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post #121 of 1337 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:12 AM
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post #122 of 1337 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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Kuznetsova barely survives midnight scareIt took more than 2h30, three sets and two tie-breaks for number three seed Svetlana Kuznetsova to defeat Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik 6-7 6-4 7-6 in an incredible second-round match that ended long after midnight. (Photo: Panoramic)

Most of the spectators who had decided to stay in the Coubertin stadium for the last match of the day were real tennis fans who were eager to see two very good indoors players clash in an exciting and promising second round match. Number three seed, 21 years old Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, was facing Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik, 25, the 23rd player in the world. Yet, since the match began at 10PM and did not involve any of the French crowds’ favorite players, the stands were quite empty as the two competitors started the rematch of their only previous game, played earlier this year in Sydney, where Kuznetsova had had to retire.

In an interview after her first-round match, Srebotnik had told us that, even though she was aware of what a great player Kuznetsova is, she was going to play as well as she could against her and thought that, with some luck, things could work out fine for her. But from what the Slovenian player showed in the first five games of the first set, luck had nothing to do with how well she was playing. Obviously not intimidated by the WTA ranking of her opponent, Srebotnik displayed the variety of her game, in which powerful winning ground strokes followed subtle dropshots, all preventing Kuznetsova from moving ahead. Both players held their serves unbroken throughout twelve games of entertaining, if not always spectacular, and mostly unforced error-free play, offering the spectators a very impressive example of how many different strokes and techniques top players have to master. After forty-six minutes, none of the players entered the tie-break with any psychological advantage but Kuznetsova, who was playing her first match of the week, was not as aggressive as she can be, got caught in her opponent’s rhythm and eventually could not prevent Srebotnik from claiming the first set.

As soon as the second set started, the Slovenian proceeded to keep Kuznetsova at a distance and moved ahead 2-0 before the Russian seemed to remember who the best player of the two was supposed to be, overpowered her opponent without leaving her own baseline and won three consecutive games. Tied again at 3-3, both players looked like they were ready for a repeat of the first set, with its long series of unbroken serve games, but Kuznetsova proved she was getting used to Srebotnik’s so far efficient serve and could return it more easily, helping her win the second set 6-4.

There were very few people left in the stands when the third set started a little after 11.30PM. The players knew a new match was just beginning but still, after breaking each other's serve once, they were still unable to stay far from each other, finding themselves tied 3-3. In the next game, Kuznetsova was offered a break point that she won because the Slovenian, who had fallen down, couldn't reach the ball but soon stood up unharmed and eventually came back to 5-5 and 6-6, leading to a tie-break whose first point was played at sixteen past midnight. That was nothing but a summary of the previous sets, with the same intense shots, a majority of winners and each player scoring a point with difficulty only to find her opponent close again right afterwards. But if Srebotnik had done a great job making their 18-rank difference hard to notice, there was little she could do when fighting against the Russian's superior experience of hard-fought matches and, after saving two match points, the Slovenian had to let go and Kuznetsova close the set on a 7-4 tie-break after 2 hours and thirty-one minutes of suspense, great tennis and emotion. Those who had stayed up so late did not regret it as they had witnessed a night show that will be hard to forget.
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post #123 of 1337 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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post #124 of 1337 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Kuznetsova a Hit with Dubai School Children
Dubai, UAE, February 19th, 2007: Russian tennis star Svetlana Kuznetsova brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of Dubai school children today when she made a special visit to the Deira International School.

The world number five presented 10-year-old Halah Ashrass, who was the winner of the Dubai Tennis Championships ‘spot the difference’ competition, with four tickets to the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open final as well as a cap and t-shirt signed by many of the top players from last year’s tournament.

“I love being back in school, it brings back some good memories,” said Kuznetsova.

“This is a great school and it’s brilliant that they have courts here.”

“I wasn’t so lucky as my school didn’t have such facilities and I spent a lot of time in between school and the court.”

“Every kid has to believe in themselves, if you believe and work hard for a dream you can get whatever you want.”

The popular competition received over 1,000 entries from school children around the region.

“Today was excellent,” said Halah. “The best part was being on stage with Svetlana, she was very nice. I’m going to take my brother and my mum and dad to the final with the tickets I won. I really hope Svetlana is in the final.”

Kuznetsova joins Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo at the star-studded Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open which started today.

“I love being here in Dubai,” said Kuznetsova.

“I love diamonds so when I come here I always go shopping. The city is always changing so much and I wish I could spend more time here.”

“I’ve got some great memories from Dubai and I’ve beaten some great players in previous years which gave me confidence.”

“I’m looking forward to challenging myself against Justine Henin.”
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post #125 of 1337 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2007, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Tracy Brand/Gulf News

Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova believes there is a strong element of consistency in her game that should stand her in good stead for future assignments.
Kuznetsova sets sights on Paris clay

By Alaric Gomes, Staff Reporter

Dubai: Former US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova is targeting the French Open this year.
Having won the US Open in 2004, Kuznetsova feels that she is a better player now. The element of consistency should stand her well as she attempts a triumph in Roland Garros.
"The idea is to keep growing each year. The growth need not be restricted to the tennis. It should also include the personal dimension," Kuznetsova said.
Last year was profitable for the sombre Kuznetsova. She picked up three titles in Miami, Bali and Beijing. "I think I got better. I am getting more consistent now and I am showing a more complete game now," Kuznetsova stated.
"I came so close at Roland Garros last year and I wish the next Grand Slam could be the French Open," Kuznetsova hoped.
'No longer desperate'
"I am no longer desperate. I am composed and cool, learning how to mix my game so that I have a more telling effect on the ultimate results," she added.
It is ironical for her to be a tennis player, especially as she hails from a family of cyclists. Her father Alexandr Kuznetsov has coached six Olympic champions and world champions.
He is currently employed by Lokomotiv, a top club in Russia. He also coached her mother Galina Tsareva, a six-time world champion holding 20 world records, and Svetlana's brother Nikolai Kuznetsov, a silver medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
When Svetlana started playing serious tennis, the family decided to shift her to Spain. "Not many people in Russia believed in me, so I had to make the move for the sake of my career," she said.
"My aim is to keep growing each year. I get more mature and so I try and derive more out of life each day," she added.

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post #126 of 1337 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 2007, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Kuznetsova seals quarter-final berth
Web posted at: 3/1/2007 3:49:11
Source ::: The Peninsula/ by Rizwan Rehmat
Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova makes a forehand return against Julia Goerges of Germany at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex, yesterday.

