Sveta's interview after the semi: Belgian controversy "brewing" again :devil:
Q. Schiavone, Safina, now Vaidisova. How can we get you to play the first set of these matches like you play the last set?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I wonder if I know that, I would be so happy.
I don't know. I mean, I played already better than against Dinara first set so it's little bit better. I was a break up, 5‑4, serving for the set. Then I wanted to win the point too fast and I did some unforced errors. Then I let her go a little bit.
And in the second set, she was just playing unbelievable. I could only defend. I was defending. I had maybe to play inside of the court, but I couldn't get this, I couldn't make myself do that. I just found myself running behind the baseline and putting the balls back. Then 5‑4, I knew either I win this game or I'm gonna be in Barcelona tomorrow (laughter).
So I say myself, I got to put the balls in. Finally, she make few mistakes. She got little bit nervous. I know how it feels because I been there, in her position, so many times and I've done it. And I had a little bit more experience than she has. I was just fighting there.
And third set, I knew much more ‑‑ I think I am better physically than she is. I was just playing every point. Yeah, suddenly she start to do more mistakes and also I been attacking more.
Q. If she was nervous at 5‑4, serving for the match, now we're at 5‑5 in the tiebreak. You give her a dropshot she has time to hit . She drives it out of the court. Suddenly, you're serving for the match. Do you think she was nervous?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, but this is also experience. Like, if you hit to her all the time, it's so comfortable. The stronger sometimes you hit, the stronger she will answer it. Sometimes you change a little bit something and it's bounce more difficult, then she does mistake. For her to move is little bit tough. She has very long arms and legs and she covers lots of the court.
So once you move her, it's very tough. Maybe bounce a little bit. It takes her time to adjust. Okay, I mean, dropshot was not good (smiling). It was maybe lob‑dropshot, I don't know.
Q. There was a moment where you seemed to try to hit so hard as Vaidisova. Do you think tennis is only hitting? Today, it was two schools, different schools down there in the court, or how do you work with clay and also hitting hard?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Uhm, no, definitely it's not hitting. I can hit the ball, but I'm not gonna win hitting the ball. I can hit with some players, but my game is not hitting. This is important. My game is moving the opponent around and then playing lots of forehands and serving well.
I not gonna go against Maria and play flat. I mean, I gonna lose like 0‑0 or something because she plays flat and it's her game. Against each opponent, you have to find new game. And depends on player you play, I can adjust myself, you know. I think this is works with me pretty well. This is my advantage against other players because other ones, they can do either they hit or either they don't. I think I can do both little bit. Of course, it depends on how my day, how I feel and how I play.
Q. What does it mean to you to be here in the final? Can you believe it, because you've had so many disappointments here over the year?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You are Belgian, no? You are from Belgium, right (laughing)? I was expecting this question.
Q. You love Belgium, huh, yeah, I think?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Me and Belgium, it's like my home country, you know (laughing). They treat me a little bit opposite.
To be in the final? Which question answer, about Belgium, my question or your one?
I mean, it's amazing, no? Sometimes it comes back to you, not only going other way, because I been here two years, fourth round every time, losing matchpoints, Justine, Anastasia, every time. Now it's means a lot to me to be in the final here because I didn't put my hands down. I just been working. I been through low year last year and I been still working hard.
I never was thinking even to stop doing something, to stop working. I just had little bit doubts if it's gonna come the way I want to, if I gonna make it through. But I always been trying, I always been there.
So I think now it's little bit coming back to me. I just want to enjoy it as much as I can. Definitely it's gonna be very hard match, the final. I just have to play, forget all the matches from the past, and just to play from first point to the end. This is only chance I have.
Q. You come to every Grand Slam and every tournament hoping you can win, thinking you could win it. What were your expectations realistically, given your conditioning, the way you've been playing this year for this tournament? Did you come in with a feeling you had a good chance or not?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I never came to Grand Slam thinking I'm gonna win it or if I have chances to win it. I just come there and I play every match. Every match I can, I just do my best. You have to think step by step. Otherwise, if you go in the stairs and you don't go over first and second, you cannot jump to the seventh, you know. Of course, I mean, this is mistake sometimes.
I made myself just to play every match. I knew I can. This is, yeah, I had this feeling that I can play well on clay and I was so close last year. This feeling brought me little bit pressure.
