Ok,here's the translation of the interview.Please,excuse my english that it's sometimes difficult
Anyway I think you'll understand. Enjoy it
Tennis Magazine Interview
: Svetlana Kuznetsova
Among the russian players who've played the main roles in the last 2 years,she's not the most popular one,but Svetlana Kuznetsova's prize list could be, in the end,richer than Maria Sharapova's,Anastassia Myskina's or Elena Dementieva's.Only 21,the St.Petersbourg champion has already a Grand Slam title in her account -2004 US Open- and let's not forget her finalist place this year's Roland Garros,that came just after her thundering victory in Miami's hard courts where she never let a chance to Amélie Mauresmo and Maria Sharapova.What can you do against such a forehand,one of the most lethal weapons in women's tour...In this interview that took place in New York before flying to Bali and Pekin where she would claim the title each time, shy Svetlana talks a little bit more about her ambitions and remembers her road,specially her spanish period that has built-up her technique and mentality.She also calls up her bond to Paris "the city of love" as she calls it,and her friendship with Amélie Mauresmo,her regular doubles partner.A couple that has already reached some success,she tells us the funny recipe to win...
Tennis Magazine: Even if you were already one of the distinguished players during the last seasons, winning US Open in 2004, French crowd barely knew you before you reached the Roland Garros final this year.What memory do you have of that lost final vs Justine Hénin?
Svetlana Kuznetsova: It was a very beautiful fortnight and at the same time a big effort to get until that final. Even if I have to acknowledge that Justine played very good that day,I could not produce my best tennis.I let her play and that was the story from the beginning to the end.Yes,no doubt,I lacked experience in front of a player that has plenty of it.I'm very sorry about it because Roland Garros is very close to my heart and because it was always the main goal in my career.I love this stadium and I love Paris that is a city I love beyond anything else.So next year maybe...
TM: Was it easy to forget about that defeat and move on to something else?
SK: No (smiles) I was not satisfied of the loss and I think I was not in my best shape at Roland Garros.Globally I could have played better.I got to the finals playing with my heart.But this defeat was not as cruel as the ones in 1/8 in the last 2 years here.In 2004 I had a matchpoint against Anastassia Myskina that went on to win the tournament and in 2005,I had 2 matchpoints against Justine that also went on to win.It was not funny,no (smiles)
TM: How did these defeats change you?
SK:First,it was important for me not to lose in 1/8 this year.I wanted to pass that hurdle and it was difficult to get past Schiavone.To win this match was a liberation for me.Then,psycholigically things were easier.Against Myskina and Justine I lost mentally.And these 2 defeats showed me I had to work this facet of my game.In my mind, I let go and I needed to overcome this.
TM:We'll talk later about the work you did to to strenghten your mentality.But let's keep with Roland Garros.In Miami, you said you wanted to go far in Paris because,as you said "it's the city of love"...
SK: (laughs) Yes,Paris,in my eyes is the city of love.I always have felt very good in Paris.First I adore,yes I adore french language (smiles).I like its sound.It's difficult to explain why we love a person or a place.It's my feeling.And I'm feeling more and more at ease there,but that's also true everywhere else.Before I was shy, tight,I didn't appreciate the chance I have to travel.I stayed into my shell.I didn't go out.Now,it's different.I take advantage of it and this is the case in Paris.As I am more open now,I feel better the city atmosphere and I like it (smiles).But this is true since I played juniors.And I love to walk along the alleys of Roland Garros,where nobody or very few people recognised me until now.This year I stopped by Yannick Noah stand to buy the t-shirt of his association.
TM:Is there a place in Paris that you appreciate more than anywhere else and are you tempted to learn this language that you find so melodious?
SK:I love to walk along the Champs Elysées where I stay in the hotel every year.I wanted to learn french,but I found it it's impossible when you travel all the time.In tour,I have practically no chance to talk french.Press conferences are mostly in english.It's Russian and spanish,as I speak spanish fluently.
TM: You have another specific bond with France,more concretely with Amélie Mauresmo that is one of your best friends on tour and your doubles partner.How was this friendship born?
SK:I was at the origin of it.Despite my shyness,I went to her and asked her to play doubles with me.I thought it would be interesting.For me,doubles is a good training for singles,but it's not worth it if I don't have fun with my partner.And that's the case with Amélie,that has become a friend of mine.We talk mostly about things on court but also outside.Yes,we laugh a lot (smiles). And,above all,we respect each other.Even if I'm a shy person,I'm open to anyone who comes to talk to me.Amélie needs time to trust anyone.It's the case between us.