Doha • Playing an opponent she had never seen or met before, a seemingly unsettled Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia yesterday relied on pure instincts to seal a quarter-final berth at the $1.3 Qatar Total Open.

Kuznetsova struggled for rhythm, especially in the first set, before beating qualifier Julia Goerges of Germany on way to the last-eight stage. Kuznetsova, who received a bye in the first round, overcame a sluggish start to win 7-5, 6-1 in 73 minutes on Court Number One.

Kuznetsova, who has had an indifferent 2007 season apart from a semi-final show in Dubai last week, yesterday played with uncertainty in her shots at the start of the match, but later found good range on her returns.

Once the 2004 US Open champion capitalised on the poor returns of inexperienced Goerges, the points came in a flurry in the second set.

“It was the wind that disturbed at the start of the match. It was pretty harsh conditions out there. I took time to get going,” Kuznetsova, the 21-year-old with looks similar to that of German legend Steffi Graf, said after her straight-set win.

“My legs did not move because I wasn’t focusing right. When I concentrated on my games, I won points easily.”

The Russian, yet to reach a final in six tournaments this season, candidly admitted knowing absolutely nothing about her young rival.

“I had never seen her before. I had never seen her play either. It was the first time that we played each other. I know nothing about her,” Kuznetsova, who has seven Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles to her name, explained.

“It was the surface also. I was having problems playing on it here. I am not complaining, but the shot making was slow,” Kuznetsova said.

The Russian won the first game with ease before breaking serve of the German in the second. Goerges quickly reasserted herself and broke Kuznetsova in game three to show hints of a revival.

However, Kuznetsova returned powerfully to service break Goerges in games five and eight and 12 before winning the match. Despite her service breaks, allowed Georges two service breaks due to long returns in games three and nine.

In the second set, Kuznetsova broke Goerges in games two, four and six to finish the set in 26 only minutes.

“It is wrong to say I haven’t done much as a player in my seven years at the top level. I have won a Grand Slam (2004 US Open), I have lost a Grand Slam final (2006 French Open) and beaten all the top players in the world. I have done well. I am happy with what I have achieved so far,” said Kuznetsova after her match.

“Out of the seven years that I have played on the Tour, I have only played three or four full seasons. So I haven’t done that bad,” the Russian insisted.

“My priority is to play singles, although I have won more doubles titles. Doubles is basically fun. I have won doubles more because I find it easier for me to play doubles.”

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post #127 of 1337 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 2007, 01:21 PM
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The Russians got quizzed about the recent story on Moscow’s Spartak club in the New York Times’ Play magazine, including Svetlana Kuznetsova, and it was amusing to watch her face because she was resentful of all the focus on Moscow when she was growing up in St. Petersburg. So, just out of interest, what was the difference? Kuznetsova said she felt like an outsider when she went to Moscow because the atmosphere was a lot more intense, e.g. a father jumping up and down “like a monkey” yelling instructions to his daughter.

Ditto Nadia Petrova, who grew up all over the place and thinks she’s taken longer to develop because she didn’t have proper academy training from a young age like Maria Sharapova and only started training full tilt at 16. Does she feel she’s finally caught up? Nope – still working to catch up. But on the plus side, she has - finally - learned to accept bad days – like the loss to Serena Williams in Australia – and is happy with her current coach after having gone through a few recently.

Q. So it went under or through the net?
JELENA JANKOVIC: I think through or underneath, and then somehow -- I have no idea...

