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goldenlox
Jun 17th, 2004, 07:56 PM
Kuznetsova - rising up the rankings
KUZNETSOVA BOOSTS RUSSIAN REVOLUTION By Mark Staniforth, PA Sport

Svetlana Kuznetsova is the latest Russian to spearhead her country's assault on the top of women's tennis.

The 18-year-old Muscovite reached number 14 in the world rankings this week after a breakthrough fortnight in the Middle East.

Last year's surprise Wimbledon quarter-finalist has barely broken stride since joining the senior circuit.

Successful and educational doubles pairings with veteran legends Martina Navratilova and Todd Woodbridge are clearly beginning to pay off.

Kuznetsova has won the WTA's performance of the week award for two weeks running, following her Dubai quarter-final win over Venus Williams by becoming the first player to snap Justine Henin-Hardenne's winning streak this week.

The Belgian world number one had won all 16 of her matches this year until Kuznetsova came from a set behind to reach the final in Doha.

"I believed in myself," said Kuznetsova. "I knew I could win the match. You get experience from playing the top players."

Kuznetsova's is not a stereotypical story of overbearing parents thrusting a tennis racket into daughter's hands before she can walk.

She grew up in Moscow in a family of cyclists and admits she was largely oblivious to the new trend begun by stars like Anna Kournikova and Marat Safin.

Only in her early teens did Kuznetsova belatedly begin to excel enough to earn a scholarship at the famous Emilio Sanchez Academy in Spain.

But she admits that having reached a competitive level the influx of young Russian rivals only helped spur her on to success.

Kuznetsova is only the fifth-ranked Russian at number 14, behind Anastasia Myskina - who beat her in Qatar - Elena Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova. Five more Russians take the total to 10 in the top 100.

Kutnetsova said: "I think there is no doubt the success is because we are so many.

"We compete against each other because everybody wants to prove they are the best in their country.

"One person gets good results and the other wants to do better. We are very competitive but it is all positive. We are friends with each other - but when we get on court we fight.

"It is also because of the mentality. It is very tough practising in Russia and you never have sponsorship. There is a lot of talent but you have to get lucky."

In Kuznetsova's case she admits she has been boosted by the close attention of a player almost 30 year her senior.

Navratilova has helped Kuznetsova garner 10 doubles titles already, including two this year.

And the young Russian admits she is lucky to have such a legend on her side as she begins to focus on cracking the top 10.

"I learn a lot from Martina - I learn and learn. She shows me lots of things.

"She explains what she thinks about my game and what I can do to get better."
__________________


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© Jorge Ferrari
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Players Quickly Taking Notice of Kuznetsova

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - After Svetlana Kuznetsova's performances over the last two weeks, there's probably more than just a few players at this week's Pacific Life Open who paid closer attention to where the Russian was in the draw. "I’m enjoying playing my game now," said Kuznetsova, who is the No.12 seed this week in Indian Wells. "I do not feel any pressure with the attention I’m getting. I love people to come and watch me. That’s what we do, we play for people and I want to play my best and be able to give them a good show."

Although she won two singles titles back in 2002 (Helsinki, Bali), it was rather clear from the first week that this was the year that Kuznetsova's game was ready to move to a new level. Despite a first round setback in Hobart, the 18-year-old reached the quarterfinals in Gold Coast and fought through a tough straight sets loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne in the third round at the Australian Open.

Kuznetsova, who resides in her birthplace of St. Petersburg, took the next four weeks off before having her first true breakthrough of the season in Dubai, marching through to the final, but not before a bit of commotion along the way. She began the week by upsetting No.7 seed Francesca Schiavone and two rounds later made the stunning upset of No.2 seed Venus Williams.

Her semifinal match saw another seed pushed aside, this time No.5 Ai Sugiyama falling victim to the Russian's thunderous game before a rematch with Henin-Hardenne awaited Kuznetsova in the final. The two battled to a tiebreak in the first set before the World No.1 emerged from the first set and finished off the match in the second.

The loss to Henin-Hardenne didn't derail Kuznetsova's spirits and she only showed up stronger the following week in Doha, losing only seven games in wins against Stephanie Cohen-Aloro and Anca Barna. Meghann Shaughnessy was lucky enough to take the first set in their quarterfinal clash before the Russian ignited to blaze into the semifinals.

Once again, there sat Henin-Hardenne - riding a 16-match winning streak and the only person on Tour looking more invincible at the moment than Kuznetsova. But this time, a confident Kuznetsova handed Henin-Hardenne her first loss of the year and marched into a title match for the second straight week.

Kuznetsova began the year at No.36 in the world, but her recent back-to-back championship match appearances have pushed her all the way to a career-best No.14.

"It’s good to have a ranking goal, but for me, the most important thing is to keep improving my game and my concentration, the rankings will follow," Kuznetsova said. "At the beginning of the year, I was aiming at the Top 20, I didn’t expect to reach it so fast. I am playing well at the moment and I am enjoying these past two weeks."

One of Kuznetsova's big inspirations this year has been former doubles partner and current mentor (as part of the WTA Tour's Partners For Success program) Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. Kuznetsova teamed with Sanchez-Vicario to win three doubles titles in 2002 and the former World No.1 has been a big motivator this season.

"She is my mentor on and off the court," Kuznetsova said. "I spoke to her tonight right after my match (against Justine). She’s always giving me advice. I can talk to her about anything whether it’s tennis or anything else. She also made me more confident and believed in me. When she asked me to play doubles with her, I was very honored."

Kuznetsova, who is currently ranked No.5 in doubles, was also honored when tennis legend Martina Navratilova personally approached Sanchez-Vicario and asked if she could start playing with Kuznetsova once the Spaniard retired at the end of the 2002 season.

"Martina has also always been good to me," Kuznetsova said. "She taught me a lot, mainly to have a better attitude during matches and to be positive. She also told me to move more forward, and to come to the net, serve and volley. I try to do this now. Basically, she’s taught me to be more professional."

Playing alongside two of tennis' greatest players has surely benefitted the 18-year-old, but having a family pedigree filled with athletic greatness definitely plays a part in Kuznetsova's drive to become successful in her line of work.

Kuznetsova's father, Alexandr, has been the cycling coach to five Olympic champions and world champions and is currently the coach of Lokomotiv, the best cycling club in Russia. Her mother, Galina Tsareva is a six-time world champion and holder of 20 world records. Even brother Nikolai has found second-generation success, picking up a silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

"I’m Russian and I would love to do well for my country," Kuznetsova said. "Olympics have always been a passion in my family. My father went, my brother went and won a silver medal. My mother, who won six world championships, never went although it was her dream to go. She was not able to go. So now, I also want to do this for my mother. It will make her so so proud and happy."

Kuznetsova's leap in the rankings definitely can't hurt her chances of reaching this summer's Olympic Games in Athens as a singles participant. She's also already began preparations on the doubles side, pairing this year with countrywoman Elena Likhovtseva. The duo are currently in the top position of the Porsche Race to the Championships Team standings and have won titles in Gold Coast and Doha.

goldenlox
Jun 17th, 2004, 09:34 PM
To Kuznetsova, what Myskina has is a lot of fight. "She just fights very much," Kuznetsova said, "and she never gives you an easy game. She runs. And she's clever, you know."



Kuznetsova's assets are more robust. She might not be able to lift a building, but she looks as if she could. With her strength, she could be the most nimble of the Russians.

"Maybe," she said.

A modest sort, Kuznetsova, now ranked No. 9. Also a dedicated individual. She has chosen to make her base not in her place of birth, St. Petersburg, but in Barcelona, Spain, where the climate is more conducive to playing tennis than it is in the place associated with the czars. She acknowledged she misses her homeland.

"But if I want to be something in my life, I have to do something," she explained. "I can be No. 1, I think."

A large statement by a player who has yet to break through in a WTA Tour singles event, but listen to Kuznetsova and one gets the feeling her ambitions are realistic.

"I want to improve my speed, my game, everything," she said. "I'm looking for perfection in everything. It's like I am in competition with myself."

But for one point, it might have been Kuznetsova being acclaimed in Paris rather than Myskina. In her match against Myskina, Kuznetsova, serving, held match point. "But I was rushing too much," she said. She failed on a ground stroke and Myskina was able to complete a 1-6, 6-4, 8-6 conquest. From there, Myskina went on to her straight-set decimation of Elena Dementieva (also due at La Costa) in the final.

This will be only the second appearance in Wimbledon's main draw for Kuznetsova. In her first a year ago, she was among a record five Russian women who gained the fourth round (Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva, Myskina and the stylish Sharapova being the others).

Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, the tour's ranking player, stopped Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-2. Kuznetsova's effort suggested her game fits nicely on grass, but she said she doesn't regard grass as her preferred surface. "Not really," she said. "I think I can play anywhere."

John Inverdale
Jul 9th, 2004, 11:05 PM
Fearsome Kuznetsova freewheels into final

Russian cycling's loss is tennis's gain

Richard Jago in Dubai
Saturday February 28, 2004
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)

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Kuznetsova: St Petersburg powerhouse
Svetlana Kuznetsova, an 18-year-old from a family of world-beating cyclists, proved herself a rising new force by beating her third seed of the week here and bursting into the world's top 20 for the first time.



After eliminating the world No5 Ai Sugiyama, Kuznetsova revealed how she was allowed to escape the world of wheels. She tried cycling when her father Alexandr, who coached both her mother and brother to Olympic medals, introduced her to his obsession.

"My first race I did well - I came last," she said with a deadpan face. "The second race was so boring I stopped. So my father said 'Try something else.' And so I did."

It may prove a decisive moment for tennis. Ten years later the powerhouse from St Petersburg followed her conquest of Venus Williams with a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Sugiyama with a frightening display of hitting in which she conceded a mere eight points in a 17-minute first set.

It meant that, as Venus was winging her way back to the United States, and Serena Williams was extending her absence to eight months by withdrawing from next week's tournament in Doha, the formidably built Russian was reaching her biggest final. The Gulf sunshine beams down on a shifting world order.

"I was shocked by the first set," said Sugiyama. "She's extremely good and she can be even better." How good, depends principally on the inside of the teenager's head and upon how reliably she can harness a heavy first serve and fearsome forehand without runaway errors.

The Japanese manoeuvred her way back to a situation where she had two points for a double break at 1-3 in the second set, finding ways to keep the ball in play long enough to gain some free points. Kuznetsova knows this must not happen too often.

"I tried to think of it as like a game in which I have just broken serve and it is important not to lose serve yourself," she said. "I thought today would be tougher than yesterday [against Venus]."

Kuznetsova now plays the defending champion, Justine Henin-Hardenne, the world No1, who reached the final with a 6-4, 6-2 win over the unseeded American Meghann Shaughnessy.

Henin played with greater fluency in the second set and made a vastly increased ratio of net attacks, of which 92% were successful.

"I know I need to play this way if I am to have a chance of winning Wimbledon," she said, referring to the only grand slam title she has yet to win.

Henin upset some people in Belgium by withdrawing with mild bronchitis from last week's Antwerp event and she is keen to prove she was right to play here in the sun by winning the title a second time. But she knows Kuznetsova has been leathering the ball perhaps as hard as the Williams sisters. "I must be careful," Henin acknowledged.

-Em-
Jul 10th, 2004, 11:27 AM
"My first race I did well - I came last," she said with a deadpan face. "The second race was so boring I stopped. So my father said 'Try something else.' And so I did."


:lol: :lol: :lol:

btw-->thanks for these arcticles guys :yeah: :yeah: :yeah:

veryborednow
Jul 10th, 2004, 02:32 PM
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Teenager Svetlana Kuznetsova kept the young Russian revolution on the march as she battled back to grab the Hastings Direct International Championship from Daniela Hantuchova at Eastbourne.

The second seed came from behind to win 2-6 7-6 6-4 in two hours and eight minutes, and was at one stage two points from defeat when wild card Hantuchova served for the match in the second set.

And although former world number five Hantuchova has put her career back on the rails, after slipping out of the top 50, the 18-year-old Kuznetsova from St Petersburg fully deserved her first title this year and her first ever on grass.

Compatriot Anastasia Myskina won the French Open earlier this month, beating another Russian Elena Dementieva in the final, while Maria Sharapova won the DFS Classic title at Birmingham just a week after Anna Chakvetadze was edged out of the Surbiton Trophy final by Japan's Akiko Morigami.

The first set, won by Hantuchova in just 30 minutes, was exactly in line with this week's Eastbourne form.

Kuznetsova had lost the opener in both her two previous encounters while the Slovak had taken the first set in three of her four earlier rounds until meeting, and eventually beating, top seed Amelie Mauresmo on Friday.

Hantuchova was soon producing her armoury of forehand passes down the line, feeding off the speed of the Russian's groundstrokes and, after making the breakthrough to lead 2-1, she comfortably consolidated in the next game.

Kuznetsova, seeded eight at Wimbledon, soon grew frustrated at her own errors but it was her rival's piercing accuracy that did the damage. Hantuchova, full of confidence, broke through again for 5-2 and then closed up the set when the Russian hit a return from the baseline long and wide.

But neither player offered the other much opportunity again until deep into the second set when Hantuchova had to fight off two break points at 2-2 with a pair of unreturnable serves and then another one two games later.

Kuznetsova's serve was rattled down with metronomic regularity, winning two games to love, but she slammed her racket down after missing another opportunity to get the break and the pressure clearly took its toll as the Russian handed Hantuchova her chance to take the match with a disastrous service game.

Sheer bravery got Kuznetsova out of trouble, though, breaking back at 6-5 down on the Hantuchova serve to force the tie-break.

And that turned out a formality for the powerful Kuznetsova delivery plus one particularly stunning cross-court backhand as she routed Hantuchova 7-2 to tie up the match.

There was nothing to choose between them until the ninth game of the decider when Hantuchova, having rescued herself with two big serves from 30-down, volleyed wide to be broken at 4-5.

And although Kuznetsova faced three break-back points in the 10th she persevered with her serve and ground out a solid victory.

A tired Kuznetsova could not take the chance to add more winnings as she and partner Elena Likhovtseva were beaten 6-4 6-4 by Australia's Alicia Molik and Magui Serna of Spain in the doubles final.

veryborednow
Jul 10th, 2004, 02:39 PM
Battling Kuznetsova Wins First Grass Court Title
19th June 2004 - Report by Rob Eyton-Jones

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Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova battled back from the brink of defeat to win her first ever grass court title at the Hastings Direct International Championships at Eastbourne today.

The second seed was at one stage two points from defeat when wild card Daniela Hantuchova served for the match in the second set. But Kuznetsova came from behind to win 2-6 7-6 6-4.

"It is another great result for Russian tennis," said Kuznetsova, who will turn 19 on the first Sunday of the Wimbledon fortnight where she was a quarter-finalist on her debut last year and is seeded eight this time.

"But I must stop giving opponents a set start because that makes it much more difficult.

"I got frustrated because I made too many simple mistakes to begin with. I find it hard to get into matches sometimes and I was playing a much-improved player today.

"I hit with her at the start of the week but all I could do in the final was stay in there with her and hope my game came together. Happily it did. Now everyone wants to know how I will play at Wimbledon. I can't say I am going to win it but I'm one of many who could."

Hantuchova won the first set in just 30 minutes and she missed an opportunity to wrap up the match at 6-5 in the second.

"I had the match in my hands but didn't do anything about it," she said. "In the end I was just trying to make her play as many balls as possible because her serve was better controlled than mine in the wind and she finished the best

"But I would settle for a week like this after winning four matches against good players and I've shown myself I can get back into the top 10 again - this time maybe even better than before."

In the doubles final Kuznetsova and fellow Russian, Elena Likhovtseva lost out 6-4 6-4 to Alicia Molik from Australia and Spain's Magui Serna

veryborednow
Jul 10th, 2004, 02:42 PM
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Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 18 year old talent from St. Petersburg, Russia, introduced herself to the tennis world at the US-Open girls competition in 2001 where she won the title, and it seems like she liked the feeling of getting cups. Only one year later, still only 16, she won 2 WTA-trophies! And though neither Helsinki nor Bali are the most famous tournaments she beat players like Patty Schnyder, Sucha, Chladkova, Krasnoroutskaya, Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez on her way to those titles!

If that start of her career should remind some of you to the start of Jelenas career, her game doesnt at all. Svetlanas first serve is alright, but her second serve reminds the spectators more to a throw in at football as to a serve in tennis. And also her weapons are different to Jelenas. In fact: beside her savety on court, and the abiltiy to run down shots and bounce everything back which comes across the net, she has no weapons at all.

And it was exactly those abilities, where both Schiavone and Majoli found no proper way to play against, and so the russian no6 proceeded to the second rounds of Dubai and Doha at early stages this year. But reaching second rounds is certainly not the career-target of Svetlana. At Indian Wells she beat the top-russian player Anastassia Myskina in 3 tough sets to reach for the first time in her career a third round of a tierI tournament, and only one week later at the Nasdaq 100 Open, she had the honour to play the worlds most talented player for the first time in her career and lost to Jelena 6-7 and 1-6 :-)

The european clay court season was not Svetlanas, but at Wimbledon she stormed into the quarterfinal where she only lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne, and it was Justine again, who stopped her next run at the Accura Classics, where the 1.74 meters tall girl reached the semis!


Svetlana Krznetsova already reached position no 26 in the WTA ranking system, and it seems that only Top 10 players are able to beat her on fast courts, as the list of the girls who beat her on either hard or grasscourts in 2003 sounds like a list of the "who is who" in womens tennis: V. Williams (Australian Open), Capriati (Dubai), Justine Henin (twice) and Jelena....

Lets hope i can fit that word in brackets behind Justine Henin, behind Jelenas name in my next preview, too :-)

Last i found a funny fact which could give us some hope: It looks like if Svetlana looses to a player she doesnt do it only once! She is 0-18 (!!!!) in junior matches to Maria Arkhipova, who is also 18 years old, but nowdays not even ranked in the WTA :-)

veryborednow
Jul 10th, 2004, 02:49 PM
Svetlana Kuznetsova

Thursday June 17, 2004
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)

Nationality: Russian
Age: 18
Lives: Moscow
Height: 5ft 8in
Weight: 11st 7lb
Turned pro: 2000
Tournaments won: 2 (0 grand slams)
Wimbledons: 1 since 2003
Best performance: Quarter-finalist 2003
Career prize money: £726,049
World ranking: 10

Baselines

View from the locker room
"Kuzi" is quite the comedienne behind the scenes, keeping her fellow Russian players amused between episodes of Countdown. Her mentor is that other noted stand-up, Martina Navratilova.

Bet you didn't know ...
Has more cycling genes in her blood than the dodgiest Tour de France rider. Dad Alexander coached five Olympic champions; mum Galina was a six-time world champion; and brother Nikolay won silver at the 1996 Olympics. But they were all rubbish at tennis.

On court

Wimbledon wiz or wuss?
Made last year's quarter-finals despite it being her first summer on grass. Attacking, thumping tennis was ideal for the surface, although she could not quite get the hang of making daisy chains.

Annoying tic
Penchant for wearing baseball caps low over her face and stomping along the baseline with chin firmly on chest makes her look as if she's on the run from Interpol.

In form or in tatters
Has proved her impressive debut season with the grown-ups was no fluke by reaching three finals and not once being sent to bed without her supper.

McEnroe moments
Runs around too much to throw wobblies - powered by a pair of legs of which Mark Hughes (or even Navratilova) would be proud.

Off court

Love game
Too busy working her way up the rankings to have a love life so, as yet, no one has tried to get under Sveta's sveta.

Home hero?
Cannot compete with the likes of Maria Sharapova in the glamour stakes, hence the time-honoured move into comedy.

Private passion
Er, Lleyton Hewitt. She is apparently a great admirer of his grit, determination and fight. Any thoughts, Kim?

Championship points

Expert prediction
Good outside bet but pressure of being seeded may see her run out of legs in the fourth round.

Don't rule out ...
Skipton Working Men's Club proudly presenting for your delectation the comic stylings of Svetlana Kuznetsova: adults only, no refunds.

veryborednow
Jul 10th, 2004, 02:52 PM
How difficult was it to find courts to play on when you first started playing tennis?
Courts to find are easy if you have money. Free courts, you cannot find there. It's not like maybe here. I don't know how it works here but there you are always paying. You have to pay for everything. When I go to my city I pay for everything; club, courts, ball, coach, practice partner ... everything.

Does your federation help you out? Do they have a facility where you can practice?
No. My father, he pays for me for everything. The Russian Federation did send us here to play the team competition. I think it is very good that we came one week ago to practice before the tournament. So we have been here ... our team; boys and girls. We were together all the time so now we are like brothers and sisters and we are really good now. We played and won both titles so it was very good. They paid for us and will pay hospitality for Orange Bowl for me.

Growing up, your father helped you along. Did he start you in tennis?
All my family are cyclists. My father still coaches. My mother she was a very good cyclist. My brother was also good but he stopped now. He is 29 and has a family and works with my father. My father said, "go play tennis, just go, go somewhere but not bike".....I said, "OK." When I was young I did cycle. I was racing twice or three times in my life. I was only six years old.

Your father supported your tennis?
He's a very good coach! It is similar, the strategy of the sport. He is helping, sometimes you can't find the way where you have to go. He tells me how much I have to practice. My mom helps all the time with me. I've been changing coaches so much. My mother, she knows very good about sports and everything. She's won 6 championships of the World in sprint in track. She will say, "this coach doesn't want to work." She doesn't like this thing. We were changing, changing, changing and now we finally found a place.

You found a coach you are happy with?
It's not a coach. I'm practicing at a club. It's Emilio Sanchez, in Barcelona Spain. I am staying now in Spain all the time.

Are you traveling a lot?
Yes I do. I've been everywhere this year. Australia, Japan, Brazil ... everywhere.

Did your Mom travel a lot?
My mother did the same thing before when I did not have a private coach. I still don't have it. Before I went to the club, she was traveling with me. She was helping instead of coach. She understands tennis. She knows what she is speaking about and was helping me, but sometimes children do not listen to the parents.

Any other brothers and sisters?
Just one brother, Nikolai. He was also very good in cycling. He was in Atlanta 1996. They got the silver, second place. My father was the coach of them.

So, why is your father good at coaching bicycling and tennis?
My father, he is very good in strategy. You can see the results every time. He has coached 5 Olympic champions. I think that is good result.

How is tennis in Russia now. Is it very difficult for the players?
I think there is a lot of talent and a lot of girls that are very good but every one stop because of money.

1999 world number one, Lena Krasnoroutskaia is from Russia. Do you know her?
When I started to play I saw her. She was number one (juniors). After, when I was grow, I didn't see her because she was playing WTA. Now I saw her in Wimbledon and we met. I said "hi, how ya doing," and now we know each other.

Do you know of any young players that are coming up in Russia? How about Maria Kirilenko and Dasha Chemarda?
Dasha is younger then me by one year and Maria two years. I didn't see her play and Maria I didn't see for three years. I know she has coach and sponsor so she should be OK. Now it will be up to her. In Russia there are a lot of players that are good that do not have sponsors. There are a lot of young young people that are doing very well. Coaches are getting crazy. They are starting to practice unbelievable times and breaking the players.. Some practice 8 hours a day at 11 years old. 8 hours in the day ... it's impossible.

How much practice did you do growing up?
I have not been practicing a lot. Now, just doing a lot in club. 6, 4, 5 hours, it depends on how I am feeling. If I am down, no one will push me. Everyone trust me that I know what to do. If I feel good, I practice more. I remember when I was young, I was with a coach, for about two years and we were in practice with 4 people on one court. Four people on one court for one hour. The court was indoors in a small place and the mountain climbers also used this area to practice. They would climb over the roof as we practiced!

Are there any tennis camps in Russia.
There are some but not big.

Where are you going from here?
Next year I will play as many pros as I can, but you know they are limited.

Will you be playing junior Grand Slams?
I don't know, I would like to play Roland Garros but if there is another tournament on at the same time, I will play that.

John Inverdale
Jul 14th, 2004, 08:40 PM
Russia’s Kuznetsova outlasts Martinez to win Bali WTA title

BALI (Indonesia): Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova won her second title in two months when she outlasted eighth-seeded Conchita Martinez 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 in the final of the Wismilak International on Sunday.

The win will catapult the 17-year-old, ranked 264 at the beginning of the year and needing a wild card to enter the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open, into the world's top 50 next week for the first time.

Martinez, who was playing in her first final since the 2000 French Open, claimed the opening set of the two-hour, 43-minute marathon by breaking to lead 5-3 and then holding off a break point in the next game. A disappointed Kuznetsova then dropped her serve to fall behind 1-0 in the second set, but she levelled at 2-2 when Martinez netted a weak backhand and then went on to win the tie-break.

In a dramatic final set, Kuznetsova chose to serve and volley much more than she had in the opening two sets. She broke for 1-0, but Martinez levelled at 2-2. The Russian, who won the Helsinki event in August as a qualifier, then broke to take a 4-3 lead, but failed to serve out the match at 5-4. Kuznetsova held four match points before Martinez eventually levelled with her third break point, but Martinez then dropped her serve again after leading 40-0. Kuznetsova didn't waste her second opportunity.

Kuznetsova is coached by Emilio Sanchez and also works with his sister, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.

They are close friends, and at the awards ceremony Kuznetsova dedicated her title to her semi-final opponent Sanchez-Vicario, saying it was she who deserved to win because she had taught her so much. "The match was very, very tough for me mentally," said the 2001 ITF World Junior Champion. "It was a different situation to Helsinki when I won my first WTA title. I wasn't nervous there at all. But here it was very difficult because having to beat Arantxa yesterday was the most difficult day of my life, and so I felt obligated to win today. "That's why I couldn't play my good game at all. When you're so nervous you cannot do anything. I just tried to hit my good forehand and tried to make her move because she doesn't do that well. So I'm not happy with the way I played but I'm happy that I won."

Despite the disappointment of her defeat, Martinez could take some consolation from having come so close to winning her first title since the German Open in May 2000. "Something changed when I was up a set and 2-0. I didn't play as aggressive as I should have," said Martinez. "I had so many chances too in the tiebreak, but the match was tight and it went her way. "Right now, when you lose a match like that of course it's disappointing, but it's good to be in the final and to fight for a title. I felt like I played pretty good the whole week and it was a close final." —AFP

John Inverdale
Jul 14th, 2004, 08:54 PM
Svetlana Kuznetsova arrived in the lounge, sweaty and distraught—she was late for an appointment. She hugged a carrying case in which sat an immaculately groomed Yorkshire terrier with a tiny blue ribbon in its hair. "I had problems with Patrick," she said. "Patrick is Dementieva's dog. Dementieva had to practice. But they wouldn't let Dementieva take the dog on court, so Dementieva ask me please, please take Patrick. So I had to find a basket, to hide him in, and I had trouble, such trouble, getting him into the lounge."

Kuznetsova had won qualifying matches to get into the draw. "I started tennis when I was six—everybody in Russia starts tennis at six or seven," she said. "I was born in Leningrad, that is again now St. Petersburg. Now I live in Barcelona, where weather is warm, where my family came when I was twelve. I was coached for a few years by Marat Safin's mother, but now I am coached by Emilio Sanchez, who is brother of Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, my best friend." She picked up the dog and began murmuring to him in Russian.

John Inverdale
Jul 15th, 2004, 10:33 AM
Women's tour reads like a Tolstoy novel



By Jerry Magee
STAFF WRITER

June 15, 2004

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040615/images/2004-06-15tennis.jpg
GABRIEL BOUYS / Getty Images
Svetlana Kuznetsova (above) played French Open winner Anastasia Myskina better than anyone at Roland Garros.

Classic match played at Balboa Tennis Club (http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040615/news_lz1s15balboa.html)
Behold the Russian women's tennis player. She is as slender as a ballerina. Fit Anastasia Myskina, Nadia Petrova, Maria Sharapova, Elena Bovina and Dinara Safina with ballet shoes and they wouldn't be misplaced in "Swan Lake."

Then there's Svetlana Kuznetsova. A powerhouse, clearly, at 5-foot-8 and 161 pounds. She looks as if she could do a day's work with a shovel if need be.

Not that she doesn't do pretty well with a tennis racket, and at 18 – she won't be 19 until June 27 – she is bound to do a great deal better if strength and the ability to move quickly mean anything in tennis, which they do.

Kuznetsova was on the telephone from Eastbourne, England, yesterday as a means of heralding, first, Wimbledon, which begins Monday, and the Acura Classic, beginning July 14 at the La Costa Resort & Spa. The Acura folks have attracted all the ranking Russian women to their $1.3 million get-together, which is a coup for them, Russia being very big at the moment in women's tennis.

At a recent count, six of the 15 top-ranked players and 11 of the leading 50 on the WTA Tour were Russians, with French Open winner Myskina holding the highest place among them at No. 3 after becoming the first woman from her country to claim a Grand Slam championship.

She did it delicately, as it were. There is nothing forceful in Myskina's game. Her ground strokes are not that piercing, nor is her serve. She might seem to be an heir to Martina Hingis, who got along very well with tactical expertise approaching a genius level until a foot injury interrupted her career.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040615/images/tennis2.jpg
WARREN LITTLE / Getty Images
At 17, 6-foot Maria Sharapova is making a lot of fans forget about fellow Russian Anna Kournikova.
"Might seem," we said. Kuznetsova said the games of Myskina and Hingis are not at all alike. "She didn't run," Svetlana said of Hingis. "She was like Andre Agassi."

Her point was that in Agassi's matches, it is the other guy who has to do much of the running.

To Kuznetsova, what Myskina has is a lot of fight. "She just fights very much," Kuznetsova said, "and she never gives you an easy game. She runs. And she's clever, you know."

Kuznetsova's assets are more robust. She might not be able to lift a building, but she looks as if she could. With her strength, she could be the most nimble of the Russians.

"Maybe," she said.

A modest sort, Kuznetsova, now ranked No. 9. Also a dedicated individual. She has chosen to make her base not in her place of birth, St. Petersburg, but in Barcelona, Spain, where the climate is more conducive to playing tennis than it is in the place associated with the czars. She acknowledged she misses her homeland.

"But if I want to be something in my life, I have to do something," she explained. "I can be No. 1, I think."

A large statement by a player who has yet to break through in a WTA Tour singles event, but listen to Kuznetsova and one gets the feeling her ambitions are realistic.

"I want to improve my speed, my game, everything," she said. "I'm looking for perfection in everything. It's like I am in competition with myself."

But for one point, it might have been Kuznetsova being acclaimed in Paris rather than Myskina. In her match against Myskina, Kuznetsova, serving, held match point. "But I was rushing too much," she said. She failed on a ground stroke and Myskina was able to complete a 1-6, 6-4, 8-6 conquest. From there, Myskina went on to her straight-set decimation of Elena Dementieva (also due at La Costa) in the final.

This will be only the second appearance in Wimbledon's main draw for Kuznetsova. In her first a year ago, she was among a record five Russian women who gained the fourth round (Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva, Myskina and the stylish Sharapova being the others).

Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, the tour's ranking player, stopped Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-2.

Kuznetsova's effort suggested her game fits nicely on grass, but she said she doesn't regard grass as her preferred surface. "Not really," she said. "I think I can play anywhere."

Myskina has chosen not to compete in the Wimbledon prelude at Eastbourne. Her rationale: "Winning a Grand Slam event takes a lot out of you."

Whether Martina Navratilova will determine to play singles at Wimbledon is still uncertain, a WTA Tour spokesman said yesterday. Navratilova indicated she would accept a wild card into the main draw in southwest London, but losing to Elena Likhovtseva 6-4, 6-2 in an Eastbourne qualifying match has left the game's grand dame, a nine-time Wimbledon champion, with second thoughts.

When Navratilova began her return to tennis, she chose Kuznetsova as her doubles partner. A wise choice. According to Svetlana, it was Navratilova who severed their association.

"She wanted to play with an American (Lisa Raymond) in order to get ready for the Olympics," said Kuznetsova, who plans to partner with Likhovtseva in Athens. One thing about the Russians: None of them has won a tournament in California. They will be out to change this at La Costa. They're coming, and they're coming in numbers.

goldenlox
Jul 29th, 2004, 11:58 AM
Russian hits skids in good way

By Jerry Magee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
July 29, 2004

CARLSBAD – The skid marks Svetlana Kuznetsova was leaving yesterday were long enough to have gotten her arrested. And she wasn't in an automobile.

When the Russian woman would move wide for a shot and slide during her 6-1, 6-2 second-round ouster of Daniela Hantuchova, she would scar the stadium court at La Costa Resort and Spa. One of the skid marks she created was at least two feet long.

This is one strong-legged person, and she hasn't had to work at it. She is from a family of cyclists. Her father, Alexandr, has coached five Olympic and world cycling champions. Her mother, Galina Tsareva, has won six world championships. Her brother, Nikolai, was a silver medalist in cycling at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

For cycling, Kuznetsova clearly has good genes. For tennis, too. Tennis strokes have their basis in the legs, particularly the serve. Kuznetsova, predictably, serves well.

"I kind of pull myself into the court," she said, "and I can jump. I have powerful muscles. I think my bones are bigger, you know."

One other thing: Kuznetsova can run, and fast.

The No. 7 seed, Kuznetsova has to be considered a championship factor in this $1.3 million event. Although she wouldn't have had to be at her best to get past an ill Hantuchova, she said she is playing well. She also won't have to oppose Justine Henin-Hardenne, the WTA Tour's ranking player. Henin-Hardenne is not here.

In her first six tournaments this season, Kuznetsova had to engage Henin-Hardenne four times. Kuznetsova won at Doha; the Belgian woman won at the Australian Open, Dubai and Indian Wells.

In the third round, Kuznetsova must go against her countrywoman and friend, Vera Zvonareva. They've played each other twice, once on clay and once on grass, with Zvonareva winning each time. Now they are to get together on a hardcourt.

