Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews

Home Depot Championships Presented by Porsche - WTA Tour Championships 2002
Los Angeles, California, USA
09 November, 2002

S. Williams / J. Dokic, 7-6 (1), 6-0
Home Depot Championships Player Interviews from Day 4 of the Championships

November 9, 2002


  Lost to Serena Williams, 7-6, 6-love

Q.  Jelena, did you start to feel tired in the second set?

JELENA DOKIC:  No. I have an ankle injury. It was a little bit hard to move, and, yeah, 
I wasn't even sure I was going to play. I was hurting a little bit more in the second set.

Q.  How did you hurt your ankle?

JELENA DOKIC:  I did it the first day I was practicing. I sprained it.

Q.  You didn't appear to be limping. 

JELENA DOKIC:  If I was limping, I wouldn't be on the court. If you're limping, you don't 
play, but, you know, I was good enough to maybe play a set or two, but, you know, against 
Serena you have to be 100 percent, which I wasn't.

Q.  When did you decide it was finally good enough to play? What time today?

JELENA DOKIC:  I wasn't even sure I would play the first one. I did enough in that match, 
but it hasn't gotten better. It's more than a sprain, but it's hard. It needs rest. You 
know, it was since maybe the last few matches I wanted to come out and play anyway.

Q.  Which ankle is it?


Q.  What is it?

JELENA DOKIC:  Stretched ligaments so far. I don't know. I haven't had the full MRIs.

Q.  Despite that, you had chances in the first set?

JELENA DOKIC:  Yeah. I think I just had trouble moving, so even when I had the chances, 
I had to go for my shots more. It wasn't so easy to move against her. I had to go for 
winners earlier.

Q.  Might that have been an advantage for you, that you had to go for your shots? You were 
making great shots. 

JELENA DOKIC:  But it would help also if you can move too, so either way, you know, 
couldn't have asked for a better first set. I could have won it, but, you know, considering 
everything, and that I wasn't 100 percent, it wasn't too bad.

Q.  How is your foot right now? 

JELENA DOKIC:  We'll see tomorrow. I can't even feel it right now.

Q.  Jelena, had you won the tie break, do you think you would have had any chance to win 
the second set?

JELENA DOKIC:  Maybe. The foot was getting worse, so you know, it would be very hard to 
win the second set, and she would always lift her game up like she did. 
It would be very hard and the third wouldn't be so easy, so either way, I think it would 
have been very tough to win the match.

Q.  Are you definitely out of Australia? You're definitely not playing?


Q.  February, March, when do you expect to play again?


Q.  Do you plan to find a new coach? 


Q.  Yeah. 

JELENA DOKIC:  We'll see.

Q.  Why are you not playing in Australia?

JELENA DOKIC:  I just don't think -- I don't feel like I'm ready to go back, and I don't 
think it would be a good idea. I don't think I would have a great reaction from media, 
fans, everyone. I don't think it's a very good idea to go back there. It would be very 
complicated. Mentally, I don't think I would feel great to play there.

Q.  What do you feel of your time in Australia and the'reactions of the Australians to you?

JELENA DOKIC:  I had no problem until I had to go. I had a lot of problems with the media. 
In the end, I feel the people started to feel the same way, too. 
I think either way, you know, I wouldn't have too many people supporting me. It's a risk 
to go, and I never know what can happen, and you know, if something went wrong mentally, 
I wouldn't feel good after that.

Q.  Are you in any way sympathetic or do you understand Lleyton Hewitt's response to the 

JELENA DOKIC:  I think he has trouble playing there. I think his worst results have been 
there. They give a lot of pressure to the players, whether it's good or bad. I'm sure 
it's tough for him, too. They have no reason to blame as much as they do. I had even more 
problems than that.

Q.  Jelena, are you going to take another residence in the US or stay in Yugoslavia?

JELENA DOKIC:  I have a few months now. I will definitely work that out. I don't know. 
I will see what's better for me and what to do. 
I'll definitely stay in Europe, that's for sure, where I am right now, but, you know, 
I will try and sort my schedule and see what I'm going to do.

Q.  Jelena, Serena, obviously, showed tons of confidence against you tonight. When are 
you going to have the same against her?

JELENA DOKIC:  I think she didn't start so well, but she's hardly lost any matches this 
year. I think that's what has pulled her through. 
I haven't played her in the last two years. I think for me to play the Williams officers 
would be for difficult than I didn't know. 
It was a tough first set, but I will be trying, you know, to improve my game a little bit 
more next year and maybe be closer.

