Jelena Jankovic Interview - French Open, May 28

Posted on May 28, 2009

Jelena Jankovic Interview
French Open, May 28

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Are you playing great again?

JELENA JANKOVIC: I think I'm coming back. This is the most important thing for me,especially when you saw me playing a few months ago. It was really disastrous. I was moving terrible. I was making so many errors. My game was completely off, as well as myconfidence.

Now I think I'm on theright track, and I'm trying to, you know, get into my form again, the form thatmade me win a lot of matches last year. It made me the player I was before. So I think I'm doing well at this moment. I hope to continue.

Q. So you're feeling fast. You'reanticipating better. You have moreconfidence in the shots?

JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah. I'm back to my normal weight, as well. I lost some muscle, and, you know, I wasn't used to -- you know, my bodybefore, I had maybe 7 kilos more than I have now, which is a lot for me. When you put that kind of weight on and youare not used to it, it's tough to move around.

Now I'm back to theposition that I used to be In almost all my career, so my game is getting backtogether. I'm trying to, little bylittle, play more aggressive and move into the net as much as I can, and, youknow, try to improve my serve.

In this moment, I have a little bit, youknow, I started to have difficulty ‑‑ strained my muscle in the abdominal, but when I play, I put the ‑‑they put some kind of tape and all this, so it's fine. But when I take it off, it's a little bitbothering me, but hopefully I will get better and better.

Q. Wouldyou rather play just a little bit out of the spotlight rather than being in itlike you started the year, the No. 1, the person everyone is expecting to winthe Grand Slam?

JELENA JANKOVIC: I want to get back to that spotlight. It's not a matter of being in the spotlightor not being there. It's a matter of playinggood tennis and having fun out there. That's the most important thing.

You need to enjoy. You need to enjoy the battle. You need to enjoy the challenges. You need to enjoy everything. You need to go to the courts with a smile onyour face.

If you're No. 1 or No. 5 or whatever yourranking is, and you're not happy with who you are or with your game orwhatever, or with your job, I don't think it's worth it, really.

So I think I'm enjoying my tennisagain, which was not the case the last few months. It was really tough for me to even smile oncourt with the way I played. It was, youknow, even tough to be out there, to be on court. But things have changed, and I hope that, youknow, I can just get better and better each time.

Q. United States and Serbiaare obviously two very different countries, but say if Obama came to a tennistournament, people would freak out and so forth. What was it like having the President of Serbiahere yesterday and what kind of guy is he? Good guy? Not so good? What's the deal?

JELENA JANKOVIC: What kind of question is that?

It was really a pleasure to have the presidentcome out yesterday and to ‑‑ we had lunch, and we had a meeting with allthe Serbian players. For us it's reallyan honor to have him come here and support us.

No matter what we aredoing, he's supporting us. When we make,you know, good results or we win tournaments, he always congratulates us andalways gives us words of support.

We are a small country. Before we were not good in tennis. We did not have a tradition in tennis, butnow we became really a force in tennis, and we are all very proud of that, andwe are very young, as well. So we havemany years to play, and hopefully we will make even bigger success in thefuture.

Q. Doyou think he follows tennis?

JELENA JANKOVIC: He does follow tennis.

Q. Did he give you any tips or...

JELENA JANKOVIC: He gave us some tips yesterday. I actually didn't know that. Did you know if you eat fruit after the mealyou get fat?

Q. No.

JELENA JANKOVIC: (Laughter.) Really. But not in themorning. If you eat it late in theafternoon or in the evening, it turns into fat. That's sugar.

This is something Iheard for the first time.

Q. But anything about the game itself? Anything about the game of tennis itself, aside from conditioning?

JELENA JANKOVIC: No, no. He's not a tennis -- how do you say?

Q. Aficionado?

JELENA JANKOVIC: Yeah, he's not a tennis expert. He's the president. He has his job. He's a big fan. He follows us and he likes to watch us play.

Q. You're going to go in to face an Australian player, Jarmila Groth. You've played her three times before.


Q. Jarmila Groth?


Q. An Australian.

JELENA JANKOVIC: Is that Gajdosova?

Q. Yes. She's been married thisyear. How comfortable are you thatyou'll be successful against her? Whatdo you think of her as a player?

JELENA JANKOVIC: She plays very good tennis, and I playedagainst her, I think, last year on grass, so it will be a tough match. I justtry to play my tennis, my game, and hopefully each match I can get better andbetter and keep raising my level of tennis.

Q. Would you rather be considered a player who can win this tournament orwould you rather be grouped in with, say, six or seven other people who couldwin the tournament?

JELENA JANKOVIC: I don't care about that. There's other girls that are the favoritesfor this tournament that have done better than me in the last couple of tournaments,and, you know, the beginning of the season.

So the pressure is on them. I'm, you know, just playing one match at atime, trying to give my best. I'm notthinking too far ahead, just focus on the moment, on what I can do and keep fighting hard andwe'll see how things will go for me.

Q. When is the last time you played great? Were you close today to playing great?

JELENA JANKOVIC: When was the last time I played great? You know, I could say that was maybe lastyear at the end of the year. That waswhen I played great tennis. Now I'mgetting better and better, so I'm still not where I want to be, but my tennisis going up. So that is a positivething.

Q. As long as you don't eat too much fruit and put all the weight back on?

JELENA JANKOVIC: No, no, no. You misunderstood. You should eatfruit before, not after. In the morning,it's good to eat fruit. But when you eatit late in the afternoon, after the meal, it kind of ‑‑ I don't know. It's tough to digest. It turns into sugar. Maybe it's right; maybe it's not. That was the first time I have heardsomething like that.

So Novak said, youknow, he's going to eat more and more fruit. He's trying to gain weight. Hehas that kind of problem.

Q. What did Ana say?

JELENA JANKOVIC: Ana was not there. She was, I think, playing her match, or Iguess she was on schedule to play, so she was ‑‑ she didn't have a chanceto be there.

Q. So maybe you should do what the French do and eat all that cheese afterthe meal.

JELENA JANKOVIC: When it comes to weight, it just depends onwhat suits you. I've been eating a lotof chocolate, as well, and I kind of lost weight. So I don't know what it is, what kind ofmetabolism it is, but I tend to lose weight when I'm playing a lot of matches,when I'm competing, because of that pressure and the nerves. I think you burnmuch more calories when you play a match an hour and a half than when youpractice for three or four hours because of all those nerves you haveplaying. You just burn so much more.