Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews

Nasdaq-100 Open 2003
Crandon Park Tennis Center in Miami, Florida, USA (Key Biscayne)
25 March, 2002

K. Clijsters (3) / J. Dokic (9), 6-2, 6-0
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2003 NASDAQ-100 Open: News: Player Interviews


   K. CLIJSTERS/J. Dokic  6-2, 6-0

   An interview with: JELENA DOKIC


   THE MODERATOR: Questions.

   Q. Not a good result tonight, but you won three straight 
   matches at this tournament, which you haven't done for 
   some time. So are you making progress?

   JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, overall, I'm happy with this week. I 
   had a tough start to the year and it always takes me a 
   few matches to get going. So I was happy to get three in 
   a row. I haven't had that in six months. So in that 
   regards, I'm happy. I think I played my best tennis that 
   I played the last six months, so yeah...

   Q. How is it working out?

   JELENA DOKIC: It's good. We're working on some things. I 
   think it's getting a little bit better. Yeah, I think I 
   haven't made that transition yet to -- I don't think my 
   game is where I want it to be still. But we're working 
   on things.

   Q. Are you aware of when these things started going 
   downhill, that you couldn't change anything, could you?

   JELENA DOKIC: No, I hit the ball very well for the first 
   half an hour. She got everything back. So, I mean, 
   overall, the way that I played first half an hour, I 
   cannot be unhappy with myself. But she just played, you 
   know, she just got everything back and was better.
   After that, was hard to keep up. But overall, if I look 
   at the first set, I think it was, you know, very close. 
   I had chances, I missed some. But I couldn't have hit 
   the ball any better than what I did.

   Q. Jelena, she played really spectacular defense 
   tonight, retrieving balls in the corner. Did it 
   ultimately frustrate you, you made some bad errors off 
   of some of the retrievers she made?

   JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I think it's difficult to play 
   against someone that attacks and retrieves that many 
   balls at the same time. I think, eventually, it makes 
   you miss a little bit more because she gets so many back.
   But, again, that's why I said I don't think I hit the 
   ball bad. I think I hit the ball fine. It was just a 
   matter of finishing the points and just not get 
   frustrated with her getting everything back.

   Q. Could you rate your fitness level right now?

   JELENA DOKIC: It's not there yet. I think it's pretty 
   good. I think it's better than it's ever been. But I 
   could still get stronger a little bit and just fitter, 
   overall.

   Q. Where will you play next?

   JELENA DOKIC: Sarasota.

   Q. Are you having still home in the area of Tampa?

   JELENA DOKIC: I do, yes.

   Q. When you speak with your coach about progress, how do 
   you see it growing? What time should you pick, one 
   month, two months? Does he have an any opinion on that?

   JELENA DOKIC: No, I think we're working on my game right 
   now. I just started working with him. I don't think I 
   have a peaking time or when I want things to happen. I 
   think things will happen when they happen, when things 
   start to improve in matches.
   Overall, I think I made a big difference from the 
   beginning of the year to now. Hopefully, I can continue. 
   I think I still have a lot of things that can improve. I 
   don't expect to see anything huge still for another 
   three months at least.

   Q. It seemed from the outside, maybe you see it 
   differently, after the sixth game in the first set, that 
   was a game that made a decision, enough to doubt -- 
   almost all your balls were...

   JELENA DOKIC: She played good. What can I say? I hit the 
   ball fine. That was no problem. Again, she got a lot of 
   balls back and she hit winners. She didn't make errors 
   at all, hardly. So it's difficult to play against 
   someone that does that.
   You know, I'm disappointed with the result, but I think 
   overall, she just played solid. So I cannot say that I 
   beat myself too much.

   Q. This sets up a rematch between Serena and Kim, the 
   Australian Open, which was a wonderful match. Kim came 
   so close to winning it. Do you see her as strong enough 
   to beat Serena Williams?

   JELENA DOKIC: I think she's -- you know, she's gotten 
   very close. She has beaten Serena, so you always have to 
   give her a chance now. I think it would just be who's 
   better on the day.
   Serena's played very well since the Australian Open, so 
   it just depends who plays better and how the conditions 
   are.

   Q. Do you see a confidence in Kim's eyes that tell you 
   anything about her mental strength right now?

   JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I think she's improved everything. I 
   think she's also -- she's raised the bar a little bit 
   also from the other players. I think fitness-wise also. 
   She's, you know, she's been playing very well and she's 
   very confident right now and you can see that.

