Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews

U.S. Open 2002
Flushing Meadow, NY, USA
28 August, 2002



August 28, 2002

E. BOVINA / J. Dokic, 6-3, 6-2

An interview with: JELENA DOKIC

MODERATOR: Questions for Jelena. 

Q. How were you feeling today? You were injured, not able to play the Pilot Pen. 
Was that a factor today?

JELENA DOKIC: No. It wasn't a factor the first day and it wasn't a factor today, 
no, not at all. 

Q. Can you talk about your serve. She had a lot of looks at serves, a lot of 
breakpoint chances. 

JELENA DOKIC: No, she played well. Just in general, I didn't play well, didn't 
move so well. My serve wasn't too bad. I just had trouble staying in points 
because I made too many errors. You know, you cannot do that. It just wasn't 
good enough. You know, even when I had chances, I didn't take them. You know, I 
didn't play the points smart. I kept on playing everything to her, and she was 

Q. When you're not on your game and you can feel that early, how hard is it to 
convince yourself to stay in? 

JELENA DOKIC: It's hard. But she was playing well, so I couldn't even change 
anything because, you know, she was -- everything I hit, she was hitting it 
back. She was on. She was serving quite well, too. There was not much I could 
do. You know, like I said, even when I had chances, I couldn't win the right 
points at the right time.

Q. You've played a lot of tournaments this year. Does that take a toll? Are you 
tired at this point? 

JELENA DOKIC: No, I don't think so. I felt fine. I took the week off last week. 
No, I don't think that's a factor. I just had one of those days where nothing 
was right. So it happened today.

Q. Where do you go from here? Will you go home?

JELENA DOKIC: I don't know yet. I still have doubles, so I don't know.

Q. There have been reports in the European press that you faxed a letter in 
support of Vojislav Seselj regarding the Serbian election. Can you confirm if 
you did send that letter?

JELENA DOKIC: I did, and that's my personal choice, that's my decision. You 
know, it's my private thing. I have the right to do that.

Q. I'm just wondering if you could elaborate on your feelings on the issue. 

JELENA DOKIC: Like I said, it's my personal choice. It's something that I wanted 
to do. There are a few reasons. But, you know, that's the way I feel, and that's 
who I wanted to vote for.

Q. Will you be doing anything further?


Q. When you had that great run at Wimbledon, you talked about hoping in the 
coming years to get some experience. Is experience sometimes more difficult 
later on because you don't have -- because you know too much also?

JELENA DOKIC: No. I think experience has helped me a little bit. You know, I had 
a lot of experience in different matches. I played for a long time already, so I 
think in a way it's helped me mature more also the last few years. I don't think 
it's a negative thing. You know, I don't know. I think it's helped me a lot. 

Q. Would you say you've had an easy time? A difficult time?

JELENA DOKIC: No, I've had difficult times, but I think it's only made me 
better. You know, I've had a lot of everything. I think that's helped me in a 

Q. What kinds of things stand out to you as things you've been able to overcome?

JELENA DOKIC: I mean, there's a different experience every day. There's nothing 
in particular. Like I said, I've matured as a person the last few years. 

Q. When you woke up this morning, did you feel like everything was firing on all 
cylinders or did you kind of feel like maybe today wasn't a great day to go play 
a match?

JELENA DOKIC: No, I wasn't -- you know, like I say, it was one of those days 
where I wasn't hitting well. I just wasn't a hundred percent with my shots. I 
was missing a lot. I wasn't moving well. It was just a combination of everything 
that didn't go right.

Q. Before you stepped on the court, did you have any indication?

JELENA DOKIC: No, no, no. 

Q. Is your dad still your coach?


Q. Was he able to see the match today?


Q. You said the other day that you don't talk to him a lot about tennis. Do you 
still talk to him before every match?

JELENA DOKIC: I talk to him -- no, not before the match. A day before a match. I 
talk to him about when I have to play important matches. I talk to him about 
that. But, you know, I don't talk to him right before matches. I talk to him, 
you know, a few days before. 