Q. It went through the net.
JELENA JANKOVIC: Through the net? Under the net?
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post #128 of 1337 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2007, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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S. KUZNETSOVA/E. Likhovtseva
6-1, 7-6
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Svetlana.
Q. Looked like it was going along pretty easy, then it got more difficult towards the end there?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It was hard for me to play her because I think she's one of the best match on the tour. And, yeah, in the start I was very confused and she couldn't put -- she looked like she couldn't put the ball in. Then she start to play better, but I start struggling a little bit and couldn't focus very much on my game in the end. But I get it up. In the important moments, I start playing well, because I had to otherwise I would go for three sets.
Q. Players discuss this all the time, because so many of you have different friends on the tour and many people say, yes, I can just put it aside and not think about who I'm playing, but it sounds like you were thinking a little bit, this is my friend, huh?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, yeah, a little bit. A little bit sometimes gets in your mind. But I was trying and I think it was working pretty well for me. Even the second set, the second set was much better. The first at the start was hard, but I was trying. I was really -- I think I managed well, to put it aside, but it was not easy for me today.
Q. I might note that you're one of my favorites on the tour. I still remember how joyous you were after you won the U.S. Open. But watching you in the beginning of this tournament, I didn't think you were playing with quite as much verve, you might say, with quite as much energy as I usually associate with you. You seem to get that back a good deal today. Am I right?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Thanks. Well, it's no -- we play tournaments every week, so it's very hard to come up every day with the same energy and do this. I still go to the match and I still to do as best as I can, but I think it comes down to some -- some matches you're not 100 percent as you should have been.
Q. Right.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Maybe, but you don't want to waste yourself also in some point. Then I give myself time to get into the tournament, you know, because I don't want to rise my game straight up from the first match, but you cannot ask it from nobody. Everybody gets in the match, and I play better today. I start feeling the ball much better, so that's why I've been hearing a lot lately here, because I couldn't really manage to understand the ball bounce. It's very confusing to say that, but it was very strange. And today I started to do better. So I feel more relaxed about that, so hopefully tomorrow I gonna have better game.
Q. You know, your entry was one of the last that the tournament confirmed, almost on the eve of the tournament they said Svetlana is going to play. A tournament of this sort, as Amy will confirm, has to have -- with this sort of purse, it has to have at least two of the top four ranked women or the tour has to make a rebate to the people that hold the tournament. Did somebody instruct you to enter this tournament?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, no, nothing like that. I mean, you know, calendar is a very difficult thing. You know, tournaments to have good field, we have very strict rules to put yourself in the tournament. And now I put -- by applying myself to this tournament, it's -- by entering this tournament I put myself in very hard position. It's worth for me. It's better for tour, but I didn't -- I was thinking about myself, about my game. Because I got bronchitis in the start of the year, so I couldn't prepare well for Australian Open, and I was not at my best. So I felt like I need matches.
That's why I enter polish last moment and I went to play there. I played Doha, Dubai, and then I felt I didn't want to go back and practice. I just want to play. So I decided to come here. But I was also asking Double J to change my super-hard designation, which I enter Charleston. So Charleston had very good field, Indian Wells didn't have good field. So I was asking if I were to change it, and they did my English change for me, and, well, I still decided to go and come here.
Q. So did you ask them to let you out of Charleston or did you ask them to let you out of Miami?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I asked them to change because super-hard designation rule is tournament they pick and they tell you to go.
Q. Right.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: But still, I think they're very good with the players by sometimes going, like, what-would-you-like kind of way. But still the decision of the WTA tour, you play this or that. Which I was happy it was Charleston at the start of the year, but for me, it was tough now because I needed these matches now, not before French Open, you know what I mean?
And I thought it would work so much better for tour, also, because they had not good field here, and they had so good field in Charleston. But I also understand the decision, because in Charleston they had very good field in past years, and then suddenly everybody pull out. By having me, they have more or less better guarantee because I think I have pretty high persons of doing the calendar I'm applying to.
Q. So you have to play Charleston, as well?
Q. You obviously are very, very close. What do you have to do to change in your game to secure the No. 1 position?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't think it's so much about the game. I would say it's about just consistent work and just -- it's about being on the court and just doing the right thing all the time. Because I think I got the game. It's nothing like I don't have good backhand or -- I can serve well. I can improve my serve; it would help me a lot. I would work a lot to coming to the net to finish up the points. This is what I would work about technical stuff in the court.
But I would just do it like something that I'm thinking, you know, just to play the points. I read so much of interviews with Roger, he would say it's very important to play important points. So I think that's very important thing.
Q. So that's a mental thing more than it is a physical or technical?
Q. So do you have this self-belief on the important points or is that still something you're working on?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, but this is about confidence. If you got confidence, you play much better these points. This is about playing matches, so this is another thing why I'm here playing, because I really want to play matches and I want to get this confidence because nothing compares. Neither preparation compares to the feeling like when I won Miami, U.S. Open. I mean, I had the strength. I star the tournament playing so-so, every match getting better. In the middle of Miami, I felt I couldn't miss a ball.
This is this confidence which gives you, go higher, and the sooner you have it, the better you will be.
Q. So when you play someone like Justine, who you played so many times, she has the confidence on the important points and your confidence kind of goes away a little bit?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, with Justine it's a bit different story. I'm saying about everything else. But Justine, I think I should take it differently mentally, nothing about the game, also.
Q. Explain a little more.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I have my kiss to it, I'm thinking of so many points, you know. I just cannot (indiscernible). I want to keep it up to me till I do it, till I prove. But if I prove, I think things can change for me to very good way.
Q. So you're saying that she's almost in your head? You don't really --
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I wouldn't say that she's there, you know. I wouldn't go like, "Oh, Justine." But I mean, I have huge respect for her, that's true, but maybe I should put it a bit lower, you know. But, still, I think it's just different the way I play because I expect maybe too much from her game than I should have.
Q. Have you seen any videos of, like, matches from the '70s or the '80s?
Q. You ever watched --
Q. -- those matches?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. I mean, the thing is, I always said I was never into the tennis, you know. I was about cycling. I saw my mom cycling on the track, this is what I did when I was younger. I never was watching tennis.
Q. So I mean --
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, of course I saw few points of, like Navratilova winning tournaments and stuff, but I never would watch like matches you know.
Q. Right. You think about the way that racquet technology has changed the sport, if you look at those old films, it looks like they're playing half speed compared to today.
Q. I'm just wondering if you think that's a good thing? That's a bad thing? Is there anything lost in the type of technology and power there is today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's funny because yesterday, or the day before yesterday, I was talking to Martin (indiscernible), he's from Fila, and he played before, he played very well, and I was asking, I was just curious. I said, "If I would take the wood racquet, would I put the ball in with my closed grip on my forehand or somebody else, like how would it be possible? Would it be or no?"
He goes, "Well, I don't know. It's just curious. You should just play in exhibition with this racquet one day."
I'm like, "Yeah, that's gonna be cool, you know."
But then I also understand it was very tough to generate power from this racquet.
Q. How do you think you'd play if everyone was using wood racquets today? Do you think your game would be better or worse compared to everyone else?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think I would, Amelie Mauresmo would be No. 1 because her style is more classic, you know, and -- well, but her forehand is too close.
Q. What about you, do you think your game would be better or worse?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I think you should have lots of touch and I don't really know how it is, you know.
Q. Because you're a pretty hard hitter?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I know, I know what you're trying to tell me. I get it. But...
Q. I'm not trying to tell you anything.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I would love to play it, you know. Maybe I wouldn't be so, I don't know. It's coming stronger and stronger, and it's improving, you know. The tennis didn't have maybe nowhere to go, so they found out about this racquet. Maybe next time they gonna maybe make these speed balls which you not gonna see at all, so it's gonna be very fast.
No, but, I don't know. Somehow the thing goes faster and faster. I think at some stage they've gotta stop somehow.
Q. Make the balls bigger or the court slower?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, well, I think maybe smaller racquets or something, or just keep the racquets this way. Plus, like Serena, she has racquet very close to her limit, I think, as I heard. I don't know. I think it's -- I mean, she will generate unbelievable speed of that.
Q. Right. You've had a coaching change or a slight one? You're with someone younger now. Who are you traveling with?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Stefan Ortega. It's the same guy I've been traveling with past year, and I've been -- same guy I've been traveling in the year, I think it was 2003. And I was playing doubles with Martina, then I stopped traveling with him, and I stop also playing doubles with Martina, so he would coach her. And I would stay at the Milious (phonetic) Academy for two years, traveling with different coaches, two, three guys. And then in last year, I decided to start working with Stefan.
Q. Strictly?
Q. How much time do you spend talking to Arantxa about tennis?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not really much, not really. Like if I would -- I would finish the match, I would talk to her, you know. She would watch it. But she has so much other stuff to do and stuff. But I feel if I need anything, I can just ring her and talk about tennis.
But I think -- and I have very good coach, and it's so good. I trust him totally, and I think he has very good view of the game. And with Arantxa, I prefer to talk about different stuff.
Q. Who do you expect to be on the Fed Cup team, yourself, Maria, Petrova, maybe Chakvetadze?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Chakvetadze, I think.
Q. You think?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think it would be Chakvetadze. She looks like higher far up than the girls in the ranking.