"I'm pretty sure that when we go off the court, we will still be friends," said Kuznetsova. "The winner is going to be the one (who) plays better."

Most of the Russian players are loath to express opinions. Not Kuznetsova, who can leave some verbal skid marks as well as the other kind. To make this point, she said she expects Anastasia Myskina to outplay Maria Sharapova should they meet here, which is likely.

"She (Myskina) has much more experience, even more game, you know," said Kuznetsova. "Maybe not on grass courts; maybe she lose because of the speed."

Kuznetsova noted that Myskina, wanting to defend her status as the highest ranking Russian (No. 5), makes her strongest efforts when she is matched against other Russians.

"She just doesn't let you go," said Kuznetsova. "I know how tough it is to beat her. She knows when to play and how to play."

goldenlox
Sep 11th, 2004, 04:59 PM
Battling Kuznetsova Wins First Grass Court Title
19th June 2004 - Report by Rob Eyton-Jones

http://eastbourne.lta.org.uk/news2004/hc_04news040619finaltrophy.jpg

Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova battled back from the brink of defeat to win her first ever grass court title at the Hastings Direct International Championships at Eastbourne today.

The second seed was at one stage two points from defeat when wild card Daniela Hantuchova served for the match in the second set. But Kuznetsova came from behind to win 2-6 7-6 6-4.

"It is another great result for Russian tennis," said Kuznetsova, who will turn 19 on the first Sunday of the Wimbledon fortnight where she was a quarter-finalist on her debut last year and is seeded eight this time.

"But I must stop giving opponents a set start because that makes it much more difficult.

"I got frustrated because I made too many simple mistakes to begin with. I find it hard to get into matches sometimes and I was playing a much-improved player today.

"I hit with her at the start of the week but all I could do in the final was stay in there with her and hope my game came together. Happily it did. Now everyone wants to know how I will play at Wimbledon. I can't say I am going to win it but I'm one of many who could."

Hantuchova won the first set in just 30 minutes and she missed an opportunity to wrap up the match at 6-5 in the second.

"I had the match in my hands but didn't do anything about it," she said. "In the end I was just trying to make her play as many balls as possible because her serve was better controlled than mine in the wind and she finished the best

"But I would settle for a week like this after winning four matches against good players and I've shown myself I can get back into the top 10 again - this time maybe even better than before."

In the doubles final Kuznetsova and fellow Russian, Elena Likhovtseva lost out 6-4 6-4 to Alicia Molik from Australia and Spain's Magui Serna
I was afraid that Sveta was slumping after Eastbourne. Now she's rolling again.

veryborednow
Sep 11th, 2004, 07:08 PM
Kuznetsova reaches final


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40058000/jpg/_40058660_svet_getty_270.jpg
Dementieva stuns Capriati (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/3646422.stm)
Latest results (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/statistics/default.stm)

Svetlana Kuznetsova beat an injured Lindsay Davenport to reach the women's final at the US Open.

The American fifth seed showed her experience against the nervous Russian in the first set, breaking three times to win it 6-1 in just 21 minutes.

But Kuznetsova, seeded nine, broke early in the second and, showing greater confidence, levelled the match.

Davenport needed treatment on her left leg but after going 2-0 up, Kuznetsova broke back twice to win 1-6 6-2 6-4.

The 19-year-old is the first Russian to reach the US Open final and she said: "I don't really believe it.

"Lindsay played so well in the first set and I was just trying to hang in there. I will be ready for tomorrow night."

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/sol/shared/img/v3/end_quote.gif It would be tough to walk away knowing I can win another Grand Slam http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/sol/shared/img/v3/end_quote.gif


Lindsay Davenport

Davenport admitted it was a hard defeat to take after she came into the match on the back of 22 consecutive wins.

"I am disappointed because I had a great opportunity and I was playing so well," said Davenport.

"It is easier to take if I lose because she's playing great. And she was playing great, it is just that I was at a disadvantage.

"I tried to keep the points shorter and go for the bigger shots. I was really playing well and I wanted to continue it."

Davenport's defeat means Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo will be the new world number one when the rankings are released on Monday, replacing Justine Henin-Hardenne at the top. But Davenport hinted that her recent good form means retirement plans may be shelved. "It would be tough to walk away knowing I can win another Grand Slam," she said.

veryborednow
Sep 12th, 2004, 11:12 AM
Kuznetsova Tops Dementieva for Open Title

2 hours, 4 minutes ago




By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer

NEW YORK - Pounding ferocious forehands and covering the baseline with the muscular legs of a Tour de France rider, Svetlana Kuznetsova overwhelmed Elena Dementieva 6-3, 7-5 Saturday night in the U.S. Open's first all-Russian final.

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040912/thumb.xnyf21409120150.us_open_xnyf214.jpg (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040912/483/xnyf21409120150)
AP Photo (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040912/483/xnyf21409120150)
http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20040912/t/r1419625011.jpg (javascript: rs()
Reuters (javascript: rs() http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/auctions/cam.gifSlideshow: Tennis: U.S. Open (javascript: rs()


By all rights, Kuznetsova should have been a cycling star: Her brother and parents all won or coached others to Olympic medals and world titles in that sport. Kuznetsova gave that a shot, hated it, and moved on to tennis.



What a brilliant career move. Still just 19, with braces on her teeth, she's the U.S. Open champion, the third straight Russian woman to win a major.



As of four months ago, no Russian woman ever won a major, but Anastasia Myskina beat Dementieva in the French Open final, and Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon . Russians occupy half of the top 10 spots in the rankings.



"Russia is just a powerful country," said Kuznetsova, the youngest Open champion since Serena Williams was 17 in 1999.



Until now, Kuznetsova probably was the least-known of her country's crop of rising stars, instead most famous for being Martina Navratilova's former doubles partner. They won five titles as a pair and were the runners-up at the 2003 Open.



How anonymous is Kuznetsova? After a practice session 1 1/2 hours before the match, she walked across the National Tennis Center grounds without getting asked for autographs or photos. She might as well have been another fan in a gray sweat shirt, milling around, waiting for the U.S. Open final to start.



Indeed, during the on-court trophy presentation after the match, U.S. Tennis Association president Alan Schwartz mispronounced her name before correcting himself.



The men's final Sunday has two more recognizable players: top-ranked Roger Federer against 2001 Open champion Lleyton Hewitt. Federer, bidding to become the first man since 1988 to win three majors in a year, beat No. 5 Tim Henman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, while No. 4 Hewitt eliminated No. 28 Joachim Johansson 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 Saturday afternoon.



Saturday evening began on a somber note, with 20,524 spectators joining in a moment of silence to remember victims of Sept. 11, 2001, and the recent terrorist attack at a school in Russia. Kuznetsova and Dementieva both wore black ribbons in memory of the hundreds of Russian victims, and they walked out from the locker room wearing blue baseball caps with "FDNY" and "NYPD" to honor New York's police and fire workers.



The American flag atop the stadium was at half-staff, and a 50-foot flag was unfurled on court before the match. Dementieva asked the crowd to observe another moment of silence after the match.



"It's a great day for me as a tennis player," Dementieva said. "It's a day to remember. You lost hundreds of people on Sept. 11, 2001 — Sept. 1, 2004, we lost hundreds of children."



When play began, Kuznetsova was brilliant, striking winner after winner on the forehand side. She finished with 23 from that wing alone. Dementieva normally has just as good a forehand but was reduced to chasing shots on defense and wound up with a total of just seven winners overall — 27 fewer than Kuznetsova.



"I was playing in pain these two weeks," said Dementieva, slowed by a left leg injury that was heavily wrapped. She again was undone by some key double-faults. Her total of serving miscues wasn't nearly as high as earlier in the tournament, but she was broken in every game in which she had at least one of her four double-faults.



And unlike Dementieva's previous opponents at the Open, including new No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo and former No. 1 Jennifer Capriati, Kuznetsova stepped up to hammer forehand returns, making her opponent pay for serves around 75 mph.



Dementieva broke Kuznetsova twice in the second set, but then began the very next game with a double-fault each time en route to ceding the advantage right back. The second time, Dementieva ended the game with a double-fault, too.



When Kuznetsova held in the next game to make it 4-all, Dementieva's left leg appeared to buckle a bit while she reached for a backhand, and she went down on that knee. Dementieva was slow getting to a shot in the next game, but she somehow managed to fight off a break point with a backhand that caught the baseline.







But at 5-5, Dementieva double-faulted to break point, then sailed a forehand wide. Kuznetsova served it out, then climbed into the stands for celebratory hugs, including with Navratilova and coach Sergio Casal.

Her father sent her to work with Casal in Barcelona when Kuznetsova was 15 — sometimes she'll yell at herself on court in Spanish. Her father coached five Olympic and world cycling champions, including Kuznetsova's mother, and her brother won a silver in cycling at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Kuznetsova tried cycling but gave it up after her second race. She hadn't had much success in tennis' Grand Slam tournaments until this U.S. Open, losing in the first round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. Dementieva did that, too, but she had a great run at the U.S. Open until Saturday night.

It's the first season that three women from one country won Grand Slam titles since 1979, when Americans Barbara Jordan (Australian Open), Chris Evert (French Open) and Tracy Austin (U.S. Open) did it.

Eight straight majors hosted all-Williams or all-Belgian finals. Now, two of the past three have been all-Russian encounters. "All the Russian girls are working hard. They love to compete," Dementieva said. "Just like me, they are dying for every point."

veryborednow
Sep 12th, 2004, 11:30 AM
S. KUZNETSOVA/M. Pierce

7-6, 6-2

An interview with:

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Svetlana.

Q. How was the match for you against Mary Pierce? What is your feeling now?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: The match was tough, you know. It was pretty close, first set. But I think I had chances to break her in the first set. I just wasn't really convinced in myself. But I just felt like I can do, I can make a break, you know. Left a little bit, missed some easy balls on her serve. But I felt like match was under my control, you know. So I think this was the most important thing. I feel good and I'm looking forward to play next match.

Q. What did she tell you at the end? You spoke with her at the net.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: We're talking sometimes like in the locker room. We have pretty good friendship, you know. I was like, "If you're fine," when she pull the leg, how she was feeling. So I wish her to recover faster, and that's it.

Q. What was wrong with her?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: She said that she pulled a muscle in the last point in tiebreak.

Q. Do you still practice in Spain?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I practice in Emilio Sanchez' academy and Sergio Casal. I've practiced there since 14 and it's already five years.

Q. Who is helping you here?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Sergio Casal.

Q. Is he here?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes

Q. Is this the biggest win, most important win?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Against Mary?

Q. In general playing on this level.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I beat Justine this year, I beat Venus, I beat Sugiyama. I beat many good players. I did quarters last year in Wimbledon. I'm just looking forward to do my best the next match.

Q. Is your mother here with you this year?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. She's not.

Q. You're playing Justine Henin in the quarterfinals. What do you expect from that match?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think she didn't play yet.

Q. You could play her.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.

Q. You played her already this year.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I played her three times this year. No, four times. I lost three times and one I won. Last time I lost I had good chances. I just wasn't convinced in myself. Now I feel pretty more confident and I feel like I played -- this is my first whole year that I played as many tournaments as I won. Because before I had age eligibility rule. I feel I'm a little mature in my game. I control better my emotions. I know maybe better what to do in difficult moments. So I'm really looking forward to show good game and to do my best in this match.

Q. If you would play her, what have you learned in the games that you have played her before? Is there another way you have to play her?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, she's just, I mean, one of the biggest players for the moment in the tour. But, I mean, she's a person, and I think I just have to play my game. You know, I have to dictate. You know, if I dictate, I think I win.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

veryborednow
Sep 12th, 2004, 11:31 AM
September 10, 2004

S. KUZNETSOVA/L. Davenport

1-6, 6-2, 6-4

An interview with:

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Svetlana, please.

Q. Why do you think you needed a practice after that kind of victory?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, it was great victory but the weather was so -- I mean, the wind was blowing so hard, so you really, like, have to clean your shots after.

But anyway I did it after almost each match. Each day I played, I hit afterwards.

Q. When did you realize that she was hurt?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, Lindsay, if she was hurt, her game doesn't need so much like movement. She play so well without moving, you know. If she's even hurt, you still have to play because she has great hands. And with the wind, it was tough for me to make her move, you know.

So, I mean, I just had to play the same as I played before.

Yeah, she was hurt, I mean, when she took a break, no? But before, I didn't see it. If she wouldn't take a break, I wouldn't see that she was hurt.

Q. Did you see a big difference at the end when she wasn't moving that much?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not really. I didn't see like last game, but I was serving well, you know.

I mean, the last game, she maybe stop a little bit. But I can't say anything because I been serving well anyway, you know.

Q. Was that your strategy, to move her around?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Against Lindsay, you won't play to her, you know. I mean, it's no way you gonna win it. You know, but in the first set it was so tough because the wind was blowing so hard. I had no chances to put the ball -- to make the ball, you know, to play to the side because you can't risk because you never know where the ball gonna go.

So I was just trying to play my game, to dictate a little bit, not to defend too much and move her around.

Q. How does this feel, first Grand Slam final?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, it feels great, you know. I'm trying not to think so much about it, just to focus. Nothing is done yet, so I'll have to be focus. And after this tournament I'll think about what I did here, right and wrong, and how happy I am or am not.

Q. So you're not...

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm calm. I'm fine. I'm happy to win against Lindsay today. Just one more match left. So looking forward for this.

Q. Did you get nervous when Lindsay took that break after the second set? You didn't start the third set very well.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Uhm, yeah, she took this break, but the thing is I had to play better third set. I had to break her in first game. It was difficult because she took this break and you just stopped, you know. I won first point. After, I miss forehand a little bit 'cause of the wind. I mean, it was just too difficult to break her in first game.

And in the second game, I served against the wind, you know. I mean, you just -- against the wind, it's so tough to serve. I just can't describe it. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't -- when I serve, I don't know where the serve gonna go. Doesn't matter where I gonna hit it.

So I was calm, I was trying just to hang there. I knew if she break me against the wind, I can break her, too. That's what I did. After, I was just trying to keep my serve and give her much more problem as I could on her...

Q. Do you think you played well today?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, I've played okay. I played good, you know. Of course I wish play better, you know, but I am still very happy with result. That I hang in there, you know. The most important was for me to put as many balls as I could into the court to make her move around.

I serve better in the end, in the last two sets.

Q. Were you nervous at all that first game, of the first set?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not really. I was just fine. I was just playing the match. I was nervous in the last game at 5-4, so...

But was -- I was okay.

Q. When you found out that Dementieva won the first set 6-Love, were you surprised?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: A little bit, but not really because I know that the wind is like this and the game could change any moment. That's the same thing that happened today in our match, you know.

With this wind, you never know who gonna win. I really didn't know. I didn't watch any of this match because I been here practicing.

Q. You're Top 10 in the world. Do you sort of feel like the forgotten Russian among all the Russians?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Like what?

Q. Like the one that's not noticed among all the Russians even though you're Top 10 in the world?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I feel different. I feel that other players that are Russian have more attention to them, you know. But I don't mind, you know. I am still Top 10, I am still doing my good results, and I am still practicing better and better my game. If I will do better, everybody will notice me, so...

Just think positive.

Q. Elena said the French final that she and Myskina played was the biggest thing in Russia, an all-Russian final. Do you think playing Elena might be bigger than that?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't think is gonna be bigger for Russia because first thing is much bigger, definitely, you know.

But it's really big for me, you know. So for me it's the most important thing. So for me, for people who are around me, you know...

So for me this is the most important thing. Anyway, I am really happy if it's all-Russian final. I'm fine if it's gonna be American. I don't have nothing against it. I just want to play the winner, that's it.

Q. Considering what happened at the French Open with Myskina, she went on to win the tournament, did that make you believe you could do the same thing, what you've done here?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, you always have to believe in what you can do this. But sometimes it's difficult because you see the level on the TV and it seems to be so high. But, still, I was like I had matchpoint. I was most like difficult opponent of her, I think, Roland Garros. Of course I did believe her. Of course I could have change history maybe, I could have been Grand Slam winner and it could be somebody different, you know.

I mean, you never know. But of course I believe it. Of course I was upset about it because I lost against her twice this year and both times I was up all the time. It was -- match was in my hands.

Q. Can you talk about the best vacation you've taken?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, I'm not really know any vacation I took in my life. But last year I had three days. I like just to -- when I was living in Russia, I was going to snowboard sometimes. Last year I had only three days off, so I just took my car, my friends, and we went to the Alps, French Alps, and I was just skiing for two days. For me, it was like almost the best thing.

Q. Where did you go to practice after the match? Who did you hit with?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: With my coach, Sergio.

Q. Did you stay on the practice courts?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.

Q. Did anybody stop you on your way out there? Did everybody notice?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Some kids, you know, few girls, but not really many people, you know.

I know that if Lindsay would do that thing, you know, of course there would be more people watching her. But, you know, I don't mind. I am still doing this. I am doing the way I want to, you know, and I'm still enjoying it.

Q. You played tennis every day last year except for three days in the year?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No.

Q. You said you only had three days off.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Three days off in a row. You know, of course I had days off (laughing). I mean, I'm not nuts to play every day.

But last year, in the start at least, when I had days off, it was like I miss tennis so much. I couldn't stay day off of tennis. I wanted to be there just to go to club to hit a little bit. But now I have so many things to do and so many tournaments, so I just need it sometimes. Your body, your mind just need rest, you know.

Q. What is it about tennis that you like so much?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Just because if you work so hard, always is gonna be benefit back to you. Because you really have -- you can show your personality in the court, and definitely it's good. We have like four Grand Slam. We have so many tournaments in the year. I start to understand that after Olympics, because that guys who do there, they go there and maybe they have two Olympics in their life, you know. And if you do one, if you don't do twice, you know, you never happen in your life for them. Maybe you had bad luck, but nobody cares, you know. You didn't win so that's it.

We can try our chances everywhere, you know. The year is long. You travel, you see more people, you know, you get more experience on the road especially.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

veryborednow
Sep 12th, 2004, 11:33 AM
Kuznetsova Queen of All-Russian Final
by Yoni Goldberg
Saturday, September 11, 2004


The women's tennis revolution was televised. Indeed, in a primetime matchup, No. 9 Svetlana Kuznetsova followed Anastasia Myskina and Maria Sharapova, champions at the French Open and Wimbledon respectively, to become the third consecutive Russian woman to break through and win her first major as she trumpted No. 6 seed and fellow countrywoman Elena Dementieva 6-3, 7-5 to capture the 2004 US Open Women's Singles Championship title.

Kuznetsova, a hard-hitting 19-year-old, feasted on Dementieva's anemic second serve, capturing 65% of the second serve points en route to breaking the French Open finalist in five of her ten service games.

At the outset, however, Kuznetsova seemed nervous and shaky, making three unforced errors in the first game, losing her powerful serve at love. "I was so nervous during the first game. I was thinking, 'What should I do here today?'" She continued, "But something was telling me I'd be fine and settle down."

She was right. As would become the norm, Kuznetsova bounced back and, after three deuces, she drilled huge forehands and broke back to even the game score at 1.

The contest quickly settled into a baseline slugfest, tailor-made for Kuznetsova's booming groundstrokes and Dementieva, who mustered a mere seven winners during the match and struggled to build any momentum as the set progressed. After dropping her serve in the sixth game to give Kuznetsova a 4-2 lead, the pair stayed on serve, allowing Kuznetsova to win the set 6-3.

Appearing charged at the beginning of the second frame, Dementieva hardly sat down between sets, preferring to stand at the baseline waiting for play to resume. She quickly held serve and broke Kuznetsova to take an early 2-0 lead in the second set. Four games later, with the set back on serve, Dementieva placed herself squarely in the driver's seat after breaking Kuznetsova in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.

Things did not, however, take long to unravel for the six-foot-tall Russian. Kuznetsova, breaking Dementieva, put the set on serve again in the eighth game.

With the set knotted at 5-5, Dementieva's serve, a part of her game with which she struggled all tournament, finally caught up with her. Kuznetsova won the first two points of the eleventh game with forehand winners off of Dementieva's second serve. Trailing 15-30, Dementieva double faulted, giving Kuznetsova a pair of break points and, ultimately, a 6-5 lead and the chance to serve the match.

Just two years removed from entering the Open as a qualifier, Kuznetsova, serving for her first major championship, held her composure splendidly. On her second match point, Kuznetsova rifled her third ace of the night to close out the tournament.

Asked about her muted post-match celebration, she responded, "I was so excited, but maybe shocked, but I had a feeling I could do it here in New York."

veryborednow
Sep 12th, 2004, 11:34 AM
Kuznetsova beats Dementieva in all-Russian U.S. Open final
September 11, 2004

By Aaron Rennie SportsTicker Staff Writer

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) - Once again, Elena Dementieva (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/89/) got the worse of an all-Russian Grand Slam final.

Ninth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/151/) twice rallied from a break down in the second set to defeat sixth-seeded Russian compatriot Dementieva, 6-3, 7-5, in the U.S. Open for her first career Grand Slam title.

[/url]The 19-year-old, braces-wearing Kuznetsova became the lowest-seeded woman to win the Open.

No Russian woman ever had progressed to the final of a Grand Slam singles draw until the French Open, when Dementieva had a total breakdown and was routed by countrywoman [url="http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/101/"]Anastasia Myskina (http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=129ags2sq/M=308480.5398085.6489642.1414694/D=sports/S=95881169:LREC/EXP=1095075212/A=2308657/R=0/SIG=12kpl6kj9/*http://www.capitalone.co.uk/web/BannerEntry?s=04308411YAHCL-USclixc0040pcl&id=7002), 6-1, 6-2.

Another Russian, Maria Sharapova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/403/), won Wimbledon, meaning the last three Grand Slams of the year were won by Russian women.

In this one, Kuznetsova was broken at love in the first game of the match but immediately broke back and did so again in the sixth game, winning the first set.

Kuznetsova had 12 forehand winners in the set to just one for Dementieva, who once again played with a heavily taped left thigh.

The 22-year-old Dementieva held leads of 2-0 and 4-2 in the second set but Kuznetsova rallied each time, breaking in the 11th game to take the lead for good.

"I really need a better serve to win a Grand Slam," said Dementieva, who was broken five times.

Kuznetsova closed out the match on a second-serve winner to claim the $1 million first prize.

"I think it's been a great tournament for me," Dementieva said. "I wasn't able to play my best because I was playing through pain ... (but) she was playing great today, so well done."

During the trophy presentation, Dementieva asked for and received a moment of silence from the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd to remember the victims of the terrorism attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001 and in the Beslan, Russia, school siege last week.

Like Dementieva and other Russian players, Kuznetsova wore a black ribbon to memorialize the hundreds of people - including numerous children - killed in the school attack. "(This victory) seems so little," said Kuznetsova, who is playing with another Russian, Elena Likhovtseva (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/108/), in the doubles final Sunday. "I just hope we're going to be together. I want to dedicate this to the people who died on September 11 and in Russia." Kuznetsova and Dementieva had split their previous two career meetings, both this year. Kuznetsova won in three sets on clay in Berlin and Dementieva in three sets on a hard court in Los Angeles.

goldenlox
Sep 12th, 2004, 07:28 PM
Sveta's going to Bali again at age 19-



Russia’s Kuznetsova outlasts Martinez to win Bali WTA title

BALI (Indonesia): Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova won her second title in two months when she outlasted eighth-seeded Conchita Martinez 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 in the final of the Wismilak International on Sunday.

The win will catapult the 17-year-old, ranked 264 at the beginning of the year and needing a wild card to enter the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open, into the world's top 50 next week for the first time.

Martinez, who was playing in her first final since the 2000 French Open, claimed the opening set of the two-hour, 43-minute marathon by breaking to lead 5-3 and then holding off a break point in the next game. A disappointed Kuznetsova then dropped her serve to fall behind 1-0 in the second set, but she levelled at 2-2 when Martinez netted a weak backhand and then went on to win the tie-break.

In a dramatic final set, Kuznetsova chose to serve and volley much more than she had in the opening two sets. She broke for 1-0, but Martinez levelled at 2-2. The Russian, who won the Helsinki event in August as a qualifier, then broke to take a 4-3 lead, but failed to serve out the match at 5-4. Kuznetsova held four match points before Martinez eventually levelled with her third break point, but Martinez then dropped her serve again after leading 40-0. Kuznetsova didn't waste her second opportunity.

Kuznetsova is coached by Emilio Sanchez and also works with his sister, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.

They are close friends, and at the awards ceremony Kuznetsova dedicated her title to her semi-final opponent Sanchez-Vicario, saying it was she who deserved to win because she had taught her so much. "The match was very, very tough for me mentally," said the 2001 ITF World Junior Champion. "It was a different situation to Helsinki when I won my first WTA title. I wasn't nervous there at all. But here it was very difficult because having to beat Arantxa yesterday was the most difficult day of my life, and so I felt obligated to win today. "That's why I couldn't play my good game at all. When you're so nervous you cannot do anything. I just tried to hit my good forehand and tried to make her move because she doesn't do that well. So I'm not happy with the way I played but I'm happy that I won."

Despite the disappointment of her defeat, Martinez could take some consolation from having come so close to winning her first title since the German Open in May 2000. "Something changed when I was up a set and 2-0. I didn't play as aggressive as I should have," said Martinez. "I had so many chances too in the tiebreak, but the match was tight and it went her way. "Right now, when you lose a match like that of course it's disappointing, but it's good to be in the final and to fight for a title. I felt like I played pretty good the whole week and it was a close final." —AFP

veryborednow
Sep 12th, 2004, 09:11 PM
There are tonnes of these, so I'll post a few to keep in the archives

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Kuznetsova continues Russia's rule
By Pete Alfano
New York
September 13, 2004


http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2004/09/12/13s_svet_narrowweb__200x246.jpg Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova gives a winner's grin after her victory in the US Open women's final.
Picture:Getty Images



The stadium announcer mangled their names. Playing the Beatles' Back in the USSR while they warmed up was out-of-date and inappropriate. And the match did not quite live up to the magnitude of the moment.

But for Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Dementieva, the women's final of the US Open was the crowning achievement in a year when the young women of Russian tennis have taken over the game and won three of the four grand slam titles.

Kuznetsova spoiled another major final for her countrywoman, defeating Dementieva, 6-3, 7-5 to win her first grand slam and give Russian women victories in the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

"Russian tennis is just too powerful," Kuznetsova said, while Dementieva was similarly impressed. "I feel very proud for Russian girls and tennis," Dementieva said. "Today was another great moment. It's a miracle to me that Russian girls won three grand slams and I would be in two finals."

These are the first three slam events won by Russian women. Anastasia Myskina won the French, defeating Dementieva. Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon. Kuznetsova is ranked in the top 15, but wasn't getting much notice when the US Open began.

She has everyone's attention now. She plays aggressively, gambling that the risk-reward ratio will be in her favour. Her serve is for winning points, not just putting the ball in play. And she scurries around the court to compensate for a lack of reach.

Kuznetsova said she was nervous at the start, playing in front of 20,000 fans. It showed, as she was broken at love in the first game. "I thought, 'What am I doing here?' " she said.

But she was able to tune out the crowd.

"There were so many people; I didn't want to think about it," she said. "So when I won, I couldn't show what I felt. I was so shocked and excited, but it didn't come out. My friends and coaches told me I could make this result. Something inside of me was telling me I'd be fine, just do your thing."

Despite making two grand slam finals, Dementieva knows her game is flawed. It starts with her serve. She was broken five times and had four double faults, although she served somewhat better than she did on Friday against Jennifer Capriati in the semi-finals.

"If I want to win a grand slam, I need to have a better serve," Dementieva said. "I have never liked to serve or to practise my serve. I've got to learn to love it."

On the third anniversary of the Twin Towers tragedy, both players earned the admiration and applause of fans in the trophy presentation after the match when they talked about 9-11 and the terrorist attack in Russia on September 1 that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of schoolchildren.

"On behalf of us to you guys," Dementieva told the fans, "we have to stay together and battle terrorism."

It brought thunderous applause she didn't hear during the match. After breaking Kuznetsova in the opening game of the match, she was broken right back. She was broken again in the sixth game when Kuznetsova pounded a forehand winner and then a return winner. Dementieva was broken in the third game of the second set, but broke back in the sixth as fans cheered in hopes of inspiring her.

But if her first serve is weak, her second allows opponents to virtually pick a spot for a winner. Kuznetsova broke at 5-5 when Dementieva was forced to her second serve three times and double-faulted once.

"I knew her game," Kuznetsova said. "We played twice this year and even though I lost once, I had so many chances to win. I know if I play my game, my serve is much better."

veryborednow
Sep 12th, 2004, 09:17 PM
Kuznetsova a surprise Open champ
BY JAMES BECK
Of The Post and Courier Staff



Young Svetlana Kuznetsova is the one in the half-dozen top Russian women few people expected to win the U.S. Open.

Elena Dementieva, Nadia Petrova, Vera Zvonareva, Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova and French Open champion Anastasia Myskina, in that order, all appeared to be stronger contenders to give Russia its third Grand Slam women's title of 2004. But after Kuznetsova's 6-3, 7-5 conquest of the talented Dementieva in Saturday night's U.S. Open final, the entire tennis world will take note of the big forehand of this 19-year-old.

Kuznetsova practically blew Dementieva off the court with what may be the strongest forehands in women's tennis. Kuznetsova showed great improvement in her movement over earlier this year when she appeared to be heavier on her feet.

This time, Kuznetsova appeared to have excellent mobility. Hampered by an upper left leg injury, Dementieva seldom was able to hit winners herself or get Kuznetsova off balance to the extent that she would mis-hit her forehand. With three different Grand Slam champions and three more women capable of such success, 2004 was a banner year for the Russians.

veryborednow
Sep 13th, 2004, 10:24 AM
Out of nowhere, Kuznetsova a champion

NEW YORK (AP) -- A few days before she became the U.S. Open champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova walked into a drizzly night to play her quarterfinal match.
Shifted onto outer court No. 11, it was Kuznetsova, opponent Nadia Petrova -- and 23 fans at the start.



No stats were kept. No major TV coverage. No big deal, by the looks of it.

"I don't have much publicity," she said later that day. "People do not know me as much."

Even as she strolled through the National Tennis Center on Saturday night after her warmup and headed over to Arthur Ashe Stadium to play for the title, not a single person stopped her for an autograph or picture. A few minutes later, when Elena Dementieva emerged, the tall blonde was enveloped by fans.

That was then. Now, Kuznetsova needn't worry -- the 19-year-old with braces assured that by defeating Dementieva 6-3, 7-5 in the all-Russian final.

"I want success. I want to do something," she said. "I really want people to remember my name."

While the tennis world is learning her name, that doesn't mean people can pronounce it. During the on-court trophy presentation, U.S. Tennis Association president Alan Schwartz botched it before apologizing and correcting himself.

Kuznetsova missed a chance to win another title Sunday when she and Elena Likhovtseva lost in doubles to Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suarez 6-4, 7-5.

Still, at No. 9, Kuznetsova became the tournament's lowest-seeded female singles champion in the Open era, which began in 1968.

A showing so impressive that it was worth calling her parents back in Russia.

"My mom, she didn't watch the match. She said, 'What was the score?"' Kuznetsova said. Told it, her mother responded, "Wow, two sets. That's good."

After finishing that call, doing interviews and accepting congratulations, Kuznetsova did as she always does. She returned to the practice court and, as midnight approached, hit more balls before leaving the grounds.

"After the match, you have to clean up your game," she said Sunday. "It doesn't matter if you win the title."

Back at the hotel, she talked to friends on the Internet, packed her bag for an upcoming trip to Bali and got something to eat. She also turned on the television, hoping to see highlights from the greatest victory of her career.

"I was switching channels, but I couldn't find anything," she said.

Clips of her win were shown on the scoreboard between sets of her doubles match, and Kuznetsova got a cheer from the fans filling into watch Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt play for the men's title.

At one point, Kuznetsova hit an overhead that nipped Suarez's heel and put up both hands to apologize. The match ended when Suarez crunched Kuznetsova's return for the winning point.

"If I really concentrate in doubles, I can do very well," she said. "But it's not my point for doing this. I'm just doing my best for singles."

veryborednow
Sep 13th, 2004, 03:20 PM
Kuznetsova's fighting spirit lifts her to new heights
From Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, in New York
http://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gifNI_MPU('middle');WHO is next? After Anastasia Myskina and Maria Sharapova, it was the turn of Svetlana Kuznetsova to extend Russia’s bear hug on women’s grand-slam tournaments in 2004. She is more the hammer than the sickle, a free-swinging ball-cruncher whose response to walking out to play in the US Open final was: “Wow, now what should I do here today?”

Once she had made up her mind that winning the championship might not be a bad thing, Kuznetsova got on with the task of defeating Elena Dementieva, her compatriot, 6-3, 7-5, using her knuckle-duster forehand to brutal effect. Kuznetsova was not, in the manner of Amélie Mauresmo and Jennifer Capriati, going to fall for Dementieva’s mess of a serve; she stepped in and treated it with the disdain it merited.



At least Dementieva did not crumble, as she had done in the French Open final against Myskina. She gave as much as she could when having to play, in the metaphorical sense, with one hand tied behind her back. That is almost where she completes her service action from, with its wide-arc toss that forces her to throw her racket arm at least 45 degrees farther out than she should. “I really need to have a better serve to win a grand slam,” she said, a statement of the obvious if ever there was one.

It is the eighth wonder of the world that Dementieva has managed to reach two grand-slam tournament finals with a fundamental of the game in such disarray. More often than not, the third stroke of a rally is her strong suit, given that she can nail a decent groundstroke if her opponent miscues, having gawked in disbelief at a serve that is so puny. But she has to play so much on the defensive in every rally that it has to take a toll.

