Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews

Tennis Masters Series - Rome 2001 (Italian Open)
Rome, Italy
17 May, 2001


May 17, 2001

J. DOKIC/R. Kuti Kis, 6-3, 6-3

An Interview With: JELENA DOKIC

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please. 

Q. The early departure of Jennifer Capriati last night has opened the way for 
you. Do you feel you can capitalize on that?

JELENA DOKIC: Hopefully. I think I did pretty well today. I knew -- I played her 
before, and she played very well last night and I knew she would be tough to 
play today. And I'm glad, you know, I have got through and I'm happy with the 
way I played. I didn't make it too long, and hopefully I'll keep on going. 

Q. Do you feel that was your best performance so far in this tournament?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I think considering, you know, who I've played, I think, you 
know, she's probably the toughest to play. I was up and down yesterday, but 
today was a lot better concentration and just generally in my game and my serve 
as well. 

Q. The last time you lost to her was obviously a big disappointment. Have you 
waited a long time to put that right, and are you now friends, the two of you?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, we're talking. We see each other at tournaments and I think, 
you know, we've sort of both, I think, tried to forget about what happened and 
put that behind us. I know I have, and I know she has as well. And, you know, 
we're just, you know, we're not the best of friends. We don't see each other all 
the time at all the tournaments, but, you know, we talk to each other and she's 
a really nice girl. 

Q. How do you rate your chances of play, and how will you change your game for 
this surface?

JELENA DOKIC: I think for me it's sort of a little difficult to play on clay. I 
think my game's more suited to hardcourts and grass courts, but I think I have 
adjusted well. I've had a good clay court season so far, last couple of weeks 
and last couple of tournaments, and I have a couple more before the French Open. 
So I think I'm doing well so far. And there's a few more things to work on, but, 
you know...

Q. Which one is the most difficult for you?

JELENA DOKIC: I think physically I'm a lot better than I was last year this 
time. And I think, you know, just generally sometimes I'm not patient enough on 
clay and I think I've tried to work on that, and I think I've gotten a lot 

Q. What are your thoughts on your next opponent, Joannette Kruger?

JELENA DOKIC: I haven't played her before, but she's done well. She beat, you 
know, she beat some seeds here, and I'm sure she's playing well. So it will be 
an interesting one. And I think, you know, that will sort of test my, you know, 
concentration as well. And just generally I think it's an important match for me 
to get through. 

Q. (Inaudible.) In which way do you feel you are still Australian?

JELENA DOKIC: You know, I think I was born in Yugoslavia, and I think that's 
where I'm from and I always will be. But I was in Australia for a long time and 
I spent, you know, a big part of my career in Australia, so I think it's very 
hard to say. I think I always will be where I'm from and -- but I think 
Australia, I can't also just forget Australia because it played a big part in my 
life. But I think it's something that I've tried to put behind me and I decided 
who I'm going to play for, and I'm -- I've just tried to forget about all that 
and concentrate on my tennis.

Q. What is the best thing you found out in Australia?

JELENA DOKIC: Like I said, I spent a lot of time in Australia and I've gotten 
used to just the people and just living there. And it was, you know, it was 
great to be there. But like I said again, I'm from Yugoslavia. That's where I'm 
from, so...

Q. What chance do you give yourself in this tournament, seeing your side of the 
draw, where you are?

JELENA DOKIC: I think the next match is important for me to get through, and, 
you know, if I play well, I have a good chance to get to the final. You know, 
all the players that are in the draw on my side I've beaten before and, you 
know, I have a good chance to get through. But you never know what can happen, 
and I think I'm just, you know, going match by match and try to play better and 
better on each one. 

Q. Where do you live now when you don't travel for tournaments? And do you live 
just in one place or when you go back to Yugoslavia, you go back to your old 
town and house?

JELENA DOKIC: No, no. I'm in Tampa right now, in Florida, and I've sort of 
settled myself there right now to practice. And I haven't -- I haven't gone 
anywhere else, I haven't been anywhere else. And whenever I'm not playing 
tournaments, I'll be in Tampa right now and that's sort of my residence for now.

Q. Not in Europe?


Q. What about your coach? I mean, you have an experience with Tony Roche. Is 
your father your coach? In your mind, do you have a coach?

JELENA DOKIC: No, my dad just works with me now. I think I have a good 
relationship with him on court especially, because I think he's guided me 
through a lot and we've been, you know, through a lot together. And he was there 
from the first day that I started, so, you know, he knows me the best and I know 
him and I think we have the best relationship that we can have right now with 
anybody. So I'm definitely not looking for a coach, and I don't think I want one 
right now. 

Q. How difficult was it for you when he wasn't around during that period when he 
was banned?

JELENA DOKIC: You know, it was quite a few months. Like I said, I've worked with 
him from the first day, so it was very different and I think at the beginning 
probably a little bit difficult. But, you know, I've learned to -- I think 
that's made me more mature and helped me in a way, because I sort of had to do 
things myself. And it was hard not to have anybody around like him, so I think 
it's also made me a stronger person and mentally tougher. But, you know, now 
that he's back, it's a lot better. 

Q. For sure you became much tougher mentally recently, but are you somehow 
scared or worried about the idea of going back to England where all those things 
happened in Birmingham two years ago, in Wimbledon last year with your father? 
Are you somehow afraid about the tabloid writers?

JELENA DOKIC: Not really. I don't think there's anything to be afraid of, you 
know. If they want to write, you know, what they want to write, that's up to 
them, you know? And I don't think -- I think a lot of especially the top players 
don't even worry about that, and I don't think it should be on your mind. And I 
just -- I think you just got to try and block that out, you know. Sometimes it 
might be hard, but, you know, tabloids and newspapers have their job to do, and 
I think mine is to be on the court. So I'm not too worried about that. 

Q. (Inaudible)... special friends if you have one?

JELENA DOKIC: I have a few friends in Tampa, where I train, but I think on the 
Tour I try and be, you know, good with everybody. I think Conchita and Aranxta, 
they're, you know, really nice people as well. 

Q. Do you speak Spanish?

JELENA DOKIC: No. (Smiling.) And, you know, I try and, you know, you got to try 
and be friendly to everybody. I think it's very important on the Tour because, 
especially if you're going to be on the Tour for 10, 15 years like they have 
been, I think it's very important. 

Q. Conchita and Aranxta are a little older than you, even if they are very nice 
girls. Do you go out with some girls of your age, I mean, or to hear music and 
go dancing?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I guess with some of the players that are my age, I think 
especially the ones that are coming up, Kim and Justine, Kim Clijsters. There's 
a lot of players you can go out with, and I don't think it's very hard to find 

Q. What is the difference between living in Florida and Australia in terms of 
tennis facilities or friends or for climate?

JELENA DOKIC: Generally, facilities are a lot better because I think -- I'm in 
Saddlebrook, and, you know, you have everything there that you want. And I think 
it's perfect for tennis, and there is a lot of players that live there right 
now. And I think the climate's really good as well. Just generally, I think it's 
a lot more relaxed and I think no one sort of bothers you, you do your own 
thing, and I think it's very good for a sports person to be there. 

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