Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews

U.S. Open 2003
Flushing Meadow, NY, USA
26 August, 2003


August 26, 2003

J. DOKIC / E. Gagliardi, 6-4, 6-2


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jelena, please.

Q. Seemed pretty comfortable today. 

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah. It was a little bit difficult at the beginning, but she 
played well. I think she seemed to be hitting everything, and she really went 
for everything. Made it a little bit difficult. But I played well. I mean, I did 
well to pull out the first set. You know, I was happy with the game. 

Q. What do you feel you're doing better now than you were a couple of months 

JELENA DOKIC: I think my mind is more on the court. I think I feel better 
physically. I've worked a lot on my fitness. You know, my movement is much 
better, and that helps with the hitting. I just feel much more comfortable now 
than I did a few months ago. I've worked very hard. It's coming back a little 

Q. How do you feel about the women's contest without either Venus or Serena 

JELENA DOKIC: We still have very good players. I mean, we have the No. 1, the 
No. 2 or No. 3 in the world. It's unfortunate that they're not here. But, you 
know, it will still be, you know, a really good US Open. And, you know, it's 
unfortunate, but that's the way it is.

Q. Is it kind of a relief in any way to you and your chances? 

JELENA DOKIC: For some people, yeah. But, I mean, we've seen that they can be 
beaten. The two Belgians are ahead of the Williams sisters at the moment. You 
know, I think we see a lot more people getting closer to them. We're seeing a 
little bit of a change, that maybe they can be beaten - not easily. But, you 
know, for some people, maybe it's a relief. 

Q. But not for you in particular?

JELENA DOKIC: I don't mind. I would like to play them. But, you know, like I 
said, it's unfortunate they're not in the tournament, that you don't have some 
of the best players here. 

Q. What would be your goal for the rest of the year?

JELENA DOKIC: I mean, I want to do well here, first of all. You know, I'll take 
it a match at a time. Like I said, I don't have any goals particularly with 
results. I just want to start playing better, get my form back to where I was 
No. 4 in the world. I would like to, you know, play like I did. You know, I 
think it's coming back slowly. I think the first six months, you know, I 
struggled. This is normal. But I think it's coming back.

Q. When you've always been used to winning, how frustrating was that?

JELENA DOKIC: You know, it was not frustrating. I prepared myself to it. If I 
have a bad year, if I'm not in form, like I saw at the beginning, it's a little 
bit frustrating, but I knew I just had to keep on training and working hard, and 
hopefully it would come back. You have to stay calm during those situations 
because, you know, I used to win 60, 70 matches a year. When you're not doing so 
well, you can get down and it can get your confidence down. But usually mentally 
I'm okay with these things and I just deal with them.

Q. You say you were prepared for it. 

JELENA DOKIC: I mean, at the beginning I didn't do so well the first few 
tournaments. I kind of saw that, you know, if I do lose some matches, I have to 
stay calm, I have to not worry about that. I have to just try to go on. Of 
course, when you play semis or finals every week like I did before, now you 
don't do so well, you know, it's a new territory for me. You know, I think I'm 
getting better. 

Q. You're playing in what many people regard as the media capital of the world. 
This Grand Slam is different. What are your thoughts on playing here in New 

JELENA DOKIC: I mean, every Grand Slam is different. But, you know, this one's a 
little bit crazier, I think. The city and everything. But it's a nice feeling. I 
won the Juniors here. I've been here -- out of all the Grand Slams, I think I've 
been here the most. I really like this Grand Slam. I think they've gotten better 
and better every year with the facilities, security, everything. The court I 
played on today, extra stand. They're working really hard, they've improved a 
lot. It's one of the biggest Grand Slams, probably the biggest Grand Slam. You 
know, it's nice to play here. Every single one has different things, different 
feelings to it. You know, I like them all. This one -- everything is a little 
faster, much more people and everything.