Q. Have you talked to him since you lost today?


Q. It seemed like you were rushing out there today. Did you feel like you wanted 
to keep pushing, maybe if you kept going you could force her off the pace? What 
was your reasoning for doing that?

JELENA DOKIC: No, I usually play like that. Sometimes you think she might go off 
a little bit, but she didn't do that today. She played I think a good match. 
There was nothing I can do. I didn't get any better as the match went on. 
Sometimes it can turn around a little bit, but that wasn't the case today. 

Q. In a certain sense, were you kind of anxious to maybe get it over with 
because you knew you weren't playing well?

JELENA DOKIC: No, I don't think so. You know, I tried at the beginning of the 
second set also. It was just impossible. I couldn't break her serve. Like I 
said, I just wasn't on. There was nothing else I could do.

Q. What do you have to do to become more consistent, in general? Is it mental or 
is it physical?

JELENA DOKIC: No, I've gotten more consistent the last few years. I win matches 
that I'm supposed to win, otherwise I wouldn't be with my ranking where I am. So 
I don't think it's a matter of consistency. You know, sometimes you can play a 
player that just plays too good. It doesn't mean that if I lost to her today, 
that that's a bad loss. Again, I think she would have played much better than 
even some of the Top 15, 20 players would play. I don't think it's a bad loss.

Q. In terms of in general trying to improve, are you trying to improve more 

JELENA DOKIC: More physically, more with my game, not so much mental. 

Q. In general when you have a day like today when you don't feel like you're on, 
the shots aren't going, in the past you have been able to turn it around, how do 
you get back on track? Is it your footwork, repetition?

JELENA DOKIC: I wasn't playing good enough to change it around. Sometimes when 
you play good, you lose a first set, you can turn the match around. That's what 
happened with her last time when I played her. Even when I tried, my game wasn't 
on. She didn't step back. She kept on going for her shots and she was making 
everything. Like I said, she didn't give me a chance to come back at all. She 
played a better second set than she played in the first set. 

Q. Who is your traveling support?


Q. Since your father has backed off traveling with you as much, have you thought 
about working -- is your mom helping you as a coach?

JELENA DOKIC: No, she just travels with me. I've learned to be a little bit more 
independent in the past. I'm fine with the way it is right now. I wouldn't 
change it right now. 

Q. You say you're looking to be more independent in the past?


Q. You are?


Q. Is that just a function of getting older and growing up?

JELENA DOKIC: No, I've always been like that. I was like that when I was 
younger. I don't know. I think I'm like that naturally. I don't need too many 
people around me. 

Q. Do you think it would help to have a coach who was able to travel with you?

JELENA DOKIC: I don't know. I've been comfortable with my family, so I don't 
know if bringing anyone from the outside would really help. I doubt it. Like I 
said, I like it the way it is right now. I don't think I will change. 

End of FastScripts....



August 28, 2002

E. BOVINA / J. Dokic, 6-3, 6-3

An interview with: ELENA BOVINA

MODERATOR: Questions for Elena.

Q. That looked like a very comfortable match for you. 

ELENA BOVINA: Yes. I just found my rhythm from the beginning and I knew it was 
going to be a little bit windy outside. I just tried to make a lot of balls, 
especially at the beginning of the match, you know, make her play. I guess she 
just couldn't quite find her game today. You know, I made her move, I made her 
hit, you know, a lot of balls. I think I felt pretty comfortable out there. 

Q. Did she seem a little listless to you when she was out there? 

ELENA BOVINA: A little? 

Q. Not quite her normal self. 

ELENA BOVINA: Yeah, I mean, she made a lot of errors today. But, as I said, you 
know, it was quite windy out there. I don't know what's the reason of her 
playing that way. I mean, obviously it's not my problem. I just try to play my 
game. I just tried to do what I had to do. You know, I won.

