‑ we played a tough match. It was a great match. We played good tennis, and that's what matters.
Sometimes there are gonna be some weird moments, but because we're very competitive, we want to ‑‑ we want to win. I mean, it's not like we are having a picnic out there or a charity match. This is a professional sport. We want to ‑‑ I mean, both of us want to win, and that's actually ‑‑ it's a big battle, and sometimes things happen, but sometimes you don't mean it, and you're under this atmosphere whereas sometimes you cannot control your emotions and that can be difficult.
Overall, you know, it was a good match. That's what I want to remember it as, and I won both ‑‑ I won against both Williams sisters in less than 24 hours, so it was a pretty good tournament for me, and, you know, it was really good for my confidence.
I got two wins against No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, so that means something.