Dokic interview after the match against Safina

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Q. Looking forward, what do you take out of this match?

JELENA DOKIC: I think it was a good match. Physically I was not in my best shape. Yeah, it was good. I played three sets with the No. 3 player in the world. Everything is positive. I’ve had a great tournament.

Yeah, it’s a little bit disappointing. I had some chances, even in that third set, and couldn’t hold my serve. Had a lot of game points in each game.

Sometimes things go your way, and sometimes they don’t. There’s nothing to be disappointed about.

Q. Did the ankle play any part? How has that been?

JELENA DOKIC: No, it was okay. It was fine.

Q. So no disruption?

JELENA DOKIC: No.

Q. How do you sum up this whole experience of the past week?

JELENA DOKIC: Like I said, it’s been a great start to 2009. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I have to take all the positives and negatives out of today and really learn for the rest of the year about what I will do differently in a match like that.

But, yeah, like I said, there’s absolutely nothing to be disappointed about.

Q. You were really tired after the other match the other night. How well did you pull up for tonight?

JELENA DOKIC: Every match is more of a struggle for me than other players because I haven’t played this much in a long time. Considering all that, I still think I pulled up pretty well after each match.

Q. Can you tell us what you learned personally about yourself and where you’re at in life?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I think a lot of things still haven’t sunk in. Still, even to play three sets with her today is a good effort. I still think I didn’t play that good today like maybe I did in the last few matches, especially on some important points.

Yeah, sometimes it goes this way. I had my chances, she had hers. Yeah, I just have to try and learn from today and use it next time when I play her.

Q. Has it given you a sense of where you’re at in life now?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I mean, look, tennis is my main focus right now. Looking forward to next week and then the Fed Cup. Just want to try and keep it going and have a consistent year.

Q. Does this result give you the confidence as you approach the bigger tournaments and maybe ask for wild cards and rather than playing some of the smaller events to build your ranking up?

JELENA DOKIC: I don’t think I will play any smaller tournaments. I think my ranking itself will get me in enough tournaments. I don’t think I will go back and play challenges. I think There’s no sense in doing that.

Q. Do you have to reassess your goals now? You said you wanted to get yourself in the top 100. Will you reassess now?

JELENA DOKIC: No, I’m in the top 100 now. Yeah, like I said, I would like to continue playing WTA tournaments. I don’t think I will go back and play ITF tournaments. I think there’s really no reason to do that.

You know, there is a possibility for me to continue doing well from here on. You know, I can also lose some matches. It’s normal. It’s been a real high this week playing in front of a home crowd, so I have to see how it will go from now on.

I think Fed Cup is also another very good possibility for me just to see, again, where I’ll be in a week’s time and how well I will handle the matches.

Q. Can you say what this week has done in terms of your belief that you made the right choice in coming back to tennis?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I mean, definitely made the right choice. I have really fought well this week. Yeah, I mean, I have no regrets. I just would like to keep it going. I really would like to keep it going. I really think I have a chance at it.

Like I said, I played well with a girl who’s No. 3 in the world today. I can still really take positives out of today, even though some of the points and the shots that I played at some stages of the match were maybe not right.

Yeah, I mean, I just have to just keep on working hard basically.

Q. You said before that you’re not in the best shape that you could be. How long will it be before we see you at a 100%?

JELENA DOKIC: I think it’s obvious that I’m not in the best shape. You cannot be after a three‑year layoff. I’ve done as much as I can off the court. Nothing can replace matches and match fitness. I still have a long way to go physically, I think.

Like I said, these girls play week in and week out for years already, and I haven’t done that. For me to get into a quarterfinals of a Grand Slam is a huge deal. I still think there’s a lot of improvement.

Q. Did the roller coaster ride that everyone took with you, did that take you by surprise?

JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, it’s been great. I’ve had a great time here and really enjoyed the matches, even today. Yeah, went up and down today as well. Could have pulled it through, but I just don’t think I had it in me. Just wasn’t able to fight through fatigue.

So I gave it my best even in the last game. I got a really bad call at Love‑30, and, you know, I pretty much won that point with the bad call. You never know. If it was 5‑All in the third maybe I could have pulled it through.

Yeah, it’s been great. It’s been really great. I really look forward to playing here next year and for the rest of the year.

Q. Take us through that call.

JELENA DOKIC: The Love‑30 call? I think the slice that I hit was clear ‑‑ it was clearly in, obviously. It was not even on the back of the line. It was like in the middle of the line.

It was a little bit disappointing. But, yeah, I mean, sometimes that’s the way things go. You know, in the end I guess she deserved to win.

Q. You talk about your boyfriend’s support during your comeback. What’s he been like during the tournament here?

JELENA DOKIC: Like he always has. I don’t think there is anything different. You’re with someone for six years, so there’s nothing special there. We go through the good and the bad. That’s basically it.

Q. You’ve had great results at Wimbledon and the French Open in the past. What do you think is your best surface?

JELENA DOKIC: I don’t prefer clay. I think that’s my worst surface. Even though I have really good results on clay court, I prefer hard courts. I’ve won tournaments on all the surfaces. You try to adjust. You know, I don’t love playing on clay.

I also played a lot on clay last year. The ITF tournaments, that was my choice to do it the harder way. I think hard court is probably my best surface.

Q. Optimistically looking forward to your next Grand Slam and Wimbledon?

JELENA DOKIC: Looking forward to the next tournament. I think I play every tournament the same. Yeah, Roland Garros, I’ve done well there, Wimbledon also. Maybe another goal would be to do well at the US Open.

Q. Have you spoken to any of your Fed Cup teammates this week? And have they told you how they feel about you coming back into the tomorrow?

JELENA DOKIC: No, I mean, I don’t know all the girls that well. Yeah, we try to talk. It’s been, I guess, a little bit difficult with me generally coming back to Australia. David Taylor has been great. I try to communicate with the girls as much as I can. It’s normal. I think we’ll have a good team. We’ll all come together when Fed Cup starts.

I don’t know Casey and Sam so much. Probably Rennae. I’ve been on Fed Cup teams with her. I’m sure we’ll get to know each other a lot more, especially next week.

Q. It’s been such a tournaments of so many highs for you. How will you cope with the possibility of an emotional letdown going into other tournaments where you won’t have your home crowd behind you?

JELENA DOKIC: Like I said, there is a possibility of that happening. It’s been really great to play in front of crowds here. Even if I lose a few tournaments and I don’t do as well, I don’t think it’s a big deal.

I think I’ve shown that I can play with some of the best girls in the world, top 20 and top 10. You cannot play every tournament well. There’s some tournaments also that sometimes you don’t like playing and some surfaces don’t suit you.

Like I made it clear earlier in the week already, it was the consistency of the year. I wouldn’t like to win a tournament and then lose three or four first rounds. I’d rather play semifinals every week. So just try to not have too many ups and downs and just be as consistent as possible.

012709 tuesday /info-photo via Australian Open / Getty Images

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