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post #129 of 1337 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2007, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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March 15, 2007

Svetlana Kuznetsova after beating Nicole Vaidisova


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Svetlana, please.

Q. What did you think of the quality of that match? I thought it was extremely high, but maybe I'm wrong. What do you think?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think the quality was very high, and to win this match I had to put something on it. I couldn't just perform there, you know, and just defend, you know. Because, I mean, usually I hit the ball and I'm the one who dictating, but today she doing that.
She has extremely good strokes. She serves very well, and I had -- I was a bit slow in the first set. I was maybe a bit tense, you know, and I wasn't getting into the ball as much as I would love to and would have to win this set.
So I didn't serve well enough, and then I got my coach out there, so he helped me out. Then I thought Nicole was serving very well, and I had just few chances to break her, and I made almost all of them. Maybe there is a couple to make it perfect.
But, hey, she played a good match and it was very tough out there. And I think I was very -- it was very important to hold my serve in the third set.

Q. You only won three of ten breakpoints, so you didn't break her every time, but you won, which is a big thing. In the one game toward the end of the match, you had three match points that escaped you and you lost that game. When that happens, Svetlana, is it difficult not to feel, well, maybe this is not going to be my day?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not at all. I didn't even one thought like this during the match, because the ball -- she serve extremely well these points, like it's only three of 10, as you say, but, I mean, if she serves ace, I cannot get upset, you know. Because, I mean, she's player, I'm player, we're playing here. I have to accept her winners.
And then I had the problem on my toe, my nail was pinching me so much, and I kind of gave myself credit for suffering, and then I just took it out at the change over, which was very painful. But I didn't want to call trainer. I thought I better not stop the match, so -- and then I start moving -- I mean, I was moving good, but it was hurting me a little bit.
But then in my serve, I was already fine with this. So I just had to keep serving the way I did. Just I put myself motivation because, look, I serve, she get it. She deserve. Now I'm going to put myself out there and serve as I've been serving in the whole set.

Q. Are you saying you had to have a toenail removed?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not full of it, but -- how you explain?
THE MODERATOR: Just a piece that was hanging off.

Q. I got it. That nail was on what foot?

Q. Was that your big toe?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. Like I would feel it in my shoe, but I start to thinking what could it be. But I remember before the match, I forgot to cut it really well it was a bit pinching up, and I guess because of all the moving and sliding, it just start going up and I broke it, and, you know, during this game, and it was pinching me some points. It was extremely hard.
But still I asked for scissors of chair umpire, but then I realize I just take it out by my hands, and I just did it.

Q. You've played her a couple times before. Is this the best that you've ever seen her?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, both of the times was extremely hard. I guess here and French Open was -- I would say pretty close. Because I was in French Open, 5-2 up -- 5-2 down in the third set, I think it was, or set and 5-2. And on her serve, like, 15-Love or something like that, so it was extremely hard.

Q. This is the first time you've played her when it wasn't in a Grand Slam tournament. Does that kind of change the atmosphere a little bit, Svetlana?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not at all. Counting the tournament, what it is, and which moment, we just the higher seed which left in the tournament. I know she's very tough, but then I have good opportunity, you know. I have good opportunity for my next match. So it makes me a little bit -- it's not harder. Grand Slam is also extremely tough. So I would equal both.

Q. Do you feel mentally stronger than she does at the end of a match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I just -- I just promised myself going out there today that I gonna stay tough every ball. Like I couldn't put -- have put my hands down still in the first set, because, like, she been just winning me winners. I'm not used to get winners to myself 'cause usually I do winners. So I do unforced errors. But I said, you know, she could be unpredictable some moments, so I know I have to play every point. So that's what I did, which I'm very happy of.

Q. About this time last year, you were talking about the fact that you had spoken to yourself and said, "I've got to change things. I've got to start producing the results," and you seem to have had a fresher outlook with your tennis. You went onto win Miami. Do you think, as you look back over these last 12 months, you've got to a place where you want to be or you should have been further ahead?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, if I would just think so about 12 months, if you would ask me, like, if I regret something, I'm not, because I think I'm still doing my best every day. And, of course, sometimes you're not very happy about the result. Of course, you think, yeah, it could be better to do perfect things. But at this, accept it.
I know that I cannot get better just in 12 months. That it's work of time, of maybe years, you know. Because to improve some things, it takes long time, not just day or week or month.
So I think I'm very patient to myself. It could have been better, but it could have been much worse. So let's be realistic. I'm happy with where I am and I think I have very good opportunity to move further.

Q. Then how would you explain Sharapova winning two grand slams and getting to No. 1 at such a young age, 'cause it didn't take her quite as long?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, everybody has different game. I mean Amelie, she's No. 1 when she's older age and everybody has different moments. You cannot just go -- yeah, Nadal also, but Roger, he is legend and he got there later than Nadal. It's just different people.

Q. But you also -- you won a Grand Slam title when you were young, too. And Sharapova said maybe when she won her first, she wasn't quite ready.

Q. It just sort of happened to her. Do you feel that way also?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I always said I was not ready to win my first Grand Slam. It was a bit too much for me then, and then next year for me, it was really hard. I couldn't really -- couldn't really to get the things the right way.

Q. What's the easiest thing to work on when you're trying to improve your game and what's the hardest?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I guess the easiest one is the strokes, the tennis strokes, whatever it is, 'cause it's just matter of going out and hit the balls. And the toughest one is about you, as a person, you as a player, and you just setting out there in state of mentally. I think this is very hard, always be positive.

Q. Is it about confidence? Is it about dealing with the grind of the tour? What's the hardest part of the mental side?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's everything. It's a little bit because, I mean, we are at very young age. We travel almost on our own. Sometimes we see parents, sometimes we don't. It's hard to be out there every week and always perform at your best. And. Of course, you have lots of expectations, and every time and everywhere people expect from you, and you have to perform there well.
And in the end, you just get -- some people, they get very vulnerable, how you say, vulnerable. And some people, they get stronger, you know. I think this is the toughest part.

Q. So what are your expectations for this year, now, three months into the year? What are your expectations?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I'm seeing myself doing better. I'm seeing myself improving the serve, coming more to the net - not today because I didn't have my chances. But, yeah, just improving my game, working on it. And I believe that doing this, I can improve as player, and my ranking will go higher with it.