Q. Speaking of crazy Grand Slams for you, have you decided whether you're 
playing the Australian Open next year?

JELENA DOKIC: I haven't decided. I'm thinking about it, for sure. And, uhm, I 
will make a decision next few weeks what I will do. Right now I'm both ways, but 
I will see how I feel. It's unfortunate to miss a Grand Slam, for sure. But, you 
know, I will still think about it. I don't think it just depends on whether I 
want to go back or not. I think the schedule is really full and it's a little 
bit heavy to come back after a month and go back and play straightaway to 
Australia. I will take all that into consideration and I will see.

Q. I would think a lot of people would be happy to see you come back. 

JELENA DOKIC: I think so. I don't know what the reaction would be. I don't know 
what the feeling is. But I had a lot of support when I was there, me, myself. 
With all the other things that happened, you know, I don't want to get into 
that. But I had a lot of support. I mean, the crowds were great to me. I had a 
lot of fans. The biggest support I get was there. I would like to go back and 
have that again. But we'll see. 

Q. What is your schedule for the end of the year before January? 

JELENA DOKIC: Here, then I go Bali, Shanghai, then I go to Europe.

Q. How many tournaments in Europe?

JELENA DOKIC: I'm not sure. Just depends how I do. If I do well here or another 
tournament, I'll probably take one or two out, just depends. It's still a lot of 
traveling. But I will see. Just depends on how well I do. 

Q. A lot of players work their schedule around Grand Slams, don't they? 

JELENA DOKIC: If I do decide to play Australia, I definitely will not play 
tournaments after that or so much before. I know this. I have thought about 
this. And if I don't play Australia, I will play more tournaments after that 
Grand Slam. But for sure you can schedule it better. So I'm working on that. I 
mean, after this Grand Slam, I will decide.

Q. Are you talking to any people in particular to make your mind up? 

JELENA DOKIC: I talk to my coach, my manager, of course. I will listen to what 
they think. You know, I don't think I should decide myself. There should be some 
other people involved, definitely all the people that are close to me, my family 
and everyone, so yeah.

Q. Again with Anna Kournikova not playing this year, there's a sense in the 
media of people looking for the babe in tennis. How do you feel about that, 
being branded that way?

JELENA DOKIC: I think people should stop looking for a babe. I think they should 
be looking at tennis players first. I know all the media people want to have 
someone to write about. You know, there are plenty of other good-looking girls 
other than Anna out there. I mean, sure you can write about her, that's no 
problem. But, you know, you can write about both. I think we're here for the 
tennis. If we do get a good-looking girl, sure, you can write about that. It's 
no problem. I think we should stick to the tennis here. You know, just depends. 
I mean, Anna hasn't played for a long time. I think tennis is definitely looking 
for someone else, and has a lot of better tennis players, some good-looking 
girls. You know, everyone's definitely found some other tennis players out there 
other than her.

Q. Do you get irritated when people ask you that kind of question?

JELENA DOKIC: No. I mean, I think there's no reason to get irritated. It's a 
normal thing. It's not just tennis anymore; it's much more than that. It's gone 
more into shorter skirts, who looks good, who doesn't look good. I think we all 
expect that.

Q. Do you think there is some competition between the girls, beyond the tennis?

JELENA DOKIC: Oh, I don't think so. I think it's basically just the tennis. I 
think everyone wants to win out there. Everything else, if you have it, it comes 
along with it. If you can look good at the same time, it's great. That's a 
bonus. But I think all of us just try to, you know, compete against each other 
and beat each other on the court.

Q. Do you think it's okay for the WTA to use sex appeal in a way to sell the 

JELENA DOKIC: Like I said, I'm more for the tennis part. You know, I think the 
tour has grown. I think they've used that a little bit, and it's helped. There's 
much more attention on women's tennis because of that. We have so many different 
personalities and different players that show different things. I think in a way 
you can use this. You shouldn't overexpose this. You know, you should also have 
a look at some of the athleticism and power we have on the tour, not just the 
looks. I think it should be combined a little bit. 

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