Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews

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

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

Players - Interviews

   Jelena Dokic - Day 6 
   Saturday, June 28, 2003

   M. Sharapova / J. Dokic 6-4, 6-4 

   An interview with: JELENA DOKIC

   MODERATOR: Jelena Dokic for you. 

   Q. Were you surprised she played that well, or shocked even?

   JELENA DOKIC: Well, a little bit. She played well. She took her 
   chances when she had them. And, you know, I had a lot of 
   opportunities which I didn't take. So I had a lot of breakpoints. If 
   I took at least one of those, it would have made a complete 
   different story. 

   As much as she played well, you know, I didn't take my chances when 
   I had them. She played the bigger points better. 

   Q. I thought what was quite interesting is that sort of four years 
   ago, you upset in a similar way Martina Hingis. Do you go on a court 
   differently because you're younger, there's not as much pressure? 

   JELENA DOKIC: No, I beat the No. 1 in the world. I beat one of the 
   greatest in the game. That's a little bit different. 

   You know, she didn't have that much pressure on her. Neither did I. 
   I haven't been doing great, so I was happy to play the two matches 
   that I played, which I played well in. And I didn't play that bad 

   But mentally, I didn't play, like I said, the bigger points better. 
   If I did, it would have made a completely different story. It would 
   have been at least three sets. That makes a big difference, 
   especially in the first set, you know. 

   And, I mean, she just comes out and swings. I mean, she has nothing 
   to lose, so she just comes out. I think a lot of players still don't 
   know the way that she plays. When you come out on the court against 
   her, you don't know what to expect. 

   But it will be a different story in a year or two when people 
   actually know how she plays.

   Q. Do you think she's far enough advanced to win this tournament?

   JELENA DOKIC: I think she has -- I haven't looked at the draw. I 
   mean, I think she's playing well. Whether she can win the 
   tournament, that's a different story. I think she has a long way to 
   go still to win the tournament. She will have to maybe come up 
   against someone like Serena, Venus, Kim, so on, Justine even first, 
   I think. 

   I think when it comes to a bigger match, just depends how she will 
   play. You know, she's playing well right now. I mean, she's not a 
   favourite to win the tournament. We know that. So you wouldn't put 
   her - I mean, I wouldn't think so, but you never know. 

   Q. Where do you go now? What's your plans for the next few weeks? 

   JELENA DOKIC: I have doubles here still. And then I will take a few 
   days off, have some time off, and then I will just train for about 
   three or four weeks before I go to America.

   Q. I know you've been asked a few times about the Olympics. The ITF 
   is saying that if you were to play the Olympics next year, you would 
   have to make yourself available to play Fed Cup next month to be 
   eligible for the Olympics. Are you thinking about that, or are you 
   aware that the deadline is so close?

   JELENA DOKIC: I don't know the rules. I haven't looked at that. It's 
   not in my mind. I will say once again, Olympics are not my priority 
   right now. It's not something I'm thinking about. 

   If I decide to play the Olympics next year, and I cannot play 
   because of Fed Cup, that's a different story. Fed Cup is not in my 
   schedule right now. I mean, I would have to play next week now, 
   which is - I wouldn't do that no matter what. I played a lot of 
   tournaments. I think everyone needs some time off. Fed Cup is in a 
   really difficult time with all the Grand Slams and the tournaments. 
   It's impossible to put in it my schedule right now. 

   If that affects the Olympics, I cannot play the Olympics, that's 
   fine. But also the Olympics are two weeks before the US Open next 
   year. You know, it's unfortunate because I would love to go. It's a 
   great event to play. If I cannot, they're making it very difficult. 
   There are a lot of players that don't play Fed Cup, especially the 
   top players. 

   If that's the case, what can I do? 

   Q. Do you see Maria as a Top 10 talent? 

   JELENA DOKIC: I mean, we'll see. She would have to, I mean, get to 
   Top 10 first and then try to stay there. We've seen a lot of players 
   come and go. 

   You know, the way that she played today, she plays well. Now, 
   whether she can keep it up every tournament, we see. I think she has 
   an age restriction still, so she can only play like 10 tournaments. 
   Unless she wins them all, she won't be in the Top 10 for a year or 
   two, at least. 

   I think if she plays like this every match, she will definitely be 
   there. Just depends what will happen next few years, how she will 

   Q. There's a large crop of Russian players. You've played some of 
   them, many of them. Where do you put her in that group?