   Q. When did you last time play Meghann Shaughnessy?

   JELENA DOKIC: Scottsdale.

   Q. That's not that long ago.

   JELENA DOKIC: No.

   Q. Do you think that Venus might have been run down a 
   little, or they're catching up with her, with them?

   JELENA DOKIC: No, I think Venus has gone down. I think 
   the fact that maybe she hasn't won a Grand Slam and that 
   Serena's dominating, I think we can see a little bit of 
   a lapse in her game. I don't think she's as solid as she 
   was before.
   But, you know, she's still done I think well this year, 
   and I think, though, I don't think she's where she was, 
   I think, maybe a year ago.

   Q. Do you watch a little bit of matches?

   JELENA DOKIC: No, no.

   Q. What do you think of the courts at Sarasota?

   JELENA DOKIC: They were fine last year. I don't know, I 
   mean, clay's clay, I think.
   So I think it was okay. I think it was -- I had no 
   problem. I was always on center court, so they made that 
   -- I think it was pretty good.


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2003 NASDAQ-100 Open: News: Player Interviews


   K. CLIJSTERS/J. Dokic  6-2, 6-0

   An interview with: KIM CLIJSTERS


   THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

   Q. I don't know what was better tonight: Your offense or 
   your defense. You made so many great retrievals in the 
   corner tonight. It seemed to really fluster her and 
   upset her. She made a lot of unforced errors.

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I think, definitely, against 
   players like Jelena, you have to just try to make every 
   ball. When they're on, they can play unbelievable 
   tennis. If you take them a little bit off balance and 
   surprise them with a few shots, I think it's, you know, 
   you can surprise them and then they get maybe a little 
   bit more careful about, you know, not driving to the 
   balls, hitting more to the lines and stuff. They make 
   more mistakes.
   But I felt really good today. I was seeing the ball very 
   well and moving well.

   Q. You split so many times, I thought you were on clay.

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I grew up on clay. So I probably 
   sometimes think I'm playing on clay too.

   Q. Is this your best stretch ever, the last few weeks? 
   Have you ever played as well for this long a time?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I feel like I'm a lot more 
   consistent than what I was about a year ago, maybe two 
   years ago. I knew then that my best level was the same 
   as what it is now, but it just, you know, if I went a 
   little bit under my best level, when I was younger, 
   like, I dropped a whole lot and I could never sort of 
   stay good enough to, you know, win those matches.
   Now I feel like I'm consistent throughout. Even if I'm 
   not playing my best tennis, I still feel that I'm 
   capable of playing well enough to beat a lot of girls.
   I think that's the most important thing is, you know, 
   being, you know, focused and being comfortable by 
   yourself.

   Q. Any thought at all, any reaction to not having to 
   beat both Williamses to win the tournament?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, no. No. I never... Well, I never, 
   also, I don't really look at draws, you know, far ahead, 
   you know. I know I have Serena now. But I never really, 
   in the beginning, when I won my first match, I didn't 
   even know who I was playing in the second round.
   I just try to focus one match at a time. I tell my 
   coaches, "Well, you know, you don't have to tell me, you 
   know, which is the seed in my section" or whatever, 
   because I want to stay focused on each match. Yeah, so...

   Q. You haven't conceded any more than two games in any 
   of the eight sets you've played so far. Do you think the 
   semi against Serena is going to be your first real test?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: I hope I'll get more than two games 
   against her. No, but it's, you know, these are the 
   matches you really look forward to. These are the 
   matches, when you're younger and you're practicing and 
   you're working hard, these are the matches you dream of. 
   I mean, I do. I love playing these big matches. I'm sure 
   there will be a good atmosphere. So, yeah, I look 
   forward to those type of matches. You know, when there's 
   a lot of atmosphere from the crowd, I play better. Yeah, 
   I really enjoy those matches.

   Q. Surely, you knew that with the top of the draw today, 
   with Serena playing the other match, that you were on 
   target to play her in the semifinals. How did you keep 
   your mind from -- off worrying about the semifinal and 
   focused on this match today?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, I don't at all. I never -- like I 
   said, I mean, for me it's really easy not to think ahead 
   and just to focus on the match that I'm playing. You 
   know, even tomorrow, I have a day off tomorrow of 
   singles. I won't be thinking at all about the singles 
   match. I have doubles tomorrow. Yeah, so I'll just be 
   focusing about that.
   But of course, you know, as soon as that match is over, 
   I have to do everything well, I have to focus on my next 
   match. That will be the one against Serena.