Kuznetsova was eager to go for the jugular. Those closest to her had been telling the 19-year-old for months that she had it in her to be a champion. She had lost 8-6 in the final set of a fourth-round match to Myskina at the French Open, having had a match point; she went on to win the Hastings Direct Championship at Eastbourne, only to fall at the first hurdle at Wimbledon to Virginie Razzano, of France. But, in the manner of her parents, both international cyclists, she pulled herself together and returned to the saddle.

The reward was a cheque for $1 million (about £555,300), the largest in the women’s grand-slam events, a highest ranking of No 6 and universal acclaim. She is not going to be the darling of the popular press in the Sharapova mould, her game is not one blessed with aesthetic beauty, but it gets the job done and she made hay while, for the first time in the Open era, not one of the top four seeds made the semi-finals. There has been plenty of change in the rankings. Mauresmo is the new No 1, although she has played in only one grand-slam final, in Australia five years ago; Justine Henin-Hardenne is not what she was and Lindsay Davenport, who would have returned to the top had her hip not given out in a warm-up before her semi-final, does not know how long she can remain a force. Kim Clijsters, who has missed the past three slams with a wrist injury, was pounding balls on the practice court last week and there are the Williams sisters whose father, Richard, said in one interview that he thinks they should quit now because officialdom does not want them around in tennis any more

veryborednow
Sep 13th, 2004, 03:30 PM
Kuznetsova the next of Russia's leading lights

Stephen Bierley in New York
Monday September 13, 2004

Svetlana Kuznetsova may be one of the least well known of the five Russian women in the world's top 10, and her $1m (£556,000) prize money for winning the US Open pales into insignificance compared to the multimillion-dollar endorsements of Maria Sharapova, the Wimbledon champion, but it could be that Kuznetsova - St Petersburg's own Special K - will turn out to be the pick of the bunch.



Her 6-3, 7-5 victory over Elena Dementieva, who also lost the first-All Russian grand slam final, against Anastasia Myskina at the French Open this spring, was dynamic and powerful enough to suggest this will not be the 19-yearold's only major title.

Kuznetsova has been based in Barcelona since she was 14, and is coached by a Spaniard, Sergio Casal, whom she was the first to hug. She admitted to wondering What am I doing here?" on Saturday night as she walked into the Arthur Ashe stadium, the world's largest tennis arena with its 23,000 capacity, but she rarely allowed herself to become nervous or rushed once she had survived an opening break of serve to love.

Dementieva, 22, continues to have service problems, which drove her to tears of frustration in the French Open at Roland Garros, and for the first time in the latter stages of the tournament her frailty was severely punished by her fellow Russian whose forehand return is a formidable weapon against considerably better servers. It has said much for Dementieva's resolve, courage, and ability that she reached this final at all so soon after the debacle in Paris. A left thigh injury also restricted her movement, while two hardfought victories over Amélie Mauresmo and Jennifer Capriati had further sapped her energy, but this final was never one-sided.



"I wasn't able to play my best tennis," Dementieva said, referring to the injury. "But Svetlana played a great game and deserved to win. I played some good tennis and I am not that disappointed. She just played better than me."

Kuznetsova had gone out to practise for an hour after each of her previous matches, and Saturday was no exception. She is a former world junior No1, and the success of her compatriots this year prompted her to work even harder at her game.

Last year she played doubles with Martina Navratilova, who was at courtside to see her win. "She came to see me before the final and said: 'I did it when it was my first final and you can do it too'."

There was little in the way of subtlety - the women's game has no equivalent of Roger Federer - but Kuznetsova had obviously gained considerable confidence from her semi-final victory over Davenport, and today climbs to a career-high No6 in the rankings, just behind Dementieva and Myskina. "The competition between us is why we are progressing so fast," said Kuznetsova, who became the third different Russian woman to win a grand slam title this year. And all this 30 years after Dementieva's coach, Olga Morozova, had become the first, and previously only, Russian women's grand slam finalist when she finished runner-up twice at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Now there is no stopping them.</FONT>

Daniel
Sep 14th, 2004, 07:05 AM
Thanks guys for the aticles :D

Irina83
Sep 21st, 2004, 08:07 AM
Building Of A Champion: Coaches Reveal Story Behind Kuznetsova's Rise


Svetlana Kuznetsova By Sanchez-Casal Academy Staff
09/20/2004

Svetlana Kuznetsova, "Sveta" as we call her, arrived at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona in 1999. She was about 14 years old. Her mother, Galina Tsareva, was an Olympic cycling champion and her father, Alexandr Kuznetsov, a cycling coach who was conducting preseason training in a city nearby, about 100 kilometers away.


But Svetlana wanted to take a different path: she wanted to become a tennis player.

The first time we met Sveta, our staff at the Sanchez-Casal Academy shared a common reaction: she was so shy she would not look at you, she had no confidence in herself, but every time she hit the ball the noise it made was scary. It was something we had not seen or heard before from a girl, maybe slightly similar to Andy Roddick. She reminded us a little bit of Arantxa (Sanchez Vicario) when was little — an incredible talent — but with strokes we had not seen from junior girls her age before.

We had a staff meeting and decided that we would help her. At that time we just started the Academy and didn’t have many players at Sveta's level.

She felt very relaxed because we decided at the very beginning to establish a very simple goal: to train Sveta to become the best player possible; an all-court player who didn't have to win from the first day. I think she appreciated and valued this approach because in Russia, Sveta was always under intense pressure. We believe our approach helped improve her confidence as Sveta saw she was winning matches because she was a better player, not because she was pressured to win.

Less than two years later, she was already the No. 1 junior in the world at the age of 16. We tried to convince the Spanish Tennis Federation to help her become a Spanish citizen, but they didn’t believe the potential that we saw in her. The Federation's president at that time said: "She’s a mediocre player who never will be in the top 20. We have people offering players like this to us every month." Yet today, after Arantxa's retirement and Conchita (Martinez) in the final phase of her career, Spain is in deep trouble in its efforts to produce top female players.

At the age of 17, Sveta began traveling with Arantxa and her team of coaches from the Academy. That year she won her first professional event in singles and three doubles tournaments together with Arantxa. Playing and training with Arantxa taught Sveta discipline, strategy and how to be a true professional. Arantxa opened the first door for her and helped mentor her. At that time, Arantxa was Martina Navratilova's partner. Martina was also training in our traveling group. Once Arantxa retired at the end of the year, Martina, who is smart and knows talent, talked Sveta into playing with her. In 2003 they won four titles and played the year-end WTA Tour Championships. Martina taught her how to play inside the court. She opened the second door for Sveta.

When two former No. 1 players — Arantxa and Martina — recorded some of their best recent doubles results playing with a rookie, it proved to many that Sveta had talent. Sveta's confirmation as a top singles player came the same year as she advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals and finished in the top 30. Stephan, her personal coach from the Academy, traveled with her for those two years, which were the most difficult ones. Giselle, the academy's physical coach did a great job improving her mobility, which was one of her weaknesses. Both coaches stayed with Martina when she decided to play with Lisa Raymond and go for the Olympics in 2004. Sveta was very disappointed and was ready to quit playing doubles.

All the coaching credit for those two years of Sveta's career should go to Stephan who worked with her through her maturation as a player and a woman.

"She can be lovely and great to work with as well as very difficult and not understandable," Stephan said of Sveta.

Angel Gimenez took over the coaching and with Sergio’s (Sergio Casal) help convinced her that she still had to improve two very important aspects of her game: her serve and her play inside the court. Angel and Sergio told Sveta if she didn't play doubles, it would be more difficult for her to fulfill her potential. After a long conversation, she understand our point and accepted.

Sveta started to play doubles with Elena Likhovtseva to prepare for the Olympics. Our goal for 2004 was to take more advantage of her serve in order to play more effectively inside the court. She wanted to qualify for the Olympics and the year-end WTA Tour Championships.

The preseason was a very demanding training session. Sveta worked harder than ever before and her hard work paid off as the results came immediately. We believed Sveta was making major improvements. She was maturing, believing in herself and realizing it was all about her. She started to win regularly and improve her results. Her losses were usually to the higher-ranked players. In March, Sveta was ranked 20th when she handed top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne her first loss of the season, a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 defeat at the $600,000 Qatar Total Open in Doha. The victory came nearly a week after Sveta beat Venus Williams.

"The other players started to respect her (then)," Angel said. "If she controls her power something big will happen."

At Roland Garros, Sveta had two match points against Anastasia Myskina, but could not close the match. Myskina went on to beat Dementieva to win Roland Garros and Sveta knew she had nearly beaten the champion. From the red clay, Sveta went to the grass courts and won in Eastbourne. At the Olympics she almost won a medal, losing to Mauresmo in a close match.

The Myskina win in Paris, Maria Sharapova's win at Wimbledon and victories by Elena Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva, Nadia Petrova and Elena Bovina in others events served as incredible motivators for Sveta. Competitive images and hunger are the most successful motivators. Most importantly, Sveta believed in herself and knew it was time to show she could win. She found maturity and started to get results.

Sveta already registered the fastest women's serve at the U.S. Open ( 208km/h), struck the most aces (44) and had only lost one set to Davenport in the tournament before she beat Dementieva in the final. Based on the way she played throughout the tournament, our coaches believed she could take the title.

"Serving this way and with a bit of order in her game, she is much better than all other players," said Sergio Casal, who was coaching Sveta at the Open. "She can win this thing."

She did exactly that.

Sveta's parents, who come from an athletic background, deserve credit because they let every person at the Academy do their job and do the best for their daughter. Sveta was very mature in most cases, making big decisions that helped her career, which is not always common on the tour.

Sveta followed her success at the U.S. Open by winning her second consecutive tournament title in Bali and extending her winning streak to 11 matches in the process. She will go to Beijing next, where she will play doubles with Arantxa. She is also supposed to play in Stuttgart, Moscow, the Zurich Masters and the Fed Cup finals. But this could change if she keeps playing so well and so much. It is tough for those players who advance so far in each event to maintain such a demanding schedule all year.

We believe Sveta's confidence improved substantially, but she still has to be more consistent in believing that she can be the best and must continue to keep working hard to reach that goal.

To relax and to find inspiration, she listens to music all the time. She is addicted to this mp3 player and has more that 2,000 songs on it. She is truly a music alcoholic.

"Sveta" is her nickname name because Svetlana is to difficult to say in Spanish, and "Kuzne" is another nickname as well. Sveta is very easy going and has a good sense of humor. Sometimes, because of her shyness, people thinks she is arrogant. But she is not arrogant and people who think that usually don't know her very well.

Sveta is the best achievement for our Academy in six years of hard work. Arantxa had great results as well, but was already complete as a player when we worked together. The same may be true for Bovina, who has trained with us since June. Many other WTA players come to our Academy for part-time practices: Jelena Dokic, Maggie Maleeva, Chanda Rubin, Daniela Hantuchova, Janette Husarova and others. Most of our players are younger, from ages 13 to 17, and do their education at the same time. We believe this is very important.

On the boys side, we're very proud to say that the junior U.S. Open champion Andre Murray is also living and training with us part-time. Other players such as Juan Monaco and Gilles Muller also came out from our program.

Our staff includes five former Davis Cup coaches who share all responsibilities for all our players. We are very proud to work with the U.S. Open women's champion and U.S. Open boys champion and believe both will continue to develop as players.

http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=11470&bannerregion=

Crazy Canuck
Oct 1st, 2004, 04:23 AM
That tennisweek article (the last one posted) is fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

goldenlox
Oct 29th, 2004, 04:32 PM
To Kuznetsova, what Myskina has is a lot of fight. "She just fights very much," Kuznetsova said, "and she never gives you an easy game. She runs. And she's clever, you know."



Kuznetsova's assets are more robust. She might not be able to lift a building, but she looks as if she could. With her strength, she could be the most nimble of the Russians.

"Maybe," she said.

A modest sort, Kuznetsova, now ranked No. 9. Also a dedicated individual. She has chosen to make her base not in her place of birth, St. Petersburg, but in Barcelona, Spain, where the climate is more conducive to playing tennis than it is in the place associated with the czars. She acknowledged she misses her homeland.

"But if I want to be something in my life, I have to do something," she explained. "I can be No. 1, I think."

A large statement by a player who has yet to break through in a WTA Tour singles event, but listen to Kuznetsova and one gets the feeling her ambitions are realistic.

"I want to improve my speed, my game, everything," she said. "I'm looking for perfection in everything. It's like I am in competition with myself."

But for one point, it might have been Kuznetsova being acclaimed in Paris rather than Myskina. In her match against Myskina, Kuznetsova, serving, held match point. "But I was rushing too much," she said. She failed on a ground stroke and Myskina was able to complete a 1-6, 6-4, 8-6 conquest. From there, Myskina went on to her straight-set decimation of Elena Dementieva (also due at La Costa) in the final.



Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, the tour's ranking player, stopped Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-2. Kuznetsova's effort suggested her game fits nicely on grass, but she said she doesn't regard grass as her preferred surface. "Not really," she said. "I think I can play anywhere."
Very true, and from before Wimbledon.

Gowza
Nov 1st, 2004, 09:07 PM
sveta has made huge leaps and bounds over the last year and she can play on all surfaces but with winning the us open, all that confidence plus she is playing better more regulary i think grass will be one of her best surfaces and she'll really be in the running for wimbledon next year if she keeps going the way she is.

goldenlox
Dec 12th, 2004, 06:33 PM
Kuznetsova - rising up the rankings
KUZNETSOVA BOOSTS RUSSIAN REVOLUTION By Mark Staniforth, PA Sport

Svetlana Kuznetsova is the latest Russian to spearhead her country's assault on the top of women's tennis.

The 18-year-old Muscovite reached number 14 in the world rankings this week after a breakthrough fortnight in the Middle East.

Last year's surprise Wimbledon quarter-finalist has barely broken stride since joining the senior circuit.

Successful and educational doubles pairings with veteran legends Martina Navratilova and Todd Woodbridge are clearly beginning to pay off.

Kuznetsova has won the WTA's performance of the week award for two weeks running, following her Dubai quarter-final win over Venus Williams by becoming the first player to snap Justine Henin-Hardenne's winning streak this week.

The Belgian world number one had won all 16 of her matches this year until Kuznetsova came from a set behind to reach the final in Doha.

"I believed in myself," said Kuznetsova. "I knew I could win the match. You get experience from playing the top players."

Kuznetsova's is not a stereotypical story of overbearing parents thrusting a tennis racket into daughter's hands before she can walk.

She grew up in Moscow in a family of cyclists and admits she was largely oblivious to the new trend begun by stars like Anna Kournikova and Marat Safin.

Only in her early teens did Kuznetsova belatedly begin to excel enough to earn a scholarship at the famous Emilio Sanchez Academy in Spain.

But she admits that having reached a competitive level the influx of young Russian rivals only helped spur her on to success.

Kuznetsova is only the fifth-ranked Russian at number 14, behind Anastasia Myskina - who beat her in Qatar - Elena Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova. Five more Russians take the total to 10 in the top 100.

Kutnetsova said: "I think there is no doubt the success is because we are so many.

"We compete against each other because everybody wants to prove they are the best in their country.

"One person gets good results and the other wants to do better. We are very competitive but it is all positive. We are friends with each other - but when we get on court we fight.

"It is also because of the mentality. It is very tough practising in Russia and you never have sponsorship. There is a lot of talent but you have to get lucky."

In Kuznetsova's case she admits she has been boosted by the close attention of a player almost 30 year her senior.

Navratilova has helped Kuznetsova garner 10 doubles titles already, including two this year.

And the young Russian admits she is lucky to have such a legend on her side as she begins to focus on cracking the top 10.

"I learn a lot from Martina - I learn and learn. She shows me lots of things.

"She explains what she thinks about my game and what I can do to get better."
__________________


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© Jorge Ferrari
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Players Quickly Taking Notice of Kuznetsova

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - After Svetlana Kuznetsova's performances over the last two weeks, there's probably more than just a few players at this week's Pacific Life Open who paid closer attention to where the Russian was in the draw. "I’m enjoying playing my game now," said Kuznetsova, who is the No.12 seed this week in Indian Wells. "I do not feel any pressure with the attention I’m getting. I love people to come and watch me. That’s what we do, we play for people and I want to play my best and be able to give them a good show."

Although she won two singles titles back in 2002 (Helsinki, Bali), it was rather clear from the first week that this was the year that Kuznetsova's game was ready to move to a new level. Despite a first round setback in Hobart, the 18-year-old reached the quarterfinals in Gold Coast and fought through a tough straight sets loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne in the third round at the Australian Open.

Kuznetsova, who resides in her birthplace of St. Petersburg, took the next four weeks off before having her first true breakthrough of the season in Dubai, marching through to the final, but not before a bit of commotion along the way. She began the week by upsetting No.7 seed Francesca Schiavone and two rounds later made the stunning upset of No.2 seed Venus Williams.

Her semifinal match saw another seed pushed aside, this time No.5 Ai Sugiyama falling victim to the Russian's thunderous game before a rematch with Henin-Hardenne awaited Kuznetsova in the final. The two battled to a tiebreak in the first set before the World No.1 emerged from the first set and finished off the match in the second.

The loss to Henin-Hardenne didn't derail Kuznetsova's spirits and she only showed up stronger the following week in Doha, losing only seven games in wins against Stephanie Cohen-Aloro and Anca Barna. Meghann Shaughnessy was lucky enough to take the first set in their quarterfinal clash before the Russian ignited to blaze into the semifinals.

Once again, there sat Henin-Hardenne - riding a 16-match winning streak and the only person on Tour looking more invincible at the moment than Kuznetsova. But this time, a confident Kuznetsova handed Henin-Hardenne her first loss of the year and marched into a title match for the second straight week.

Kuznetsova began the year at No.36 in the world, but her recent back-to-back championship match appearances have pushed her all the way to a career-best No.14.

"It’s good to have a ranking goal, but for me, the most important thing is to keep improving my game and my concentration, the rankings will follow," Kuznetsova said. "At the beginning of the year, I was aiming at the Top 20, I didn’t expect to reach it so fast. I am playing well at the moment and I am enjoying these past two weeks."

One of Kuznetsova's big inspirations this year has been former doubles partner and current mentor (as part of the WTA Tour's Partners For Success program) Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. Kuznetsova teamed with Sanchez-Vicario to win three doubles titles in 2002 and the former World No.1 has been a big motivator this season.

"She is my mentor on and off the court," Kuznetsova said. "I spoke to her tonight right after my match (against Justine). She’s always giving me advice. I can talk to her about anything whether it’s tennis or anything else. She also made me more confident and believed in me. When she asked me to play doubles with her, I was very honored."

Kuznetsova, who is currently ranked No.5 in doubles, was also honored when tennis legend Martina Navratilova personally approached Sanchez-Vicario and asked if she could start playing with Kuznetsova once the Spaniard retired at the end of the 2002 season.

"Martina has also always been good to me," Kuznetsova said. "She taught me a lot, mainly to have a better attitude during matches and to be positive. She also told me to move more forward, and to come to the net, serve and volley. I try to do this now. Basically, she’s taught me to be more professional."

Playing alongside two of tennis' greatest players has surely benefitted the 18-year-old, but having a family pedigree filled with athletic greatness definitely plays a part in Kuznetsova's drive to become successful in her line of work.

Kuznetsova's father, Alexandr, has been the cycling coach to five Olympic champions and world champions and is currently the coach of Lokomotiv, the best cycling club in Russia. Her mother, Galina Tsareva is a six-time world champion and holder of 20 world records. Even brother Nikolai has found second-generation success, picking up a silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

"I’m Russian and I would love to do well for my country," Kuznetsova said. "Olympics have always been a passion in my family. My father went, my brother went and won a silver medal. My mother, who won six world championships, never went although it was her dream to go. She was not able to go. So now, I also want to do this for my mother. It will make her so so proud and happy."

Kuznetsova's leap in the rankings definitely can't hurt her chances of reaching this summer's Olympic Games in Athens as a singles participant. She's also already began preparations on the doubles side, pairing this year with countrywoman Elena Likhovtseva. The duo are currently in the top position of the Porsche Race to the Championships Team standings and have won titles in Gold Coast and Doha.







Sveta said when 2004 started, her goal was to be top 20.
I think a good 2005 goal is stay in the top 5, and win another major.

Daniel
Dec 13th, 2004, 04:09 AM
Thanks Goldenlox :)

greenfunkTHREE.
Dec 13th, 2004, 01:44 PM
great interviews! surprised to find out her parents were really good cyclists! :D

PointBlank
Dec 13th, 2004, 09:21 PM
Svetlana a Muscovite..:rolls:. Get your facts straight Mark.

greenfunkTHREE.
Dec 15th, 2004, 08:29 AM
svetlana aint from moscow! she's from st petersburg russia. oh my!

Gowza
Dec 15th, 2004, 11:31 PM
staying in the top 5 is a good goal for 2005 and if she works hard it is achievable, another major might be tough but if she has a good 2 weeks at the right time you never know. yeah she comes from sporting origins.

goldenlox
Feb 24th, 2005, 06:36 PM
How difficult was it to find courts to play on when you first started playing tennis?
Courts to find are easy if you have money. Free courts, you cannot find there. It's not like maybe here. I don't know how it works here but there you are always paying. You have to pay for everything. When I go to my city I pay for everything; club, courts, ball, coach, practice partner ... everything.

Does your federation help you out? Do they have a facility where you can practice?
No. My father, he pays for me for everything. The Russian Federation did send us here to play the team competition. I think it is very good that we came one week ago to practice before the tournament. So we have been here ... our team; boys and girls. We were together all the time so now we are like brothers and sisters and we are really good now. We played and won both titles so it was very good. They paid for us and will pay hospitality for Orange Bowl for me.

Growing up, your father helped you along. Did he start you in tennis?
All my family are cyclists. My father still coaches. My mother she was a very good cyclist. My brother was also good but he stopped now. He is 29 and has a family and works with my father. My father said, "go play tennis, just go, go somewhere but not bike".....I said, "OK." When I was young I did cycle. I was racing twice or three times in my life. I was only six years old.

Your father supported your tennis?
He's a very good coach! It is similar, the strategy of the sport. He is helping, sometimes you can't find the way where you have to go. He tells me how much I have to practice. My mom helps all the time with me. I've been changing coaches so much. My mother, she knows very good about sports and everything. She's won 6 championships of the World in sprint in track. She will say, "this coach doesn't want to work." She doesn't like this thing. We were changing, changing, changing and now we finally found a place.

You found a coach you are happy with?
It's not a coach. I'm practicing at a club. It's Emilio Sanchez, in Barcelona Spain. I am staying now in Spain all the time.

Are you traveling a lot?
Yes I do. I've been everywhere this year. Australia, Japan, Brazil ... everywhere.

Did your Mom travel a lot?
My mother did the same thing before when I did not have a private coach. I still don't have it. Before I went to the club, she was traveling with me. She was helping instead of coach. She understands tennis. She knows what she is speaking about and was helping me, but sometimes children do not listen to the parents.

Any other brothers and sisters?
Just one brother, Nikolai. He was also very good in cycling. He was in Atlanta 1996. They got the silver, second place. My father was the coach of them.

So, why is your father good at coaching bicycling and tennis?
My father, he is very good in strategy. You can see the results every time. He has coached 5 Olympic champions. I think that is good result.

How is tennis in Russia now. Is it very difficult for the players?
I think there is a lot of talent and a lot of girls that are very good but every one stop because of money.

1999 world number one, Lena Krasnoroutskaia is from Russia. Do you know her?
When I started to play I saw her. She was number one (juniors). After, when I was grow, I didn't see her because she was playing WTA. Now I saw her in Wimbledon and we met. I said "hi, how ya doing," and now we know each other.

Do you know of any young players that are coming up in Russia? How about Maria Kirilenko and Dasha Chemarda?
Dasha is younger then me by one year and Maria two years. I didn't see her play and Maria I didn't see for three years. I know she has coach and sponsor so she should be OK. Now it will be up to her. In Russia there are a lot of players that are good that do not have sponsors. There are a lot of young young people that are doing very well. Coaches are getting crazy. They are starting to practice unbelievable times and breaking the players.. Some practice 8 hours a day at 11 years old. 8 hours in the day ... it's impossible.

How much practice did you do growing up?
I have not been practicing a lot. Now, just doing a lot in club. 6, 4, 5 hours, it depends on how I am feeling. If I am down, no one will push me. Everyone trust me that I know what to do. If I feel good, I practice more. I remember when I was young, I was with a coach, for about two years and we were in practice with 4 people on one court. Four people on one court for one hour. The court was indoors in a small place and the mountain climbers also used this area to practice. They would climb over the roof as we practiced!

Are there any tennis camps in Russia.
There are some but not big.

Where are you going from here?
Next year I will play as many pros as I can, but you know they are limited.

Will you be playing junior Grand Slams?
I don't know, I would like to play Roland Garros but if there is another tournament on at the same time, I will play that.Good interview

Nichole
Feb 25th, 2005, 01:36 AM
thanks for the awesome articles - is it true sveta is a music junkie

Gowza
Feb 28th, 2005, 11:38 PM
yeah thanks for the articles.

goldenlox
May 28th, 2005, 07:36 PM
Kuznetsova Cruises Into Roland Garros Second Round
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/KuznetsovaBHAusOpen05S.Mullane.jpg
Photo By Susan Mullane By Tennis Week
05/24/2005

Svetlana Kuznetsova returned to the scene of a painful loss and registered a powerful win. The sixth-seeded Russian crushed French wild card Mathilde Johansson, 6-1, 6-1, to cruise into the second round of Roland Garros.


The reigning U.S. Open champion awaits the winner of the opening-round match between Eleni Daniilidou and qualifier Sofia Arvidsson. The win snapped a two-match losing streak for Kuznetsova, who held a 3-1 lead in the final set over 2003 Roland Garros champion Justine Henin-Hardenne in the Warsaw final before falling 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. Kuznetsova lost in the Berlin quarterfinals to Patty Schnyder, 6-2, 6-2, and fell in straight sets to Paola Suarez in the second round of Rome.

Johansson proved to be the ideal opening-round opponent for the Russian seeking to regain success on red clay. Making her Grand Slam singles debut, the 20-year-old French wild card sprayed shots outside the lines in committing 34 unforced errors compared to 22 for Kuznetsova. When she did connect, Johansson offered flat, fast shots for Kuznetsova to feast on. Kuznetsova converted five of her 12 break-point chances.

A year ago, Kuznetsova held a match point against compatriot Anastasia Myskina on Court One before losing the lead and the match, 1-6, 6-4, 8-6. Myskina went on to become the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam title, starting a wave of Russian champions that saw Maria Sharapova win Wimbledon and Kuznetsova collect the U.S. Open crown.

goldenlox
Jun 5th, 2005, 05:10 PM
Kuznetsova blames nerves for defeat by Heninhttp://www.reuters.ca/locales/images/clear.gifhttp://wwwi.reuters.com/images/2005-05-30T165427Z_01_GALAXY-DC-MDF572924_RTRIDSP_1_SPORTS-ATP-KUZNETSOVA-COL.jpg (http://javascript<img%20src=&quot;http://ads.tennisuniverse.com/wtaworld/ubb/tongue.gif&quot;%20border=&quot;0&quot;%20alt=&quot;&quot;%20title=&quot;Stick%2 0Out%20Tongue&quot;%20smilieid=&quot;6&quot;%20class=&quot;inlineimg&quot;% 20/>hotoPopup('/locales/c_newsPhotoPresentation.jsp?type=sportsNews&localeKey=en_CA&imageID=1001940151')) http://www.reuters.ca/locales/images/clear.gifMon May 30, 2005 12:25 PM GMT-04:00


By Martyn Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - Nerves cost Russian sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova a quarter-final place at the French Open after she squandered two match points in a 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 defeat by Justine Henin-Hardenne Monday.

"She didn't really win the match, I lost it. It was all in my hands. If it was the final I would kill myself," said Kuznetsova.

The U.S. Open champion was twice a point away from a first appearance in the last eight at Roland Garros as Henin-Hardenne served to stay in the match at 5-3 down in the deciding set.

However, two unforced errors from the powerful Russian gave the former world number one a lifeline and she reeled off the last four games.

For Kuznetsova it was a sad repeat of last year when she lost in the fourth round after holding match points against fellow Russian and eventual champion Anastasia Myskina.

"I guess so," said the 19-year-old when asked if her nerves had got the better of her.

"It was tough, she didn't miss. She just put the ball in. I just stopped (playing), I was a little bit confused, I didn't know what I had to do."

Henin-Hardenne also felt Kuznetsova had lost her way at the crucial stage of the match although the Russian denied it was a weakness in her make-up.

"Martina Navratilova has been playing for 30 years and she still has nerves," she said.

"If you don't have nerves it's like you don't care. But the best players are the ones who know what to do when they start to feel nervous."

Despite the defeat Kuznetsova believes she is slowly getting back to the level she reached when she pulled off her stunning victory at Flushing Meadows last year. "I slowed down after the U.S. Open a little bit because that was such a big thing, but now I feel like I'm starting to get my game again back," said the 19-year-old who moved to Spain at a young age to forge her tennis career. "Now I'm looking forward to preparing for Wimbledon, it's another grand slam and I'll have another chance." Kuznetsova begins her grasscourt season at Eastbourne where she is the defending champion.

goldenlox
Jun 5th, 2005, 06:53 PM
Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2004 US Open Singles Champion
by Beth Knizer





The below was sent to us from the Academia Sanchez-Casal. It was narrated by Emilo Sanchez. We thought you might enjoy an insight into the new US Open singles champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova.


Svetlana (as we call her Sveta) arrived at the Academy Sanchez-Casal in Barcelona in when she was about 15 years old. Her mother was an Olympic cycling champion and her father a cycling coach who was doing preseason training in a city nearby, approximately about 100 km away. But Svetlana wanted to do something different: To be a tennis player.

First time I met her I said: "She was so shy she would not look at you, she had no confidence in herself, but every time she hit the ball the noise was different, never saw anything like it in all my career, maybe similar to Roddick, remember Arantxa when was little, incredible talent but this strokes was never seen".

We had a staff meeting and decided that we will help her, at that time we just started the Academy and didn’t have many of this kind of players.

She felt very relaxed because we decided to put a simple goal: To become the best player possible; an all court player who didn't have to win from the first day, and I think that she valued this because in Russia she always had big pressure. Doing that she improved her confidence and was winning because she was a better player, not because she had the pressure to win!

Two years later, at age 16, she was already the number 1 junior in the world. I tried to convince the Spanish Tennis Federation to offer her to become a Spanish citizen, but they didn’t believe the potential that I saw in her. The Federation's president at that time said: ".. She's a mediocre player that never will be in the top 20. We have people offering players like this to us every month...". Today after Arantxa and Conchita have retired, Spain is in deep trouble for female players.

At 17, she began traveling with Arantxa and her team of coaches from the Academy. That year she won her first professional event in singles and three doubles titles together with Arantxa. Arantxa taught her discipline, strategy and how to be a true professional. She opened the first door for her. At that time, Arantxa was Martina Navratilova's doubles partner; Martina was also training in our traveling group. Once Arantxa retired at the end of 2002, Martina (who is smart and knows talent) talked Sveta into playing with her. In 2003, they won four titles and played the Masters. Martina taught her how to play inside the court. She opened the second door for Sveta. She must have had something when two number ones Arantxa and Martina play with her from scratch and make their best results. That same year was her confirmation as a top singles player: Quarters in Wimbledon and finishing in the top 30. Stephan, her personal coach from the Academy, traveled with her for two years, which were the most difficult ones. Giselle, the academy's physical coach, did a great job improving her mobility which was one of her weaknesses. Both coaches stayed with Martina when she decided to go for the Olympics in 2004 and played with Lisa Raymond. Sveta was very disappointed and was ready to quit playing doubles.

Angel Gimenez took over the coaching and with Sergio’s (Casal) help, convinced her that she had to still improve inside the court, her serve, and that if she didn't play doubles it would be more difficult. After several long conversations she accepted.

Sveta started to play with Elena Likhovtseva and got ready to go to the Olympics. The goal for 2004 was to take more advantage of her serve in order to play more inside the court. She was trying to qualify for the Olympics and Masters. The preseason was really hard, she worked better than never before, and the results came from the first moment.

The improvement was big, she matured and for the first time didn’t have any mirror, it was all about her. She started to get better results, her only losses were against better players than her. Angel said: “The other players started to respect her. If she controls her power something big will happen.”

At Roland Garros, she had two match point against Anastasia Myskina (who won the event). She won in Eastbourne. At the Olympics, she almost won a medal Before losing to Amelie Mauresmo in a close match. The Myskina win at Paris, Sharapova win at Wimbledon and, Dementieva, Zvonareva, Petrova, Bovina wins in other events were an incredible motivation for Sveta. Competitive mirrors and hunger are the most successful motivators. She believed in herself and it was time to show it. She found maturity and started to get results.

Sveta already had the fastest serve at the US Open (208km/h), most aces (44) and had only lost one set to Davenport in the tournament. Sergio Casal who was coaching her at the US Open said, “Serving this way and with a bit of order in her game she is much better than all other players, she can win this thing.”

Her parents, who came from sports, were always in the back, letting every person do their job. Sveta was very mature in most cases, making big decisions (not common on the tour).

Sveta will go to Bali (which she has won) and Beijing, where she will play doubles with Arantxa. She is also supposed to play in Stuttgart, Moscow, Zuerich Masters and Fed cup finals. But this could change if she keeps playing so well and so much. It is tough for those players reaching far in each event.

I believe her confidence improved a lot, but still has to be more consistent in believing that she can be the best. She needs to keep working in that direction.

