Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews

The Lawn Tennis Championships 2003
All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in Wimbledon, Great Britain
24 June, 2003

J. Dokic (11) / E. Baltacha (WC), 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
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The Championships, Wimbledon 2003 - Grand Slam Tennis - Official Site by IBM - News

Players - Interviews

   Dokic - Day 2
   Tuesday, June 24, 2003


   J. DOKIC/E. Baltacha 6-3, 1-6, 6-4


   An interview with: JELENA DOKIC


   MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Jelena Dokic for you. 

   Q. A week ago at Eastbourne you said you weren't thinking beyond 
   anything other than the first round. Are you glad to have got it 
   over and done with?

   JELENA DOKIC: Yeah. I think it was a big difference compared to the 
   last few months even. You know, she played well. She played good 
   tennis. She served well. Especially after the first set, she got 
   even better. It was always going to be a tough match. And she had 
   the crowd with her. 

   I'm happy to get this one out of the way. I think if I played like I 
   did the last few months, maybe I would have lost that match. But I 
   played better and calmer today. I played the big points well and I 
   served well on the big points, especially in the third set. 

   Q. Do you think it was a big psychological boost to get the win?

   JELENA DOKIC: Definitely. I mean, I had so many matches like this 
   the last few tournaments that I lost, so to win this one was, you 
   know, very good for my confidence. 

   Q. Did you prepare mentally before the match more than usual? 

   JELENA DOKIC: No. I mean, I worked on my game a little bit more. I 
   don't think that was a problem. But it was more mental that I was 
   losing matches. I would just give too many free points away. 

   I knew she could get some free points off her serve and her game 
   because she plays -- you know, she has a big game. So I just had to 
   stay calm and take my chances when I had them. Which I did. I mean, 
   I missed a few, but mainly -- psychologically I played a very good 
   match.

   Q. How difficult was it to keep calm when it appeared there were a 
   few line calls going against you?

   JELENA DOKIC: No, I don't think that was a big thing. I mean, I 
   think she thinks she got a few against her also. It was basically 
   fighting the opponent and fighting myself also. Because the last few 
   tournament, especially the last one, I lost because basically I beat 
   myself rather than the opponent beating me. It was a big thing to 
   try to stay in the match.

   Q. When did you notice a change, in the third set when you came onto 
   your game, it is?

   JELENA DOKIC: No. I mean, even in the first set I was a break down. 
   I played good tennis. I was calm, I didn't panic. I just tried to 
   slow the game down. I mean, she can hit some winners. But I waited 
   for my opportunity. I mean, I won the first set. I had a little bit 
   of a lapse in the second. She took advantage of it. But she played a 
   very good third set. She was difficult to break serve. 

   You know, I think it was a key game at 4-All to hold my serve. It 
   was a very tight game. Then I broke to love. So I was happy mentally 
   with the way that I played it. 

   Q. Is it fair to say that in the past you've not normally had to 
   fight yourself at all, so in a way you're moving into new territory 
   by learning that today?

   JELENA DOKIC: Yeah. I mean, I haven't had a great year. I haven't 
   played good tennis. Also mentally I haven't been that good. So, I 
   mean, this is one of the better matches that I've played. And I knew 
   everything would be -- you know, the crowd could be against me a 
   little bit, and I had to -- you know, she has a good game. She could 
   be difficult to play against. She's done well here. 

   I knew it would be tough, it would be difficult. I just had to play 
   my game and stay focused.

   Q. Will it help you being here, do you think?

   JELENA DOKIC: Yeah. I mean, I played well here. I won a lot of 
   matches here. I feel comfortable here. 

   I think even though I played against an English girl, I think the 
   crowd also helped me. And it's just different coming here every year 
   for me. I play better here, I think.

   Q. How did the crowd help you?

   JELENA DOKIC: I mean, I could have had a crowd against me 
   completely. But, I mean, you expect it to be against you a little 
   bit when you play against someone that's from here. 

   But there was still a lot of people behind me. It wasn't much of a 
   difference. I mean, they were a little bit more on her side, 
   obviously. But there were still -- there was a lot of people on my 
   side. 

   Q. Can you remind us who is coaching you at the moment, how long 
   that's been going on?

   JELENA DOKIC: This is the third week. It's Borna. I knew him from 
   before. I mean, he's been on the tour before. I knew him quite well 
   for a few months. I just decided to start working with him. 

   Q. How is it going?

   JELENA DOKIC: It's going good. You know, I think he knows what my 
   problem is, and he's worked on my head and mentally to prepare me 
   for matches, calm me down a little bit. 