Q.  In golf, Tiger Woods has been so successful, there is a sense that the rest of the 
field is just chasing him and they are a bit demoralized by his success. Do you think in 
any way that's happening with the women's tennis?

JELENA DOKIC:  Pretty much. They're 1 and 2 right now. They've dominated tournaments, 
Grand Slams the whole year, so it just depends on how long it lasts and how well they do 
the next few weeks. 
There are a lot of good players out there that could give them a hard time. It just depends. 
We're going to have to improve a lot in our games and physically to beat them.

Q.  This year don't you think the Williams went so much further ahead than the rest of you? 

JELENA DOKIC:  Definitely they've dominated tennis this year. We'll see what happens here, 
but they've dominated tennis.

Q.  Finally, if you could choose one player aside from yourself, who would give them the 
best challenge? Who do you think that player might be?

JELENA DOKIC:  There is so many. Monica can always play well, Lindsay also, and Amelie and 
I think a lot of us that are in the top ten right now can play tough matches with them.

Q.  Jelena, early on when you got the 4-1 lead, is that as well as you've played, that one 
little stretch, this year?

JELENA DOKIC:  Not necessarily. I played a good few games to get up. I have played better 
before, and it's hard to say. It was very quick. You start to get a rhythm against her. 
It's hard to say. 

   End of FastScipts. . . .

   November 9th, Dokic.doc
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Home Depot Championships Player Interviews from Day 4 of the Championships

November 9, 2002


  Defeated Jelena Dokic, 7-6, 6-love

Q.  Serena, what led to the slow start?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know. I was just making too many errors and I wasn't attacking 
my shots, letting her dictate play. I made way too many mistakes for no reason. That led 
to a slow start.

Q.  Did it kind of click into focus more?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't think -- I mean, I started cutting back on the errors. That's it. 
I didn't really play exceptionally well.

Q.  Did you see she had a bad ankle?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No. I knew she had a problem. I didn't know what her problem was.

Q.  Serena, talk about the tie breaker. You played pretty well there with no forced errors.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, it's always my goal to get out to a quick start. That way I can 
dictate play with my serve. Even if I'm not serving well, a tie breaker is tough for me 
to lose.

Q.  You started to change sides at 3-0. Is that just an indication how focused you were?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I figured I hit an ace. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't know. 
I was just gone.

Q.  Is it unfair to the rest of the field to bring out the catsuit midway through the 
tournament? Do you think that's sort of intimidating to the rest of the field?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Definitely not. Definitely not.

Q.  Was it hard to get your rhythm tonight?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it was. I think I was hitting a few spray balls. I don't know. 
It's over and done. I'm now trying to focus on my next match.

Q.  One more question on the catsuit. What's your record in the catsuit now. Pretty good, 
isn't it?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  5 and 0. I wore it maybe four times at the Open. I haven't worn it 
since the Open. I wore the Pink Panther outfit sometimes at the Open. The catsuit only 
appeared four times.

Q.  You didn't break it out in Japan?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, it wasn't spotted in Japan or Germany.

Q.  How is it playing in LA, fairly close to where you grew up?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's great, and it's a little stressful, because all your family and 
friends and everyone you know is here. It's great, but I don't know. I have a lot of 
support here, which is different. Normally the crowd roots for the underdog.

Q.  You are able to block that out?


Q.  You gave yourself a C- against Smashnova. What do you give yourself tonight?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I didn't pass tonight, unfortunately.

Q.  How does it feel to have so many supporters? How does that feel?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It definitely feels good to have so many people supporting you and it's 
like, yes, because I grew up here, and it's been a long way coming, and I'm finally on 
the top of the mountain. 
It's just, they're here. It's like they've seen me grow, not literally but figuratively 
from the papers and actually being from here. It's really great. I always try to play the 
other tournament here.

Q.  Serena, can you talk about Jennifer a little bit? What was the reason for the 

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think the main turnaround was I was tired. I lost to her so many times. 
After you lose to someone so many times, you just get tired. I think that was the main 
turnaround point for me. I just wanted to at least win once.

Q.  You talked about playing in Southern California. Of course, the next big tournament 
here is, you know what, in Indian Wells. Any chance that you would reconsider and play 
this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's more Eastern California. I'm from Southern California. That's not 
really my home town at all, as you can tell.