She listens to music all the time and is quite the music alcoholic. Sveta is her short name because Svetlana is to difficult for Spanish, and Kuzne as well, she has both. She is very easy going and sometimes because of her shyness people thinks she is arrogant but she is not, they don’t know her well.

alibaby
Jun 6th, 2005, 10:35 AM
thank you,very interesting!!if you have more of her,just post it!!greets from germany,stefan :wavey:

alibaby
Jun 6th, 2005, 02:09 PM
just sad,that kuzzie is not at birmingham.but she better get ready for wimbledon,so thats the right decision!!go,kuzzie-baby!

veryborednow
Jun 16th, 2005, 05:55 PM
Kuznetsova comes down to earth
By Piers Newbery

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40634000/jpg/_40634116_kuz_getty_270.jpg

Svetlana Kuznetsova
Svetlana Kuznetsova profile
Svetlana Kuznetsova admits she found it dificult to come back down to earth after her surprise win at last year's US Open.

The Russian, who turns 20 during Wimbledon, capped a magnificent 2005 with victory over Elena Dementieva at Flushing Meadows.

And while Kuznetsova has gone on to firmly establish herself in the world's top 10, she has yet to hit those heights again in 2006.

"It's not difficult to carry pressure but after such success it's difficult to become normal again," she told BBC Sport.

"It's difficult to find a balance but I just needed some time to get it back.

"I think more players want to beat me. When you're a junior on the tour and you start playing it's easier to get up to the top.

"You've got to work very hard to stay there."


It's not my knees that hurt, it's my butt
Svetlana Kuznetsova
One of Kuznetsova's many highlights last year was her victory on grass at Eastbourne, but it was followed by a first-round exit at Wimbledon.

"I didn't expect to do so well at Eastbourne and I didn't expect to do so badly at Wimbledon, so it was a weird time," she said.

It was particularly disappointing as Kuznetsova's aggressive game is suited to faster surfaces.

"My game definitely changes on grass because I want to win the points quicker," she said.

"On clay you just put on lots of spin and the ball jumps up. It's very hard to make a winner, but here it's really easy.

"You just have to bend your knees and focus on every ball. If you lose just one point, you can lose the game. If they serve well, it's difficult."

And it's not just her style of play that is affected on grass.

Asked whether she can feel the switch from clay in her knees, Kuznetsova said: "It's not my knees that hurt, it's my butt.

"But you get used to it."

veryborednow
Jun 16th, 2005, 05:56 PM
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41208000/jpg/_41208517_svetlana.jpg

Svetlana Kuznetsova
Born: 27/6/85
Nationality: Russian
Seeded: 5
World ranking: 5
Wimbledon best:
Quarter-finals (2003)
Recent record:
2004: 1st round
2003: Quarter-finals
2002: N/A

The Russian has followed up her breakthrough season with another steady campaign in 2005.

Kuznetsova claimed her first Grand Slam title at the 2004 US Open and climbed into the world's top five for the first time.

The Russian proved her grittiness at Flushing Meadows, beating Lindsay Davenport and defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne before downing Elena Dementieva in the final.

She has continued to slowly improve this season, reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the first time.

At Roland Garros, she matched her best French Open performance before bowing out in the fourth round to Henin-Hardenne.

A new doubles partnership with Australian Alicia Molik this season has added another dimension to Kuznetsova's game.

The pair claimed the Australian Open doubles crown and went on to add a second title in Miami.

But with Molik pulling out of Wimbledon through injury, Kuznetsova will want to progress individually.

The Russian reached the last eight in 2003 but fell in the first round to qualifier Virginie Razzano last year.

goldenlox
Jun 23rd, 2005, 02:33 PM
Wimbledon round 2 interview -

http://www.wimbledon.org/images/players/wtak552.jpg
Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/bios/ws/wtak552.html)S. Kuznetsova - Day 3
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Q. You've played with Sania before in the Juniors circuit?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I didn't.

Q. As a junior in India?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I never been to India.

Q. Okay. Were you surprised at the way things turned out today?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: The thing is, I played her in Dubai this year and she had good match. She played well in India ‑‑ oh, sorry, in Dubai. I didn't do so well.

Today, I mean, I just ‑‑ it wasn't my day at all. You know, as professional player, I ask myself to go through, to play through it, you know. I couldn't ‑‑ I didn't play at all. I couldn't do anything. I was just ‑‑ I couldn't move. I was so tense that my nerves just get me today. I just couldn't think properly, you know.

But I was there, you know. I was doing as it were going today. Next match, well, Sania, she is good player, but, I mean, there is big difference between us I think. She has great future. She has very good shots. But, I mean, if I play my game, I should have win much easier.

But of all conditions today, I just didn't do anything. I am very upset of the game I played, but I am very happy to go through.

And I understand it's a Grand Slam and I wanted to win so much. Nerves get me, because I was not moving and just didn't do anything. But my serve helped me out, so I'm very happy to get this match through.

Q. Had you ever been on Centre Court before?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, it was first time on Centre Court.

Q. Were you really nervous about that?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, of course. I mean, everything, you know. All pressure was on me, it was nothing on her. She was ‑‑ she had lower rank. She had nothing to lose.

I mean, I am here. I gotta win these matches. I am playing in big arena, on Centre Court. I guess they put my match because they were expecting me to play well, but I'm very upset I didn't do well. But hopefully next time I'll do better.

I mean, just very happy to get it through, but really upset with my game.

Q. You said you struggled, but how much was because of how much she pushed you? She pushed you all the way, didn't she?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, she was hitting good shots, but because I was letting her. I just didn't hit the ball at all. My game is to hit my forehand, is to go for my shots. I was doing all different today. I was serving. When I serve well, I wasn't expecting her to receive well, and she was doing it very well. She was keeping me back in baseline. I just was hitting ‑‑ I was trying to hit my backhands harder than my forehands. This is not ‑‑ this is not my game, you know.

She was playing well because I've been letting her go. I just was tense. I didn't know what to do. I pushed the ball up and she just hit it as hard as she could. This is her game. This is the way she play, and not my game. It was my worst against her best, and this is like it was.

But just, I don't know. Something came in my mind and I had to do serve and volley last game. This really helped me out.

Q. What do you plan to do to get over these problems in the next game that you face?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I guess I wouldn't have it. I cannot imagine to have every match like this because it's not possible, I hope, in this world, you know.

But I just will go and fight back again. I just want to win each match so bad, and I just want to play better, you know. I played much better last matches. I played much better than this one today. Just very happy because I stayed there and won this match.

Q. Do you enjoy playing on grass?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't enjoy. You know, my goal now this season is like, "I did very well last season and I want to enjoy playing." I start like, you know, when you get on the court, you like not thinking like get tense, get nervous. It was today, it was just enjoying.

During the match, I was like, "You are not enjoying this." I was thinking, "But what you want to enjoy if you are so tense you just cannot do two steps to the side?"

I mean, I was looking like maybe a duck on the court today because I just ‑‑ I mean, I was silly, even embarrassed for my game because I just can't imagine how I could play that way.

Q. How much do you think it was the Centre Court versus being just at Wimbledon or just today with nerves?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Maybe like 30% of all my nerves. Maybe 30, 40.

But the thing is, I want to do so well. And wanting this, it's make me go so nervous, you know. But now it's looks like I'm saying that I play so bad and it's looks like I'm saying that Sania is not playing well. Yeah, she does play well, but I just expected much more game of me, you know, from my side.

I was very surprised when I saw last night's schedule and I was playing on the Centre Court. I was like, "Hell, no, I can't imagine this," you know. I know it was tough match because especially some player you never beat before, and I lost to her in Dubai. I know I didn't play well, you know, but still it's puts pressure on you. It just wasn't going. It was not my day, but I still happy to get it.

Q. At the US Open you played under the bright lights.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.

Q. How is this different?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, is just different. It's completely different. It's grass court. There is hard court. Hard court is my best ‑‑ best, I guess, best...

Q. Surface.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: ...surface. I just catch up my game there, you know. It was like match to match I was playing, playing, and not thinking after now what is gonna be, after if I win, after if I win. Just in the final, I was like, "Wow, I'm in final." I played the best tennis I ever played, I guess, because I was hitting the ball as hard as I could. I was really doing my things I have to do: I served well, I played lots of forehand. I really was enjoying this. It was just a great atmosphere, great people, and just really good memories about it.

But also Wimbledon is so different, you know. It's completely like black and blue maybe, or white and black, you know, or red and black, whatever, you know. It's just different. It's like Sprite and Coke, you know. Doesn't matter that I love Sprite more than Coke, but it just completely different. But also I would love to do well here.

And also I just like Wimbledon because I know I can do different things here, you know. Maybe I can serve and volley more. I just have to push myself. I just have to see as moments as today, that it's help me out and it could help me out much more times. I will have to do it more.

Q. Is this your worst match that you've played for a while, do you feel?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I don't think it's even like worst. Just nerves get me. I played ‑‑ I just don't know. I had really bad matches this year.

No, my worst match was in Rome, I think. But just this year was not going that well and I just ‑‑ you know, it's difficult because the years before I was coming like junior maybe and just had nothing to lose. Now, when you get to Top 10, maybe Top 5, you just have all the pressure on you. You have to understand. This takes you a while to understand it. You got to handle this pressure how you have to handle it. You have to learn it, you know.

Q. How do you cope with nerves now?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, trying to get matches, just try not to think of it. This is what I said. I'm trying to enjoy the tennis, you know. To play like players like Sania that play ‑‑ I mean, she was playing really well, but I was not doing the things what I'm doing well, so this is what gets me in problem.

I have to really concentrate on my things while I play.

Gowza
Jun 28th, 2005, 03:17 AM
S. Kuznetsova - Day 7
Monday, June 27, 2005



Q. I was just going to ask, I think you answered the same thing in Russian, but four Russian players in the quarterfinals. Do you think there's any reason for that, or how would you explain that?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, what's the reason about last year of three Russian players won a Grand Slam each?

So, I mean, the reason is everybody play well and great competition between each other and just do well.

Q. Do you think there's any training methods or reason why so many Russian players have made it to the Top 10?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, this question, we should make a poster so everybody knows (smiling).

No, I mean, because we compete between each other so much, and since we are young we have not good conditions and it's so tough to get through, like, through this world to go higher, you know, to start traveling and everything because it's so hard with the sponsors. And since you do this, you just become so strong a person, player and mentality.

Q. You need a strong mentality to break through?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, yeah, because nobody will give you nothing for free in Russia, and you have to do the work for it.

Q. You think maybe some of the other countries, they're not as kind of mentally tough?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, sometimes people, like they are starting to play tennis, no, but like, "It's okay, he has only 10 years old and he has all the time in the life." This is not like this. You have to play tennis (indiscernible), you have to practice a lot. Sometimes people think that kids shouldn't do this, but it's different in Russia.

Q. Are you, yourself and the others, role models there for more youngsters to play tennis in Russia?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I hope so. I hope so. I know that people, they are trying to open more clubs in different city. Because now the most important city is Moscow, so everything is in Moscow and they have very good level there. But other cities are not so good, so I know that people, they are trying to do something.

Q. Are the Russian players close as friends? Do you travel with one another?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, some of them, but it's very hard to be because we have so big competition between us. So this is why. Competition makes you grow another level, you know. You just fight till the end and you want to do better and you want to be best in your country and you just want to do good, you know.

Q. How do you assess the chances of the four of you here?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Everybody has different, you know ‑‑ lots of chances because everybody is different. If you get to quarterfinals, you can go higher. This is just ‑‑ all depend on yourself and how much you believe, how strong you want it.

Q. Do you think Petrova can beat Sharapova?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I have no idea, you know. It's between them and whatever they play like.

But I think ‑‑ I don't know. We'll see tomorrow.

alibaby
Jun 28th, 2005, 02:38 PM
hey,its a day too late,i know,but!HAPPY BIRTHDAY,SVETI-BABY!! :kiss: :kiss:

chain
Jun 29th, 2005, 06:06 PM
Svetlana Kuznetsova: The Anti-Star

She might be a Grand Slam champ, but Svetlana Kuznetsova barely rates a mention alongside the likes of Maria Sharapova. But as the young Russian tells GEORGES HOMSI, she'd rather be a nice person than a glamorous star.


Svetlana Kuznetsova knows she's not a star, and she doesn't care. She's just too easygoing to act like one. The 2004 US Open champion, one of three female Russian Grand Slam champions last year, claims rightly than her success didn't change her at all as a person. Maybe her anti-star behaviour is one of the reasons for a lack of media attention since her New York achievement. She knows she is not as glamorous as her countrywoman, Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova and she's fine with it.

When we met the US Open champion in Warsaw we couldn't help but appreciate her down to earth attitude. Although the interview was postponed three times, once we sat down she showed both interest and willingness to confide, although it appeared clear that, English not being her mother tongue, she couldn’t expand in her answers as much as she would have in Russian.


What's changed in your life since your victory at the US Open?
Oh, many things have changed. I put more pressure on myself because I want to show better tennis. I know the level I can reach, and I want to reach it all the time. I have more attention from the press, I have more fans, and I have more invitations to come for tournaments. But for me, the most important is to stay the same person I was before. And I think I have been able to do that.

Do you feel you put sometimes too much pressure on yourself, and that it prevents you from achieving the results you should be achieving?
I think that this victory took some pressure from me because no matter what I do until the end of my career, I have already won a major. On the other hand, it's true that I have more pressure, because I want to play better all the time, and I'm not always able to live up to my expectations.

Did this victory alter your career goals at all?
No I'm not trying to set too high goals for myself, because you never know what's going to happen. I'm just looking everyday at what I should be doing on the moment, and trying to do the best I can. My goals are short-term goals, not long-term, because so many things can happen. I am working hard, and doing the best I can, and then we'll see how far I get.

Before the 2005 US Open did you really believe in your chances of capturing a big one that early?
You know, before there was a gap between top players like Kim(Clijsters), Justine(Henin-Hardenne) or Serena(Willams) and the rest of us. But when I saw the others doing better, I thought, why not me? I knew I could do it too, because I could beat those players. It helped me to see (Anastasia)Myskina and (Maria)Sharapova win big ones before, but it also helped me to think 'now is the time to do it' rather than 'I can do it one day.'

Although you won the Bali title immediately afterwards, did you have some sort of letdown after achieving such a huge goal?
Yes, yes, because it's so hard to stay at the top all the time. After Bali I was so tired. My body was tired. It was hard. And it takes some time to get to understand all that was happening. But hopefully I'll get back to my best level again this year.

Do you feel other players started treating you differently after the Open?
Yes, yes, definitely. You get more respect from players. They just prepare better before playing me. they know better how I play. They're more afraid. But I'm not trying to think of it. I'm just coming to the court to do my best, and to beat anyone I play against on that day.

And tournament directors treat you better…
Yes, sure,, and I'm enjoying it. it's better to feel more comfortable when you are at a tournament. I think it's OK. The top players deserve this kind of special treatment.

For someone who won a Slam recently, do you feel you are getting enough attention from the Media?
I really don't think about that. My game is tennis, and the most important thing for me is to concentrate about what I have to do on the court. But sometimes you would like people to be a little bit different. Like when you open a newspaper, so many times you read negative things. And I think that you should see more different people in the newspapers, different personalities, rather than always the same. But still, I think it's improving.

Do you like attention?
(Hesitation) It depends which way. I like people supporting me from the stands. I like fans. I think I'm very open to the press. I love talking to the press, because I think it's fun. Many players don't but I do. It's easy for me.

Do you read a lot what is written about you?
It depends what. before I used to read it much more, but now it seems to be the same all the time. I see the article, and I sort of know in advance what they wrote. If I don't like what some journalist wrote, if he distorted my words, then I know that the next time I have to be more careful with this person. It doesn't go much further.

How would you describe your own personality?
It's difficult but… I'm kind of open to everybody because I'm friendly. And I feel bad when people think badly about me, because I really don't think I'm a bad person. And I tend to think a lot about what people will think if I do this or that. Maybe too much. I also love to listen to music. Music is part of me.

In Russia, techno music is very popular. Do you like it?
No, no, no. It's not my thing. I love R&B. I love pop music, Russian rock… at leat a couple of bands. I miss it so much. Listening to it changes my world. Actually I miss Russia very much when I'm away.

How do you look at the incredible success of Russian tennis? Are you proud of what your other fellow Russians are doing? Do you feel part of it?
Yes kind of. We are from the same country, and we represent our flag. So I think that all of us are very proud of representing Russia. But also, we compete against each other harder than we compete against anyone else. We have definitely more tension when we play each other.

So the tension must have been extremely high when you met Elena Dementieva in the US Open final…
Yes definitely. I don't really know what she felt, but as far as I'm concerned, if I lose to say Jennifer Capriati, well, it's OK. But if I lose to a Russian, it's different. And I'm pretty sure that all the other Russian players feel the same.

On the other hand, are you close to the other Russians off the court?
I think I am, but it varies according to the player. You cannot get along very well with everybody. Yet, I think we are closer because we have the same culture.

How do you feel about some getting more attention than others? Like Sharapova for example?
It is the way it is. You cannot expect things to be always perfect. You have to try to concentrate on your goals, and trying to achieve them. so I try not to think so much about it.

Your name was recently linked to a controversial "doping" matter after the Belgian Sports minister announced that you had taken a prohibited substance before an exhibition. Although you had done nothing wrong, since ephedrine is not prohibited outside official competitions, you must have been very upset of all the publicity surrounding this "affair"?
You know, things are clear in my mind. I had a strong cold, and since I had accepted to play this charity exhibition, I decided to respect my commitment. It could have been easy for me to pull out because I was a little sick, but I knew the organisers would be disappointed, so I came. And yes, I was taking ephedrine to relieve my cold, which I knew was allowed during the off-season. It is unfortunate that this made so much noise while nothing wrong was done.

You said at some stage that you intended to sue the minister in question, because he unjustly linked your name to doping.
Yes, but I'm not handling things myself. My job is to play and concentrate on my career, and that's what I intend to do. Yet, it is important not to let things like this happen again. I have not done anything wrong, and I was on the cover of newspapers for alleged doping. I think the way the minister announced things was wrong, and he never called me or said he was sorry. So something has to be done about it. I cannot let it be and forget about it.

I understand you're a fan of snowboarding. Tell us about it.
Yes, I love snowboarding. Every year I try to go snowboarding somewhere, in France or in Spain. I love to go to big mountains. Two years ago I drove to the French Alps. I love driving.

Is it not too risky as far as injuries are concerned?
I don't think so. I can snowboard quite well, and I don't fall down, so I don't consider it too risky. Also you cannot always keep thinking of the chances to get injured, because otherwise you don't do anything. You just have to be careful, and try to live your life the best way you can. I also like football(soccer). Not so much watching it, but I like to play. I think I might have been to the stadium to watch games about three times in my life. It's fun, but not nearly so much as playing.. I warm up with football. When we played Fed Cup last year, we were warming up with football. The other girls didn't like it so much, but I was having a ball.

Tell us how you spend your free time in Barcelona where you are now based most of the time.
I don't have so much free time there. I practice most of the time. And in fact I don't spend all that much time there. When I have some time, I have to visit doctors, dentists, and I have so many things of the kind to do. Yet, when I can, I go to the cinema with my friends or to dinner with my friends or my mum who is with me in Barcelona. We also stay and watch Russian TV a lot.

What are the main benefits of being based in Barcelona, and training the Spanish way?
You know, I'm so used to it, so I cannot imagine any different way of training. Five years is a long time. I started training there when I was thirteen or fourteen. I feel like I grew up there. But I can tell you it's tough. It's a lot of hours, lots of balls, lots of drills. Yes, lots of drills, this is I think the most important thing. now I benefit of more of a personalised training. They established a special program for me. it helps me concentrate, and keep focused.

Would you say you have a more Russian or more Spanish way of thinking?
I think both. And more also. When you travel the world, you try to get a feel of every place you go, and it reflects on your personality. It's normal. But the friendly side is more Spanish I would say because sometimes, Russian people are not so friendly. I mean we are friendly, but in a different way. Sometimes we can look a little rough. Mental strength maybe, I don't know. Kind of 'I want this, and I'm gonna have it this way! And now!' Spanish people are more like, 'OK, tomorrow.' You always will do it later. And this is not my way.

What are the cities that you prefer to visit?
I love Australia, and in particular Melbourne. The city is so lively, and the people relaxed and friendly. But of course my favorite city is St Petersburg, my hometown. I also love Paris, but it's very strange. I get strange feelings in Paris. I get nervous. They say it's the city of love, but I feel a certain tension out there that I don't like so much. It's no the people, it's the city and it's a strange feeling I have had ever since the first time I went there, when I was a junior. Yet, I still like it. I also like New York and Moscow. In Moscow everything is so fast. A little bit like a Russian New York. People there have their own rules, and they have to know their traditions. But to relax, ST Petersburg is better, because it's beautiful, and there is so much culture.


In a separate section about player superstitions, it mentions Sveta doesn't like anyone touching her racquets before a match.

Gowza
Jul 8th, 2005, 03:52 AM
good interview, good to see she's trying hard to stay the same nice person. i think winning a slam early in a career although it can put more pressure on a player to perform eg sharapova with the press giving her so much attention, sveta hasnt been getting that sort of attention and in the long run i think it will help her win slams much more easily. a mauresmo like career being one of the older players yet to win a slam and with the pressures of the media to win a slam its easier for a player if they already have one under their belt to win one and winning one so young sveta now has a couple of years to properly develop.

goldenlox
Jul 15th, 2005, 03:19 PM
Sveta interviewed with Nastya, Lena D., Nadia, and Vera Z.

THE TOUR LIFE

What do you most like about being on the tour:

Petrova: "Changing plases all the time is very exciting, from seeing different cultures to eating different foods."
Dementieva: "Meeting so many interesing people around the world while at the same time working to win a tournament"
Myskina: "Really, nothing. Every year the tour gets tougher."

Whats the Hardest Part about Traveling?

Kuznetsova: "Its a double-edged sword because youre seeing the world but you are missing your freinds and family."
Zvonereva: "The flying is too much sometimes. Once i flew from Miami to Sydney for 14 straight hours. Or another time going consecutive weeks from New York to Moscow to Beijing to Moscow and Miami. Thats hard on your body."

Was there a moment or match early in your career that showed you had the goods to be a successful pro?

Dementieva: In 1999 we plaed the Fed CUp final, and I beat Venus. Even though our team lost 4-1 just to get that one win for Russia was very important to me."
Myskina: Palermo 1999, I made it out of the qualies and won the tournament. Then I quilifeid for the US OPEN."
Petrova: WInning the Fench Open juniors in 98'
Zvonereva: " In 2003 I beat Venus at ROLAND GARROS."

WHats your favorite city?

Zvonereva: "Beijings a lot like my hometown, Moscow-great hotels, great plase for an event. It was also fun in Beijing to go and this market and buy a fake rolex watch"
Kuznetsova: "Anywhere, so long as i dont have to be there more that two weeks:"
Petrova: Melbourne. Its so green and busy."
Myskina: Zurich. I love the mountains and the smaill cafes and the hot chocolate.
Dementieva: "Moscow"

What to your parents think about your careers?

Myskina: "Tennis was my fathers dream, he pushed me, and hes really happy"
Dementeiva: Tennis wasnt my decision. My mom made it for me. My parents always wanted me to play tennis."
Petrova: "Both my parents are atheletes so they know what it takes to be a pro"

When does being a pre seem most frustrating?

Petrova: "Packing. Youve got just a little time to fold all these clothes and youre tired and want to sleep."
Myskina: "Its one thing to play when youre rising up the ranks, but its another when people think you have to win"

CHILLING OUT

What do you do to relax on tour?

Zvonereva: " I watch movies on my DVD player and I also like to read books like War and Peace"
Dementieva: "You dont really have time to relax at a tournament, but when I have time, I like to go to the pool and read Dostoevsky or Nabokov."
Myskina: "Movies like Meet the Fockers or books like Lord of the Rings."
Petrova: "I always have a book with me, or play music, or play cards with my coach."

How do you relax away from the tour?

Kuznetsova: "Its fun to ride a snowbouard, or hang out with freinds, or watch a good comedy like Bruce Almighty."
Zvonereva: "Just go home to Moscow and sit in a restaurant with my freinds."
Myskina: "Mostly I like to be with my family. Otherwise , I could probably sleep all day."

Whats your favorite meal?

Petrova: "Suchi, anytime, anywhere."
Myskina: "Suchi, I love eel."
Dementieva: "Suchi"
Kuznetsova: "Suchi"
Zvonereva: "I eat everything. I like something different every day. In China, I love the Peking duck. In Russia, crepes with caviar."

How Many songs do you have on your Ipod?

Kuznetsova: "At least 2,000. Lots of R&B."
Zvonereva: "Nearly 3,000. Usher, 50 Cent, and Eminem are some of my favorites."
Myskina: "I dont have one. Kuznetsova, shes the one who knows how to make all that stuff work. "

What Movies and TV shows do you watch?

Petrova: "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is very relaxing. Thers no meaning to it, just fun."
Dementieva: "I dont watch TV."
Myskina: "Friends, I like all of them. THey are all really funny."

WHo's going to play the movie of your life?

Petrova: "No one could play me."
Zvonereva: "Julia Roberts"
Dementeiva: "No ONe"

What Famouse people have you met?

Myskina: "Through Jennifer Capriati, I got to meet Matthew Perry. But im not really into that."
Zvonereva: "It was pretty cool to meet Boris Yeltsin when we won the Fed Cup. I want to meet Pultin."
Dementieva. "Ive met Yeltsin and Pultin, but im not trying to meet famous people. There's nothing special about them, they are normal people."

Whats your biggest fear?

Kuznetsova: "Snakes"
Petrova: "Turbulence on a plane, Ive had my share."
Myskina: "The future-finding myself after tennis."

Whats the coolest thing you own?

Dementieva: " My cactus collection."
Zvonereva: "My Nissan Primera. Its black, with tinted windows."
Petrova: "Ive got quite a big apartment in Moscow."
Myskina: "My black BMW 328."

BACK TO SCHOOL

What kind of student where you?

Kuznetsova: "Very well-behaved"
Myskina: "Oooohhh....well, the mormal one who missed a lot of lessons because of tennis."
Dementieva: "I was a good student until a started traveling more for tennis."
Petrova: "Until i started playing tennis at age 8, i was an exellent student."
Zvonereva: "Actually I was good. I love school."

What where your favorite subjects?

Dementieva: "Russian and french"
Kuznetsova: "Math"
Myskina: "I really liked learning how to write and speak in Russian."
Petrova: "Biology"
Zvonereva: "math"

Do you still think of going back to school and if so, what would you like to study?

Dementieva: "Yes. Id study sports management. I think I have learned a little bit about how that fielf works."
Zvonareva: "Id like to learn how to become a computer programmer."
Myskina: "It would be fun to go to a university and study something like design, or something with clothes and fashion."

It you werent a tennis player, what would you be?

Petrova: "A Doctor"
Myskina: "I Dont know, I dont know. Ive been playing tennis since I was 6. I really like who I am.
Kuznetsova: "An athlete in another sport-any sport."
Dementieva: "Doctor"

HANGING OUT

How do you stay friends when you travel so much?

Myskina: "Lots of time on the phone and sending text messages."
Petrova: "Its very hard. I ahave some great freinds back home who odnt play tennis. We email a lot, but when Im home, we try to spend lots of time together."
Zvonereva: "In a way its fun just to have freinds all over the world in different cities."

Have you made freinds on the tour?

Petrova: "Players are more business freinds that close freinds."
Myskina: "I hang out mostly with the Russians."
Dementieva: "Its very difficult to be freinds with somebody that you have to play against that day."

THE RUSSIAN EXPERIENCE

What is it like competing agaisnt others from your homeland?

Myskina: "Its tough. When I was the number one Russian, I had to prove myself all the time. Now Im not, so theres no pressure on me. Even more, friendships will last long than anyhing in tennis.
Dementieva: "Its more about the way you feel for this person, With Myskina we started to do things together and there are a lot of memories we can share together."
Kuznetsova: "Its very tough, but im motivated to play against someone from home."

Whats it like to be famous in Russia?

Myskina: "In the US there are these magazines and TV all the time with famous people going to the beach or eating. In Russia, its much more quiet."
Petrova: "Ive hardly ever had people walk up to me."
Zvonereva: "People dont watch sports that much in Russia, so only once in a while do people ask for autographs."

How much time do you spend at home?

Myskina: "Three to four months."
Dementieva: "Two Months"
Zvonereva: "Two Months"
Petrova: "Four Weeks"
Kuznetsova: "Two Weeks"

What do you think it is about Russians that make them so good right now?

Zvonereva: "Kournikova and Kafelnikov helped make tennis popular, so parents wanted kids to play becuase they thought kids could make money."
Petrova: "We all came out of the juniors and looked up to each other. We try to give everything we can to the sport."
Myskina: " We're tough and we practice hard."

WORD ASSOCIATION

AMERICA

Petrova: "Big Portions"
Zvonareva: "Boring"
Kuznetsova: "Lots of fast food"
Dementieva: "Hamburgers"
Myskina: "Far from home."

TENNIS

Petrova: "Lots of Sweat"
Zvonereva: "tennis ball"
Kuznetsova: "having fun"
Dementieva: Grand slam"
Myskina: "Number one"

ANNA K

Petrova: "long blond"
Zvonereva: " Anna the great"
Kuznetsova: "Famous"
Dementieva: "Kournikova"
Myskina: "Kournikova"

WIMBLEDON

Petrova: "Strawberries and cream"
Zvonereva: "Grass"
Kuznetsova: "My Birthday"
Dementieva: "Grass courts"
Myskina: "QUEEN"

TRAVELING

Petrova: "Lots of luggage."
Zvonereva: "Planes"
Kuznetsova: "Lots of Flights"
Dementieva: "Planes"
Myskina: "Tennis"

ROOM SERVICE

Petrova: "PAy TV"
Zvonereva: "Food"
Kuznetsova: "Tired"
Dementeiva: "Boring"
Myskina: "Cheeseburger"

ceiling_fan
Jul 17th, 2005, 07:56 AM
it seems like sveta doesn't like staying anywhere for more than 2 weeks, including her home!!

smiler
Jul 18th, 2005, 11:54 PM
Hahaha a telling comment from Myskina :lol:

What do you most like about being on the tour:
Myskina: "Really, nothing."

Some pretty cool interviews posted here, I like sveta more every time i read or see anything about her, what a legend! :worship:

goldenlox
Jul 19th, 2005, 03:07 PM
it seems like sveta doesn't like staying anywhere for more than 2 weeks, including her home!!That's because she spends some time in Barcelona, and some in St. Petersburg.

goldenlox
Aug 2nd, 2005, 02:33 PM
Despite her U.S. Open win, Kuznetsova remains a secret
By Jerry Magee
STAFF WRITER
August 2, 2005
CARLSBAD – Svetlana Kuznetsova has a secret. Some might say she is a secret, considering how little-known she is for a U.S. Open champion, but psst! Listen.
"I know three of the top Russians who are not so good," Kuznetsova said yesterday in her pleasantly fractured English. "They have some problems, but they are not complaining. They go and they play."
Come on, Svetlana, 'fess up. Who are they?
"I'm not going to say that," she protested. "Nobody knows. I'm not saying anything. This is only what I know; if I know only three, it could be more."
On the opening afternoon of the Acura Classic at the La Costa Resort and Spa, Kuznetsova was discussing how Russian women like herself are able to persevere in tennis while American women are much more, shall we say, fragile.
"We are very different; our mentality is different," said Kuznetsova, who is known for her candor. "We have different discipline."
Question for Kuznetsova: How often has she withdrawn from tournaments?
"Never!" she said. She pronounced the word with emphasis.
None of the Russians who by their numbers have turned the Acura into what could be called the Borscht Open could be more disciplined than Kuznetsova. Martina Navratilova, who is down to play doubles here this evening, said she sensed when she invited Kuznetsova, then 18, to band with her in doubles in 2003 that the Russian could become a Grand Slam champion.
"Absolutely," said Navratilova, another person of pronounced opinions. "What was there not to see in her? She was strong as a little bull and she was competitive and wanted to get better. She had all the goods; she had all the goods to be great.
"She kept coming; she wouldn't quit. With her coach, she would be out there for two hours, hitting one more shot, one more shot. She would be out there until she got it right. When you see somebody doing that, you know they are going to go far."
Kuznetsova has. From her home in St. Petersburg to Barcelona as a teenager as a means of realizing her tennis ambitions and ultimately on to the WTA Tour. She is a player who by her admission has her ups and downs, but she also has times when she can deliver winners in bursts, as she did in outplaying countrywoman Elena Dementieva 6-3, 7-5 in the 2004 Open final.
Kuznetsova's victory seemed to signal the arrival of a refreshing new presence in the women's game. After her victory, it seemed as if she couldn't stop talking during her news conference at the National Tennis Center, she was so delighted. She can speak in Russian, Spanish and English.
There were times when Kuznetsova doubted herself. "When you practice a lot, you're like, 'It's not going to work,' " she said. Her triumph in the Open should have caused her to set aside such thoughts, but her work ethic remains unchanged.
"I want to be, I want to play, I want to be good," she said.
She said since the Open she has been more consistent than she was a year ago, but she has had less positive results. Her last tournament victory was at Bali the week after the Open.
In the thinking that she played too much in 2004, she has cut back on her schedule, eliminating Fed Cup appearances. She also is working on doing more serve-and-volleying.
To Navratilova, the most difficult stroke in tennis is a volley struck while moving forward after serving. The recognition time being extremely brief, not many women can handle this shot, said Navratilova, who arguably could execute it better than any woman who has played tennis. Kuznetsova, Navratilova said, can do it.
Kuznetsova has a history of shoulder problems, but she won't dwell on them. "I am perfect," she said. "I feel I practiced pretty hard in Spain. The schedule is perfect. My shoulder is pretty much perfect. I'm excited about it."
At La Costa, she is the ranking seed in an event that doesn't have a No. 1 seed following Lindsay Davenport's withdrawal Sunday. Kuznetsova seems to find this amusing. When she was reminded of it, she threw her head back and laughed.
Rankings clearly mean nothing to her. It doesn't dismay her, either, that capturing the U.S. Open has brought her no great fame. Even in Spain, where she makes her home, she said she can move about and not be recognized.
"I'm really happy with that," she said. "I just don't feel I would like it if I went out and people would say, 'This is her!' " Svetlana Kuznetsova, the U.S. Open champion of whom too few people are aware.

goldenlox
Aug 2nd, 2005, 04:30 PM
An Open Question

Kuznetsova won the U.S. Open at 19, but can she be more than a one-Slam wonder?