TM: What was the secret of your partnership,that was even finalist at Wimbledon 2005?
SK:Easy to sum it up.The more we joke,the better we play.The more we get serious,the worst we play.And it's true (laughs)
TM:Even if you beat Amélie easily this year,how do you see her accession to top?
SK:I only believe in work.If you give your all during training sessions and if your talent allows you to,then God will reward you.I'm so happy for her because what she achieved was not obvious.I would like to say it's "easy" to win a Grand Slam tournament when you are very young,as I did in 2004.You are aware of it.You are not conscient.Amélie was very aware what she was going through because her career had started long ago and because everybody teased her with this first victory that never came.She felt pressure.She overcame it.Bravo to her.
TM:Amélie Mauresmo is world n.1 and all the tennis observers think you have the game to do so.Do you have that goal no matter what?
SK:I want to get to it,but it's not a fixation.It's a daily work.To get to it,I'll need to win more Grand Slam titles,as Amélie did this year.But yes,I know it's in my racket strings.
TM: You have already a Grand Slam title,won here,at US Open.What is your memory of that unexpected victory that surprised everybody,including yourself?
SK:Everything happened as in a dream that lasted 2 weeks.I was winning match after match.In SF,I was 6/1,2/1 behind and break for Lindsay Davenport who got hurt and then I reverse the situation.My memory of the final against Elena is that I was not missing a ball that day.I was hitting hard,harder and harder and everything was in.It was a funny sensation to reach that level of play for such an occasion.But as I said previously I was not really conscient of it at that time.
TM: Not conscient but surprised...
SK:Very surprised,indeed.But as Myskina and Maria had just won at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, I was telling myself since some weeks ago that it was possible.
TM: Instead of carrying you,that victory had the opposite effect on you.In 2005 you suffered some upsets as the one at US Open where you lost the first round...
SK:When I talk about this very black period,I'm even more motivated to face the future.It was a hard lesson to learn,but it will help me during all my career.I made mistakes.I was not lucky as I was seriously injured at my shoulder and back.The experience at last year's US Open was devastating.To be the title holder and to lose the first match,that was cruel.It was not defeat itself that bothred me,it was the way as I accepted it on court.I completely broke up under pressure,under the weight of the event.
TM: What were the mistakes you made?
SK: I played too much after my US Open victory.Week after week,and defeats came.It was a viscious circle and I couldn't get out of it.I lost my confidence.And then there was this pressure,all these commentaries that I would be number 1.And I must nor forget that there was all these people around me,everyone had different oppinions as the way I should play my career.I was a little lost because I wanted to get everyone satisfied,I wanted to make everyone happy.
TM:How did you get out of it?
SK: At the end of 2005,during a month and a half,I deeply reflected.And I took some decisions for my professional life and my private life.I needed to have a direction and to assume my choices on my own.Even if I was wrong.I needed to play for me and not for other people.By now,it works.When I won US Open I was only a kid.I won and I was happy.But it was more difficult than that.I remember an interview of Marat Safin some weeks after his victory at US Open.He also was not ready to assimilate such an event.
TM: To live better on tour,you chose to work with a psychologist,is that right?
SK:Yes,but that's private and I don't really want to talk about it.I really needed to appreciate my life.I wanted to decide my life.I didn't need anymore other people to dictate me what I had to do.In 2006,I wanted to enjoy again on court,that was not the case in 2005.And I am somebody who has problems with routine.When I practise,I only look forward to something: to compete.Before I was too dissipated.I also needed to change that.
TM:At the end of last year,besides that personal reflexion,you worked very hard on court...
SK:As hard as I'd never done before.I was on court night and day.I had some doubts about me.But my victory in Miami where I beat Martina,Amélie and Maria showed me fast that I had done the right choices and I was on the good way.
TM:We can not talk about your career without going back to your beginnings and without talking about your family and how you were immersed in cycling world.Could you talk briefly about your family history?
SK: My parents were race cyclists.In fact,my father was my mother's coach and that's how they met.My mother was the champion (smiles).She was 6 times sprint world champion under the name of Tsareva and stablished 20 world records.But at the time it was not an olympic sport for women.Later.my brother Nikolay took over and won a silver medal at Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.
TM:The question that comes to mind is:why did you not follow the family tradition?