Q. The new Bovina up around the net, spending time at the net. 

ELENA BOVINA: Yeah, I'm trying toward the direction, trying to move forward as 
much as I can. I did it a few times today. I did a few approaches today. I won a 
couple of good points at the net today. But I still think I can do it more 
often. It's just something that I'm not quite used to yet. But I think I should 
do it a little bit more.

Q. Have you come to the conclusion that this is how you have to play, more 
aggressively, come forward, more physical?

ELENA BOVINA: Yeah. I mean, that's what I have in mind right now. That's what 
I'm working on. For sure, I mean, women's tennis is progressing, it's moving 
forward. You know, it's more physical, it's power, so you have to follow it, you 
have to make adjustments to your game and improve it.

Q. Can you tell me where you learned most of your tennis? You attended 
Bollettieri. You learned also in Russia?

ELENA BOVINA: Yes, both. I've been practicing in Moscow basically all the junior 
years that I've been playing. I went for a couple years to Nick's. I went back 
home again. Now I'm kind of, you know, wherever. It's all over the place. 
Sometimes if I play in the States, I practice in the States. If it's in Europe, 
then I'm back home. 

Q. Was two years enough at Bollettieri's?

ELENA BOVINA: Basically it was a great experience at Nick's. He's a really great 
coach, I think. He's great technician. You know, he sees technically like 
mistakes unbelievably well. You know, probably there's not like particular 
reasons. Was just for me time, you know, to move on, to play tournaments. 
Basically he had a lot of children, too, that he was coaching. Like he couldn't 
concentrate only on you because he had Paul Henry, Xavier Malisse. I kept 
counting, counting. He had a bunch of kids. It was hard this way. He's 
definitely one of the great coaches I ever met.

Q. You had a few moments with John McEnroe at Wimbledon. What did you get out of 
that? Did he give you some advice?

ELENA BOVINA: Yes. I really admire, you know, John. I met him. I was so happy 
and excited. We even hit at Roland Garros a few times, Wimbledon. He's really 
clever. He's really smart. I mean, he's been the best player, you know, in the 
world. I had a lot of great experience just by talking to him. He told me a few 
things here and there. I mean, I'm thankful for this. And also Brad Gilbert has 
been helping me a little bit also. I've been practicing at his house in 
California for a few weeks before Los Angeles. You know, he helped me 
unbelievably also. I mean, he's unbelievable guy. He knows so much that it's 
just scary. I mean, yeah, also he helped me a lot.

Q. What's the most important thing John McEnroe told you?

ELENA BOVINA: The most important thing? You know, there was not such thing as 
the most important thing. Everything that he says is important because you know 
he's just a legend, you know, of tennis. It was a lot of stuff. It was not like 
one thing that he said, "This is the most important." 

Q. How did you get together with Brad?

ELENA BOVINA: He's a really good friend of my coach. They're like unbelievably 
good friends. You know, Brad invited us for a couple of weeks before, to prepare 
for the series of tournaments in the States. He has his court at his house. It 
was just great. Unbelievable experience for me. I think from that point on I 
improved with my game unbelievably.

Q. Is it important for you to kind of be able to get to the second round when 
you saw you were playing Dokic in the first round?

ELENA BOVINA: I didn't even see the draw. Every time I play, I try to play like 
one match at a time. All I knew at the beginning of the tournament is that I 
play Clarissa Fernandez the first round. Then the next day, you know, my coach 
told me who I played next. I didn't even see the draw, so I didn't know I was 
going to play Dokic. It really didn't matter to me. I just wanted to work on my 
game and try to improve my game. For me right now winning is not that important. 
It's more important, you know, to try new things that I've been working on, see 
how they go. Whatever feels comfortable for me, just keep doing them in matches.