By Diane Pucin, Times Staff Writer


CARLSBAD — There were eight Americans in the main draw of the Acura Classic tennis tournament that began Monday at the La Costa resort. The youngest were a pair of 24-year-olds — Laura Granville and Abigail Spears. The highest-ranked was Lisa Raymond, who is No. 47 on the WTA computer list, is 31 and has probably left behind her prime years.

There were 11 Russians in the main draw. The top three seeded players in the tournament — defending U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, her opponent in the Open final, Elena Dementieva, and Nadia Petrova — are Russian. Six of the 11 are 20 or younger. They are, they think, the future of tennis. "Fans need to get used to seeing us," Dementieva said. "We are playing good."

Kuznetsova is good. She is solidly built, 5 feet 8 1/2 and 160 pounds. She hits a hard, flat groundstroke. When the ball whacks against her racket, the solid sound echoes through empty arenas or bounces off empty metal stands. For despite her Open victory last year under the bright stadium lights in New York, Kuznetsova walks unnoticed through the corridors of the Southern California resort of La Costa.

She hasn't won a tournament this year, though she is ranked fourth in the world. Although Martina Navratilova, Kuznetsova's former doubles partner, says the 20-year-old has the game and the mental strength to become something more than a one-Slam wonder, Kuznetsova sighs when she allows, "This year has been hard."

The daughter of a Russian cycling coach and a world-champion cyclist, Kuznetsova says it still sounds odd when she is introduced as the U.S. Open champion. "I don't always believe it," she said. "I think I have put so much pressure on myself to play so good, like I am the Open champion. And everybody plays good against me."

"Welcome to my world," said Navratilova, winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles. "Other players will measure themselves by how they do against the U.S. Open champion. It becomes a great accomplishment to beat her. So you have to raise your own game."

Mary Pierce, seeded sixth here, said one of her toughest years on the tour came after the first of her two major wins, the 1996 Australian Open. "It changes your life," Pierce said. "The first year after was tough. I struggled with it."

When Kuznetsova beat an injured Lindsay Davenport, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, in the semifinals and the serving-challenged Dementieva, 6-3, 7-5, in the U.S. Open final in September, "It was the greatest moment, holding up the trophy," she said. In her next tournament, a lower-level event in Bali, Kuznetsova beat Samantha Stosur, Angelique Widjaja, Petrova and Marlene Weingartner on the way to another championship.

Since then Kuznetsova has advanced to the finals of two smaller tournaments. This year she lost in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, to Maria Sharapova; in the fourth round of the French Open to eventual champion Justine Henin-Hardenne, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-5; and in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon to Davenport, 7-6 (1), 6-3.

"I have a Slam, nobody can take that away from me," Kuznetsova said.

"But I am proud this year because I have better consistency. I don't lose in the first round or second round of the big tournaments."

Navratilova said Kuznetsova could make another big move forward and challenge for more Grand Slam titles by coming to the net more often.

"The hardest shot in tennis is the first volley," Navratilova said. "But Svetlana has the ability to make that shot."

It is something she is working on, Kuznetsova said. She hopes to improve her serve. Most of all, she'd love to gain more confidence.

"I always want to play like a champion," she said. "I hope I do."

alibaby
Aug 2nd, 2005, 06:51 PM
An Open Question

Kuznetsova won the U.S. Open at 19, but can she be more than a one-Slam wonder?

By Diane Pucin, Times Staff Writer


CARLSBAD — There were eight Americans in the main draw of the Acura Classic tennis tournament that began Monday at the La Costa resort. The youngest were a pair of 24-year-olds — Laura Granville and Abigail Spears. The highest-ranked was Lisa Raymond, who is No. 47 on the WTA computer list, is 31 and has probably left behind her prime years.

There were 11 Russians in the main draw. The top three seeded players in the tournament — defending U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, her opponent in the Open final, Elena Dementieva, and Nadia Petrova — are Russian. Six of the 11 are 20 or younger. They are, they think, the future of tennis. "Fans need to get used to seeing us," Dementieva said. "We are playing good."

Kuznetsova is good. She is solidly built, 5 feet 8 1/2 and 160 pounds. She hits a hard, flat groundstroke. When the ball whacks against her racket, the solid sound echoes through empty arenas or bounces off empty metal stands. For despite her Open victory last year under the bright stadium lights in New York, Kuznetsova walks unnoticed through the corridors of the Southern California resort of La Costa.

She hasn't won a tournament this year, though she is ranked fourth in the world. Although Martina Navratilova, Kuznetsova's former doubles partner, says the 20-year-old has the game and the mental strength to become something more than a one-Slam wonder, Kuznetsova sighs when she allows, "This year has been hard."

The daughter of a Russian cycling coach and a world-champion cyclist, Kuznetsova says it still sounds odd when she is introduced as the U.S. Open champion. "I don't always believe it," she said. "I think I have put so much pressure on myself to play so good, like I am the Open champion. And everybody plays good against me."

"Welcome to my world," said Navratilova, winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles. "Other players will measure themselves by how they do against the U.S. Open champion. It becomes a great accomplishment to beat her. So you have to raise your own game."

Mary Pierce, seeded sixth here, said one of her toughest years on the tour came after the first of her two major wins, the 1996 Australian Open. "It changes your life," Pierce said. "The first year after was tough. I struggled with it."

When Kuznetsova beat an injured Lindsay Davenport, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, in the semifinals and the serving-challenged Dementieva, 6-3, 7-5, in the U.S. Open final in September, "It was the greatest moment, holding up the trophy," she said. In her next tournament, a lower-level event in Bali, Kuznetsova beat Samantha Stosur, Angelique Widjaja, Petrova and Marlene Weingartner on the way to another championship.

Since then Kuznetsova has advanced to the finals of two smaller tournaments. This year she lost in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, to Maria Sharapova; in the fourth round of the French Open to eventual champion Justine Henin-Hardenne, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-5; and in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon to Davenport, 7-6 (1), 6-3.

"I have a Slam, nobody can take that away from me," Kuznetsova said.

"But I am proud this year because I have better consistency. I don't lose in the first round or second round of the big tournaments."

Navratilova said Kuznetsova could make another big move forward and challenge for more Grand Slam titles by coming to the net more often.

"The hardest shot in tennis is the first volley," Navratilova said. "But Svetlana has the ability to make that shot."

It is something she is working on, Kuznetsova said. She hopes to improve her serve. Most of all, she'd love to gain more confidence.

"I always want to play like a champion," she said. "I hope I do."
dont worry,sveti-baby,you are MY champion!! :kiss: :hearts: your biggest german fan!! :kiss: :hearts:

goldenlox
Aug 29th, 2005, 02:18 PM
Defending champ Kuznetsova not center of attention at U.S. Open

http://www.kansascity.com/images/common/spacer.gif


Svetlana Kuznetsova can’t get respect.

She has been largely overlooked in the buildup to the U.S. Open, with most of the attention centered on Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters.

Kuznetsova is the defending champion. Yet her first-round match, against fellow Russian Ekaterina Bychkova this morning on the first day of the Open, isn’t even one of those featured on center court.

“There’s lots of good players to play on the center court here,” Kuznetsova said Sunday, shrugging. “I am playing. I think I will play there also (sometime). So I don’t mind.”

Kuznetsova may not be as glamorous as some of the other Russians, but her star power hasn’t been helped by her recent play. Though she’s ranked fifth in the world, she’s 27-14 in 20 tournaments this year, and is still looking for her first title.

She did make the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon and lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne in the finals in Warsaw, Poland. But she hasn’t gotten past the third round since Wimbledon and was bothered by a back injury in her loss in Toronto two weeks ago.

“I think I’ve been going pretty fast … these few years,” she said. “This year I was not improving so much because I am already in the top 10 and it’s much harder to stay there and to go higher.

“Last year was a big breakthrough, and this year I couldn’t make it so good also. So I am expecting it still to be better.”

With her back healthy again, there’s no better place for her to make a run than the U.S. Open.

goldenlox
Aug 29th, 2005, 03:12 PM
Year After Winning Trophy, Kuznetsova Can Feel Its Weight

By LIZ ROBBINS
Published: August 29, 2005
Svetlana Kuznetsova bears only a faint resemblance to the 2004 United States Open champion. She no longer wears braces.

But besides her new smile and her still loquacious nature, Kuznetsova, 20, has found nothing to be easy since winning her first Grand Slam last year. At times, she has made the game even harder than necessary.

"It puts a lot of pressure on me; I expect a lot from myself," Kuznetsova said recently at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. "I have players who want to beat me because I got something in my life which I never had before."

Seeded No. 5, she is in New York to defend her Open title without having won another tournament this year and without having advanced beyond the quarterfinals of the subsequent Grand Slams, losing to Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, to Justine Henin-Hardenne at the French Open and to Lindsay Davenport at Wimbledon.

She was ousted in the second and third rounds in two tournaments in California this summer before the Rogers Cup. In that tournament, as the third-seeded player, she wrenched her back serving in the first set of her third round match against Gisela Dulko of Argentina, then ranked No. 35.

Kuznetsova played through the injury - later diagnosed as a back strain - despite contorting in pain.

She lost, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8), then pulled out of doubles the next day. "I think I should have stopped playing," Kuznetsova said after the match. "But, I don't know, it's something that keeps me there playing. When the match is so close, it's so difficult just to say, 'That's it.'

"I just couldn't take this decision to pull out. I never did it in my life. So this was hard to me."

This perseverance, and her stubborn competitive streak, may come from her family. Her mother was a six-time cycling world champion from St. Petersburg, Russia, and her father has coached cycling champions. Her brother was the 1996 Olympic silver medalist in cycling.

Kuznetsova's grit propelled her to a major victory, but it might also have hindered her. "She's a little bull; reminds me of me," said Martina Navratilova, Kuznetsova's former doubles partner.

"She just needs to calm down," Navratilova said. "I think she's feeling the pressure a little bit. She lost a few matches. I think what was working for her, when it doesn't work, she's a bit stubborn. She needs to sort of go to Plan B. But she's like: 'I'm going to keep hitting it hard. It's going to work.' "

Kuznetsova, with solid legs like those of a cyclist, does not have one decisive weapon in her game yet, and has struggled against the more consistent players. "It's hard when you're on the top and not winning matches," she said. "Now I'm expecting more from myself, and I want to do more and I know I can do it."

The tennis commentator Tracy Austin said she thought that last year's softer Open field smoothed Kuznetsova's path to the final against her countrywoman Elena Dementieva. Kuznetsova defeated Davenport, who was playing with a strained hip flexor, in three sets in the semifinals.

On the draw's other side, Jennifer Capriati eliminated Serena Williams in the quarterfinals amid a flurry of unforced errors by Williams and several questionable line calls. Kim Clijsters was injured, and Henin-Hardenne was feeling the effects of a virus.

"Kuznetsova won the U.S. Open, but I don't think she's ready to win every Grand Slam title," said Austin, a two-time Open champion. "She doesn't have as big a game as a Davenport, she doesn't have as big a game as Serena when she's at her best."

Kuznetsova's breakthrough victory remains a treasured souvenir and a painful reminder. At the club where she trains in Spain, her colleagues compiled a video tribute of her Open triumph for a New Year's party. Kuznetsova was thrilled but embarrassed.

"I'm showing it to people who want me to show it to them," she said. "I watch it a couple of times, and I am getting sick of it."

Kuznetsova will not be able to duck the attention in New York, as much as she would like to stay incognito.

"I just want to stay a little bit longer like this; now I have to go there and defend it," she said. "I know it's going to be hard, even harder than last year. But I did it once. I have nothing to lose. I'm just going to keep playing and see how far it goes."

Sam's Slave
Aug 30th, 2005, 10:10 AM
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Svetlana, please.

Q. Good afternoon, Champ. Welcome back to New York. How many times have you been interviewed since you came to New York?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Since when?

Q. How many requests for interviews have you had since you arrived here in New York?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: This year?

Q. Yes.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was not doing anything, I guess, because I did not know if I had requests. I had one long interview when I came and that's it because I didn't want to do many thing.

Q. Are you feeling a little bit like the forgotten champion?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I just don't let my mind, you know, into it. I just practice. And I feel relaxed. I do my thing. It doesn't bother me.

Q. How about the (inaudible)?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's good. Very good. I'm very happy with it (inaudible). I'm happy.

Q. As the defending champion, Svetlana, don't you feel that you deserve to be the player playing in the feature match tomorrow?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's very hard to say, no. I guess there is lots of good players to play on the center court here, also. And I think this is a tournament director or tournament decide whoever gets more crowd and what's more important for them to play on the center court. I am playing. I think I will play there also, so I don't mind, whatever.

Q. How would you assess your career right now?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, I think I've been going pretty fast, you know, from back sports to the top sports like through these few years. This year I was not, like, improving so much because I am already in Top 10 and it's much harder, you know, to stay there and to go higher. Last year was a big breakthrough, and this year I couldn't make it so good also. So I am expecting it still to be better.

Q. What's been the problem in your game this year? Why haven't you been able to reach the level that you had here last year?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't think ‑‑ I mean, it's difference. Very hard to say something. Last year was very hard. I travel a lot, I had lots of pressure and stuff. This year it's a bit difficult, but my body still may be not ready to do the same job as it did last year. I'm sure I'm going to get this way again.>

Q. Is it mental? Is your confidence down? Is it physical that you don't feel ‑‑
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's different. It's difficult to say because it's ‑‑ I mean, is different things, you know. There is lots of (inaudible) each thing, you know. As I get on top, maybe I can realize what's going on. But I'm just trying to enjoy the way it is now. Of course I want to have better result, but still it's not possible to play on the top of your game all the time.

Q. What are your expectations for this tournament?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, I never thought of it, you know. I just want to go out there and play each match, match by match. So let's see how far I can go, what I can do.

Q. When you go out to train before a Grand Slam, before a big tournament, days before, do you want a very intense workout or a good workout but not maybe as hard as you would play in a match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I want to have ‑‑ really great to have it intense, but not long so I don't get tired for next match.

Q. Some of the top players have decided to not play many tournaments so they can rest a lot, and I noticed you have played 20 tournaments. You have worked very hard this year. Can you talk about the workload that you are carrying, why you play so much, more than some other players?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think, actually, after last year I think I played less this year. But I just wanted to plan better calendar, you know. I didn't play any Fed Cup matches this year, so it's been a bit easier. But still I played a lot. And this is ‑‑ it depends on your body, you know. Everybody chooses, you know. And I didn't play that much matches this year, you know. I feel when I need matches, I play a bit more of tournaments. But there is players who just play a few and they win all of them or they do good results, so this is enough for them. Everybody's different and everybody has different body and practice, you know. But still I have to work lots of things on my game, my calendar also. Next year we'll plan it even better, you know. This year you get to know yourself, you get to know tournaments, you know how to plan it better.>

Q. Would you like to play less next year?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I would love to if I do better, if I win more matches. So this is depends on the matches because your best shape you get only few matches, practice.>

Q. Even if you play fewer tournaments, when you go deep into the draw, you wind up playing more matches than everybody else anyway, no?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, I play more matches, I win more matches, I play less tournaments; this is pretty clear, yes. So this is what I'm saying, I need to win more matches.>

Q. You could play 13 tournaments and probably play more matches than somebody who's played 30 tournaments?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.

Q. Is the memory of the win here fresh in your mind, or does it seem like a long time ago?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, to me it seems a bit like, "Wow, it's already been one year," you know. You just realize you do one more round, you know, (inaudible), one more just trip and you have to play the Open again. It's been just pretty quick. And this looks fresh. It looks similar as last year.

Q. What was your first feeling or thoughts when you came back to the Tennis Center here?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I just didn't know ‑‑ just maybe I was not that satisfied, you know, not that happy with the year. I've been not so satisfied as last year. I've been through, you know. It shouldn't bring me maybe less confidence, but coming here, it just change everything. I just forget all tournaments been before, I forget all what's behind me, and just I remember the memories and want to do good in here, want to just play my best tennis and just don't think what happened before it.

goldenlox
Aug 30th, 2005, 02:38 PM
Kuznetsova out, says 'pressure' took heavy toll



By Jerry Magee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

August 30, 2005
NEW YORK – Her joy spilled out of her in three languages, English, Spanish and Russian. Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia had won the U.S. Open and she couldn't stop talking.

That was a year ago. A different Kuznetsova, drained, without purpose, seemingly disspirited, yesterday became the first defending women's champion to lose in the opening round in the 118 years they've been holding women's competitions in this 125-year-old event.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050830/images/kuznetsova140.jpg

Svetlana Kuznetsova Didn't play her best tennis
On the tournament's ledgers, it is going to be written that Ekaterina Bychkova of Russia was a 6-3, 6-2 winner. In another sense, it was not Bychkova who felled Kuznetsova so much as the pressure that attached to a player who went from obscurity to claiming a major championship at the age of 19.

"The pressure, yeah," Kuznetsova said. "Usually, you put it by yourself, because you think too much about what people say, you think too much about the press, about what they say."

While Kuznetsova, the No. 5 seed, was yielding, most of the ranking women held firm through the Open's two beginning sessions. No. 1 seed Maria Sharapova was challenged in last night's feature by the able Eleni Daniilidou of Greece, yet won 6-1, 6-1.

"The first few games were a little bit tough getting used to the conditions," Sharapova said. "I haven't played a lot of matches. Then after a while you can really go after it. I feel a lot stronger in my arm. I move quite well. I don't think I have moved that well in quite a while."

One and out

Svetlana Kuznetsova became the first woman to win the U.S. Open one year and lose in the first round the next. She also became the fourth woman to do so in any Grand Slam event since the open era began in 1968. The four:

1994 Steffi Graf, Wimbledon

2003 Jennifer Capriati, Aus. Open

2005 Anastasia Myskina, French Open 2005 Kuznetsova, U.S. Open


Both the Williams sisters moved up, Serena with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Yung-Jan Chan of Taipei and Venus with a 6-3, 6-1 conquest of Rika Fujiwara of Japan. Kim Clijsters was not extended in dismissing Martina Muller of Germany 6-1, 6-2.

With her 6-3, 7-5 win against Elena Dementieva of Russia in the 2004 final here, Kuznetsova said it started with people asking her if she could defend her title. "You hear it all year," she said, appearing almost relieved that at last the pressure had been relieved. "No," she contended, "it just happened. I wasn't at my best. This year was not good for me. I take things how I take them."

Her loss left her 27-15 for her season. She has not won a tournament since triumphing at the National Tennis Center last September, and she has been in only one final, in Warsaw, where Justine Henin-Hardenne stopped her in three sets. She also lost to Henin-Hardenne at the French Open in a round-of-16 match in which she held two match points.

Tennis protocol calls for defending champions to be placed in the featured venue in a tournament's first round. They had Kuznetsova playing yesterday in Louie Armstrong Stadium rather than Arthur Ashe Stadium. She didn't complain.

She also didn't cite her back, which has been troubling her, as a source of her problems. But she made 45 errors in failing against the 97th-ranked Bychkova, for whom this was only her ninth match of the season. She had been 3-5 before the Open.

"I mean, now nobody will disturb me about this," Kuznetsova said. "Nobody will say me nothing. I just relax and I take some time off, I guess. And I just prepare for next events. I mean, is tough. But you know, the tough things make you grow stronger and make you learn."



Said Sharapova of Kuznetsova: "I think she has been pretty injured. It's kind of tough coming in as a defending champion. You don't want to pull out. People talk about mental things, but I don't think she was physically ready."

Sam's Slave
Aug 30th, 2005, 03:22 PM
it's an article about alicia where she's talking about sveta...and :woohoo: they'll play doubles!

Lonely Molik looks to doubles
August 30, 2005 - 4:24PM

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Alicia Molik says the WTA Tour can be a lonely place and she is happy to have an ally in doubles partner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Kuznetsova became the first woman in history to lose in the first round of the US Open as defending champion when she fell 6-3 6-2 to fellow Russian Ekaterina Bychkova.

Molik, the 14th seed, also bowed out with a 6-4 6-4 upset loss to American wildcard Shenay Perry and said she could empathise with Kuznetsova's plight.

"I watched Sveta's game and it's always tough coming back as defending champion. No doubt that was running through her mind," said the Australian No.1.

"I'm sure she'll be upbeat and I'll make every effort to ensure she's positive and enjoying herself in the next couple of weeks because I imagine and I hope we're going to do pretty well in doubles.

"I know she had an injury two weeks ago but I hope she'll make an effort to stay positive, forget about it. It's very easy to say 'there's always next week, there's always another tournament'.

Advertisement
Advertisement"But sometimes if you let those feelings get to you, if you let them drag you down, if you let them preoccupy your mind, you can almost go mad.

"No-one wins every single week and I think it's a huge learning curve for her. But knowing her, I think she'll bounce back. No doubt. She's got the game."

Kuznetsova partnered Molik to her first grand slam title when they won the women's doubles at this year's Australian Open and the South Australian is grateful to have her on side.

"We're very good friends. The time that I was home for four or five months (with an ear infection this year), Svetlana would be one of the players, one of my friends who would ring every week," Molik said.

"I think it's great to be in a competitive environment and have someone that you could rely on and who you can trust because there's not too many players out there (like that).

"You could probably count a handful of players who you would probably do a couple of favours for and be friends with, want to go to go out to dinner with. There's not many out there.

"It's difficult to get to know players from different countries. Everyone sticks to themselves or does their own thing, and that's the nature of the sport.

"The fact that we're very good friends is great. We both had first-round losses today, we both have a lot in common. We've both got to step out on the doubles court together so I think we'll be going through the same emotions so we can relate in that way."

Molik said she was extra motivated to perform well in the doubles at Flushing Meadows by the prospect of her and Kuznetsova qualifying for the season-ending championships in Los Angeles in November.

goldenlox
Aug 30th, 2005, 03:23 PM
Alicia Molik says the WTA Tour can be a lonely place and she is happy to have an ally in doubles partner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Kuznetsova became the first woman in history to lose in the first round of the US Open as defending champion when she fell 6-3 6-2 to fellow Russian Ekaterina Bychkova.

Molik, the 14th seed, also bowed out with a 6-4 6-4 upset loss to American wildcard Shenay Perry and said she could empathise with Kuznetsova's plight.

"I watched Sveta's game and it's always tough coming back as defending champion. No doubt that was running through her mind," said the Australian No.1.

"I'm sure she'll be upbeat and I'll make every effort to ensure she's positive and enjoying herself in the next couple of weeks because I imagine and I hope we're going to do pretty well in doubles.

"I know she had an injury two weeks ago but I hope she'll make an effort to stay positive, forget about it. It's very easy to say 'there's always next week, there's always another tournament'.

But sometimes if you let those feelings get to you, if you let them drag you down, if you let them preoccupy your mind, you can almost go mad.

"No-one wins every single week and I think it's a huge learning curve for her. But knowing her, I think she'll bounce back. No doubt. She's got the game."

Kuznetsova partnered Molik to her first grand slam title when they won the women's doubles at this year's Australian Open and the South Australian is grateful to have her on side.

"We're very good friends. The time that I was home for four or five months (with an ear infection this year), Svetlana would be one of the players, one of my friends who would ring every week," Molik said.

"I think it's great to be in a competitive environment and have someone that you could rely on and who you can trust because there's not too many players out there (like that).

"You could probably count a handful of players who you would probably do a couple of favours for and be friends with, want to go to go out to dinner with. There's not many out there.

"It's difficult to get to know players from different countries. Everyone sticks to themselves or does their own thing, and that's the nature of the sport.

"The fact that we're very good friends is great. We both had first-round losses today, we both have a lot in common. We've both got to step out on the doubles court together so I think we'll be going through the same emotions so we can relate in that way."

Molik said she was extra motivated to perform well in the doubles at Flushing Meadows by the prospect of her and Kuznetsova qualifying for the season-ending championships in Los Angeles in November.

Sam's Slave
Aug 30th, 2005, 04:07 PM
lol i was faster this time! ;)

goldenlox
Aug 30th, 2005, 04:53 PM
Since Kuznetsova won her first and only major championship, she has felt the pressure and the strain of her schedule. Yesterday, she attributed her loss to fatigue and not to her back, which she injured two weeks ago in Toronto.

"I guess I just have been a bit tired last year after everything," she said. "I mean, it's been a tough year - I flew all over the world."

Kuznetsova committed 45 unforced errors in a match that lasted only an hour and five minutes.

"I tried my best, it wasn't my day" Kuznetsova said. "What do I do? Kill myself? No, I don't. Just take positive things out of this and maybe I'll try to learn."



"From this year, January, (people asked), 'what do you think about defending your title?' When you hear it all year, it's like, 'I know I have to defend'," Kuznetsova said.

"Now, nobody will disturb me about this."

Kuznetsova said she needed time off to think about things.

When asked what she wanted to do - rather than was obliged to do - she surprisingly nominated tennis.

"I would still go and play tennis because I love this game, just without everything, you know don't have pressure for a while from the tournaments," she said. "I cannot win every time. Nobody can do this. You can't expect this."

goldenlox
Aug 31st, 2005, 04:26 PM
Svetlana, we hardly knew you

http://espn-att.starwave.com/i/columnists/Garber_Greg_30.jpg
By Greg Garber
ESPN.com


NEW YORK -- Svetlana Kuznetsova seemed to see this one coming.

"Last year was very hard," Kuznetsova said the day before she opened the defense of her 2004 U.S. Open title. "I travel a lot, I had a lot of pressure and stuff.

"Last year was a big breakthrough, and this year I couldn't make it so good also. It's a bit difficult [and] my body still may be not ready to do the same job as it did last year."

On Monday, Kuznetsova did the unthinkable. She lost to Ekaterina Bychkova, the No. 97-ranked player on the WTA Tour, 6-3, 6-2.

"Of course I'm disappointed to lose that match," Kuznetsova said. "But things happen like this. It's happened to many top players, they lose the first round."

Actually, in the 125-year history of the U.S. Open this had never happened. Kuznetsova was the first female defending champion to lose in the first round. Ever. That's a heavy piece of history.

The worst previous ouster of a women's defending champion: In 1967 Maria Bueno lost in the second round to Kristy Pigeon -- and she defaulted with tendinitis in her right arm.

A year ago, Kuznetsova won the championship here at the National Tennis Center. She was only 19, her teeth wired with braces. She ran through a Who's Who list of opponents -- Justine Henin-Hardenne, Lindsay Davenport and Elena Dementieva -- for her first Grand Slam championship. She won the next week in Bali, made the final a week later in Beijing and finished the year as the No. 5-ranked player on the WTA Tour -- quite a leap from No. 36. And then …

… well, as Kuznetsova said, she couldn't make 2005 so good.

"Last year I played lots of tournaments," she said. "That's why I was in great shape and I was doing well. But maybe this year it wasn't the key to play so much. Maybe it was better to plan the calendar. You just cannot keep playing like 32 events a year.

"I know how you feel when you just don't have and gas and you can't go any more."

Kuznetsova hasn't won a single tournament this year and few considered her a threat to repeat here. Her record at the three previous Grand Slams was credible: She lost to Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, to Henin-Hardenne in the fourth round of the French Open and to Davenport in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. But her summer has been dismal.

She has won just two matches in her last four tournaments. At her most recent, the Rogers Cup in Toronto, she wrenched her back in a third-round loss to Gisela Dulko. After Monday's match, she said the condition of her back was not an issue. Too bad, for it might have explained her staggering -- sometimes literally -- 45 unforced errors in a 65-minute match (you can do the math), contrasted by only 15 winners. She was broken no fewer than six times and seemed oddly detached at times.

On the match's final point, she stepped into a two-handed backhand with an expression somewhere between nonchalant and utter defeat. Naturally, it sailed long and Bychkova, like Kuznetsova a 20-year-old Russian, had the biggest win of her career -- in her first Grand Slam main draw singles match. Bychkova's only victory this season came at the ITF tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she took home $2,940 as the top prize. On Monday, she guaranteed herself at least $25,000, even if she loses her second-round match against Ivana Lisjak.

For Kuznetsova, though, it isn't about the money. She won more than $2 million last year and is closing in on $1 million in 2005. No, this is about respect and how she will be judged during her career. Kuznetsova has proved she's a top 10 player -- although her No. 5 ranking will deteriorate precipitously by the end of the year -- but is she a legitimate multi-Grand Slam champion?

The pressure to repeat her first major title was crushing. But, then again, she's only 20 -- the age of a typical college sophomore.

"I think I get more pressure than attention, because every time they asking like, from this year, January, 'What do you think abut defending your title?'" Kuznetsova said. "It takes awhile to play with pressure. Just on the same things where they're coming to you, just stay the same and play the same.

"Of course, any time you have ups and downs, you know. Now, I'm a bit down, so I think is going to be some up in there. I just want to have some time off and just start it again. I really believe I'm going to do well again," she said.

Sam's Slave
Aug 31st, 2005, 05:41 PM
i hate that...why does everybody all of a sudden pretend that they never heard of svetlana? that's bullshit...every tennis fan knows her and how she looks...just a person who's not interested in tennis would not know her...my non-tennis interested friends don't even know sharapova...so what?

Gowza
Sep 11th, 2005, 10:19 PM
she probably just played a bit too much last year and didnt give herself the time to recover, hope she takes a longer rest this year. actually i think the article headline is kind of ironic, defending us open champion makes history losing in the first round of her defense and they dont know her? and it was good to read that she didnt put her opponent (bychova) down.

alibaby
Sep 16th, 2005, 09:17 AM
she probably just played a bit too much last year and didnt give herself the time to recover, hope she takes a longer rest this year. actually i think the article headline is kind of ironic, defending us open champion makes history losing in the first round of her defense and they dont know her? and it was good to read that she didnt put her opponent (bychova) down.
yes,and that is one of the big positive differences with her.she ALWAYS blames herself first,if things do not work out!and she is one of the few,that do not need this whole "glam-thing",shes just a modest girl,who plays exceptional tennis!!and thats why i got so fed up,when some posters tried to discredit her here and being insultingly sarcastic about her 1 round loss!

so,sveti-baby,you know that your fans always stand by you,and wel all know that the good times will come back!!! :kiss: :kiss:

goldenlox
Oct 11th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Safin, Kuznetsova To Lead Top-Seeded Russia In Hopman Cup
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/KuznetsovaBHAusOpen05S.Mullane.jpg
Photo By Susan Mullane By Tennis Week
10/11/2005


A pair of former U.S. Open champions will partner in an effort to power Russia to its first Hopman Cup championship. Reigning Australian Open champion Marat Safin and 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova will lead top-seeded Russia in the 18th annual international mixed team exhibition competition. The 2006 Hyundai Hopman Cup will be held at the Burswood Dome in Perth, Australia, December 30-January 6th.


"It's a super team on paper with Safin and Kuznetsova — they're both Grand Slam singles winners, but as we've seen before with Marat, you're not sure what's going to happen," tournament director Paul McNamee said. "If they wobbled any other team could win this tournament, but they should be the favorites on paper."

Continuing recovery from the left knee injury that has limited him to four matches since Wimbledon, Safin will not defend his title at next week's Tennis Masters Series-Madrid. The 2000 U.S. Open champion is targeting the St. Petersburg Open, which begins on October 24th as his return to tournament tennis. Safin captured the St. Petersburg title in 2000 and 2001. Safin, who underwent a procedure to repair a slight tear in the ligament of his left knee on July 11th in Italy, has not played a match since suffering a straight-sets loss to Robby Ginepri in the Cincinnati quarterfinals in August.

In January, Safin did not win a singles match at the 2005 Hopman Cup, but went on to play one of the best matches of his life to beat world No. 1 Roger Federer in the Australian Open semifinals before overcoming Lleyton Hewitt and an overwhelmingly pro-Hewitt crowd in the Australian Open final.

Former French Open champion Gaston Gaudio and Gisela Dulko will partner for second-seeded Argentina; Australian Open quarterfinalist Alicia Molik and lethal-serving lefthander Wayne Arthurs will play for third-seeded Australia and serve-and-volleyers Taylor Dent and Lisa Raymond represent the fourth-seeded United States. James Blake, who partnered Serena Williams to lead the U.S. to the 2003 Hopman Cup title before teaming with Lindsay Davenport to successfully defend the title in 2004, is not playing the event this year. The United States has won a record three Hopman Cup titles; Justin Gimelstob and Chanda Rubin paired to win the 1997 Hopman Cup.

Australia is seeking its first Hopman Cup title since 1999 when Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic partnered to claim the Cup.

The Slovak Republic team of Dominik Hrbaty and Daniela Hantuchova, who won the second Hopman Cup title in Slovak history in January, will not be back to defend their title. Four other nations confirmed to compete include: Germany (Nicolas Kiefer and Anna-Lena Groenefeld); Belarus (Max Mirnyi and U.S. Open junior champ Viktoria Azarenka); Serbia and Montenegro (Novak Djokovic and Anna Ivanovic) and either China (Peng Sun and Shuai Peng) or the Netherlands (Peter Wessels and Michaella Krajicek).