SK:My father declared I had to do something else.Even if I also tried,around 4 when I was at my grandparents' place in Sebastopol.It was my grand father who learn me to cycle because my parents were too busy with my mother's career.In St Petersbourg I was all the time with boys at the cycling tracks.Then my father said I had to think about another sport.And as a joke,he said tennis was very good because it was a sport where you could win a lot of money (smiles)
TM: It was your mother who followed your beginnings...
SK: She was with me at tournaments.But she was never my coach.This said,I was still always surrounded by cyclists as my father kept living with the team he coached.So I was with cyclist night and day (smiles).I watched them train like crazy.I got up at 7.00 to go running with them.I played football with them on sundays.Even if they were afraif of my father that was a severe coach,they considered me as their little sister.They knew I would not report anything of what they talked about my father (smiles).
o you still practise cycling?
SK:No.Only at gymnasium (smiles).I always thought that cycling was a very solitary sport.Tennis allows me to better let out the combative aspect of my personality.
TM: At 14,you left for Spain.Why?
SK:My father got a proposition to coach his team in Spain.So we settled at Tortosa,a city between Valencia and Barcelona.As there were not satisfactory facilities at Tortosa,that was a small city,I went to the Casal-Sanchez academy in Barcelona.
TM:Where did you live then?
SK:With a family in Barcelona and my mother,that stayed in Tortosa,came to pick me up on weekends.This family only speaked spanish so I had to learn the language fast otherwise I would not have had any chance to suceed.And then I started to play good tennis,to get good results.So my parents accepted that I stayed in Spain.To reach the Orange BOwn finals - I lost to Zvonareva- was my first important result.
TM:And it was in Barcelona that you met Arantxa SAnchez that became some kind of mentor for you when you first started at pro tour...
SK:Yes,she was the first one that accepted to play doubles with me.It was in 2002 I think.I travelled with her a lot.She always believed in me and that was the reason why I immediately thanked her when I won US Open.Even if I don't see her so often anymore,I know I can count on her for an advice or help.Martina Navratilova also gave me self-confidence chosing me as her doubles partner.It happened one day I was in Barcelona.Emilio Sanchez,Arantxa's brother,gave me the phone and he told me someone wanted to talk with me.It was Martina.At first,I didn't want to answer because I was too impressed and I told Emilio to tell her I was not here.But he insisted.And I took the phone shaking to learn she wanted to play with me.
TM: What did you learn from her?
SK:She gave me self-confidence because I lacked of it.It's important to see that such a great person believes in you when you doubt yourself.
o you feel as Russian as Spanish?
SK:I think my personality is a mix between the two cultures.If I am more open with people,it's because of my spanish experience because Russians can be so closed sometimes (smiles).Closed but not unpleasant (smiles).A Russian can be very nice one day and very hostile the next day,a humour question.Spanish are more "consistent" when it comes to emotions.
TM:When we look at you on tour,we can see indeed that you are a very friendly person...
SK:On court,I'm very competitive and I forget about feelings (smiles). Amélie,for instance,is my friend,but I want to beat her when I face her on court.In front of her I will never show my fist or my happiness if I win.I stay reserved.After matchs,I talk to everybody who wants to talk to me.No problems.This said,I should be more careful.Sometimes,I talk too much,I don't pay attention to the people who are with me (smiles).
TM:You have this peculiarity that you like journalists' company and interviews,that most players dont like...
SK: If I find the interview interesting,I let myself go (smiles).I sometimes get into complex explanations and I forget what was the question! I like communication because I am a communicative person.Also I like people to know who I am (smiles).
TM:You are settled in Spain where you train most of the time.Talk to us about your city,St Petersbourg...
SK:First,I don't go there often.I go there when I'm on holidays.I relax my soul there (smiles). It's more pleasant than Moscow that's a very nervous city,moving all the time.At St Petersbourg,I visit museums,I go out to clubs (smiles).
TM: Is St Petersbourg as romantic as Paris?
SK:No,at St Petersbourg,it's too cold.In Paris there's always this electricity in the air no matter the season.Well,I'd like to correct something I said: I live at St Petersbourg and I train in Barcelona.That's it,that's how I see things.
TM:As you just talked about cold,it seems like you love to practise snowboard.Isn't it too dangerous?
SK:Indeed I went with some friends to practise it to the french Alps.No,it's not dangerous because I never fall (smiles).I like speed's adrenaline.I also like to drive fast.But I have to be careful because of all those radars in Spain and I've been fined several times.Yes,if I could,I would drive much faster...