Jelena Jankovic Dusts Off Her Assets, Laura Robson Charmingly Calls Out Her Coach

April 2, 2013 — Tuesday at the Family Circle Cup saw Jelena Jankovic, Laura Robson and Sabine Lisicki blast through to the winner’s circle while Melanie Oudin faltered. All four ladies though gave some memorable quotes.

Jankovic laughed about falling over on her “cushioned” behind during her match, Robson called out her coach for trying to re-quit smoking, Oudin spoke about the flowering friendship among the U.S. ladies and Lisicki talked about the quick transition from hard to clay courts.

Jelena Jankovic dusts off her … assets

Miami semifinalist Jelena Jankovic rallied back after dropping the middle set to take her first career win over Melanie Oudin, 6-4, 7-6, 6-4. Always an entertaining interviewer — and with a bit of a language barrier — Jankovic dished out a few classic quotes as only Jankovic could.

“(Melanie) has this game that I don’t really like and doesn’t really suit me, I always have trouble with her. Playing I didn’t mean it that way, I mean, it’s just her style of play is just difficult for me to play against.”

Trailing in the second set, Jankovic admitted that her frustrations quickly crept in and that she barely kept it together.

“I was just mad at myself. I was just getting mad, and I do something that I don’t like and I had to somehow keep my composure. That was the key for me today because when I get frustrated it just goes downhill.”

Finally, at one point in the match, Jankovic was running for a short ball, rolled and fell over, but thankfully didn’t hurt anything. Her only explanation was the following:

“Yeah, I thought I was going to break my leg or break my back … but I was lucky that I just fell on my butt. And my butt, it is not so small so I got quite a good cushion … If (I) was a bit skinnier, that would be a problem but now I’m okay.”

Oh, JJ.

Laura Robson dishes on her coach and dealing with media pressure

With the British press on Laura Robson ever since she was a junior, she’s had her share of hassles and bizarre requests from the media. And now with so many young American players struggling adjusting to the limelight, Robson imparts her own wisdom.

“I don’t wish (the media) wasn’t there because it’s kind of a give and take relationship I have with them.  They help me.  So, you know, it’s just something that you have to deal with and I’m lucky enough to have a good relationship with the majority of the British press.  And there were times where I lose and they are the last people I want to see, but it’s all part of the whole learning experience as cheesy as it sounds.”

So, what led Robson to play Charleston for the her first time anyway?

“I heard that you get player gifts every day, so that was the main reason.  But no, my coach (Zeljko Krajan) saw the court and the game, he came here a couple years ago and from what he remembered it was really, really nice and it’s been lovely so far.”

And speaking of her coach, she didn’t spare him in the interview either.

“I would say he is scarier than he looks.  He is actually quite nice sometimes … I have a really good relationship with (him) …  But the next thing we are trying to do is get him to quit smoking. He stopped briefly for several years and then he is like yeah, ‘I can quit wherever.’ Within two weeks he was back on it and he blamed it on me, he said because my matches were so stressful that he had to keep doing it.”

Never a dull moment with the easygoing Robson clan.

Sabine Lisicki at home in Charleston

Former Charleston champion, Sabine Lisicki, swept her first round opponent Anna Tatishvilli 6-0, 6-0 in a breezy 41 minutes. After the match, Lisicki commented on how surprisingly good she already felt on the clay.

“I’m feeling good, you know, it’s nice to play on the clay court and the quick turnaround (from hard to clay) is not always easy but I love the green clay so it makes me play well … It’s always great if you play so well in the first round. Gives you lots of confidence.”

Melanie Oudin on friendships on Tour

While some players admit to distancing themselves from others off the court, Melanie Oudin reveals that several of the U.S. ladies are, in fact, quite close. Perhaps that could be why the US claims more WTA players in the top 100 than any other country with 11.

“I think the good thing about the Americans is pretty much we all get along well. I was actually with them other day, (sitting) down at a table at a restaurant and there is always like five or six of us together. I think (it’s) really nice, we do our playing together, hang out … I think Mallory Burdette has been doing really well, I think Stephanie is getting back up there. And then also the young ones like Vicki (Duval) and Madison (Keys) and Taylor (Townsend).

I think it’s really, really good for American tennis that women are doing really well so the men just have to catch up now … (The US men) know that the women have been doing much better than them for a couple years now. But they definitely know that (and that it’s a friendly rivalry). They are working on it.”

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