   JELENA DOKIC: I mean, they have a lot of players, none at the top 
   right now. None in the Top 10 either. So, I mean, she's playing 
   well. There's a lot of them. There's a big competition between them. 
   They're all very good players. None of them have really stepped up 
   and gone into the Top 5. So we'll see how far she can get. 

   I mean, she's playing well, like I said. But she has a limited 
   amount of tournaments. She will have to wait a little bit. Just 
   depends how her game turns out to be in the next few years. 

   End of FastScripts

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

Players - Interviews

   Maria Sharapova - Day 6
   Saturday, June 28, 2003

   M. Sharapova / J. Dokic 6-4, 6-4 

   An interview with: MARIA SHARAPOVA

   THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, Maria Sharapova. 
   Take the first question, please. 

   Q. Congratulations. There are almost five players from Russia in the 
   last 16. Can you explain that? Do you have inspiration on each 
   other? Do you help each other to work together to make each other 

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, not really. We do our own separate thing. 
   We've, I mean, we practice. Sometimes, yes, we do get together. But, 
   no, we don't really talk about how we played, or at least I don't.

   Q. Is there a kind of competition, you try to be better?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, no, it's not a competition. It's just that we 
   like to do our own thing. We basically do that. 

   Q. How do you explain that so many Russian girls are coming up now 
   the last couple years?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: They're really strong and they're really tough. 
   They work that extra hour at the end of the day. They know that they 
   - I mean, if someone has a talent, they know that they can achieve 
   it, you know, by just working hard, and that's what they do. 

   Q. Is the fourth round of Wimbledon beyond any expectations you had 
   coming into the tournament? 

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: When I come into a tournament, I mean, I'm 
   expecting to win. That's my philosophy. I can't go to a tournament 
   thinking, "Yeah, I'm gonna get my ass kicked today, so I might as 
   well just leave. So basically, I mean, I'm very happy and I'm very 
   surprised. Yes, I'm very young, I'm 16 and I'm in the fourth round 
   of Wimbledon. How odd is that? But, you know, I know that one day it 
   would come; one day all that hard work could pay off. I mean, I am 
   surprised, but it's just reality. 

   Q. You don't seem at all fazed by playing on the show courts. Some 
   people are intimidated by being at Wimbledon, playing on Court 1 or 
   Centre Court. You seem to enjoy it. 

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: I love it. That Centre -- that wasn't Centre, that 
   was Court 1. No, Court 1 was just unbelievable. When I stepped on 
   the court, I was like, "I'm not gonna give her a chance today. 
   That's it," you know? "I want to be a winner today on this court, 
   right here, this moment." When I went out there, all the fans were 
   just crazy, the place was just filled up. You get like, "Wow," and 
   everybody's around you. 

   Q. What you are telling to yourself in the critical moments when you 
   were going to the back of the court, you were saying to yourself 
   something, no? To encourage yourself?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, "Come on, come on." 

   Q. Something else, I think. It looks like you were just --?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I'd say something in Russian, but it's another 
   version of, "Come on" (laughter). 

   Q. How important has your education been in the Bollettieri Academy? 

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I've actually -- I have a coach in California 
   for the past four years or so - five almost. So half of my time is 
   in Florida, half of my time is in LA when I'm at tournaments, that's 
   another half of my time. It's a very good balance. My house is in 
   Florida; it's really quiet. Going to Los Angeles, California, is 
   training hard, you're like in a hotel sort of playing a tournament. 

   Q. What did you think of Robert the first time you met him? Can you 
   describe how he's helped your game?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: When I first met him, it was a really big occasion. 
   I was really young, so I didn't really pay attention. I just went on 
   the court with my dad. I thought he was on the phone, he was sort of 
   motionless with his head down. We said hi. He's like, "Yeah, what's 
   your name?" I'm like, "Maria." He's like, "Maria who?" So I told him 
   my last name. He's like, "Yeah, I get to the baseline." I go on the 
   baseline - I didn't go to the baseline, I went to the short court, 
   because usually you start warming up from the short court. He's 
   like, "What the hell are you doing here? I don't teach my players to 
   stand so short." There's no such thing as a warm-up down there. 
   That's how it all started.