On the opening day of play, China meets the Netherlands in a playoff with the winner progressing to the main draw spot. Tournament organizers are offering free admission to kids on opening day.

The Hopman Cup features three Grand Slam singles champions — Safin, Kuznetsova and Gaudio — and four Grand Slam doubles champions — Kuznetsova, Mirnyi, Molik and Raymond — who have combined for 21 Grand Slam championships.

"The men’s field showcases great baseliners in Safin and Gaudio, and features three top serve-volleyers in Dent, Mirnyi and Arthurs," McNamee said. "The women’s side is headlined by Alicia Molik and Svetlana Kuznetsova, but what an array of emerging teenage talent — Ivanovic, Azarenka, Shaui Peng and Krajicek are standout future stars. Throw in a couple of doubles greats like Raymond and Mirnyi and it’s a fascinating mix this year."

Hall of Famer Ken Rosewall will make an appearance as a special tournament guest. For more information on the 2006 Hopman Cup please visit Hopman Cup.com (http://www.hopmancup.com.au/default.aspx?id=1).

goldenlox
Oct 11th, 2005, 05:11 PM
– Светлана, вы провели два разных сета. В первой партии у вас не было никаких проблем, а затем вы дали сопернице шанс.
– Если честно, то матч получился очень легким, я не испытывала никаких проблем. В первом сете вообще задавила свою соперницу, она, похоже, не понимала, где находится. Но после 6:0 я немного расслабилась, а Эммануэль забегала. Впрочем, мне удалось взять инициативу в свои руки.

– В Москве все внимание приковано к Марии Шараповой. Но вы ведь тоже теннисистка высокого уровня, вам не обидно?
– Нет, я даже рада, что так происходит. Это теннис - каждый год появляется новое имя. Сегодня один на вершине, завтра другой. Кстати, в такой популярности одной из участниц есть свои плюсы. Меня почти ничего не отвлекает, я больше времени уделяю подготовке.

– Почему этот сезон вы проводите не очень блистательно, особенно по сравнению с прошлым годом?
– Невозможно играть постоянно на одном высоком уровне. Я не потеряла кураж, просто стало меньше получаться в игре. Но не опускаю рук, тренируюсь. Думаю, что в будущем году верну свои позиции. А постоянно выигрывать невозможно.

– Во втором круге турнира вам предстоит сыграть с победительницей пары Вера Звонарева - Мария Кириленко. С кем бы вы предпочли встретиться?
– Я, честно говоря, даже не знала свою сетку в Москве. Веру я хорошо знаю, имею информацию о ее сильных сторонах. А вот как играет Маша, не имею представления.

– Когда приходится выходить на корт против российской спортсменки, чувствуется ли дополнительная мотивация?
– Да, сразу понимаешь, что матч особенный. Мы же следим за выступлениями друг друга. Не так, чтобы отмечать, кто проиграл, а кто выиграл, но по итогам года заглядываем в рейтинг. Мне вообще кажется, что сейчас много сильных спортсменок из России столько потому, что у нас большая конкуренция.

– Вы очень были огорчены тем, что вас не пригласили в сборную?
– У меня очень хорошие отношения с Шамилем Тарпищевым, но в этот раз я не могла помочь девочкам. Хотя страстно болела за них. Во время игры следила за ходом по Интернету, слала смс. У меня со всеми прекрасные отношения и я радостью помогу национальной команде, если меня туда позовут. Хотя в первом круге турнира против Бельгии я не сыграю точно. Матч пройдет в гостях, а с этой страной у меня, как известно, сложные отношения.

– Наверное, в следующем году за сборную будет играть Мария Шарапова. Как вы относитесь к этому?
– Маша - сильный игрок. И если она будет также выступать, то поможет команде. Не вижу в этом никакой проблемы, главное, чтобы Россия победила.

– Сейчас едва ли не каждую неделю в мужской ассоциации выявляют допинг у спортсменов. Значит, есть такая проблема в вашем виде спорта?
– Конечно, есть. Кстати, по поводу мужской ассоциации всегда ходило много слухов, но я старалась не обращать на это внимание. Я же чиста. Знаете, ли, например, что в прошлом году, до скандала в Бельгии, я больше всех в WTA сдавала пробы. И все они давали отрицательный результат, так что бояться нечего. А еще неприятно поразило то, что появилась какая-то нездоровая популярность. Помнится, когда я выиграла Открытый чемпионат США, журналистов было гораздо меньше. А на следующий день после заявления бельгийского министра, я вышла на тренировку и не видела чистого неба. Повсюду были журналисты. Будто бы я Клаудия Шиффер. Очень неприятно было оказаться в центре такого скандала.

– Расскажите о своих увлечениях вне корта?
– Я люблю играть в футбол. Именно играть, а не смотреть. И всегда гоняю мяч с мужчинами, так как с женщинами неинтересно. Люблю кататься на сноуборде, а также сидеть в Интернете.

– У вас новая прическа. Как вы себя с ней чувствуете?
– Прекрасно, она мне очень нравится.

goldenlox
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:08 PM
Svetlana learns to deal with pressure
Scott Coghlan
04jan06

RUSSIAN star Svetlana Kuznetsova believes she has emerged a wiser and, most importantly, better player for the lessons learned during a testing 2005.

The 20-year-old started the new year impressively yesterday, overcoming a slow start to thrash American veteran Lisa Raymond in straight sets at the Hopman Cup.



Raymond made a bright start to the match, but Kuznetsova won 11 of the last 13 games to win 6-4 6-1 in 72 minutes.

Unfortunately, she could not stop the US winning the tie 2-1 and edging closer to a berth in Friday's final, with Taylor Dent beating last-minute inclusion Yuri Schukin and the Americans then winning the mixed doubles.

Nonetheless, it was an encouraging singles performance from Kuznetsova, who appeared to have the tennis world at her feet when she won the 2004 US Open as a teenager, beating fellow Russian Elena Dementieva in the final.

Last year didn't pan out as expected however, with the Russian tumbling from a career-high world No.4 late in 2004 to 18th.

The year started most unfortunately, with a drugs allegation that was later proved to be unfounded, and Kuznetsova's form ultimately fell away after a promising start.

Her first three Grand Slam campaigns were ended by some tough opponents, bowing out to Maria Sharapova in three sets in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, and losing to Justine Henin-Hardenne in the fourth round at Roland Garros.

She then lost to Lindsay Davenport in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

Kuznetsova's slump came to a head when her US Open title defence failed to progress past the first round, beaten by little known young countrywoman Ekaterina Bychkova.

She won just four of her last 10 singles matches at the end of the season, for an overall 29-17 record, and dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in 15 months.

Kuznetsova also strained her back late in the year, forcing her out of tournaments in New Haven and Luxembourg.

After yesterday's win, the Russian said 2005 had been a steep learning curve as she struggled to cope with the expectations that followed her US Open triumph.

"It has been tough, I have put a lot of pressure on myself," Kuznetsova said.

"Everybody expects a lot from me and I have to learn to cope with the pressure on me.

"Tennis has been improving a lot and you have to stay tough.

"I have had to work on my game a lot and get my shots better.

"To be on the top level for a long time is pretty hard, but when you are young it is hard to understand this."

Kuznetsova suggested that she had felt the effects of a hectic schedule towards the end of last year, pondering whether she played too many tournaments.

"I was a bit tired, I guess."

Kuznetsova's forehand worked well against Raymond yesterday, producing 14 winners.

She also served nine aces to Raymond's one.

In her first match since October, Kuznetsova could not have asked for much more.

"I didn't play much for two months, so I had to practise a lot at home," she said.

"I really enjoyed today's match, I started off a bit nervously and made plenty of mistakes, but then I got my game going and I was pretty happy out there." The win gave the Russians the lead in the tie, but Dent had few problems beating Schukin 6-2 6-0 in under an hour.

Bероника
Jan 13th, 2006, 02:37 PM
Kuznetsova looking to make fresh start after horror year
Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:48 AM GMThttp://i.today.reuters.co.uk/images/spacer.gif

http://i.today.reuters.co.uk/news/images/clear.gif http://i.today.reuters.co.uk/news/images/clear.gif

By Julian Linden

SYDNEY, Jan 11 (Reuters) - A revitalised Svetlana Kuznetsova believes she is finally in a position to rebuild her career a year on from being wrongfully accused of a doping offence.

The Russian was on top of the world at the end of 2004 having just won the U.S. Open, but it all came crashing down last January when Belgian sports minister Claude Eerdekens identified her as a drug cheat.

The accusations were unfounded and Kuznetsova was cleared of any wrongdoing but the experience shook her. She feared the mud would stick and her game suffered as a result.

Her ranking tumbled from number four to 18th in the world and she failed to win a single tournament all year. She was even knocked out in the first round of her defence of the U.S. Open.

"When you know that you are innocent of something, it's definitely very hard," she told a news conference at the Sydney International on Wednesday.

"Everybody was there watching, thinking that I was guilty.

"Sometimes these things happen... but I couldn't do anything to give it back to this man, so it was disappointing for me."

Kuznetsova's problems did not end there.

She was also struggling to cope with the expectation she had put on herself since winning the U.S. Open then suffered back pain late in the season.

The 20-year-old from St Petersburg admitted she was too immature to cope with the pressure at the time, but added that she had grown stronger through the setbacks and was approaching the new season with a completely fresh outlook.

"I didn't expect to make such a big jump in 2004. I put too much pressure on myself and I didn't know how to deal with everything," she said.

"I learned a lot last year. I had a lot of downs and not many ups but I'm a lot more mature now."

GOOD RESULTS

Kuznetsova spent the off-season training in Spain, away from the media spotlight of her native Russia, preparing herself for 2006.

She said the break helped refuel her passion for the game and the results are already started to come through.

She is unbeaten in six singles matches this year after winning three in the Hopman Cup in Perth then reaching the semi-finals in Sydney with a straight sets victory of Ana Ivanovic on Wednesday.

"I just took my time after the season ended. I practiced for two months and prepared myself to get fit and so far it's working out well," she said.

"I've definitely improved my game but you have to do that because everyone is improving. I've been doing a lot of work but I've got a lot more to do. I'm not even close to my top shape.

"When you spend so much time away from tournaments you really understand how badly you want to play and how much you can enjoy out there.

"This is what I live for at the moment. I don't have anything else. I go crazy when I'm at home because I just love to play tennis, this is what I want to do."

Bероника
Jan 14th, 2006, 08:36 AM
2006 MEDIBANK INTERNATIONAL
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

January 11, 2006

S. KUZNETSOVA/A. Ivanovic
7-6, 6-3

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Svetlana, please.

Q. You had a sort of disappointing year last year after winning the US Open the previous year. How is your game coming together this season?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Uhm, you know, sometimes when you don't expect this jump, you know, big jump, I didn't expect it 2004, so it been too much for me. I put too much pressure on myself and I didn't know how to deal with everything, you know. I have not been so much mature. To hold it in last year, I had to learn a lot. I had lots of downs and not much ups. So I just took my time after the season ended. I practice for two month, get prepared myself to be fit and to play again my tennis and my game, and so far it's been working out well for me and I'm pretty happy with my performance.

Q. Was it just a mental thing, or had you done some physical changes or technical changes to your game this year?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, definitely I improve my game. I mean, the game is growing every day. You know, everybody improving each day because everybody practicing, so you need to improve also. I had to work a lot outside and inside of the court. I'm still working, I still have lots of work to do, you know. I'm not even close to my top shape, you know. Yeah, I worked everywhere.

Q. Last year when you came to Australia, you got caught up in that doping thing with the Belgian thing. Did that have an effect on you last year? It obviously upset you, but is that a thing that sort of contributed to the pressure on you?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think this moment I was strong enough, you know. When you know that you are innocent in something, you're not getting -- I mean, it definitely was hard, you know. It's hard to come on the court and one day you have three people watching you practicing, another day you don't see a space where there is someone not standing. Everybody was there watching, thinking that I was guilty or thinking whatever. I appreciate the support of all my friends who was next to me and who was sure that I was innocent. I mean, sometimes happens with the players, this stuff. I couldn't do anything to give it back to this man who did it, you know, so it was disappointing for me. But it was one of the things what happened. It started the year like this, and then I had so many more disappointing things like injuries, like problems out of the court and stuff. I mean, I had lots of stuff. But I don't want to even talk about it or think, but I had lots of stuff to go through and I went through it. Now I'm happy. I'm looking forward to play tennis and enjoy the game.

Q. The Australian Open being a hard court, I mean, do you see that as a tournament that should suit your style of game?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, sure, I think I can adjust my game to every surface. I'm very happy and excited about it. I'm not any more playing, you know, just to get results and stuff. Of course it's goals, results, but I'm enjoying the game because it's the game. You not just gonna hit hard and see; I want to come to the net, I want to slice, I want to change the game so it's be interesting for people to watch and enjoying for me to play, you know, and tough to opponents. So, yeah, definitely I think my game suits the Australian Open because I won the US Open and, I mean, it's similar. It's not grass and hard or clay and hard. It's both hard courts. And I think I'm fit enough to stay in this weather so...

Q. The Australian Open is the only major that a Russian woman hasn't won yet. Is there any reason for that? Is it the heat, is it the time of year, or is it just bad luck?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I guess it's gonna come one day, I mean, because Russian players still improving, you know. We gonna dominate in 2004; 2005 not so much. I mean, I think it's just mention of time maybe, or maybe never win; I don't know. You know, any Grand Slam like Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open, you guys say like Russian woman won, but we are all different. What makes us same just is we have same flag and we fight for our flag. You know, maybe like, I don't know. I definitely think it's gonna happen. But, I mean, you never know. But, I mean, we have chances to make it there also.

Q. What are your expectations for the Australian Open next week?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's going to be the interesting week. I think it's much stronger field than last year because everybody's back and everybody playing very well. Justine showed against Hingis that she's in good shape. Williams sisters is back. Clijsters. Everybody. I mean, Davenport, Amelie. So many players, and toughest ones. So the strongest one gonna win, so I think it's gonna be very interesting event.

Q. Is there one that stands out more than others to beat?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Excuse me?

Q. Is there someone among all those who is the one to beat?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think for the moment is Kim is in the best shape, because she's playing pretty well. But, I mean, you know how it's tennis, you never know what's going to happen. So I think it's just gonna be very good event to watch.

Q. How much have you been doing before Australia until now to prepare yourself?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I had some days off after last year. You know, lots of people been saying I have to take lots of time off, you know, to rest my mind. I didn't think so. I couldn't stay out of working, you know. I just have so much energy, and I understood after four days that I have to do something. So I get out in the court of fitness and I been working hard, I been making sure I can perform with my fitness and with my game for this year, you know. Of course in the end I been working so much so was a little boring, enough working, and I was looking so much forward to play at tournaments, to play game, to win matches again, you know. You really understand -- so much time away from the tournaments, you really understand how bad you want to play and how much you can enjoy out there. This is like your life. This is what I live for for the moment. I don't have nothing else. I been going crazy at my house, like, "What I gonna do?" You know, to learn something is not what I want. It's not what I love to do. I just love to play tennis, and I love to be out there to compete against best players. So this is what I'm working for.

Q. Do you think it's important for you to start well this year in Australia?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, for sure. For sure it's very important because like this I get confident, I get some points, and I have a good seed in the next tournaments and I'm really looking forward to play good game and win some matches.

Q. Where do you spend your time off? Do you go to Russia?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't go to Russia. I took time and I just spent in Spain because it's the best place for me to prepare with tennis. If maybe I want to have time off, I have to go somewhere else. But for work, I have to stay in Spain. I really understand that because I have best possibilities for me - best courts, climate. I have place to stayy there and very comfortable. If I want to have time to rest, I have time to stay away. Maybe I go somewhere else, but neither to Russia. Because I love Russia, to be there, but after this it's very hard for me because it's too much press. Like this, I feel like 300 in WTA because nobody knows me, I'm just alone, you know. Because in Russia it's a bit crazy.

Q. What was the key in the match against Ana today?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: The key was fighting, run every ball, because I been down 5-4 and 40-Love and she been serving. She's very good player. I played her last week. I think I getting to know better her game. I think here it was much harder to beat her because with the wind, because it suits her game much more than mine because she plays flat. This surface for me, who hit stronger it's easier to play. So, I mean, Ana plays much more flat than I do, so for her it's a bit -- it suits her game more than mine. But the key was serving well and just trying to attack, not to go back.

End of FastScripts….

Bероника
Jan 14th, 2006, 08:37 AM
2006 MEDIBANK INTERNATIONAL INTERVIEWS: Svetlana Kuznetsova

/noticias.info/ 2006 MEDIBANK INTERNATIONAL
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

J. HENIN-HARDENNE/S. Kuznetsova
6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. The first set you were sticking with her, then you sort of fell apart in the second set. What happened?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think just I give all credit definitely for Justine today. I think she played very good game and she change her game more than like different than she played before. She played so much inside and she didn't give me much time. I mean, I was not so fresh like in the first matches, you know. Like the heat gets to you in the end of the tournament. I think it's give her bit more credit that she didn't play yesterday and I had two matches. I didn't serve well and, I mean, she put a lot of pressure on my first and second serve. She was attacking, you know. I lose some moments in the first set, and in the second set she just had too much confidence. And, I mean, I was not doing much already. But I think all important moments were in the first set.

Q. You won six singles matches before today. How do you think your game is going into the Australian Open?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, you can see it different ways. You can be down losing to Justine today, but I'm definitely not going to take it this way. I'm maybe a bit down, a bit tired because I had plenty of matches in these two weeks. I just want to rest couple days, you know, train in Australian Open in Melbourne, and just looking forward to play this event. I'm feel pretty good, and I'm not going to play so many matches in a row there, you know. I gonna have day off, day play matches. So I gonna feel fresh. Feeling good, you know. I won matches when I had to win. Today was tough match, and hopefully I play better next time.

Q. What do you tell yourself? You were making some very good shots yourself. With her accuracy and consistency, what do you tell yourself? How do you get around that?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, it's not only because of -- I mean, she been playing very well, but this is also dependent on me because I let her play, you know. Because I didn't serve so well. I don't know if I -- I don't know the percentage of first serve, but I guess is very low, mine today. During all tournament I serve much better and I put lots of serves. So making first serve, I had to work so much less on my serve and I could attack service in opponent. But today, I mean, I had to work on my serve, I have to run on her serve and, you know, I had to do too much job and she was playing very well. You know, it's both things. I just was hanging out there and, I mean, in second set she just had too much confidence. I give too much games to her, you know. She been playing pretty -- not under pressure.

Q. It's only her third match back since October, since Filderstadt. Are you a little bit surprised how well she's seeing the ball?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, you know, she's professional. She won so many -- she won even couple Grand Slams, you know. I mean, she's so good player. All the time she was out for long, she coming back and she was playing pretty strong. So, I mean, this is Justine, and she's a good player.

Q. You said the other day you thought Kim Clijsters looked to be in better shape than anyone else. Justine has slipped under the radar a little bit with all the talk about Sharapova and everyone else. How would you say Justine's going? Is she a contender this year?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I said Kim because, I mean, Kim was winning all the matches. It's look to me like this. Today in the morning they said she withdraw from the tournament. I still don't know the reason, you know. I mean, every year, if you look Sydney, all the time players withdraw from here, you know, and doesn't look that good. It's looks like players just saving for the Grand Slam maybe; I don't know. And Justine, I mean, she plays here all matches. She plays very good. Looks like she been working very well. And she needs these matches to play here to get ready to Grand Slam because she didn't have many matches last year. I mean, it's gonna be tough season. I not said -- I didn't said only Kim, you know, I said couple names. I said Justine, Davenport, Mauresmo. Everybody's there now so it's going to be very tough, and I think Justine is playing also very well now.

Q. Do you think the withdrawals here do much for women's tennis? How does that affect the image of women's tennis? Like you said, it's disappointing.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, for me is disappointing because, I mean, you want to play every time all matches, you know. And sometimes players go through without playing matches and you have to work. It's better for me if I have to play matches, you know. But other players, I guess -- I don't know. But it's not only this happens every year in Sydney, you know, doesn't happen in different tournaments. I don't think is good image for WTA but, I mean, I guess we have to -- they have to do something about it.

Q. So from your experience, this tournament seems to have the highest number of withdrawals?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know about last year. I heard last year was similar like this withdrawal. Maybe because like Lindsay had stomach problems. I mean, maybe just, you know, like lucky, unlucky, you know, time. Maybe because of this. I think it's also because it's first event of the year. Everybody coming, you know, from preseason. Everybody maybe been to Europe where it's cold and coming here, it's so hot in Australia. For me it's also very hard. You get injuries, you know, like ankles and stuff, you know. It's also usual. It's not only about players saving them, you know, but it's all coming up together. It's a very difficult week. It's looks to me like this.

Q. With the heat in Melbourne, will you play doubles as well as singles in Melbourne?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, in Melbourne you have two weeks, you know, to play. You have day off, day play. Maybe you have two matches a day and then you have day off. It's much different.

Q. Do you know who your partner will be?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I spoke to Amelie to play there also so, yeah.

Q. Will you come back to Sydney next year given that there is a chance players will withdraw?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I mean, this is always going to happen. It's not about Sydney pulling out. I'm not saying in Sydney all players pulling out. I'm not saying that. It just, I mean, just unlucky maybe last year and this year. I mean, I will decide on my calendar not depending -- not thinking about withdrawals. Not at all. I'm just gonna depend on my weeks.

Q. How good is Justine's backhand?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Better than forehand (smiling).

Q. Is it the best in women's tennis?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's very hard to say, you know. But in women's tennis, usually the backhand is better than forehand, you know. I think it's better, Justine's backhand than forehand. But you never know, you know. She makes lots of winners from both sides. It's good. I mean, she can mix it up. She can hit with lot of spin. She can go slice. She can go down the line. So she has so many things, you know. She can change it all the time.

Q. Are you conscious of keeping away from her backhand when you play her?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, no, no, not at all. I mean, you cannot go only forehand. It's not like junior tennis when you see somebody and not hitting like good forehand, you just go this way. No, no (smiling). You just change direction. I think the main thing in tennis is to make opponents move, you know. Of course you try to play a little bit more to one side, yeah.

End of FastScripts….

Bероника
Jan 17th, 2006, 01:49 PM
Tennis chief expects Kuznetsova to challenge in Australia


13:08|16/ 01/ 2006http://img.rian.ru/i/b_print.gif (http://en.rian.ru/russia/20060116/43019058-print.html)




MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti, Sergei Kuznetsov) - Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova is the best placed of the Russian women to stage a challenge at this year's Australian Open, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation said Monday.

"Svetlana Kuznetsova looks the best of all Russian women players," Shamil Tarpishchev said, as Kuznetsova comfortably defeated Australian Lauren Breadmore on the first day of the tournament Monday at Melbourne Park.

A possible meeting in the fourth round with American world number one Lindsay Davenport could be the key to the tournament for Kuznetsova, ranked 11 in the world but seeded 14.

Kuznetsova had a good chance of victory in that match, Tarpishchev said. "Davenport does not like playing against players like Kuznetsova," he said. "Svetlana is an awkward opponent for her."

Kuznetsova won the US Open title in 2004, but has otherwise yet to go beyond the quarter final of a grand slam singles event.

A total of 11 Russian woman began the tournament, but the country lost Elena Dementieva, seeded 9, on the opening day in a surprise straight-sets defeat to Germany's Julia Schruff. Top Russian seed Maria Sharapova, seeded 4, had little trouble moving into the second round with a straightforward victory over Germany's Sandra Kloesel.

goldenlox
Jan 22nd, 2006, 04:37 PM
. DAVENPORT/S. Kuznetsova

6‑2, 6‑4

Q. Where do you feel you came up short today?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: First of all, I think the roof was been closed was much better for Lindsay than for me because I prefer to play with the roof open and not indoor court. This made the ball bounce much slower and the court much faster. Yeah, it was much more comfortable for Lindsay.

Then in second set, Lindsay played very well. She served very good. I didn't serve that well during all the match. This was the main thing, I think, for me. Because, I mean, playing a player like Lindsay, I mean, she's good serve and plays very flat. And you have to use all chances you have.

She was up 3‑Love, and I came back for 4‑3. Had overhead, which I missed. Then I didn't have much more chances to play.

I know in the end she was not moving so well. But, I mean, she plays so much like flat, and the ball didn't bounce, the (indiscernible) was so high. So I couldn't do much about.

And I don't feel that I get to my good shape to play top player, you know. I'm getting there, you know. Today I understood what I have to work on, and have just to get back to training court and work about it. But hopefully in couple matches with top players, I'll get my level and can compete against them in the top level.

Q. You mentioned the roof. Would you prefer to play with the roof open, despite the heat? Was it just bad luck they had to close it?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, it would better ‑‑ it would be better for me to play with closed (sic) roof, definitely, because I think I can handle more heat.

Q. Coming from the Russian winter, what gives you the confidence to cope with the heat?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, it's not about this. It's about the hours that you practice, I guess, and about how fit you are. I know I've been practicing cold weather, but I've played Perth, I've played Sydney in very hot weather, so I feel very comfortable. I've always played in my life better outside courts than inside courts.

But, I mean, all credit to Lindsay, she played good.

Q. Do you feel you can again put yourself in a position to challenge for a Grand Slam, and what do you need to do to get back there?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I changed my serve in December, in November/December when I did my pre‑season. It still takes time, you know, to get confident. I'm serving good in matches which I have to win. Matches against top players is still a bit shaky, you know, and not so confident on my serve.

I think I need to practice this more. Just also time, because I cannot play defending tennis against Lindsay. I have to move her around, I have to just play my game. Still I couldn't get the rhythm that much today because it's tough. Lindsay serve good, play very flat. Yeah, this is what I think.

Q. Lots more hot weather forecast next week. If more and more of the tournament is played indoors, do you think it favors Lindsay's chances for perhaps winning a title here?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think so, yeah. I think for Lindsay is better to play indoor because she plays fast tennis. What she doesn't like much I guess is to play in the hot weather and when the ball bounce lower and higher. Faster for her is better.

But last year she did final here with open roof. So, I mean, she still could play this. I mean, she's No. 1, you know. She's playing very well. But is better for her to play indoor and grass court, the fast surfaces.

Q. When you talk about the ball keeping lower, the courts playing faster, how big a difference is it? Is it like night and day in terms of the difference?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's just faster. It depends opponent who you play. I mean, when you play against Lindsay on outside court, is pretty fast, I think. I played her US Open, I played her Wimbledon. But I have much more chances to play her US Open than playing Wimbledon because her speed and her ball is pretty flat and doesn't bounce high. If it's bounce high is better for me because I can move her around, I can play more forehand, more my game.

Q. The speed today, did you feel it was as fast as when you played Lindsay in New York?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. Much faster.

Q. Faster today?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, for sure.

Q. Than in New York?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, because the roof was closed and the ball was bouncing lower.

Q. Very dramatic difference?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, I cannot measure the difference, you know. Just different for me. I have much more time on other surfaces.

mandy7
Jan 23rd, 2006, 10:10 AM
i am all for open roofs! :(

goldenlox
Jan 30th, 2006, 03:13 PM
Kuznetsova begins climb back

11jan06

FORGOTTEN champion Svetlana Kuznetsova continued her down under demolition to book herself a Sydney International semi-final berth today.

But in a dramatic day at Olympic Park, Kuznetsova was the only one to do so via the scoreboard with the other three women's quarter finals decided by injury or illness.



Tournament top seed Kim Clijsters was the biggest name to pull out, suffering acute muscle pain in her hip during warm up ahead of a quarter final clash with seventh seed Francesca Schiavone tonight leaving her Australian Open dreams in tatters.

Fifth seed Justine Henin-Hardenne joined Kuznetsova in the last four of the Australian Open lead-up event without even picking up a racquet after Russian fourth seed Nadia Petrova withdrew from the tournament with a groin strain.

And eighth-seeded Czech Nicole Vaidisova then progressed to the semi-finals when Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova retired from their match with gastrointestinal illness while trailing 6-3 3-1.

Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion, landed in Australia under a drugs controversy last year and, after a tumultuous 2005, has started afresh in 2006 with an undefeated run through the Hopman Cup in Perth last week and now ominous form in Sydney.

The sixth seed today faced challenging Serbian Ana Ivanovic, who yesterday knocked out world No.3 Amelie Mauresmo, but blasted the teenager off the court with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win.

Kuznetsova's form tailed off in 2005, culminating in becoming the US Open's first defending champion to lose in the first round. The disappointment prompted the former world No.4 to take an early off-season break to overcome a back strain.

Sydney is her first WTA tournament since the break and the world No.14 is hungry for success.

"I still have lots of work to do. I'm not even close to my top shape," Kuznetsova warned after the 84-minute match.

"So much time away from the tournaments, you really understand how bad you want to play and how much you can enjoy being out there. This is like your life. This is what I live for, for the moment. I don't have nothing else."

Kuznetsova's next assignment, against Belgium's former world No.1 Henin-Hardenne, will give a true indication of where she stands in the world pecking order.

It is another Belgian, world No.2 Kim Clijsters, that the Russian tips as the one to beat for Australian Open glory.

"It's a stronger field than last year because everybody's back and everybody playing well," Kuznetsova said.

"The strongest one is going to win. I think for the moment Kim (Clijsters) is in the best shape because she's playing pretty well. It's tennis, you never know what's going to happen. "My game suits the Australian Open because I won the US Open and it's similar. And I think I am fit enough to stay in this weather."

Bероника
Feb 23rd, 2006, 11:20 AM
Kuznetsova overcomes slow start to win
By Edwin Ashie-Nikoi

22 February 2006






DUBAI — Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia recovered from a slow start to overcome spirited Martina Muller Germany 6-2, 6-0 in the $1 million DDF Women’s Open which entered its second day here yesterday.

Though Muller, a qualifier, lost, she gave a good account of herself in the first set as Kuznetsova struggled to find her rhythm. The German put her opponent under early pressure through her double-fisted backhand drives but her forehand volleys let her down.

After Kuznetsova had battled her way to level 30-30, Muller took the next point and appeared she was on her to take the first game. But the Russian came back to force deuce and went on to win the game.

Muller, however, did not let opportunities in the second game slip by this time as she breezed into a 30-15 and kept the same pace to level 1-1. Kuznetsova, ranked 15th in the world and second round loser here to Sania Mirza of India last year, showed a lot of improvement in her game in the third. Backed by a series of fine serves, she took control of the proceedings to take the game for a 2-1 lead. Muller showed plenty of fight-back in the fourth but she was broken for the second time to trail 1-3.

Kuznetsova started to attack the net more in the fifth game sending her opponent around the court on a couple of occasions. The Russian took a 40-15 lead and completed the game with her second ace for a comfortable 4-1 lead.

Muller, ranked 102 in the world, came back strongly in the sixth as she in turn kept the Russian busy with some brilliant forehand shots. She made Kuznetsova run around the court to retrieve some difficult shots. Muller took a 40-30 lead but Kuznetsova fought back to force deuce. The Russian though, was not to be denied as she took the game to cut down the scores 4-2.

The Russian then held her serve in the seventh and broke Muller in the next to take the set 6-2. The second was relatively easy for the Russian as she dominated to take it 6-0 and the match.

Kuznetsova said afterwards: “I struggled in the early stages of the game as it took me time to get into the match. I could not hit in the right position. But when I got into my rhythm, I did not look back.”

The Russian is hoping she could one day win the championship. “There are many Russians here and that motivates me more. It is a nice atmosphere here and the crowds are good. I wish I could win it one day.”

She, however, admitted the tournament was getting harder every year. But I enjoy playing against good players here. I know I can play well but I have to work harder to win here. It is a matter of time,” she added.

Meanwhile, veteran Martina Navratilova of the US and her South African partner Liezel Huber, went down 1-6, 5-7 in the doubles on court one. The match was witnessed by a large crowd which indicated the American’s popularity. There were even youngsters seeking her autograph after the match. Navratilova and her partner, who easily went down in the first set, gave a good fight in the second.

With Huber’s left leg heavily strapped, Navratilova single-handedly led most of the attack. The pair came back from 3-4 down in the second as they broke serve and held their own to lead 5-4. But their younger opponents, Jelena/Li, fought back as they saved two set points to level 5-5 and held serve to take a 6-5 lead before scraping to take the set 7-5 and the match.

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2006, 02:36 PM
http://archive.gulfnews.com/images/06/02/23/23_sport_tennis_kuznetskova_4.jpg

Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia obliges fans with her autograph after her victory against German Martina Muller in the first round of the Dubai Open on Tuesday. Karl Jeffs/Gulf Newshttp://archive.gulfnews.com/images/templates/line_horz_g.gif

I'm improving each day: Kuznetsova

By Alaric Gomes, Staff Reporter


Dubai: Former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova is happy that she has matured as a player.

"I have been discovering so many things about myself," Kuznetsova said after blasting past German Martina Muller 6-2, 6-0 in under one hour in the opening round of the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open here on Tuesday.

Yesterday, the Russian overcame Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to enter the third.

"The most important thing is that I'm improving each day," Kuznetsova said.

No smooth transition

The transition has not been all that smooth as an all-time career-high of No 4 in 2004 was followed by a disappointing 2005 season. This included a straight-sets defeat against India's Sania Mirza in the second round here last year.

"I am happy that the hard work put in is showing off," Kuznetsova said.

"I could not have asked for anything better than this."

If 2004 was the highpoint, the following year was an all-time low. But it was also a learning curve for the Russian who practices in Spain with former ATP player Emilio Sanchez.

After a disappointing latter half of 2005, Kuznetsova proved she had not lost the form that brought her a Grand Slam title and a top-5 ranking.