   Q. If there's one thing mental that you can take back 
   from the Australian Open semifinal in the third set, 
   what would it be?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I don't think I did anything wrong. 
   I don't think I -- you know, it's not that I made more 
   mistakes than, you know, when I went 5-1 up. I think she 
   just raised her level. That's what those top players 
   have. You know, that's why she's, you know, No. 1 in the 
   world. That's why she's won so many Grand Slams already, 
   is because when she's in trouble, she can raise her 
   level, you know, when she's unbeatable even.
   Even, you know, I know, like, in the beginning of that 
   match, she didn't play well. She was making more 
   mistakes. I was forcing her to make the mistakes a lot 
   of times. You know, from 5-1 on, I don't think she 
   hardly made an unforced error.

   Q. When you go on to playing her again, will it be 
   helpful to think about what happened in Melbourne or 
   block it out?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: No, every match is different. We're 
   playing in different circumstances. Every match is 
   different. You know, I mean, for me, it's really easy, I 
   think, to block it all out. We're in a different 
   country, different stadium, so it's a completely 
   different match.
   I think in tennis, you know, it doesn't matter. You can 
   beat a player, you know, one day. Then the next day, you 
   can lose to them. That's what's the fun part about this 
   sport. Otherwise, it would get really boring, I think, 
   if you would keep it the same player would win all the 
   time.
   So, it's, yeah, I hope it's gonna be a great match.

   Q. Did any of your supporters watch the Williams match 
   today against Bartoli in order to give you some input on 
   how well she played?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: No, it's -- I mean, I'm pretty, you know, 
   I've been on the tour a few years now. I've seen her 
   play a few matches, I've played her enough times. I 
   watched a lot of the matches that were on today, even 
   the men's I watched, just in the locker room. No, I 
   don't think my coach watched any of the match.

   Q. Even if you don't look ahead to your next match, when 
   you go into a tournament like this, obviously, you're 
   aware that it's been an awful long time since anyone has 
   beaten both Williamses in the same tournament. So the 
   fact that one of them is now out of the way...

   KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I really don't think that. Not at all.

   Q. You don't even think about that?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: No, not at all. I know for myself that a 
   lot of things can happen before you get there. Maybe, 
   you know, definitely for me, I mean, I think on the 
   other hand, everyone sort of expects Venus and Serena to 
   make it to the semis, to the finals. For me, I feel for 
   myself that I have to, you know, work hard. And, you 
   know, I mean, last week in Indian Wells, everyone was, 
   you know, already sure that I was going to make it to 
   the final. You know, I was playing, you know, bad tennis 
   in the beginning of the week. I really was struggling. I 
   know for myself how hard it can get. Even if you play 
   good one day, it can really change the next day.

   Q. Do you think it would detract from your focus to even 
   think about the tournament as a whole? You don't do that 
   because you think it would distract you?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. I've never -- I mean, I've 
   never tried thinking. I don't know what it would -- if 
   it would distract me or not.
   But, yeah, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it. I don't 
   know, I would not.

   Q. Thinking about the tournament as a whole?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no.

   Q. This match seemed to turn in the sixth game of the 
   first set, six breakpoints. They just kept coming. What 
   do you remember about that game and how difficult it was 
   to finally break?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: I think against Jelena, you know, you 
   have to be there for every point and you have to show 
   that you're fighting. Once she gets ahead, I think she 
   can really dominate and overpower you, I think, with her 
   type of tennis.
   I definitely, you know, I served well today. I think 
   that was really important. I think that sixth game was, 
   you know, really important to go up 4-2 there. Then, you 
   know, win my own serve game after I broke her. I think 
   that sort of made her, you know, try to do more things 
   and change her game a little bit to get back into the 
   match.
   But as long as -- you have to really try against Jelena 
   to not let her get back into the match and not let her 
   play her best tennis.

   Q. Your backhand down the line today, particularly 
   strong?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I think so. You definitely have to 
   use that shot, I think. Because, you know, the players, 
   I mean, it's a surprising shot from anyone. Even if 
   you're maybe a meter behind the line or a little bit 
   outside the court, you can go down the line and sort of 
   the opponents, it's an automatic thing, I think, when 
   they move automatically to the backhand. Down the line 
   court is open a lot. Yeah, it worked really well today.