Q.  Seriously, would you reconsider about possibly playing there?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I would like to play where people like to see me play. People like to 
see me play in LA. I did have a couple fans out there, but I think the vast majority of 
them didn't like me out there. I'm an entertainer and I don't want to entertain if they 
don't want to be entertained.

Q.  Serena, would you consider Jennifer to be your greatest rival?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  For sure, because we always have great matches and we always bring out 
the best in each other. I would definitely say hands-down she probably is one of my biggest 
rivals out there.

Q.  Serena, would you have handled being down 4-1 the first set the same way two years 
ago or a year ago as this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I was down 4-1? 

Q.  Sorry, first set way down?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I have always been able to handle being down. I've never given up. I've 
always been a fighter and kept going. I never said, gosh, what am I going to do or whined 
and complained.

Q.  Do you consider yourself sometimes a slow starter and, therefore, not really loaded 
with confidence if you're down in the beginning?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't consider myself a slow starter. I actually consider myself a 
fast-pace runner, and I have to normally keep pace rather than starting out so fast and 
losing it. 
I consider myself more that type of person. I pace myself now. I let other people get 
ahead and quickly come and pants them.

Q.  How much is a factor of all the success you have had this year in terms of your 
confidence and your feeling on the court that in the end you will prevail? Does that give 
you a kind of advantage you didn't have before?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It does. If I'm down or if yeah, I think it is, if I'm down I say, okay, 
Serena, you won the French Open and Wimbledon, you're a better player than this. I get 
confidence and draw energy from that. 
There is some people maybe they don't have that, maybe they have other things they can draw 
confidence on. Even before I won the Grand Slams, I would say, okay, Serena, you're a 
better person than that.

Q.  Conversely, do you think that affects your opponents as well?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I wouldn't know.

Q.  Serena, a lot of players talk about how tired they are at the year-end tournament. You 
played a much more limited schedule than a lot of these players. How do you feel?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel great. I'm not tired. I'm just getting started. I was tired after 
Tokyo and Germany. I was really fatigued. 
It was -- both of my phones are going off at the same time right now. They're both 
vibrating. I was really fatigued and I had to take a break after that. I think I would 
have been crazy. Now I'm ready. 
Sometimes I think the tournament schedule is a little too hectic, one after another, after 
another, after another, and you have this big tournament here that you want to do well. 
If you don't have the energy, it's kind of hard. I had to take a break. I don't know. It's 
tough. Life's tough. You have to go out there and keep playing.

Q.  Does this tournament feel like a Super Bowl, big championship?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Not quite the Super Bowl.

Q.  More like an All Star Game? 

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, it's definitely -- maybe like a -- I don't know. It's only the top 
16, so it's not like you can start out slow or else you will get out of turn.

Q.  Monica said the other day that she can envision this tournament catching on and being 
successful in LA. Can you comment on that? Do you see it building momentum over the next 
couple of years?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I hope it does. People in LA are pretty much`Hollywood. I think it will. 
Even now the crowd is getting better and bigger. I think it will be successful, but no one 
knows what the future holds. I hope so. I like playing here. I love being here. Who knows? 

Q.  Serena, has it been kind of -- how well do you feel like you're playing? Do you feel 
tomorrow if Jennifer pushes you, your A game will come if necessary?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I hope. We're all tired. It's the end of the year. The thing is, with 
me, I hate to lose. If she pushes me, I'm going to pick up my game no matter what. 
It's like, I can't -- no matter what, I can't just stop. I always keep going. I want better 
for myself and I want to win.

Q.  You said you like to play in front of crowds that love you. What venue do you think 
loves you the most?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Toronto, anywhere in Canada, Montreal, LA. Of course, South Carolina. 
I got a ton of support there. It was actually eerie it was so much.

Q.  Did you not play there one year?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I played there the first time this year.

Q.  If you like LA so much, why don't you move back? Are you thinking about it?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Thinking about it. State taxes.

Q.  Speaking of your father, I think it's time either him or your mother get the coach of 
the year award. 

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yes, but -- that would be great, but I think -- I don't think there is 
an award like that, but they would have definitely had it if there was. 

   End of FastScipts. . . .

   November 9th, S. Williams.doc
   ... when all is said, we're done
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The interview article quoted from the Home Depot Championships 2002 Official Website.