Q. Do you sense she's vulnerable?


Q. Dokic. She's played a lot of matches. She had the hamstring. Did you think of 
that this morning?

ELENA BOVINA: No, I never did. You know, she's probably tired. As I said, I 
don't know what's the reason, you know, why she was not maybe a hundred percent 
today. But this happens, you know. It's not that she's the only player out there 
that happen something like that. It happens to every player. What you do is you 
just try to find a way out of this situation, try to go through that day. You 
know, maybe she didn't feel -- maybe she's sick or something, I don't know. You 
know, basically she was trying to go through the day. I knew, you know, that 
she's not -- like she doesn't play her best tennis. I was just solid. I just 
made her hit a lot of balls. 

Q. Last week you were serving for the match against Mauresmo. Did you get 

ELENA BOVINA: Yes, I got a little bit nervous there. Not that nervous; I got 
confused a little bit because the situation, I wasn't familiar with, it was 
something new to me, to play a Top 10 player. Especially it was a long match, I 
got a little tired. Of course, you know, I was like thinking about serving for 
the match, which was probably my mistake. I should just go out there and, you 
know, serve another game, so. But definitely today it helped me a lot, the last 
match against Mauresmo. I was feeling comfortable. I basically knew what to do 
on that service game, the last game. 

Q. Why are there so many Russian players coming through?

ELENA BOVINA: I don't know. We're probably -- if we do something, we try to do 
it a hundred percent, we try to be the best. You know, it's not only Russians. I 
think all the players are like that. If they do something, they want to do it 
great, they want to be the best at it. It's just I think we had a lot of great 
players before. They couldn't get out of Russia. You know, was difficult times 
back then. Right now it's you can do whatever you want. A lot of girls go 
practice to Spain, on the States. They have a bunch of opportunities, you know. 
That's why I think, that's the main reason why. It's not like we never had any 
great players. We did. Unfortunately, it was just those bad times that they 
couldn't travel much, they couldn't get out of the country. 

Q. You go to other countries to practice. Are there good practice opportunities 
Russia now?

ELENA BOVINA: Yeah, it's pretty good. It's not the best in the world, of course. 
It just depends on what you want to do. But I know a lot of girls that are 
staying back home, like Dementieva, Myskina. Young girls like Safina, 
Kuznetsova. They go, they practice in Spain, I don't know. It just all depends 
on how you feel.

Q. You had pretty good success when you first came on the tour. Are you a little 
surprised that it took this long to sort of get back to the level where you can 
beat a Top 5 player?

ELENA BOVINA: Basically, you know, I think it's just every player is different 
road. I just probably needed a little bit more time, you know, to understand, to 
get used to stuff because probably I wasn't quite ready like mentally to reach 
that high level. It's just a matter of time. I think it depends. Hingis, she was 
pretty fast. In one year, she was a Top 10 player. It just depends on the person 
probably, mentality.

Q. Your height is listed by the tour as 6'2" and a half. Have you now reached 

ELENA BOVINA: I don't know. I don't think so. I still think Lindsay is higher 
than me. When we were playing, I kind of briefly looked at her. I think she was 
taller than me. She's still taller than me.

Q. Are you still growing?

ELENA BOVINA: I don't know. Probably not. I haven't grown in like a year or so. 
I think I'm stopped pretty much. I'm glad. 

Q. Does that help, getting used to your height with your game? Are you thankful 
now that you've stopped growing?

ELENA BOVINA: When you grow so fast, it's difficult to adjust because you don't 
feel your body that well. It's tough. I remember that feeling when I was 
completely -- I couldn't coordinate my movements. It was just very difficult. 
Right now, you know, I feel pretty comfortable with my body. I still have bunch 
of things to improve, to work on, but I feel better. I feel good. 

Q. There's so many good Russian players, but not many in the Top 10, none in the 
Top 5. Should we expect to see some Russian girl players take the next step?

ELENA BOVINA: I don't know. It's a tough question. But for sure this kind of 
thing is in every girl's mind right now, every Russian girl's mind, you know, to 
reach a higher level, to become a Top 5 player. I mean, we're all trying. We're 
all going to try to do our best. We definitely have a good opportunity there. 

End of FastScripts....

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