Q. I don't know if you talked about this before, what's lacking in Vaidisova's game to go from maybe a top 10 player to a top 5 player?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, I think it's not the strokes. Think -- well, it just maybe sometimes not over-hit the ball, because she chooses sometimes to extreme shots to hit. Like at game 5-3, she hit down-the-lines, and, like, she wouldn't -- the one she made, it's like never happens like this. It's just maybe one out of ten. And just be a bit stable and just have this equality of the game. Because she goes for to match sometimes and she plays sometimes not very well.

Q. Talk about the next round against either Tatiana or Bammer.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, it's semifinals, so the players who gets there is -- it's already have confidence, winning matches, and definitely gonna be tough. And I played them both. I played Bammer in Berlin last year, and I don't remember if I won the two sets or three sets. But she plays well. She's very strong. She had a baby already. She's a mom. But I think she's very fit.
And then Tatiana, I played her in New Haven before the U.S. Open. She can also be very dangerous, and she hits the ball pretty hard and flat.

Q. Could you imagine being a mother and traveling with a baby and playing at the level you play at?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not at my age, though. I can imagine myself being a mother, but I think just too early. I'm not ready. I was not ready at 18 or 17 to win the Grand Slam. I'm not ready to have baby now.
So, you know, it's just hard. I mean, you know, it just -- you hit the age where you performing the best at tennis and you hit the age that you perform best at having a family.
For me, it would be hard because I would love to give all of me to my daughter or my son and then also to the tennis. So it's pretty hard.

Q. It makes it sort of amazing what Bammer is doing. She's only 25, traveling with a 5-year-old, you know, tournament to tournament. Now she's gotten into the top 35, her best ranking ever, with a baby.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: That's good. What's her ranking without the baby?

Q. I think she was below 140. When she started to come back after she had the child she was out of the top 100?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I understand, but before.

Q. Her best ranking before, I don't think she was ever top 50?
THE MODERATOR: Always outside, like, the top 100.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I never knew her anyway. I was too young. But, I mean, I have huge respect for her because she doing something that I didn't see many people do. She has her husband to help her out. And if she feels happy like this, it's great. But I guess it's also -- I mean, I would not -- it's hard to say, you know. It's her kid. She would know what's better. But for kid, I guess it's very hard to travel every week.
But I saw her the other day. She's extremely nice. I even think her name is Tina, and, yeah, I mean it's great if she can do this. I really respect her for that.

Q. You wouldn't travel if you had a child? You wouldn't play tennis if you had a child?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. I would play tennis, but I would give it to my mom, the child. So she'll take care of it and...

Q. It's not a dog, Svetlana.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Or grandparents. You know, it's funny now. I start thinking I had the same thing when my mom had me. She still won world champion after she had me. She won like six of them in cycling. So then I was with my grandparents, and they were taking very good care of me. And my mom was competing and my dad was coaching her. So, yeah, I was very happy with my grandparents.

Q. Did your mother ever bring you to the races? Do you remember ever going?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not hers. Not hers. I would remember watching my brother cycling and stuff. And I was turning like 7, I would never travel with him, maybe, like, some week. But I remember coming often to my dad's practice, and I was even with his team. I always was in this sport and sport --

Q. Environment?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: People -- sport environment, yeah.

Q. Is it true you were born on the back seat of a bike?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, on forward wheel.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

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post #130 of 1337 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2007, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Kuznetsova shows Brits the hard road to success
Russian diva grew up in conditions that were mentally very tough
Jon Henderson
Sunday May 27, 2007

One of Russia's most consistent ova-achievers, Svetlana Kuznetsova, sets out a powerful case for Britain pulling down its recently opened, multi-million-pound national tennis centre and making players go away to do it on their own.

Kuznetsova does not put it quite like this, but the 21-year-old from St Petersburg, who will be trying to reach her second French Open singles final in successive years, has given Observer Sport an instructive account of how she succeeded in becoming one of 19 -ovas or -evas from eastern Europe who are in the women's top 100 (compared with zero Brits).
She recalls having to play in the bitter Russian winters without heating. 'We were playing inside but we couldn't afford to pay the gas and we didn't have electricity. We were playing in minus two degrees,' says Kuznetsova, who is number three in the women's tour rankings behind Justine Henin and the most celebrated of all the -ovas, Maria Sharapova.
'We've been through hard times in Russia,' Kuznetsova adds. 'Growing up it was very hard, which makes you work hard and mentally very tough, which is why we're so good now.
'You don't have money and so you look for free courts all the time because you cannot pay. You don't have coaches. You have to travel all the time by train because you cannot afford to fly. Sometimes you go to a tournament and you don't live in a hotel, you live in very cheap places. You share a room with people you don't know. It's a lot of stuff like that. You cannot afford many rackets and have only two of them.
'It makes you want it badly and when you start doing well you remember where you came from.'
Compare this with what aspiring British players now have at their disposal at the Lawn Tennis Association's £32million National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, south-west London: six indoor courts with underfloor heating, 16 outdoor courts, an expensively kitted-out gym, a sports science centre, a cafe serving high-quality food and overnight accommodation for 54 people. Anne Keothavong, Britain's number one, says: 'Whatever you need, you've got. You don't have to fight for a court like you did at Queen's [the LTA's former HQ]. Everything is much easier here.'
Everything being much easier might turn out to be the answer to Britain's failure to produce high-flyers, particularly on the women's side. For the moment, though, we can only observe as the eastern European players from straitened backgrounds carry off the booty.
Kuznetsova, who comes from a family of international cyclists but says 'I don't like cycling, tennis is my passion', has swept up £350,000 in prize money this year, which is nearly three times what Keothavong has banked in a professional career that started in 2001, a year after the Russian's.
Weakened by bronchitis, Kuznetsova made a slow start to the year and, although she still has not added to her career tally of eight titles, which include the 2004 US Open, she has reached the final of four big events since the beginning of March. 'It's going better and better. I'm really happy with my performances in Berlin and Rome,' she says, referring to the big two clay-court tournaments that precede Paris, in each of which she was runner-up.
Kuznetsova's athleticism, which helps her play close to the baseline and so shrink the target she offers to opponents, and a game that blends power with spin make her a formidable rival. The weakness that holds her back is the one that so often stops a very good player becoming a great one: the belief that she can cut it with the very best. She admits this a problem when she plays Henin, who beat her in straight sets in last year's Paris final. 'She is hard for me to play against,' Kuznetsova says. 'I've lost to her many times and sometimes it gets to my mind.'
Still, she nominates herself, Henin and Serena Williams, who won the year's first grand slam in Melbourne, as the leading contenders for the title, a list that is as interesting for the names it omits as those it includes. She is probably right to overlook Amelie Mauresmo, who is struggling to come back from an appendix operation, and Sharapova, who hates playing on clay and will regard the year's last two grand slams, Wimbledon and the US Open, as better opportunities to tease even more money from sponsors.
The player not on Kuznetsova's list who has caught everyone's eye in the build-up to Paris is the Serb Jelena Jankovic, who 12 months ago was close to giving up the game but shares with Henin the distinction of winning three titles this year. Last week, after beating Kuznetsova in the Rome final, Jankovic rose to a career-high four in the world rankings. Kuznetsova's main problem is to convince herself she can win the title, which, considering what she has overcome to achieve so much in the women's game, seems a greater problem than you would expect it to be. If she fails this test of self-persuasion, expect the acutely competitive Henin to win for the fourth time in five years.