   He's tried to get my confidence in my game back up because it's been 
   a little bit low. So I think in that respect he pushes me a lot and 
   just pushes me to stay positive. 

   Q. Do you think this can be a launch pad for another successful 
   Wimbledon?

   JELENA DOKIC: We'll see. I'm going a match at a time still. I don't 
   want to get too ahead of myself because I won a match. I want to go 
   next round. It's an important one for me. I think I have a good 
   chance to win. So I have to just try to win that one first. 

   I mean, it's a long tournament, many things can happen. We've seen 
   that already. It's only been one day of the tournament, there have 
   been a few upsets. 

   So Grand Slams are always something special and different, so it 
   just depends on the day. I mean, I want to win the next match first 
   and then go on from there. 

   Q. Is there any truth in the suggestion made by your father that he 
   and/or you would be claiming asylum during Wimbledon?

   JELENA DOKIC: What? 

   Q. Any truth in the suggestion made by your father that you or he 
   would be claiming asylum?

   JELENA DOKIC: I never heard that. I didn't hear what he said.
   Q. He was quoted back in January. 

   JELENA DOKIC: Why don't you ask him. I have no idea. I mean, it's a 
   comment that he made. I didn't make that comment. I'm definitely not 
   planning on doing anything. 

   It's not something that I want to do. 

   Q. You said at the French that you were considering whether to go 
   back and play for Australia perhaps in the Olympics or the Fed Cup, 
   weighing up that sort of decision. Have you come to any decision on 
   that?

   JELENA DOKIC: No. I mean, I have better things to think about, 
   especially my game. I need to come back to what I was. You know, I 
   want to get back in the Top 4 or 5 where I was, that's my priority 
   now. Olympics and Fed Cup is a long way away. 

   I mean, I'm not in a situation to play Fed Cup, first of all. It's 
   always in the middle of tournaments. It's not ideal for me to travel 
   and play. I play enough tournaments as it is. The year's very long, 
   the schedule's very full. So I'm definitely not planning on playing 
   Fed Cup. I mean, it's just not -- it would just be too much, first 
   of all. 

   And the Olympics, they're a year and a half away. I mean, Fed Cup I 
   have no plans for right now. It's just not something I want to do 
   and spend my energy on. And Olympics are not here yet. So I will 
   think about the Olympics when it comes to that. 

   Q. Don't you have to play Fed Cup for your country twice in order to 
   represent them?

   JELENA DOKIC: No. I think the rules have changed. WTA has asked to 
   get ranking -- ITF to get ranking points, and they decided not to 
   have to play Fed Cup ties before the Olympics. I can make up my mind 
   in the last minute. 


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The Championships, Wimbledon 2003 - Grand Slam Tennis - Official Site by IBM - News

Players - Interviews

   Baltacha - Day 2
   Tuesday, June 24, 2003


   J. DOKIC/E. Baltacha 6-3, 1-6, 6-4


   An interview with: ELENA BALTACHA


   MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Elena Baltacha.

   Q. You seemed to be building up a head of steam, taking it to 
   victory, all of a sudden you collapse in your final service game. 
   What happened then?

   ELENA BALTACHA: My serve wasn't superb today. I picked it up kind of 
   in the second set, kind of -- well, at the start of the third set. 
   Yeah, my serve kind of let me down today. 

   But, I mean, it was a good match, and the tactics I set out to play 
   with Allen and Joe, I talked to them about it before my match, was 
   just to play my own game, just to see what happens. I thought I done 
   that well today. Although, there was a lot of unforced errors, but I 
   think I stuck to it pretty well. 

   Q. Could you possibly tell us a bit about the illness. 

   ELENA BALTACHA: Yeah, I've got liver damage.

   Q. Is it liver damage?

   ELENA BALTACHA: Yes.

   Q. Can you just describe how difficult it's been for you, how it's 
   affected you? Can you tell us where you go from here?

   ELENA BALTACHA: It's liver damage, and it's fatigue that I feel most 
   of all. I mean, when I saw the specialist, the professor, he kind of 
   said that, you know, by playing you're not going to do any more 
   damage to the liver, but obviously the performance is -- it's going 
   to affect the performance. 

   But I get really fatigued maybe a few days during the week. On those 
   days, I have to take a day off, on that particular day. 

   So, I mean, it's been difficult. Obviously, I haven't been able to 
   practice as many hours as I want to. But I have to be patient. 
   That's what he says. Just have to get on with it. 

   I think next week, whenever I'm completely out of the tournament, I 
   have to take two weeks off to do another few tests because they're 
   still unsure what it is. 