She has been among the better players this season and the best she has come up till now is the semifinals at the Medibank International last month in Australia. She rode on that form to make it to the last-eight stage of the Australian Open.

"When you are mature, you start thinking about your game and your approach to life. You analyse much more and get to know your worth," she remarked. "But it is not the same when you are just starting off."

Happy hunting ground

Dubai has been a happy hunting ground for the Russian. Last year, she shrugged her second-round loss in the singles to end runners-up along with Alicia Molik in the doubles. Year before, she had reached the singles final where she lost to Amelie Mauresmo.

"I love this place, it motivates me so much. There are so many Russians here that it seems like Russia," she said.

goldenlox
Feb 28th, 2006, 04:25 PM
Sharapova: Kutzy needs
to stop listening to the chatter
Kuznetsova had very little interest in winning points of any kind. She knew coming into the tournament that she had virtually no chance of winning because she hasn't learned to contend with the pressure of being a recognized elite player.

A few weeks ago, she spoke of having nothing left in the tank mentally, of how confused she was as to why, and how much she dreaded the expectations that come along with being a player who has reached the top of the mountain.

"This year I've wanted to go out and play like the US Open champion," said Kuznetsova. "I put too much pressure on myself and tried to be too good."

Her slide down has been precipitous. She hasn't won a title all year and has been unable to unleash either her tireless legs or murderous forehand. She's indecisive in big situations (like when she held two match points against Justine Henin-Hardenne at the French Open) and careless in small ones (like against Bychkova).

Even though the 20-year-old Kuznetsova said that she did tryin this match, it was quite clear that she wanted to go home and regroup. There was no other reason why she would lose that badly to a player who had never competed in a Slam before. She won't even try to play Fed Cup when her nation faces France in the final in three weeks time. Kuznetsova needs to relax and get a hold of where her career is headed.

"Now no one will disturb me about [being the defending champion]," she said. "No one will say anything to me. I'll just relax and take some time off. I've learned a lesson. … You can put the pressure on yourself. You think too much about what people say. I tried my best. I cannot do anything more. It wasn't my day. What can I do? Kill myself? No, just take positives out of it and try to learn."

There are no positives from that match, only that she'll get to kick back for a few weeks with her family.
There is something she can learn from one of her countrywomen, Maria Sharapova, who also won a Slam title as a teen last year, but still managed to ward off the pressure demons and, just last week, became the first Russian woman to become No. 1.

Sharapova, who took down Eleni Daniilidou 6-1, 6-1 decided that the process was more important than the results and if she kept trying to improve and focus on broadening her game, the results would come.
That's why she's still a contender at the US Open and Kuznetsova will soon be back in some Moscow coffee house lamenting what could have been.

"I was in that period right after I won Wimbledon," said Sharapova. "The next four months I felt like I had to win every match. It's a matter of telling yourself that it's impossible to win everything no matter what people say. You can't control people's actions. … My big thing is to just keep working hard. Because one day, you're going to be on court and you'll win a match and realize that the hard work paid off. That's exactly what I did last year. I lost here and I worked my butt off."

goldenlox
Mar 1st, 2006, 03:18 PM
Kuznetsova Commits To Charleston
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/KuznetsovaOpen05FMullane.jpg
Photo By Fred Mullane By Tennis Week
03/01/2006


Former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova will make her Family Circle Cup debut when the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour stops in Charleston next month. Currently ranked No. 14 in the world, Kuznetsova is one of five Grand Slam champions who will be competing in the 2006 Family Circle Cup. Justine Henin-Hardenne, Mary Pierce, Serena Williams and Venus Williams are scheduled to join Kuznetsova in Charleston.




The Family Circle Cup, the only Tier I clay-court event in the United States, will be held April 8-16th at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

"Svetlana is one of the most electrifying players on the Tour," said Robin Reynolds, Facility and Tournament Director of the Family Circle Cup. "Svetlana has, over the past couple of years, emerged as a real contender in women’s tennis, and we are delighted that she has chosen the Cup as one of her tournaments."

The winner of five WTA Tour singles titles, Kuznetsova, a product of St. Petersburg, Russia, will be making her first appearance at the Family Circle Cup. Kuznetsova’s breakthrough season on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour came in 2004, where at the U.S. Open, she defeated Mary Pierce, Nadia Petrova, and Lindsay Davenport en route to the final against compatriot Elena Dementieva. In only the second all-Russian Grand Slam final, she became the lowest seed (9th) to win the championship in the Open Era. She ascended to her career high ranking of No. 4 in the world in October of 2004 by winning 60 singles matches, third only to Lindsay Davenport and Amelie Mauresmo’s 63. Kuznetsova, a power-based baseliner, continued with a solid 2005 season, reaching the quarterfinals or better at eight events, including Berlin, the Australian Open, and Wimbledon. In 2005 doubles play, Kuznetsova captured her first Grand Slam doubles championship at the Australian Open (with Alicia Molik). The 2005 season was Kuznetsova’s second straight season earning more than $1 million dollars, and she passed the $4 million dollar mark in career earnings at season’s end. Kuznetsova started the 2006 season strong, reaching the semifinals at Sydney (losing to eventual champion Justine Henin-Hardenne) and the fourth round at the Australian Open. Last week in Dubai, she defeated the No. 1 seed Amelie Mauresmo en route to a singles semifinal appearance, and also reached the doubles final. The 2006 Family Circle Cup will be held April 8-16 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, South Carolina. The Family Circle Tennis Center is a public facility owned by the City of Charleston and operated by Family Circle Magazine that hosts a variety of events including concerts, festivals, tennis events and other special activities throughout the year. For more information on the Family Circle Tennis Center please call (843) 849-5300 or visit www.familycirclecup.com (http://www.familycirclecup.com/).

goldenlox
Mar 27th, 2006, 04:22 PM
S. KUZNETSOVA/M. Hingis
3‑6, 6‑1, 7‑6 An interview with:



SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA



THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you just give a little general reaction to the match, because it was so long?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, it was really tough, you know, but you are really excited to win matches like that. I didn't play so for a long time actually these, and I'm pretty excited the way I did. I stay in there all the time with my mind. I wanted to win so badly. I was hanging in there.

I mean, I didn't play so well, but, I mean, I'm very happy with the final result.

Q. What were you thinking during that tiebreak when it kept going back and forth, back and forth?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, it was only going forward all the time. I was having all the time matchpoints (smiling).

But what I was thinking, I was just thinking, "Come on, just make it," because I was just winning the point and then I was doing an error. I was winning a point and making an error. So it all depended on me.

I was like, "Okay." The last one I was like, "Whatever happens, I just put the ball in and see what she can do." So she made a mistake, and I really couldn't believe it, it was out, so I was so like happy about everything.

Q. Did you know it was out?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, I saw it was out but I was not sure because she completely won all the Eye calls almost, all like three last ones. So I was like, "Okay, maybe this Eye is for her." So all the time saying like calling ball for her, you know. Like I was not sure because I am not sure in this machine at all because like all the time she was right and I was wrong. So I wasn't sure. But I saw it was out.

Q. Did you turn around and watch?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, of course. I didn't turn around. I was just standing there, I was shaking, "Okay, maybe this one gonna be wrong one." I was like ‑‑ and I saw her smiling, so I said, "I guess she thinks it was out, but I'll stay," because I didn't want to do step forward to shake hands and I didn't want to go back because I thought was out. So I was just, "Okay, what is going on here?"

Q. You could tell that she was getting tired and massaged.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, she took the physio in very complicated moment. I mean, I had to serve with the wind, so I probably win all these games on that side, you know. She didn't broke me once on this side, you know. Like it stop the game for me also. It's hard of to serve, so I had to stay focused.

Then I knew she was not moving perfectly, but I didn't want to think about it, you know, because I always have all time, even more, to hit the ball or something. I was already overhitting it so...

I was just staying calm.

goldenlox
Mar 29th, 2006, 03:31 PM
S. KUZNETSOVA/A. Sugiyama
6‑0, 7‑6

An interview with:



SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA



THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It seems that you are back to your best level.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I still hope to get much better than this (smiling).

But definitely I am very happy. I worked very hard preseason, and I been working a lot on myself and on my game like last tournaments. I am pretty happy with my improvement, you know.

It seems like black line in my life for the moment, it's over. It looks much lighter, everything. I am more happy on the court. I am very excited about my match, my game, and I really enjoy the game on the court. I never enjoyed that much before.

Now it looks to me like I am under control of situation.

Q. Your confidence is back?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes, definitely I have much more confidence. Not on the top of, you know, because I never want to think like I'm on top of something, or it's the end. I think the end is in the sky. I mean, everything is possible in the life.

I want to just keep improving and keep playing much better and just really looking forward to play my next match.

Q. What has been your best match so far this season, do you think?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: My what?

Q. Your best match.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: My best match. I think I played very well against Martina. I mean, I didn't ‑‑ she played very smart against me. She's very smart player. She play me so very uncomfortable, but I still was there, I was still playing all the match.

Then I played very good match against Amelie in Dubai, definitely. I think these are probably my highlights of this season.

Q. Those are good wins. So you can look forward now to have some others?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes, definitely. I mean, I am improving match by match. I am really happy about it. Still looking forward, big matches to come more.

Q. I have a question about instant replay.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes.

Q. If you look at the numbers, the lines people are wrong about 25% of the time. So let's say 25% of close calls, they're actually wrong. Do you think that's a good number or a bad number for a lines person?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, the thing is it's hard to say because they still human, you know. That's why they make this Eye call, and that's why it's so interesting. You still can challenge and you still have chance to win, you know. This is the good thing about line calling.

But then, I mean, the speed is so fast, you know. I don't think you would be happy to sit out there and to challenge this ball, you know, when you have so much pressure on you and the ball is coming and the speed is really quick.

Q. But in your opinion, is one out of four too many, or is that a good number for someone calling lines?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I would say it's all right (smiling).

Q. You would say it's all right?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't want to blame nobody. I just want to keep out, you know (smiling). Just chill, you know. Whatever, it's happens. You know, bad calls happens. It's tennis, it's all about the game, you know. You get upset, but you still have to keep playing.

Q. Your face says that maybe you think that number is too high?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: (Laughing). My face may say many things, but my tongue telling what I think, what I have to say, you know.

Q. Are you going to watch tonight the match between Amelie and Nadia?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think I am going to go to swimming pool. I saw enough tennis (laughing).

I don't think I gonna stay here tonight. I think I gonna go home because I spend lots of time on the court, and I saw ‑‑ I played Amelie, and I know more or less how that Nadia plays. And my coach will do that job, so...

goldenlox
Apr 1st, 2006, 02:35 PM
S. KUZNETSOVA/A. Mauresmo
6-1, 6-4

An interview with:

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Svetlana, please.

Q. Got to be a pretty good moment for you?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, definitely, I'm pretty excited with the way I played. You know, I been dictating the match almost all the time. I could have done better, as always, you know, but I mean, I am pretty excited with the way I played.

I played very well first set. Second set was pretty close, but I knew I have to hang there. Otherwise, if I let Amelie play a little bit, I wouldn't get it back, I wouldn't have another chance.

And I think I did pretty well, and I knew I gonna have other chance if I can use it. It's look to me I did use it.

Q. What did you do exceptionally well today in particular with your tennis?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I guess I didn't want to go over shot, you know. I didn't want to overhit the ball. You know, I think I was pretty well playing the shots, the selection of the shots, I was doing it pretty well. Because sometimes I can see balls easy and I know I can do so much, so many things with the ball, that I like want to break it, you know.

Today I was just playing the space I have to play. I was choosing the right shots and I was pretty calm with myself. I just was staying there, playing the match.

Q. You get a lot of confidence from having beaten her earlier this year?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, definitely. Because I played Amelie three, four times before this year and I always lost close matches. I had lots of break points and I never could manage to break her serve, maybe because it was something about believing me or whatever.

You know, this year in Dubai I managed to beat her. I mean, today was tough 'cause before the match I didn't know what will go on there, you know. I didn't -- I knew I have chances, but like I also know that she's No. 1 player in the world - she can play very well. So I just wanted to go out there and play my best game.

Q. Do you think that she was off her game today?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's pretty hard to say, you know, because I been dictating a lot in first set. In second set, she got better, definitely she played better. But I also let her play a little bit more.

I think if I wouldn't win first two games on her serve, it would be completely different match, you know, because I get 3-Love and she got beaten I'm sure. Maybe she was not at her best, I don't know. When you lose, you're never at your best. But other opponent can also play well.

Q. Does your family travel with you? Can you talk a little bit about your background, so immersed in cycling.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, no, nobody travels for me, with me, from my family. I don't need it, you know. I don't feel like. I don't like -- my dad, he never saw me play in life, tennis, because he works a lot. He wanted to come when I played Kremlin Cup maybe like two years ago, one year ago, and I said I don't want you to come because, I mean, he never been in my matches before and now he gonna come and I didn't want to put the ball in, no.

And my mom, she put a lot on me, you know, a lot of effort. "Til I come to Spain 14, 15, she was always there with me. Then she would travel with me in the start and then I wanted to travel with coach, you know. Because mom, it's a mom. I cannot take my mom as a coach. Of course both my mom and dad, they always watch the matches and were always trying to tell me what to do. You know, I not trying to help them how to ride the bike, you know, how to win six champions of the world. They do it good, why I have to tell them? You know.

So I really had little bit of conflict with this about my parents but everybody got to understand what everybody want to do. I had my choice and I decided to travel alone. I'm pretty happy - I have great family, they help me a lot. They teach me how to work hard, how you really want it badly, you got to work for it. You got to work every day. Because my dad's team, they never have rest. He has likes six Olympic or seven Olympic champions. And his bicycling, he won like five or six Olympic medals, he's very good. He made cyclists from ten years old to Olympic champions - not one, not two, about five or seven people.

So, you know, he is very good in cycling. But tennis, it's a bit different. He coach my mom, he coach my brother, but not me. He send me to play tennis. In the end I decided to play tennis by my own.

Q. Before you got into tennis, did you have big cycling trips with your family? When you were a little kid, was cycling a huge, huge thing in your family?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, of course. I didn't live with my parents. I live with my parents, but not in the same room maybe with my mom, and then I start to live alone. But my dad, he never leaves his team alone. He always lives with his team. He has a base like in Spain, in St. Petersburg. They have big house where everybody lives.

So until like I left, I was staying with the team all the time. I was living with guys, biking all day long. I go to school, I come back, I train, and then what I saw, it was only bikes.

But I love to do. I had preseason, so you wake up at 7 o'clock in the morning and I had to go for a jog for an hour. They had like four practices in a day, every day, and they never have break. I love to do it. I was waking up at 7 o'clock in the morning, was going to run. On Sunday I played football with them. I just was exciting to do this, you know, and the guys were telling me, you know, like, What you doing? Just go to the bed. We wish to be in the bed. We wish to have you a chance in bed. And I didn't like to do it - I wanted to do sport. I wanted to move. I always wanted to move on bike. I had like five of them.

Q. You had five bikes?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, like five. Because the guys always working something about the brake on the bike or the seat, you know. I always wanted to change something on my bike. So couple times I changed my brakes and I completely fell because only forward worked, you know (smiling).

Q. So, first of all, two questions. Were you really into cycling at one point? Why were you staying with your dad's team, just to spend time with him?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, because my parents stay there. Like I cannot -- my dad staying in this house, like my mom also would stay there, you know. We cannot leave out there.

Also, I like to hang out with guys. And I was like, you know, I was like -- they were afraid of my dad, but I was daughter of his, you know. But they still trust me like their sister, you know, because they knew I never gonna say nothing to my dad. I was on their part.

Q. How old were you during this?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Since I was seven, six, five. Like, yeah, I been traveling. We went to championship of the world in Moscow, and we went there. And I also saw them cycling. I tried it. I really did some races. I was maybe like 10 and the other girls were 17, but I still loved to do it. I loved this thing. And people would come to watch you when you do cycling.

Then one day suddenly my dad said, you know, You got to do something else. Because when he had my mom on team, he had women's and men's team, and then one day he decide it's too complicated to have both because it's tough.

And then he said he gonna have only guys and he didn't want to open ladies' group, and he send me to play tennis, yeah.

Q. Are they in Russia?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: They both place. They stay sometimes in Spain, in Tortosa, it's in between Valencia and Barcelona. And St. Petersburg. Now, he work so hard for bike, you know. His life is not about, like, money or something. He has such a different mentality. Now he is building a huge complex in St. Petersburg, the biggest in Russia. He looking for sponsors to invest, you know. He's looking for something to do for cycling in Russia. He likes so much in cycling.

Q. When a player wins a Grand Slam at a young age, sometimes it takes them a long to realize what's happened. Your results after the US Open and in 2005 were pretty inconsistent. Now it seems like you're reaching a more consistent level with your play. Can you talk about the change.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, you know, once, I was so curious what was going on, you know, because you're like 19, you win US Open, and you don't win anything and you have so much pressure. I was one day reading interview of Marat, and he said the same thing. When he won the Open, he was not ready for it. The same did I.

Like, yeah, I played good. I was Top 12, Top 10, and then suddenly everything comes and you play so good and then you win, and then everybody expects more. You play so many tournaments in a row and you cannot, you just don't have energy. Then suddenly you lose your confidence, and this is where it breaks.

You cannot go, you cannot lift your head up, and you lose confidence. I start to get injuries and I was not that ready to handle this pressure. I didn't work with any psychologist. I was just on my own. I had many people telling me different opinions. I didn't know where to go. I didn't know who's part I have to take.

The end of 2005, I just took my time. I just decided, you know, I have to change, I cannot have this match anymore in my head. I just have to go somewhere. I took very important decisions for me outside of the court.

Q. What did you do outside of the court?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't want to talk about it, but, I mean, I did very important things for me in my life. I decided with whom I will have to work. I had lots of opinions of people around. I decided the way I have to go, and this is what worked for me. For the moment, it's working. I'm very happy. Finally, I start to play I think for my own, for me, because I had motivation different parts, what I have to do, for who I have to play.

Now, I just do it on my own. I do it for me. I do it with my coach and I work hard and I enjoy every day of my life. I enjoy being out there every time, because it's great pleasure, no, to play tennis and to be a professional athlete.

Q. Where is your confidence now compared to when you won the Open?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's different. It's just -- I find myself completely different person, you know. I was a kid and I won, I was excited. Nothing else. I didn't understand what was going on with me. I deserved to win because I was working very hard, but I still was not sure in myself. I didn't believe that much. Now I feel much better.

Q. The changes you made that you just referred to, were they tennis-related or personal-related?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Both. Everything. Everything completely change from night to day more or less. Yeah, it's about everything. It's about training, where I have to train. It's about my private life. It's about things out of the court. It's about things where I have to live, where I have to stay. It's about everything.

Just, you know, just my thing. I just don't want to go out and tell it to everybody. But, I mean, I had really important decision for myself.

Q. Which you made entirely by yourself? You just sat down one day and said, "I have to make this decision"?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I do it with my heart, as I feel. As I feel. I know what my heart wants, and I need to live for me, you know. I don't have to live and listen to people, even they important, you know. I have to know what listen to myself, what I want to do, because you have only one life.

Q. So before this tournament you'd never been to a Tier I final. Besides the US Open, you've never been to the semifinals of another major. How important is this win and getting to the finals of a tournament of this stature?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's very important. I'm very excited, but I don't want to think about it. Before I would go, "Wow, I did already enough." You know, it's enough. If I play well, I play well. Now, it's not like this. It's completely different. I am just there and have fun, you know. I am playing very good tennis. Why wouldn't I enjoy it? Why would I have to put pressure on myself? I just go and I play. I keep my forehand. I hit very good backhand. I come to the net. I enjoy the game. I hope that people also enjoy it. I'm just excited to live with it.

Q. When you won, you were very serious. Your face, you didn't seem to get excited. I know that Mauresmo is your doubles partner and I guess you're close to her. How difficult was that? Was it kind of awkward? Did you guys talk? Talk about the doubles aspect, you're still playing with her.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It was very hard. I am kind of sad, you know. But I know I come to the gym and I said my coach, you know, I a bit sad because I don't want to -- Amelie is different to me because she's my doubles partner, she's very nice to me. But he said, "Look, you got to do what you got to do. You had to play, you played well." I had mistakes before because I played with people who very close and I cannot play.

But this is, like, look, do the job and outside we are friends. I don't want to yell "C'mon," I didn't do it once in the match, I didn't say anything. Because I don't feel like this, you know. I do as I feel, and I play as I can, you know. I played my best, and I am sad that Amelie lost, but I am happy for myself because I work hard enough and I think I deserve place in the final.

But, you know, she's my friend. I'm not gonna go there and be an animal against her.

Q. Can you talk about playing Tatiana or Maria.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, both gonna be tough because it's a final of Tier I, you know. If you get there, you deserve it, I think. Maybe you had easy draw, whatever, but you won like six matches to get here.

Maria is very tough opponent. She played final last week, last tournament. It's gonna be both very tough. Both hard hitters, hit very flat. I have to move both around. And tactics is gonna be pretty different. I have to change a space a lot and just to try to play my game.

Q. How different is your everyday life when you're winning consistently as opposed to when you're losing first, second round, being out of singles? Are you happier every day? Do you have more energy? Do you do more things? What's it like?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: This is pretty complicated question. Because I was thinking about a lot. I am a person, I cannot, when I (live/leave), I need every day to be something different. I cannot -- I have this routine, like I practice, but I practice like for one month and a half in Spain, I get completely nuts because I want to play tournaments, I want to win matches. This year I really want it badly, you know, just to play, enjoy, and do my best. By this, I gonna win many matches.

When I won tournament, when I lose, it just looks like just brings me down. But this down makes me understand how bad I want it, to be back there, and how hard I need to work and what I have to improve. It's makes me learn.

And if I win, it's like normal day, you know. It's happy, I am happy because I am success, you know. I am doing the right thing. I am improving. I am very happy. Especially when you win top players, you are more excited because you feeling the level, you feeling you coming back to your shape, you improving your game and just live.

goldenlox
Apr 1st, 2006, 03:08 PM
Svet Success: Kuznetsova Knocks Out No. 1 Mauresmo To Reach Miami Final
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/KuznetsovaOpen05FMullane.jpg
Photo By Fred Mullane By Richard Pagliaro
03/31/2006

Another framed forehand rattled off the racquet of Amelie Mauresmo and the world No. 1 stared down at the face of her Dunlop frame and shook it in frustration as if trying to free it from the errors that were streaming from her strings and find some solutions for the forehands Svetlana Kuznetsova continued to pound into the corners of the court during the opening set of today's Nasdaq-100 Open semifinals.




A quizzical Mauresmo kept trying to pose questions, but Kuznetsova had all the answers.

In a commanding performance that saw her dictate play with her favored forehand, the 12th-seeded Kuznetsova cracked 33 winners and did not drop serve in crushing Mauresmo, 6-1, 6-4, to advance to her first Nasdaq-100 Open final. Playing her third semifinal of the season, Kuznetsova, who reached the final four in Sydney and Dubai, surged into her first final of the the year. It was Kuznetsova's second straight win over Mauresmo, who beat the 2004 U.S. Open champion in their first four meetings before Kuznetsova broke through with a 7-6(11), 6-4, triumph in last month's Dubai quarterfinals.

Drawing on that victory — as well as watching a pre-match DVD replay of her dramatic 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(9) victory over former World No. 1 Martina Hingis in a memorable two hour, 26-minute third-round match on Sunday — gave Kuznetsova the confidence to take the match to Mauresmo from the first shot today.

"Sometimes you beat a player and you know more or less how you got to play against her," Kuznetsova said. "I knew I had to play my forehand against her. In the past, I was losing because I didn't believe in myself. Today, I started very well. Amelie started to play better in the second set. I hung in there and I'm very happy with the way I played today. I was a bit nervous in the morning so I watched the DVD of (the) Hingis (match)."

Kuznetsova might consider popping a DVD of today's semifinal into her laptop before taking on either fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova or 22nd-seeded Tatiana Golovin in Saturday's final. Kuznetsova and Sharapova have split their four career meetings with Sharapova scoring successive victories in their last two matches, including a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory in the 2005 Australian Open quarterfinals. They will share the same side of the court in the doubles semifinals when Mauresmo and Kuznetsova played the top-seeded team of Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur in Friday's doubles semifinals, but Kuznetsova often pushed her partner beyond the boundaries of the singles lines today.

Competing with the consistency that has often eluded her since she became the lowest-seeded woman to win the U.S. Open in the Open Era in 2004, Kuznetsova is now one win from claiming her first tournament title since whe won the Tier III Bali title in September of 2004.

"I think you can see she was not giving too many free points so these things tell you how consistent she's getting," Mauresmo said. "She's lost some weight and she's quick to the ball."



Running around her backhand whenever she could with the short, precise preparation steps she honed on the red clay of the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona, Kuznetsova crafted a powerful pattern of play throughout the first set. Cornering Mauresmo with a flurry of inside-out forehands that pinned the French woman into protecting her backhand, Kuznetsova patiently awaited the inevitable short ball before taking short, swift steps to her left, setting her feet and unloading untouchable forehand winners down the line.

That potent one-two punch carried Kuznetsova to a 5-0 lead. Ripping returns and looking to leap on any short ball, Kuznetsova won 10 of the 17 points played on Mauresmo's serve before Mauresmo finally held in the sixth game. It was a short-lived reprieve as Kuznetsova closed out the opening set with yet another forceful forehand; she hit 12 winners compared to two for Mauresmo in the opening set.

Entering this encounter with a 23-3 record on the season, Mauresmo had avenged two of her losses — a second-round setback to Ana Ivanovic and a loss to Nadia Petrova in the Doha final — in the preceding rounds as she scored a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Ivanovic in the round of 16 before pounding Petrova, 6-3, 6-1, in the quarterfinals. While Mauresmo had revenge on her mind, Kuznetsova refused to give up ground in the baseline exchanges.

Unable to defend against the onslaught, the reigning Australian Open champion changed up her tactics in the second set and began to move forward into the court in an effort to take the net away from her doubles partner. In the third game of the second set, a Kuznetsova backhand pass was ruled good, but Mauresmo challenged the call, replay showed the shot was wide and the challenge helped Mauresmo save a break point. Mauresmo let out a primal scream in an effort to pump herself up, but could not shout down the screaming winners from Kuznetsova's racquet.

"She's one of two or three players hitting the ball the hardest of anybody," Mauresmo said. "She played really well. I started to serve-and-volley because I couldn't play deep enough to really annoy her."

Undaunted, Kuznetsova scored the crucial break in the seventh game when Mauresmo ran around her backhand and flailed a forehand into net to drop serve at 30. Kuznetsova consolidated when she measured a forehand, stepped inside the baseline and swatted a forehand winner down the line to hold for 5-3. Mauresmo saved a match point in the ninth game, but Kuznetsova converted her third match point in the next game, shuffling to her left then firing a forehand winner down the line to close out an impressive victory. With the win, Kuznetsova raised her record to 16-4 on the season with her lone losses coming to three former No. 1 players — Justine Henin-Hardenne (Sydney and Dubai), Lindsay Davenport (Australian Open) and Martina Hingis (Doha). Should Kuznetsova hoist the title trophy on Saturday she will displace the MIA Venus Williams for the 10th spot in the WTA Tour rankings, marking her first entry into the top 10 since September 11, 2005. If she loses the final, Kuznetsova will be ranked 11th when the new WTA Tour rankings are released on Monday.

goldenlox
Apr 1st, 2006, 03:36 PM
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA

Impressive, upsetting win

Bothered by having to play her friend and doubles partner, Svetlana Kuznetsova beat top-ranked Amelie Mauresmo to reach the women's singles final.

BY SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com (sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com)

Svetlana Kuznetsova had just defeated the world's No. 1 female tennis player Thursday to advance to Saturday's NASDAQ-100 Open women's final, but you couldn't tell by her stoic expression. She didn't smile, didn't even pump a fist -- just shook hands and walked off Stadium Court.

Across the net: top-ranked Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo, Kuznetsova's close friend and doubles partner.

''It was very hard. I am kind of sad, you know,'' said the Russian victor, whose 6-1, 6-4 win took 79 minutes. 'I come to the gym and I said to my coach, `You know, I'm a bit sad because I [didn't] want to . . .' Amelie is different to me because she's my doubles partner -- she's very nice to me.

'But he said, `Look, you got to do what you got to do. You had to play. You played well.' I had mistakes before because I played with people who [are] very close [to me] and I cannot play. But this is like, 'Do the job,' and outside we are friends.''

Fourteenth-ranked Kuznetsova, who has handed Mauresmo two of her four losses this year, will meet Maria Sharapova -- who advanced when Tatiana Golovin retired trailing 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 4-3 -- in the final at noon Saturday. Kuznetsova also defeated Mauresmo in straight sets last month in a quarterfinal at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Thursday, Kuznetsova blew away her doubles partner -- the two will play in the doubles semifinals today -- in the first set in 26 minutes, dominating with fierce groundstrokes.

''She played really well,'' said Mauresmo, 26, who won her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January and will still be ranked first next week. ``She hit very hard on both sides and very long. I was trying everything I could out there. I was getting frustrated that I could not express myself in the game.''

Kuznetsova, 20, lives and trains in Barcelona, Spain. She grew up in a family of world-class cyclists from St. Petersburg, Russia.

Her father, Alexandr, has coached six Olympic and world champions, including her mother, Galina Tsareva, a six-time world champion. Her brother, Nikolai, won an Olympic silver medal at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.

''I tried it,'' Kuznetsova said. ``I really did some races. I was maybe like 10 and the other girls were 17, but I still loved to do it.

'Then one day suddenly my dad said, `You know, you got to do something else.' Because when he had my mom on team, he had women's and men's team, and one day he decide it's too complicated to have both. He said he going to have only guys.

``He [sent] me to play tennis.''

She worked her way to No. 4 in the rankings in October 2004 after winning the U.S. Open -- her only Grand Slam title. And even though she has dipped out of the top-10, her career is on the rise again.

This week her victims included Martina Hingis, against whom she saved a match point in a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (11-9) fourth-round victory. And despite her immediate reaction after beating Mauresmo on Thursday, Kuznetsova had reason to be pleased.

''I'm pretty excited with the way I played,'' said Kuznetsova, one of seven Russian women ranked among the top-20. ``I dictated the match almost all the time. The second set was pretty close, but I knew I have to hang in there. Otherwise, if I let Amelie play a little bit, I wouldn't get it back.''

goldenlox
Apr 2nd, 2006, 05:08 PM
S. KUZNETSOVA/M. Sharapova
6-4, 6-3

An interview with:

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Svetlana, you had an extremely difficult draw here the last 11 days, and you were fortunate to get a walkover from one of the players, but still five players in the top 50. Do you feel like playing all those tough matches helped you get ready for a difficult final?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, definitely. Lately, if I see my year, I been prepared so well. I worked so hard in preseason and coming to all these events, I played Dubai, I played Doha. I had Dubai and Doha, also the hardest draw was possible. I had Amelie, I had Martina, I had Amelie again, and I had Justine. I had all the time tough draw, you know, and I had to play very well to go through this one.

Yeah, I mean, the match against Hingis, it was the key for me I guess because I had matchpoints against. I was watching the DVD, and I had this volley which I usually would miss, and I didn't do that. I mean, it was a key, you know, to get more confidence and each match to get more and more. Of course the match of Patty, like she withdrew, help me little bit. Next day to play after three-setter, it would be tough. But, still, I was well-prepared, I was fit to play.

Today was tough match. I think I held it well.

Q. You mentioned confidence. It seemed that with every shot that she missed, with every big forehand you made, you seemed to gain that confidence. Can you talk a little bit about that.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, the game, what I feel now on the court when I play, I feel pretty confident, you know, because I just -- before, I think I was trying to hit the ball overhard (sic), you know. Now I'm just playing like half of my power and the ball seems to go pretty fast, so I am pretty excited about that.

I am just -- sometimes I think why I have to hit it hard, so I just put less pressure on me and I put the ball back and it's pretty hard to opponent to play.

I give lots of spin to the ball so it's bounce pretty high and it's hard to hit it back to me. For sure it's very hard to give Maria shots back. When I see she miss, it gives me more motivation to put more balls back. I can defend well, and I can hit my forehand pretty hard enough.

Q. 5-3 in the first set, it looked like you were going to let her back in, played a loose game there. Were you concerned at that point that you better tighten it up or else it was going to get away from you?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, it was tough. But this is what I didn't want to happen to me. I didn't want to stop in the match and think, "What's gonna happen?" No, it's already past. The moment, it's over. I don't have to concentrate it, I don't have to let myself miss a forehand again and just keep going.

I knew I broke her and I broke her again, and I was wanted just to stay every ball in the match and give my best and see what I can have out there.

Q. Can you tell that she was getting frustrated at not being able to make certain shots?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, I'm not -- I was not trying to look at her, you know. Whatever, I mean -- I'm feeling the game, I feel that she doesn't make so many shots, she cannot make me winners because I move pretty well and I put the ball pretty long back. So I was happy with that.

I could make my return pretty long enough so she cannot attack me, and then I can attack her. This is what definitely she doesn't like.

So I was concerned about making my game out of hers.

Q. It looked like the crowd was very supportive of you. Can you talk about the atmosphere of the match.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, for me, it's a bit unusual, you know, you play Maria and you have crowd behind you. Of course I was trying to get best of it, you know. I was trying just to focus and to give it to me more energy.

But, I mean, whatever crowd feels, it's big pleasure to play here in NASDAQ. Of course I felt amazing that crowd goes with me.

Q. Why do you think they were? Why do you think the crowd was so firmly in your corner?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't want to get into that (smiling). I mean, I guess I played good match against Martina, and I played very good strokes against Amelie (smiling).