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post #131 of 1337 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 2007, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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S. Kuznetsova
3 July
Tuesday, 3 July, 2007

6‑3, 6‑2

Q. It was presumably quite important not to let her get a foothold in the match early today.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I started very well. I did break straightaway, so it was lots of confidence for me. I've been serving extremely well so I am very happy with my performance.

Q. Was it more comfortable than you expected it to be, given she took Dementieva out yesterday?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, it was pretty comfortable. She started very well, but I felt like during the match like I put in more and more pressure on her. She was playing worse, worse, worse.
So for me it was better. I was getting more confidence. I was trying to play better. She went a little bit low. Yeah, I expected a very tough match, but I'm happy. Every round my performance grows, so I'm happy about it.

Q. You played a couple young players in the last two rounds. Do they play differently than the older players, maybe some intimidation on the court?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: This is what I was just trying to say. In second set, you know, normally like people can get back and start to play better, but it didn't happen either with Radwanska, neither with her, with Paszek, because I can see them getting on them because they start losing. They go down on them and they're not playing so good.
But more like girls who have more experience, they still play equally, you know, so they have chances always.

Q. How would you assess her game? What's her potential?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: The same question I've been asked after I played Radwanska. I think the girls are playing extremely well for their age. She's only 16. For her, fourth round of Wimbledon is a good achievement. She's playing good. Her game on the grass court is dangerous because she has very good backhand, good serve. I mean, there is lots of things she needs to get better, but her age, I mean, she has lots of time to do that.
But you'll see exactly what's going to be like maybe off both of them in like two years.

Q. Do you see her at top 10, top 20, top 30?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's hard to say. I never would pick somebody, you know, because it's very tricky thing to play, you know, with prognosis of players. To say something, I would never just say. But I think she can be very good.

Q. Fed Cup, will you be on the team?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think I'm on the list (smiling).

Q. Who else is going to play?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I really don't know, because it's pretty tough, because many people have injuries. Nothing is clear yet.

Q. Is your game in the sort of shape to take you to your best ever Wimbledon this year?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, now I'm so far to the best I've been here. Twice in quarterfinals, so I don't know. I'm looking forward to next match.
I'm happy with my performance, because I start playing not so good my first match and now I'm playing better than ever I played in this tournament.
Really enjoy the game on grass. Now I start loving it, so it's good.

Q. You're going to play Maria or Venus, two players that have won here. Is your game at a point, if you play well, you can seriously challenge them?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, why not? Of course.

Q. I'm asking you. Just talk about your level and the challenge that those two present to you.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I mean, they're extremely good players. They've been No. 1s. They both won Wimbledon. They play very good on grass. But I beat Maria maybe a few years ago on grass court.
But still, I would never say no. I would never say I don't have chances. I have lots of chances I think. But I still have to perform well and play good game.

Q. You played enough Grand Slams now. When you go into a Grand Slam and you're playing at a good level, how much of the outcome is determined by your mental and how much of it is technical?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I would say 70 is mental, 30 is technical.

Q. What's the most interesting remark you've received about your hair since you got here?

Q. In the last week and a half since you got to Wimbledon, who has made the most interesting remark?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I definitely can say I cannot remember this. But I definitely can say that the most question I've been asked is, "How long did it take?" I hear it more than my name. People just go like, "How long did it take?" I'm like, Okay, I have to put a huge note on my front so everybody knows.
But everybody say it's something different. You got balls to do that. This is what most people say.

Q. Venus and Serena say anything?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, they give me so many ‑ how you say? Not compliments, but they tell me what I have to do to take care of it. Like so many ‑‑

Q. ‑‑ advice?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, so many advices on what you have to do. They're like, Yeah, you got to keep it for longer.

Q. So how long did it take?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Three hours and a half (laughter).

Q. If it's 70% mental, what do you do to get yourself mentally in a great space so when you're on the court things don't go away from you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Just, I mean, for me the most important thing is to take everything out, like really focus on the game, you know. Because if everything, the pressure, other people's opinion, whatever everybody does get into my mind I cannot play well.
So for me it's just important I stay focus on the game and play the ball. If I do so, it can go instead of 70/30 to 60/40 or 50/50. For me it's very important just to focus, play point by point.

Q. You served and volleyed a bit in the match. Are you trying to incorporate that more into your grass court play? Is it something you'll try against players like Maria or Venus, or was it you were comfortable with your lead in the match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I always try to do that. I always say I want to come more to the net, but still it takes time. The best thing is to do when you lead in the score for like 5‑2 or something.
But definitely I would love to do it in other tournaments, not only in grass court. But, yeah, I did it today and I was very happy with this.

Q. Was it a mistake not to play on Sunday?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's hard. I mean, Wimbledon is tradition. It's all about tradition. We got to keep it somehow. But it's also tough now to play all days in a row. It's okay.

Q. Yesterday Serena Williams collapsed on the court with a serious calf injury. Have you ever been in a match where your opponent had a serious injury and you just didn't know how to play against her because psychologically you went out of your game plan?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I saw little bit. I saw when she started to collapse. I don't know how you call it. She fell down. Definitely she was not acting. Definitely it was really terrible pain.
But for me it was so surprising how she could still hang on in the game and won that match. I didn't see anything afterwards.
But, I mean, it was unbelievable that achievement for Serena, but I also realize that for Daniela it was very hard to play. I don't really remember if I played somebody like that. I mean, my memory's not so good about the past matches (smiling).