But then I wanted just to forget about everything and enjoy game on clay because it's nice. You can run lots of balls. The points are very interesting. I have to wait a little bit. I need to be a bit more patient and, you know, just play.
My feeling was not too great because I didn't win tournaments on clay before Grand Slam. But I've done very well in each of them. I was very consistent this year, and this is brings me lots of confidence.
Yeah, I'm just ‑‑ I played well Miami. This is so far the biggest events this year. Australia Open, Miami and here. I think it's important to do well on big tournaments. If you lose in small one, it's not that disappointed as when in Grand Slam. While I am on the court, I'm thinking, This is only chance I have. This is here. This is for what I work, and I work hard. So I just want to be there, and that's it.
Q. Was there any point today in that match where you were thinking, even though you're not supposed to think this way, Maybe it's over?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was in the second set, when she was hitting all the lines, I was like, What I got to do here? I don't know.
I mean, I give all credit to her. I said, Look, she plays well. Then I said, Look, I just keep it up. I was 5‑3, 5‑4, and I was thinking, What I have to do now? I was thinking that she has less experience than I do. I've been there. I know the way she felt.
I said, Okay, I just don't do any mistake now. I just put the ball as deeper as I can. I don't take any risk. And she made mistake because she was rushing too much, I guess so. But also I didn't give anything up to her.
Q. Who at the Sanchez‑Casal academy has helped you mentally understand that you can be a winner even in these tight matches? And how much did the win at Key Biscayne mean in terms of your confidence building into this tournament?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, about mental thing, this year I think I change a lot from last year. I had time to think about everything. And what I changed, it was everybody does the job they have to do. Like I don't go to fitness coach and talk about psychological stuff. I go to my psychologist. And about food, I talk to the food doctor or nutritionist. I just felt very good with my coach. Stephan work with me since last two tournaments of last year, preseason, and all this year.
Yeah, he's the one who helps me the most this year. He's there with me all the time I need. I've been through tough moments, and any time he was wishing to help me, I know I can call him any time in the day or night, you know. He always gonna be there. It's like part of my family and I feel very confident with him.
I know even I'm losing, I'm winning, he gonna be there for me. I have lots of, like, big communication thing with him, you know. I just know that is one person who will understand me and never gonna blame me if I lose easy match or whatever. He will just go back home or think about what I did wrong and we gonna start working again.
Q. And Key Biscayne?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: In Key Biscayne, yeah, it was huge thing for me because maybe I have talk a lot about this in the past, that I didn't believe in myself, that I couldn't make it, that I couldn't beat top players in a row. Since I won Key Biscayne, it's like to me, I know I can do this. But this is little bit different pressure now, because knowing that you can do it, go out there and do your best every day, it's pretty hard.
But now I never doubt in myself. I just go out there and I do my best. Maybe there is not a good day for me and I lose, but I still know I gonna be fighting and try to make it through. So it worked with me on last three matches. I think it's help me a lot.
Q. I just heard Justine won, so she's your next opponent. Are you happy that you get your rematch now?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I would have rematch against both of them, you know (smiling). I mean, it was no doubt about like definitely I am ‑‑ I don't know. Now it's really no pressure. Now it's a final. I know I have to play great game, you know, to beat Justine or whatever. I played with her in Berlin two weeks ago. It was very good match. I done some mistakes. I let her go forward a little bit more in the first set, and second one was very close. But it was very good match. She had to play very well to beat me.
I just want to give a fight. I just want to go out there and do best. Of course I would be unbelievable happy if I will take revenge. But this is a final. This is a match. It's like kind of dream just to be here and play it, you know.
Yeah, I mean, I know it's gonna be tough, very tough opponent. But I have nothing to lose out there. And I guess she's the favorite, no?
Q. You know what you have to change to beat her?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think so (smiling). I'm not gonna talk it to you now, right?
Q. Is that an extra motivation to play a Belgian?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, jeez (smiling). No, I mean, it's not. How it's gonna be extra motivation? It's motivation to play Grand Slam. It's motivation to play Justine. How many Grand Slams did she win? She's just amazing. She plays very well on ‑‑ five, right?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Hopefully, it won't be five (smiling). No, just kidding.
I mean, she play ‑‑ I think she's one of the best players who play on clay. She can mix her game. She can play well everywhere. It's motivation just to play, to be there and to play Justine. It has nothing to do with Belgium, you know. Belgium is very good country. Not better than Russia, but, yeah, smaller.
Vassilissa is my girl............