   Q. Any problems or concerns about any aspect of your 
   game tonight?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I was -- I think, overall, I was 
   pretty pleased with everything. Of course, everything 
   can still get better and I'll work for that. But, yeah...

   Q. Does it seem astonishing to you that against a player 
   who hits the ball as hard as Jelena, she had only six 
   winning ground strokes against you tonight?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think the thing I did really well 
   is hit the ball deep. I sort of didn't give her a lot of 
   chances to come into the court and go for the winners. 
   You know, I really, like I said before, I felt like I 
   was moving really well and I wasn't, you know -- yeah, 
   moving really well and not letting her, you know, get 
   those easy shots.

   Q. Do you have a feeling for a situation that the other 
   player is, did you follow how she feels at a particular 
   time, or are you concentrating on your game and you 
   don't look?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, you know, in every match, I've 
   mainly focused on my own tennis. You know, because 
   that's the most important thing. It all depends on how 
   you play and, you know, the way you feel.
   I never really focus, you know, about the opponent, how 
   they're feeling, no. I just, you know, tactic-wise, you 
   know, I know what their strengths and weaknesses are. 
   But from the game from your opponent, but I never, yeah, 
   like I know for myself, I have to play good tennis to 
   win every match.

   Q. Are you afraid you might get injured with your spread 
   eagles?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. You know, a lot of people 
   have asked me that question. You know, I know every time 
   I come back into the locker room, the physios are really 
   worried. They almost packed their bags a few times, 
   ready to go on the court.
   I don't know, it comes automatically. I don't know, 
   yeah, I don't know. I think it's because I grew up on 
   clay that I still do it on the hard court. But, yeah...

   Q. Are you following what your sister does?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: I do, yeah. Yeah.

   Q. Is she capable of doing same things?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't know. It's tough. Because I think 
   it's always tougher, I think, for the younger player, 
   because she has to sort of follow into my footsteps and 
   a lot of people, you know, sort of expect her to do the 
   same things as I did. But she, you know, she's having 
   fun. She studies very well, too, so I think at the 
   moment, she's still -- she has to decide whether she 
   wants to keep going in tennis or whether she wants to 
   study and go to school.

   Q. Do your parents have any say in that?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh, yeah, sure. Of course my parents, 
   they've always come with the point that they always 
   said, "We want you to be happy, whether it's playing 
   tennis or going to school or doing whatever, working, 
   whatever, we want you to be happy." My parents still say 
   that now, you know. They never put pressure on me. They 
   say, "From the moment you're sick of the tennis or sick 
   of the traveling and the flying, then don't do it. You 
   can find something else."

   Q. Against Serena Williams, no player can afford to have 
   a weak second serve. The way you served your second 
   serve tonight, would it be strong enough to -- that you 
   would be okay against Serena?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think against any of those Top 10 
   players, you have to get a high first-serve percentage, 
   especially against Serena. You need a very high 
   first-serve percentage. You know, you have to hit your 
   first serve as well because she even attacks your first 
   serve.
   But that's her type of game. She can make some errors on 
   that as well, you know, she tries sometimes to hit it so 
   hard that she hits some errors on those shots.
   But, you know, I'll definitely have to hit my second 
   serve really well tomorrow, yeah.

   Q. How good was your second serve tonight?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: I don't even remember that. Well, I 
   think, like, my first serve was good, but I still felt I 
   had double-faults today and I'll definitely have to try 
   to keep those out tomorrow, yeah.

   Q. Next day?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Oh.

   Q. The weather's changed quite a bit. It's fresher, less 
   humid. It's cooler. Does that change what you can or 
   can't do on the court? Does it make you feel better?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: Well, I think, you know, health-wise, 
   it's a lot better for the opponents. I've seen a few 
   girls come into the locker room with some problems and 
   some cramps and stuff. So, in that case, it's, you know, 
   a lot more enjoyable, I think, to play tennis in.
   But the first few days, you know, when I was practicing, 
   coming back from Indian Wells, I was really struggling. 
   I could hardly breathe. So it was really hot. I think it 
   was even broke record in eight years or something, the 
   hottest day.
   But, no, it's definitely a lot more enjoyable to play 
   it, I think, when it's not as hot.

   Q. Does it change what you do?

   KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no, it wouldn't really change a lot. 
   Maybe take a little bit more time between the points 
   because you need a little bit more time to recover. But 
   for the rest, I don't think it really changes anything 
   about the game, no.


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The interview article quoted from the 2003 Nasdaq-100 Open official website.

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