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post #132 of 1337 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2007, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Kuznetsova enjoys the game on grass
July 05, 2007

SVETLANA Kuznetsova is ready for a hair-raising Wimbledon experience as she looks forward to a quarter-final clash against Venus Williams or Maria Sharapova.
Kuznetsova, who has caused a stir at the All England Club with her new corn-row braid hairstyle, cut Austrian teenager Tamira Paszek down to size with a 6-3, 6-2 fourth- round win yesterday.
The prospect of facing Williams, a three-time Wimbledon champion, or Sharapova, who won in 2004, doesn't concern Kuznetsova as she believes she is playing the best grass court tennis of her life.

'They've been No. 1s and they both won Wimbledon,' Kuznetsova said. 'They play very good on grass. But I beat Maria maybe a few years ago on grass. I would never say I don't have chances. I have lots of chances, but I still have to perform well and play a good game.'
Paszek, 16, had made a big impact in her first appearance at the All England Club, deposing seeded Elena Dementieva and Tatiana Golovin to reach the fourth round.
But Russia's Kuznetsova, the fifth seed, had too much experience for the unseeded Austrian.
Paszek, ranked 54th in the world, had never played in a Grand Slam fourth-round match before and her nerves showed as Kuznetsova broke in the second game.
That was all the advantage the former US Open champion needed as she held serve without any alarms to take the first set.
A rain delay between sets offered Paszek the chance to regroup, but the former Wimbledon junior finalist lost her serve again in the first game after the re-start.
Kuznetsova's clinical display ensured there was no way back for Paszek.
The second set went the same way as the first and a perfectly- placed volley wrapped up the tie for the Russian.
'I'm happy with my performance because I started playing not so good in my first match and now I'm playing better than ever.
'I've always enjoyed the game on grass and now I am loving it.' - Wire Services.

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post #133 of 1337 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2007, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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S.Kuznetsova - 5 July
Thursday, 5 July, 2007

Venus Williams (USA)[23] beat Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)[5] 6-3, 6-4

Q. What happened to the cornrows?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: My head was very tired and was asking me to take them out, so...
It was two weeks and a half. I first was only going to keep it for one week. I like it. I keep it for two weeks and a half. Now I like it even more.

Q. Do you call it cornrows in Russia?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, more or less.

Q. Did Serena help you with it?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. Serena was home resting.

Q. Have you ever been hit by an ace before?

Q. How good is she on grass? Is she better on grass than other surfaces?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I mean, now I think she's in top of her form in last two, three years. I never played her like in really good form when she was winning a lot.
So she just played very well. I think she just played better than me today and I had to play very well to beat her. I still played good.
I didn't play bad, terrible or something. I still had to use all my chances to beat her. She was just playing well.

Q. Is it different to play her here than playing anywhere else?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, of course, everybody has different styles. Of course, is different. She served very well today. Yeah, her game hurts a lot on grass.

Q. Is there still the intimidation factor with the Williams sisters? Is that factor back again?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I don't have any intimidation from them. I respect who they are, what they made, what they achieved in the tennis.
I think they're good people, that's it. I don't know about intimidation.

Q. How is the stopping and starting affecting your game?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think I'm pretty cool with it. This year I don't have any problems like that. I had also very tough week in Berlin this year. It was rain. We had to wait a lot of time in club.
It's hard, you know. Waiting is boring. But it's all right. Of course, it's not the same thing if you just wait all the time there sorry, if you go and play, but it's all right.

Q. Are you prepared to play on Monday if you need to?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't have another choice. I'm here with my partner. I mean, what can I do?

Q. It's not driving you crazy, this kind of weather?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's for me important Wimbledon. The weather, I cannot change it. If I have to stay, no problem. One more day for a Grand Slam, it's not a big deal.

Q. Venus seemed to be saying your cornrows might be painful for you. Was it hurting you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Little bit. If you're not used to it it's getting dirty faster. You cannot really wash it good because otherwise your hair go outside.
No, it's been hurting me a little bit, but it's okay.

Q. Next week is the marriage of Kim Clijsters. You are a good friend. Did you receive any invitation? If not, do you still have some contact with her?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I see her a lot on messenger, thing on Internet. I see she's connected sometimes. Yeah, I didn't receive any invitation. I was not that close, you know, to her so she invite me.
What date is that?

Q. Next Saturday.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'll just call her and will congratulate her. Probably she'll be busy. I'll probably text her SMS.

Q. Who cut your hair?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't cut it. I didn't cut my hair for a while. Looks shorter.

Q. Do you think Venus will win the tournament?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think she has very good chances. I think she has very good chances.

Q. More than Justine Henin?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's hard. I didn't play Justine. But she plays also unbelievably well. That's why I say chances for me, they both going to play final, that's what I think. I think it's going to be very interesting match.
If Venus going to keep serving like that, so good, I think she has really good chances.

