Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews and Articles

Sarasota Open 2002
Meadows Country Club in Sarasota, Florida, USA
04 April, 2002

J. Dokic / A. Smashnova, 6-1, 6-0
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Sarasota: Story 

TENNIS / Sarasota Open

Collision Course 
posted 04/05/02


SARASOTA -- Jelena Dokic wasted little time wrapping up a match she expected to 
win, while Anastasia Myskina took what seemed like forever to win a match she 
thought she would lose. 

The two took different paths Thursday, yet wound up in the same place. With the 
victories, they each earned a spot in the quarterfinals of the $140,000 Sarasota 
Open being played at The Meadows Country Club. 

Dokic worked her way through a couple of tough games early, then cruised past 
Anna Smashnova 6-1, 6-0. Dokic, the tournament's No. 1 seeded player who is 
finally injury free, lost the opening game of the match then finished by winning 
12 games in a row. Included in the run was the fourth game, one that went to 
deuce eight times. 

"The first few games weren't so quick but I think that is what made the 
difference, to win those games and to win the match," said Dokic, who had beaten 
Smashnova by the exact 6-1, 6-0 score the only other time they have played each 

For Myskina, the difference in her marathon 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4) win over hometown 
favorite Mary Pierce, was a quick look she gave her father when things looked 
their worst. 

With Pierce leading 6-5, 30-0 and serving in the final set, with a large crowd 
rooting her on, Myskina admitted that she thought the match was over. That was 
until she gave a look in the direction of her father, Andrey. 

"I saw my father's face and I said, 'No I can't lose because he is going to kill 
me.'" Maybe not literally, but the message was clear. It was time to get her act 
together and Myskina did just that by winning five of the next six points to 
even the match, then winning the third-set tiebreaker 7-4. 

"Anastasia played unbelievable," said Pierce, who was playing her first 
tournament since the Australian Open in January. "She really just went for it 
and hit really big shots." Few were bigger than the shots Dokic was hitting 
against Smashnova. 

It was Dokic who was doing the smashing, completely in control of the match 
after winning the long fourth game. 

"She played well at the beginning but it was just a matter of me dictating," 
Dokic said. "If I was going to win the match it was going to be me, and if I was 
going to lose the match it was going to be because of me. 

"She wasn't going to do very much. It was very important to get the point going 
and be aggressive." Dokic injured a thigh muscle in the semifinals at Paris 
during a win over Monica Seles and had to default the final to Venus Williams. 
She reinjured it in her next tournament at Antwerp and has not been 100 percent 
until this week. 

"It is really frustrating," Dokic said. "Hopefully I will be injury-free and 
this is where I will start. The more matches I have, the better it is mentally. 
My game is based on confidence more than anything. 

"That why I said this week was very important and these last two matches have 
helped me a lot. I think it will make the difference for the rest of the year." 
A win like Myskina had over Pierce can also make a big difference, giving the 
20-year old Russian confidence that she can beat world-class players. 

      She's got her game face working: Top-seed Jelena Dokic stares down the 
      ball as she returns a powerful backhand while palying Anna Smashnova at 
      the Sarasota Open womens' tennis tournament at the Meadows Country Club 
      Thursday. Dokic won the match 6-1, 6-0. She started the match with a loss, 
      and finished it strong by winning 12 consecutive games.
Serving the Herald-Tribune newspaper and SNN Channel 6 

The interview article quoted from the Sarasota -