   He has helped my game tremendously. I think especially today when I 
   played such a hard hitter, these are the times where you think, "Oh, 
   my gosh, all that hard work on my strokes and ball after ball after 
   ball." When you just play against like Dokic, like I did today, you 
   remember those moments because she's the girl that hits ball after 
   ball after ball, and, I mean, sometimes just never misses. 
   Definitely he has helped me tremendously. 

   Q. Do you feel a bit American? 

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: When I'm in America, yes, definitely. When I'm in 
   Russia, I feel Russian. 

   Q. Did you see her four years ago when she beat Hingis?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I was sleeping at that time. When I woke up, I 
   heard - I remember it now. My dad was like, "Yeah, Hingis lost." I 
   was like, "Oh, okay." 

   Q. You consider yourself to be American or Russian? 

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: Do I consider myself? 

   Q. Yeah. I know you are, obviously Russian. You were saying in 
   America you feel American. What about here?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I'm Russian, I have Russian citizenship. When 
   the Olympics are on and when I see the Russian flag go down and the 
   American flag go down, I'm like, "I want Russia to win so bad." It's 
   just that feeling. I don't know why. I mean, I've lived in the US 
   half of my life. It's definitely a big part of my life, developing 
   my tennis career there. But I'm just - my blood is totally Russian.

   Q. Did you leave Bollettieri's and immediately work with Robert? Was 
   there a cross-over?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: My house was still in Florida, yes.

   Q. So when did you stop working at Bollettieri's?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: I didn't stop. I kept going back because my house 
   is there. And when I was there, I practice at the academy. It's a 
   wonderful facility.

   Q. You're doing both then?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, yes, yes, still both. You have clay courts 
   there, Rebound Ace, you have hard courts, and the staff are 
   wonderful when I come there, sparring partners. It's great for me 

   Q. You were just referring to Robert Lansdorp. People who know him 
   know him as a gruff guy. Does he have a warm and fuzzy side as well? 
   Have you seen that? 

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, yeah, definitely. He got me my Christmas tree 
   when I couldn't get one (laughter).No, I mean, inside of me I know 
   what it takes to be a champion, and I know with his attitude he can 
   make me a champion. Because when I go on the court, I know that when 
   someone's on the other side, a really nice guy, and when I hit the 
   ball in the fence he says, "Oh, that's all right. You know, next 
   time you'll get it better." 

   It doesn't really improve me. It's all right that he's a tough guy, 
   and I know he is, but that's what makes me a better player. Off the 
   court, you know, he's funny as I don't know who. But on the court, 
   you know, you got to be tough. 

   Q. Do you feel that was the best victory, the best performance of 
   your career so far today? 

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm... Best performance? It was hard to really 
   perform well because that was the first time I was playing her. I 
   didn't know what to expect. There was points where I just made my 
   way through the point and force her to hit an error.

   I think I could have performed well. Like, if she didn't have so 
   much power, I think I could have played my game a little bit more 
   and enjoyed it out there, you know, while I thought that I was out 
   there scrambling. And when I got the opportunity, I hit a really 
   good shot or I made her hit an error. So it was sort of that. But 
   it's definitely a big win in my career. 

   Q. If the children's tennis academy in Moscow had been around when 
   you were young, do you think you would have still gone to the US? 
   I'm wondering if you think...

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not from Moscow, though.

   Q. But would you have gone there to use those facilities or...? 

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: We didn't really know about those facilities in 
   those days.

   Q. They didn't exist when you were -- I think it's relatively new.

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: Right, right.

   Q. I'm wondering whether you think the kids coming up now will have 
   it easier than you?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I mean, as time gets better and the tennis 
   gets bigger, I think definitely tennis will be big in Russia. And 
   right now it is. I mean, like I said earlier, we have so many girls 
   in the Top 100. It's just - it's wonderful to see them all. I hope, 
   I hope that's the way it goes. I don't really know but I hope it's 
   the direction we're going. 

   Q. This tournament marks the 50th year since a girl who was about 
   your age came to Wimbledon and won the tournament. A year later, she 
   won a women's Grand Slam. Her name was Maureen Connelly. Do you know 
   anything about her?


   Q. I want to ask you one more brief question. What's your birthday?

   MARIA SHARAPOVA: April 19th. 

   End of FastScripts

The interview article quoted from the 2003 Wimbledon official website and the ASAP Sports website.