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6-3, 4-6, 6-0

Q. To be able to come back after this second set, is it good psychologically to know you can turn it on when you need to?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, you know, like in the second set, I still -- I mean, I missed so many of my chances. I've been missing so much unforced errors. I was not moving my feet. But still I knew I was comfortable. If I get it all together, if I really want to do it, I'll get it all together. It's not good second set, for sure. Well, you know, when it happened, it happened. It was too late to change something. So I said, you know, nothing you can change before it. So from this moment I just started to turn it on and just play the right shots. I think I never been in my life so many times in the net as today. And I'm pretty happy to come a lot to the net. First of all, I've been so shock you know, because I had so many chances to come in and sometimes I saw I didn't do that. I didn't go inside. And then I go to the (indiscernible) with my third set. Again, I'm not happy it went to the third set.
Q. Was that match sort of like your season: up, down, but in the end pretty good?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I hope my season going to be good in the end. Yeah, maybe (smiling).
Q. Talk about your season. Your first title last week. How are you feeling in general?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, I think I been there but not there, you know. I played matches. I kept my ranking, but I think I can do so much more than I've done. You know, disappointed. If I look back on my results, some important matches which I should have won I basically didn't. Basically like four finals I played I didn't play well either of them. No, it's disappointing, but then it's a good thing, you know. I still got things to work on. Hope to make it better the end of the year and the new year. You know, I still have time. I have to use my future opportunities so it doesn't happen to me again.
Q. Does the win here feel like a long time ago, or does it feel pretty fresh?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, it feels pretty much a long time ago (smiling). I try to focus. It's a new era, kind of. It's been three years, you know. I have it, but I don't think about it. I want to try to do it more times, just do my best. Yeah, that's it. It feels long ago.
Q. Can you talk about her speed and defense.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I have to say I have a lot of respect for her game. With her height, her strength, with the speed and power in tennis, now it's harder. She deserve a lot. She compete so good. In the second set, I've been playing with myself basically. If I've done error, I lose it. If I win, I win it, you know. She doesn't play fast. I play much faster. She doesn't have good serve, but she can win, you know, against me. Like she can put aces or something. But she makes you play every ball. She makes you play uncomfortable shots. She has very smart game. You have to be really focused every ball.
Q. Another Yankee hat you have there.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Another style hat. It's my favorite color. It fits me, so okay.
Q. Teal is the color. Ever see the San Jose Sharks, the hockey team?
Q. That's the color of the team.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I don't know. I just like the color, that's it. I don't know.
Q. What does etiquette mean to play in front of a New York crowd here?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I feel like it's a city I had success in. It's always going to feel great. Today was my first match since 2004 on Ashe in singles. It means a lot to me. I feel great out there. It's always amazing to come and play. I feel very comfortable on that court. Some central courts, I don't feel very comfortable. Here I feel nice. I feel good.
Q. People have been talking about since the beginning of the tournament that the top half is much loaded.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't see the draw. I don't know.
Q. Well, let me show it to you.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't want to see it (smiling).
Q. Well, the Williams sisters
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't care. I don't know.
Q. But do you feel it's better to be in your half of the draw at all?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't care where I am. I just want to play my matches, whoever I face. It doesn't depend on me where is the draw, so why should I care? I just care about my next opponent, that's it.
Q. But why you don't look at the draw?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: What's the point? What's the point to see where is Maria, where is Serena? What's the point if still I have three, four, five matches to go? Sometimes you play the matches in front before you actually be there, so it's not necessary.
Q. To dream.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't want to dream. I want a reality.
Q. Are you happy the Williams sisters, because they're lower ranked, are in the other half of the draw?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't care where they are.
THE MODERATOR: I think we need to move to a different subject.
Q. In the Fed Cup we have five Italians coming to Moscow. They all lost. So they are not anymore at the US Open. Are you going to play?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I am playing for sure, hundred percent.
Q. You play?
Q. Because Petrova and Chakvetadze played singles in the semifinals against the U.S. Are you going to be there to play singles? You asked to play singles only?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You mean, they want me to play doubles?
Q. Do you go because you want to play singles?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I want to go because I want to defend colors of my country, and I didn't go to semifinals because I had problems with my shoulder. Straight after the semifinals, captain asked me if I would like to play. I said for sure, definitely I would love to. After here I go to Russia to prepare, play for my country.
Q. Having all the Italians lost here, that means you are the strong favorite.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, you know, it's tennis. What says on paper, it doesn't matter much. We have to go in with team spirit. Italian team won last year, and in final. They got to have something. We got to respect our points. Doesn't matter who's favorite or not. We got to just come there and just play our best.
To play in Russia it's pretty much pressure. Hopefully we're going to enjoy it so much.
Q. This is the only major where they play a tiebreak in the fifth set for the men. Do you feel like tiebreaks on a faster surface are more important, you're more apt to get into them and you have to be ready to play them on grass or cement?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, it's tricky. Tiebreak is pretty tricky thing. It just comes two free points and it can change everything. There's lots of pressure when tiebreak comes. It's hard, but this is something different. I think the tennis players should be ready to play both.
Q. Do you practice them a bit more coming into the hard court season?
Q. Yes.
Q. Marat said the other day his past championship doesn't mean that much to him. It's a great memory, but it's in the past. He's in the present. When you look back on your past championship, do you feel the same way or do you feel that's a source of pride and a confidence builder?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I kind of agree with Marat. I read this this morning in newspaper. But in the same thing, it's a pride of mine. It's great achievement for me. It was the best one. So I cannot say it's in the past, forget it. I cannot say that. Definitely now it's new thing, new start. Everything you have to do -- hopefully to do it more, try to do it more times. Definitely it bring some confidence to know that you can do that.
It makes difference to have one or not to have one. People who don't have it don't know how they gonna feel, how can they go through. This is good experience. So it's both things together for me.
Q. Chakvetadze, she's had a really strong last few months. Do you think she's ready to make a big step at a major?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think everything is possible. I think the draw is pretty open. But the thing is, what's her best result in a Grand Slam?
Q. Maybe a quarter.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: The question is if she can handle the pressure. The question is for every player, I think.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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post #135 of 1337 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 03:11 PM
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Re: Sveta articles

Kuznetsova Makes Quick Work of Medina Garrigues

By Lisa Zimmerman
Saturday, September 1, 2007

The match between 2004 US Open women’s champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anabel Medina Garrigues was slow and methodical from beginning to end, with Kuznetsova, this year’s No. 4 seed winning, 6-3, 6-1, in just 57 minutes.
The crowd was subdued but attentive, as the two women battled mostly from the baseline -- in fact, No. 31 Medina Garrigues approached the net only twice.
The 22-year-old Kuznetsova showed her emotions more openly, keeping up a steady conversation with herself, while the 25-year-old Medina Garrigues on the other hand, remained more poker-faced throughout the duration of the 57-minute match.
The Russian Kuznetsova, who now makes her home in Monte Carlo, became frustrated early on with some of her misplaced shots. Although she was able to use her strong serve and forehand to her advantage, she struggled with her backhand, and did her best to keep play on her forehand side.
While solid on some points, Medina Garrigues, who is from Spain, was less consistent and not quite as quick in making her way around the court.
Serving at 4-2, an errant backhand into the net by Kuznetsova gave the game to her opponent. She then broke back and served to win the set.
The second set started out strong for Kuznetsova who broke Medina Garrigues in the first game without allowing her to score even a point. Although her backhand continued to vex her, she went up 4-0 before Medina Garrigues was able to take her first game. Finally, the obvious result was finalized with Kuznetsova moving on to the fourth round.
She next faces Victoria Azarenka from Belarus, who earlier in the day upset No. 16 Martina Hingis.

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