   Q. Fatigue at the end of the individual matches or some days?

   ELENA BALTACHA: No, it's just some days. I mean, it's not like, you 
   know, the next hour I'm like tired. Sometimes I'll wake up and I 
   don't really feel kind of that active. So then I have to take a day 
   off. But it's just listen to my own body and being sensible about it.

   Q. Not at the end of this match?

   ELENA BALTACHA: Yeah, it was fine. I mean, I was up for it from the 
   word "go," so that wasn't a problem.

   Q. When you came into Wimbledon, did you have to consider actually 
   taking part because of the illness or were you quite happy just to 
   put off the tests until afterwards?

   ELENA BALTACHA: Basically I saw the specialist about two weeks 
   before the French, quallies, and I kind of wanted to do it 
   straightaway. He said, "You know, you have to be two weeks out." It 
   wouldn't have given me enough preparation for the qualifying. 

   He said, "Don't worry about it. Just go flat out for the next few 
   weeks and then I'll see you after Wimbledon." 

   Q. Is it something that they're confident of doing something about 
   or is it very worrying?

   ELENA BALTACHA: Well, it's been worrying because I still don't know 
   what it is. But, I mean, I'm in the best care. I'm seeing one of the 
   top guys. I mean, I'm pretty confident that he'll get to the bottom 
   of it.

   Q. Can you see improvement in your game since last year or has the 
   lack of practice hindered that?

   ELENA BALTACHA: I have improved on a few things. I mean, I've still 
   got lots and lots of things to work on, and that's exciting. 

   Q. You say you're confident in your specialist, you have the top 
   people working on it. Is there a thought in your mind, a doubt, that 
   it could possibly end your career?

   ELENA BALTACHA: Not really, because if you think about it, by 
   playing, I'm not doing any more damage. I don't see how that can 
   change over a few weeks. 

   I mean, obviously, you know, when I first was kind of diagnosed with 
   liver damage, I kind of thought, "Oh, my gosh, that's it, I've had 
   it." But I've done quite a bit of research into it, and I'm pretty 
   confident that it won't. 

   Q. How long has it been now? 

   ELENA BALTACHA: Well, since September last year, when I had my 
   tonsils taken out in November, late November, because I got really 
   bad bouts of tonsillitis. 

   Q. Was this match the one that got away because you had so many 
   chances?

   ELENA BALTACHA: Yeah, I had a lot of chances, especially in the 
   first set, 40-15 up, 40-Love up. But, you know, she is a good 
   player. I mean, her ranking speaks for itself. She kind of got away. 

   But I had a great time out there. I learned quite a lot of things 
   out there. It's back to the practice court.

   Q. I wonder if it's harder to take because you played so well, had 
   the chance. 

   ELENA BALTACHA: Yeah, obviously, you know, I was really frustrated. 
   But, you know, I was so close. You know, it's just trying to get all 
   these problems sorted first, trying to think of kind of my future. 

   Q. How would you compare that with your performance against Coetzer 
   here last year? Was it a better performance?

   ELENA BALTACHA: Well, different matches, different type of players. 
   I mean, Dokic, for one, hits the ball much harder. So I actually 
   had, you know, some sort of, you know, pace coming back. 

   I mean, there were some fantastic rallies there, and I played the 
   best I could today. 

   Q. After the second set, which you won very easily, did you think 
   the match was yours for the taking?

   ELENA BALTACHA: No.

   Q. Why not?

   ELENA BALTACHA: No, because you don't know what to expect, in a way. 
   And, as I said, you know, No. 11, she can pick it up big time, and 
   she did. You know, both of us out there fighting for it. 

   It was an exciting match, and there was a lot of people there, you 
   know, who were supporting me. Some stages the crowd was going mad 
   for me. It was a great atmosphere. 

   Q. Were you trying to pump up the crowd when you were yelling and 
   things? Were you trying to urge them to make more noise?

   ELENA BALTACHA: No. It depends. It was nice of them to do so, but at 
   that time I was actually kind of looking at my coaches, just trying 
   to kind of get myself up for it.

   Q. I think your coach and you were talking about a couple of tests 
   coming up, one of which might have particular significance. Do you 
   know what those tests will be?

   ELENA BALTACHA: It's another biopsy. I had one done about a month 
   and a half ago, something like that. The results basically came 
   back, there wasn't enough sample of it, so they need to do it again. 

   And I don't know what it's called when they put a camera into the 
   pancreas and into the liver. Unpleasant test, but it has to be done, 
   I know that. 

   Q. What is a biopsy?

   ELENA BALTACHA: Biopsy.

   Q. Do they take part of it?

   ELENA BALTACHA: Yeah, they take a bit of the liver, the actual 
   liver, a bit of it. 


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The interview article quoted from the 2003 Wimbledon official website.

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