I guess I have not -- I heard a lot about match in semifinals. This is what everybody want to hear (laughter). I didn't -- I cannot say anything about that because I was just having my Japanese night and I didn't watch anything.

Q. You went swimming, right?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't go to swimming pool because it was too cold. I don't know. I guess just Tatiana had a bad injury, and I guess she was fighting very hard, and I hope she recovers well. I guess public wanted her to make it through because she was a big fighter on the court.

Q. You had a headache in the second set? What do you think caused that? Did it have anything to do with that plane circling and circling and circling?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: (Laughing). This is a good one.

I saw -- I was playing the first set and this flight was pretty annoying, you know. But what I wanted, just to be there and to give my best. I knew if I would think about flights, about birds - when I was kid, I was thinking about birds and I never won a match. I knew I got to go and I got to play.

I heard that Maria didn't like it and I didn't want to get into it, you know. I also didn't. Then umpire said I think after the first set that the flight gonna stop. I didn't understand anything what she was saying. I said, "Excuse me, can you repeat to me." She just said it was gonna be over, the flight. So I was happy about this.

But I was just trying to get myself not to lose my concentration.

Q. You were living in Spain a long time. Do you know Spanish?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes.

Q. That's why many people like you, you know.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, you know, I mean, I heard lots of people talk that I yell "Vamos" instead of whatever in Russian. You know, I just yell whatever I feel. I can yell both languages, even English. I don't consider me living in Spain. I train in Spain, and I live in Russia. I love Russia. But also I have people treating me very well in Spain. I'm very happy to train there. But if I would have chance to train in Russia, I also would stay.

Q. Championship point, you're ready to serve, crowd is cheering. How did you feel? It has been a while since you were in that situation.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know what I'm thinking now about crowd, about championship point, about serving, I finish the US Open also with an ace from second serve. Today I think somebody told me I also finish the match with an ace, but I didn't realize it. I was just playing one more point. I knew it was important. I wanted to take my time before the serve to focus on the movement because I change my serve in the preseason. So every time I serve, I have to be very focused on my movements.

I was just trying to focus on next point.

Q. What did you change in your serve?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Uhm, how explain with English. I just put my back leg back and then I come together, you know, so I can push off and jump. But I still have lots of things to change in this serve. I do it slowly.

Q. What about your feelings here, your nerves before the match? How were you feeling?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I been nervous, because I'm not -- but I was pretty much better than I felt like before finals, like before US Open. I mean, US Open is bigger but I was much more nervous.

Here, I was -- I knew I just gonna go out there and I just gonna do to my best. If I won't be able to attack, I would go run behind, or I can and defend. Whatever was happening to me today, it was okay. I just wanted to be there and just to give my best and I wanted this trophy badly.

Q. Considering the ups and downs you had, what you went through at the end of last year, are you surprised you won a tournament of this magnitude so quickly?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I'm not. I would say maybe one year yes, but no, I'm not. I put in lots of work in December, I had one month and a half of I been on the courts day and night. I been on my own, I was thinking what I want to do. Then I started to look at the people who play, and people have been out from the tour and they come back and they win many tournaments, and I think I can do it, too.

I was just working with psychologists, I was working on myself, with many doctors, with people. I was just playing my matches, and I see if I play the right game I can make it. I'm just very excited about that. I hope to improve every match in more tournaments.

Q. You had at the French last year two matchpoints on Henin-Hardenne. You didn't get them. Did that weigh on you for a long time?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It was hard because it didn't happen to me first time. I had the same thing the year before against Myskina. I had also two matchpoints and she won the trophy. Next year I come back and I have Henin and I again have two matchpoints and I miss like this my forehand, and again she is in the final. I lost to good players and I had to take positive out of this.

No, I don't think it would -- it took me out. I had many things what happened to me in 2004. But I don't think either of them let me down. I just lost my (rhythm?), I guess, my confidence. Then I start losing. I get injuries. Doctors wanted to make me surgery of my shoulder. I had big problems before US Open on my back. I mean, everything a little bit, it just changed my way.

Q. This is a very emotional victory for you, after two years building on the US Open. A lot of players would take time off and savor the moment and enjoy it, but you are signed in to play Amelia Island. Why do you want to go play immediately again?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I didn't plan like to win this tournament and then to go. But I did it after US Open, after I won, and I always gonna be the same. If I commit myself to do one thing, I gonna do it.

Now I'm not tired. I mean, I didn't play so many matches. Yeah, it's tournament, seven matches, but it's two weeks. I had one day singles, one day doubles. When I practice in the club, I practice three, four hours a day and I spend less time than this. Of course it was more energy and then nerves. But I guess I get tomorrow day off and then I gonna start training on the green clay.

I think it's possible to make everything. I'm just enjoying my winning stroke (sic), why wouldn't I keep playing? I'm happy, I'm looking forward. I never play this tournament so I'm very excited to go there.

Q. Do you think the best of you is to come? Do you think we've seen the best of you, or the best of you is in the future?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, if I would think so, I would quit tennis right now. No, no way.

I'm very happy about that I am playing. Even today's match, I don't think I played very good match at all. I could have played so much more inside of court, I could have make -- I could have hit my ball much longer and move her more around. I see so many possibilities to work on.

So I just hope I can make myself work harder and to spend more time on court working on my strokes and during my matches and improve.

Q. Do you do any bicycling now, or are you sick of it?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was talking to Amelie maybe to go bike in December, but not really enjoying the bike, you know. I find it's boring. I don't know. I need just some sport, to play some game, to be competitive, you know, not against the watch. I just want to compete with somebody like play the game or something. No, I'm not doing bike at all.

Q. Looking at the rest of the year, which of the Grand Slam tournaments do you think offers you the best chance of winning one?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I guess my dream would always be Roland Garros. I won the Open. I love Australian Open, I love Wimbledon, but Roland Garros especially, it's Paris. It's, I don't know, city of love. It's very nice place to be. I hope one day I can make it.

Q. You are one year older than Maria, but not a lot older. When is the first time you became aware of her?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, now in tennis, you know, I feel very old, you know. I am 20. Really. I am 20 and I feel so bad saying I'm old but, you know, now I don't want to think about this. Just everybody who goes out there is professional tour and everybody playing the same levels, whoever age is.

Q. Do you remember Maria, or did you know her only after you turned pro?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, first time I saw Maria, now I remember it pretty well because it was here, it was in Juniors Orange Bowl. I played - in Juniors I was not so good. Under-16, under-18. Maria was not in Russia and she was in States, no. I came to play Orange Bowl. I think I made final this year, I lost to Zvonareva.

One day I heard just somebody talk so much about Maria Sharapova, new Russian. I went just to see a few games and I saw her playing. This was first time I saw her.

Q. Maria continues to grow. She's 6'2" now. Do you think this is affecting her motion on the court?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Maybe it's -- I don't know. I didn't talk to her ever about this or to her doctors.

Q. You see her on the court.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It helps her to serve better also. If I would have chair under my leg, I would serve like 100 kilometers more stronger. But definitely it has some advantages and some disadvantage.

She's not great movement on the court but she has very long hands, arms, and it helps her to play the ball very flat. The fast surface suits her a lot, like grass court and indoors. It suits her game. Clay, she's not gonna be the favorite one to play, but what everybody has.

Q. Maria gets so much attention. Do you feel you're in her shadow? You've won the same number of Slams she has. What is that like for you?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, I can see differently because she's not getting attention of -- I mean, she's great player. She be No. 1. I mean, I have all respect for her. It's not about who won more Slams or something. It's also one part of it.

But she won also lots of tournaments. She been a long time in top 5 or whatever, I mean, in ranking. I think she get more attention of the commercials, of things out of the court. But this is what everybody life is, you know. Maybe I wouldn't be able, you know, just to spend two, three hours in photo shoot, maybe it's not for me.

I never think about. Sometimes it's just a bit sad because many players, you know, would get a little bit more attention. But, you know, the way it goes, it comes to you.

I just very happy with myself, the way I play. I'm not looking much to her side. I hope she will be happy with her career and what she does out of the court. I'm just working on myself, my game, and I'm improving and getting closer to the top. Let's see how I can make it.

Q. Did you have any messages from other players before the final saying, "Great to see you back"?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I had a message after the final of Amelie. This, I was pretty excited about because, I mean, I didn't feel very great winning her, you know. But, I mean, we pretty close because we play doubles together. I been following her. I left Australia and I was texting her that "well done," I text her when she won Paris. I was pretty, you know, trying to help her. Now I'm very happy to get message from her.

I also get the message from Elena Likhovtseva. She's good friend of mine. Like wishing me good luck in the final.

Not other players as I know - sorry. Alicia Molik, my mate. Yeah, from her definitely.

I would like just -- I hope, guys, everybody will be happy, I don't know if you know, but she's coming back. She plays -- she may play Rome, Berlin. I mean, I'm pretty excited about this. I'm very happy for her. Hope it will go well.

Q. Did you do anything interesting in Miami other than tennis? Did you have any time to do anything?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not really. Not as I remember. I went once to cinema and this was my biggest move in Miami.

But, I mean, I didn't have any time. Usually I would love to go shopping in the States, you know, because in Spain or in Russia we don't have so many things in these prices. But I am not sad about this, I am pretty happy to have this trophy with me and to play my game and to win this tournament.

Q. You're apparently an iPod person. Did you have a special bit of music you played this morning?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I would love them to ask me what I would love to hear during warm-up. But I love this song which they had when they present me. I was so excited they put it because they put it in the match before I guess when I played Hingis. It's something about, "I'm so excited, I gonna like it," or whatever (laughing).

I was pretty pumped. I love this song. But the one they put on Maria, I didn't like it that much. I mean, I love the music. I hope one day we can have like in basketball match the same thing on this music. I think this will be great for crowd, for tennis and for everything.

Bероника
Apr 6th, 2006, 12:02 PM
Kuznetsova on an up cycle

By Bud Collins | April 2, 2006

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Most kids want a bicycle. A little Russian girl in St. Petersburg named Svetlana Kuznetsova had so many of them that she could have opened a bicycle shop.

Bikes ran -- or, shall we say, rolled -- in the family. Both her mother and father were world champion cyclists, and continue as prominent coaches.


But it turned out that the wheels on which Svetlana has taken triumphant spins across the planet are the kind that fit into sneakers. You could feel folks in the sun-baked gathering of 12,555 at Crandon Park yesterday thinking, ''Great wheels on that kid Kuznetsova!"

While the phalanx of courtside photographers concentrated on her foe, magazine cover girl Maria Sharapova, Kuznetsova was concentrating her own shots -- particularly a brightly clicking forehand -- on the places where Sharapova wasn't.

Though the legs of the 6-foot-2-inch Sharapova are more famous, the sturdy wheels of Kuznetsova carried the afternoon in an unexpected result: Kuznetsova across the finish line, 6-4, 6-3, in 90 minutes.

This Nasdaq-100 Open championship collision was the ninth intramural Russian final since the women from Tolstoy's land began making war peacefully in the game of tennis. Both had won majors in 2004 (Sharapova, Wimbledon; Kuznetsova, the US Open) but life has gone better for Sharapova, who is No. 4.

Sharapova, winner of seven titles since Wimbledon, was riding an 11-match streak, a recent victor at Indian Wells; Kuznetsova tumbled to No. 18 in 2005, and came in here at No. 14. Her drought following US Open success has included just one title (a minor, Bali), shoulder and back injuries, and a crisis of confidence.

She had trouble closing.

''I had 2 match points against Anastasia Myskina at the French Open in 2004, but missed," said Kuznetsova. ''She went on to be champion. Same in Paris last year. Against Justine Henin-Hardenne, 2 match points. I miss close shots, and she becomes champion.

''Now here, I have a match point against Martina Hingis, and I make a good volley. Before that, in the third-set tiebreaker, she had one against me. I saved it."

Not even a new bike under the Christmas tree would make somebody feel as great.

''The match against Hingis was a key to get more confidence," she said.

Bikes were all over the place when she was growing up.

''We traveled all the time, to championships," she said. ''What I saw then was only bikes. I did some races when I was 10 and the other girls were 17. I loved to do it, but then one day, suddenly, my dad said, 'You got to do something else.' He sent me to play tennis, and in the end I decided to play tennis by my own."

So they shipped her to Spain to train, and now she thinks of cycling as ''boring."

''Yes, I speak Spanish, and I think people in the crowd liked it when I would say, 'Vamos!' to get myself going," she said.

Kuznetsova thought a lot of people were backing her, reacting to the bad press Sharapova got for her behavior in the semis. Sharapova's opponent, Russian-born Tatiana Golovin, fell, tearing ligaments in an ankle during the tense third set. While Golovin, weeping in pain, was attended by a trainer, Sharapova turned her back, offering no sympathy.

Often hitting on the run, Kuznetsova broke down Sharapova's forehand with her own, and jumped to a 3-1 lead.

''She was hitting winners all over, and I couldn't get my feet moving the way I wanted," said Sharapova. ''She was hitting big shots that made me try to hit bigger, and there were mistakes."

Down, 2-5, Sharapova struggled through five deuces and a set point, staying alive in the set at 5-3. Whereupon she broke Kuznetsova with a brilliantly angled two-fisted backhand. However, Kuznetsova's confidence surged. She pierced Sharapova with one of those rare goodies -- a drop shot -- and a ripping forehand, coupled with two errors for the set.

Once more the 20-year-old new champ bounded ahead, to 4-1, then 5-2. Shrieking Sharapova, more toned down than usual, did issue one very loud quote -- ''Aye-yie-yie!" -- in stretching desperately for a ball that took Kuznetsova to match point at 5-3, 40-15. Kuznetsova took no chances with this match point -- she belted her fourth ace down the middle. ''I did that, too, when I won the US Open [over Elena Dementieva]. Ace on match point."

Kuznetsova's dash through the tournament to $533,350 left footprints on a tough cast: No. 46 Vera Zvonareva; No. 24 Hingis; No. 23 Ai Sugiyama; No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo; No. 4 Sharapova. The run raised her to No. 10, and restored pride.

Sharapova, loser of the 2005 final to Kim Clijsters, probably wishes Kuznetsova had stayed on the bike.http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/File-Based_Image_Resource/dingbat_story_end_icon.gif

goldenlox
Apr 13th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Kuznetsova overwhelms Shaughnessy
FAMILY CIRCLE CUP

It took Svetlana Kuznetsova barely 51 minutes Wednesday to dismiss any notions that her right hip would be a concern in this Family Circle Cup. And then the fourth-seeded Russian walked into the post-match interview room with a bag of ice taped to her right elbow.

"The balls on clay are harder, they're heavier," she said. "I don't know. I'm going to get treatment, and hopefully it's going to get better."

It might have been sore from the whipping she put on wild card Meghann Shaughnessy, who was simply overwhelmed in a 6-0, 6-1 loss. Kuznetsova, who strained the adductor muscle in her right hip in a tournament last week at Amelia Island, Fla., barely needed to move Wednesday as she pounded one winner after another past her opponent.

The muscular former U.S. Open champ could run when she needed to, attacking the net at one point in the second set for a deft drop shot that froze Shaughnessy in the backcourt. But for most of the match, she just waited on her opponent to make mistakes.

"She made me look a little bit better," Kuznetsova said sheepishly.

"I was just holding my game, giving balls back, and seeing what she could do. I didn't try to go for winners. I was very comfortable hitting the ball. I didn't play for three days, so it's hard to go out there. It was a surprising result. I guess I was consistent."

Shaughnessy, an American ranked No. 84 in the world, reached the third round last week at Amelia, where she lost to eventual champion Nadia Petrova. Wednesday, she took just 11 points off Kuznetsova in the first set, and 16 in the second.

"There's not too much to say about that match," Shaughnessy said. "Obviously, she's a great player. She's been playing great tennis lately, and has a great power game. At the same time, I didn't do much to stop it."

Kuznetsova, a 20-year-old Russian ranked 10th, improved to 20-5 on the season and won for the 10th time in her last 11 matches. Wednesday, the only signs of her old hip injury were a bandage wrapped around her right thigh and a few stretches late in the second set. Her dominating performance belied the real worry she felt over her ability to play in the event.

"When I played last week, I was in doubt for this week so much. I had no idea. I played well in Miami and did all right in Amelia. My injury wasn't serious, but I couldn't play on it, and I said, OK, I'm going to wait, because I also didn't want to hurt myself either, because pretty important tournaments are coming up, like Grand Slams and stuff," she said.

"I had to make sure. I had lots of doubts in my head. I spent a few days waiting, doubting, do I stay or go? How does my hip feel? How does my body feel? It was pretty hard to stay fit in my head, to stay comfortable. You get confidence going out on the court. I'm like, whoa, I'm not so bad, you know? I can still hit this ball."

So, the hip seems fine. Now, what about that elbow?

"I don't know," she said. "I'll have to go to the doctor, I guess."

goldenlox
May 6th, 2006, 03:15 PM
Kuznetsova ousts Venus in J&S Cup quarters
Williams downed in straight sets; Clijsters advances to face Dementieva

The Associated Press
Updated: 7:53 p.m. ET May 5, 2006

Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Venus Williams 6-4, 6-2 Friday, and top-seeded Kim Clijsters downed Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals of the J&S Cup.

Kuznetsova next plays Anna Chakvetadze of Russia, who beat Ana Ivanovic of Serbia-Montenegro 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Clijsters will play Elena Dementieva of Russia, who dropped the first set against Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwanska before cruising to a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 win.

The 13th-ranked Williams played only her fourth match since the Australian Open, sitting out nearly four months with a strained right elbow.

“I think the key of the game was consistency,” Kuznetsova said. “I wanted to attack. I was focusing to put as many balls back as I could, and sometimes she made easy mistakes.”

The 10th-ranked Kuznetsova traded breaks with Williams early in the first set on clay. Serving at 5-4, Williams wasted five game points before netting a backhand and knocking a forehand long to give Kuznetsova the set.

Williams’s poor play continued in the next set.

Trailing 1-0 in the second, Williams double faulted to give the Russian a break point, then hit a two-handed forehand long. The break was all Kuznetsova, a J&S finalist the past two years, would end up needing.

Williams, who overcame leg cramps to beat Martina Hingis in three sets on Thursday, said her legs weren’t an issue against Kuznetsova.

“I felt fine to be honest,” Williams said. “I felt like I could get to the balls, but also I think that on clay you have to have the mind set of really working your feet and getting to the balls. Sometimes I felt like I was still playing a little bit hard court.”

Bероника
Aug 22nd, 2006, 03:27 PM
Kuznetsova feels relieved having won a Grand Slam title

Web posted at: 8/21/2006 1:52:25

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/images/August2006/26kuznetos.jpg

MONTREAL • For Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, a tennis career without a Grand Slam triumph is like a crown minus the jewels. The Russian says if she were to end her career without a Grand Slam win, she would have felt dissatisfied with her overall achievements. However, Kuznetsova is spared of such an agony. Thanks to her triumph at the US Open 2004, the Russian is a proud member of the Grand Slam title-winning elite!

With less than 10 days to go before the start of the US Open 2006 — the year’s fourth and final Grand Slam - Kuznetsova is brimming with confidence after scoring three wins out of four matches at the $1.3m Rogers Cup in Montreal this week. Kuznetsova lost to Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals on Friday, but not before putting up a real fight. Well rested after a prolonged break of nearly two months, Kuznetsova is all geared up to launch a fresh assault on her rivals at the US Open 2006.

Here are excerpts from an interview with Kuznetsova in Montreal:

Can you describe your feelings when you won your first Grand Slam?

It is tough to describe such a feeling because I was only 18 years of age when I won the tournament for the first time. Of course, I was very happy to have won, but I couldn’t really understand the importance of it. If it were to happen now, I would value it more than I did before. However, looking back at my win, I feel very relieved that I have a Grand Slam title under my belt. For me, it is important to finish my career knowing that I have achieved a few goals. And winning a Grand Slam was one of my career goals. The victory in 2004 gave me the confidence that I needed while playing on the Tour. I am trying very hard to win more Grand Slam titles.

Are you satisfied with your game and current form?

Of course, I am satisfied with my game and form. However, I know I can improve my game further. I am a perfectionist. You can see me trying all the time. I am always keen to perfect my performance. I missed a few easy shots in my last match against Hingis, a couple of easy forehands which went waste. I will try to ensure that I don’t make the same mistakes again. I need to clean up a few bad shots from my game so that I don’t hit balls over the net frequently. I think I have played well so far.

How do you feel about your chances in the remaining part of the season?

I don’t want to think too much about how I play in the remaining part of the season. I feel in pretty good shape, but I know I need to win some matches before thinking of winning the big tournaments because I was out of action for about a month and half. But I am very happy with the way I have been playing of late. I am just looking at my next match at each event.

There’s has been a lot of talk of coaches coming onto court. What are your feelings?

When we were voting on the new scheme (of whether coaches could come out to help players or not), I said yes. It’s a new thing in the game and I feel it is good to try out new things to make our sport more interesting. Now that we have this rule in place, the players can make use of it. I have been playing tennis since I was 14 years old. I am now 21. It has been seven years and I have never called a coach onto the court. It feels a bit different to make that call (to seek coach’s help on the court). Right now I don’t feel the need to call my coach. But if I felt I need to talk to my coach, I’ll call him up.

Scots Kim Fan
Aug 22nd, 2006, 05:09 PM
Kuznetsova feels relieved having won a Grand Slam title

Web posted at: 8/21/2006 1:52:25

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/images/August2006/26kuznetos.jpg

MONTREAL • For Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, a tennis career without a Grand Slam triumph is like a crown minus the jewels. The Russian says if she were to end her career without a Grand Slam win, she would have felt dissatisfied with her overall achievements. However, Kuznetsova is spared of such an agony. Thanks to her triumph at the US Open 2004, the Russian is a proud member of the Grand Slam title-winning elite!

With less than 10 days to go before the start of the US Open 2006 — the year’s fourth and final Grand Slam - Kuznetsova is brimming with confidence after scoring three wins out of four matches at the $1.3m Rogers Cup in Montreal this week. Kuznetsova lost to Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals on Friday, but not before putting up a real fight. Well rested after a prolonged break of nearly two months, Kuznetsova is all geared up to launch a fresh assault on her rivals at the US Open 2006.

Here are excerpts from an interview with Kuznetsova in Montreal:

Can you describe your feelings when you won your first Grand Slam?

It is tough to describe such a feeling because I was only 18 years of age when I won the tournament for the first time. Of course, I was very happy to have won, but I couldn’t really understand the importance of it. If it were to happen now, I would value it more than I did before. However, looking back at my win, I feel very relieved that I have a Grand Slam title under my belt. For me, it is important to finish my career knowing that I have achieved a few goals. And winning a Grand Slam was one of my career goals. The victory in 2004 gave me the confidence that I needed while playing on the Tour. I am trying very hard to win more Grand Slam titles.

Are you satisfied with your game and current form?

Of course, I am satisfied with my game and form. However, I know I can improve my game further. I am a perfectionist. You can see me trying all the time. I am always keen to perfect my performance. I missed a few easy shots in my last match against Hingis, a couple of easy forehands which went waste. I will try to ensure that I don’t make the same mistakes again. I need to clean up a few bad shots from my game so that I don’t hit balls over the net frequently. I think I have played well so far.

How do you feel about your chances in the remaining part of the season?

I don’t want to think too much about how I play in the remaining part of the season. I feel in pretty good shape, but I know I need to win some matches before thinking of winning the big tournaments because I was out of action for about a month and half. But I am very happy with the way I have been playing of late. I am just looking at my next match at each event.

There’s has been a lot of talk of coaches coming onto court. What are your feelings?

When we were voting on the new scheme (of whether coaches could come out to help players or not), I said yes. It’s a new thing in the game and I feel it is good to try out new things to make our sport more interesting. Now that we have this rule in place, the players can make use of it. I have been playing tennis since I was 14 years old. I am now 21. It has been seven years and I have never called a coach onto the court. It feels a bit different to make that call (to seek coach’s help on the court). Right now I don’t feel the need to call my coach. But if I felt I need to talk to my coach, I’ll call him up.

That's just too funny! :rolls:

How does she expect to win any matches? Hitting straight through the net maybe? lol :D

HybridTheory
Aug 22nd, 2006, 09:50 PM
:lol:

I love this thread, some things are really funny, like this:

Q. You had a headache in the second set? What do you think caused that? Did it have anything to do with that plane circling and circling and circling?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: (Laughing). This is a good one.

I saw -- I was playing the first set and this flight was pretty annoying, you know. But what I wanted, just to be there and to give my best. I knew if I would think about flights, about birds - when I was kid, I was thinking about birds and I never won a match. I knew I got to go and I got to play.

:lol: Why did she thinks about birds during a match??

Scots Kim Fan
Aug 22nd, 2006, 10:00 PM
:lol:

I love this thread, some things are really funny, like this:

Q. You had a headache in the second set? What do you think caused that? Did it have anything to do with that plane circling and circling and circling?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: (Laughing). This is a good one.

I saw -- I was playing the first set and this flight was pretty annoying, you know. But what I wanted, just to be there and to give my best. I knew if I would think about flights, about birds - when I was kid, I was thinking about birds and I never won a match. I knew I got to go and I got to play.

:lol: Why did she thinks about birds during a match??

:lol:

I don't think she quite has the english yet for what she wants to say. But I think we get what she's meaning - you need to concentrate!

I've got a cheek though because my Russian is non existant! :devil:

I think we are all spoiled by all the girls who have such good english. It's nice for things to get lost in translation sometimes because it gives us all a laugh. :)

prowler
Aug 22nd, 2006, 10:40 PM
What an absolutely superb thread! Well done everybody who has made this! I have so enjoyed reading everything. I love Sveta's interviews...she doesn't hold much back, she just tells what is in her heart! I think there is not another player on the Tour as open as her! Keep up the good work!

Bероника
Aug 23rd, 2006, 12:40 PM
I love reading Sveta's interviews as well,they're always funny.It's probably because of her english is not very good as Scots KIm Fan pointed ( although I wish my russian was just as good as her english or spanish ;) ) or it's maybe lost in the translation.But overall Sveta herself is a funny girl,when I look at her off-court photos or hear her in interviews she sounds that way :D

One more article I found today:

Russian rolls
By: Sherman Cain, Journal Inquirer
08/22/2006

NEW HAVEN - First Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova got mad. Then she got even. Then she left American Jill Craybas in her wake.

Kuznetsova, the No. 5 seed and the No. 7 player on the WTA Tour, lost the first set to Craybas 7-6 on Centre Court at the Connecticut Tennis Center on Monday night.
"In the first set, I played one of the worst sets of the season," Kuznetsova said. "I had to fight a lot and I didn't want to lose."
Kuznetsova rallied with a fury. She won the final two sets 6-1, 6-1 to advance to a second-round meeting today with Tatiana Golovin of France.
"You have bad days sometimes, you know, and I'm very happy I got through," Kuznetsova said. "The rallies were long and it was a very hard match. It was tough because it was just one of those bad days when you just couldn't do anything right."
Craybas, a Providence native now living in Huntington Beach, Calif., couldn't stay in the match after Kuznetsova turned it up a notch.
"The whole second and third sets she was more aggressive and I never adapted my game," Craybas admitted. "She was being more aggressive and putting a lot more pressure on my serve."
The New England native had the crowd in her corner, but in the end, talent won out.
"I don't think I realize how many people know I'm from Rhode Island until I play close to home," Craybas said. "I think I showed people I can compete with anybody, which gives me a lot of confidence."
Slipping into darkness

Bероника
Oct 20th, 2006, 03:47 PM
In French Tennis Magazine this month there's a very good interview with Sveta :D

http://www.tennismagazine.fr/accueil.asp

I can't find the interview online so if you have a little patience I'll scan and upload it here and translate it ;)

Bероника
Oct 20th, 2006, 07:27 PM
Ok,here's the translation of the interview.Please,excuse my english that it's sometimes difficult :o Anyway I think you'll understand. Enjoy it :wavey:

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).

TM:Do 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.

TM:Do 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...

skiingblueangel8
Oct 20th, 2006, 08:05 PM
Great aritcle thanks veronika :D
And your english was fine, no need to worry :)

maryc
Oct 20th, 2006, 08:38 PM
Aww, thanks! goodrep to come, but I have to rush off to a meeting.

Mary

Bероника
Oct 20th, 2006, 09:02 PM
The scans so you can see the original article if you like to :D

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c276/veronikamc76/SKpage1.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c276/veronikamc76/SKpage2.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c276/veronikamc76/SKpage3.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c276/veronikamc76/SKpage4.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c276/veronikamc76/SKpage5.jpg

skiingblueangel8
Oct 20th, 2006, 09:17 PM
Thanks again for the scans, I'm really impressed that u translated all that writing.
I'm really grateful for all the work u put in :worship: :hug:

Bероника
Oct 20th, 2006, 09:25 PM
Yes,it took me a long time :lol: but I thought it was interesting that other Sveta fans could read it as I found it a very good interview and I learned quite a few things I didn't know about her. :wavey:

maryc
Oct 21st, 2006, 03:01 AM
Thanks again--so much--for the translation. It's a great interview,
and I can imagine how long it took you to do that. I really appreciate it,
though.

Mary

teleri
Oct 21st, 2006, 04:33 PM
Thank you so much. I'm so glad to read this, since svetlana's articles are scarce.

Bероника
Oct 26th, 2006, 02:33 PM
Kuznetsova keen on changes in women’s tennis

Stuttgart, Oct 25: The changes sweeping through women's tennis are music to the ears of world number four Svetlana Kuznetsova.

While other top players are cautious about plans to jazz up tournaments for spectators and television viewers, former U.S. Open champion Kuznetsova is right behind the innovations.

''I think it's very important to bring changes to the women's game, to bring more fans to the courts. I think we should try more new things,'' said Kuznetsova at the Stuttgart Grand Prix, where she was seeded second.

Some players are wary about being interviewed before they walk on court and having music playing during changeovers but the Russian believes they should make a sacrifice for the good of the game.

''I know some players are distracted by having an interview before the match but people like it and this (playing music) is something else they can do for the fans,'' she told reporters.

''I feel very strongly about that. Other sports have grown -- football, basketball, hockey -- and if we want to bring tennis to the same level or higher we also have to add other things.''

Bureau Report

goldenlox
Nov 2nd, 2006, 09:31 PM
Kuznetsova can go far: Sanchez
Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova has all the ingredients to become the best tennis player on the women's tour, according to her coach.
Kuznetsova, a product of the high-profile Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona, is presently Number 4 on the WTA Tour.
And her coach Emilio Sanchez taking part in The Legends Rock Dubai feels that she has all the qualities to be right on top of the standings.
"She is powerful, she is tough and she has been blessed with all the qualities to be the best in the world," Sanchez told Gulf News.
Sanchez and Sergio Casal created a new educational concept for young tennis players, in which they can simultaneously combine top-level sport training and pre-university studies in English.
And Kuznetsova started off with the academy from 13 years, and has stayed on with them. "This means she believes in us and in what we do," Sanchez said.
"She came as a 13-year-old and she still comes and trains whenever she is not playing in a tournament," he added.
If at all there is one impediment stopping Kuznetsova from achieving the top spot, it is her lack of mental aggression.
"She has the game and she has a good potential to win against any of the top player. But now, she only needs to improve on the mental aspect of her game," Sanchez suggested.
"Professional tennis is all mental nowadays. She has to play with more order, not make too many mistakes and be more efficient in her approach," he added.
Sanchez, who formerly travelled with this talented Russian a former US Open winner is convinced that Kuznetsova will scale the No 1 spot very soon. "The good thing about a sport like tennis is that there is always room for improvement. And at the level she is at, it is not only having the game, she also needs to improve the mental dimension," Sanchez stated.
Kuznetsova is not the only high-profile player moving through the Casal-Sanchez Academy. There are other hopefuls in the form of Scottish lad Andy Murray, Argentinean Juan Monaco and Gilles Muller from Luxembourg. "But she is right there at the top of the pile," Sanchez stated.

prowler
Nov 2nd, 2006, 11:09 PM
Thank you!

This makes me want to reiterate the fact that I am so so proud to be a supporter of Sveta!

Katha-Ger
Nov 7th, 2006, 11:41 PM
I just found a really nice and funny pre-YEC interview with Sveta online: YEC Special (http://svetlanakuznetsova.tripod.com/id34.html):bounce: .

I hope you like it, too :) .

goldenlox
Nov 7th, 2006, 11:48 PM
Thanks!

goldenlox
Nov 29th, 2006, 12:05 AM
http://www.svetlanakuznetsovafans.invisionzone.com/index-old.htm

Times are changing for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Dominic Bliss assesses its innovations while Elena Dementieva and Svetlana Kuznetsova, two of the dominant Russians in the top ten, give their views

The Great Leap Forward

There’s a revolution brewing in women’s tennis. Behind the scenes agitators are mustering the rebels and paving the way for major changes in the sport.
The Women’s Tennis Association has seen the success of electronic line-calling and modified doubles scoring in the men’s game. Next year they’ll be watching closely the ATP experiments with round-robin tournament formats. Not to be left out, they’ve decided to implement a few changes of their own. The goal is a more entertaining Tour in tune with the digital age, and for the players a healthier, less injury-prone year.
For spectators, the most evident of the changes so far is on-court coaching which was tested at Montreal, New Haven, Stuttgart, Zurich, and Linz. At the start of the match each player was allowed to designate a coach who was then permitted to come courtside in between sets or during toilet breaks and medical time-outs to discuss tactics. Occasionally these discussions were broadcast on TV or to the stadium crowd.
“I think it’s great,” said Swiss player Martina Hingis. “It’s nice to have someone come out and sit on the chairs with you for the first time, to talk about how things are going, and get another opinion. It’s nice to try something different.”
Hawk-Eye, the electronic line-calling computer, is eyeing up the women’s game too. At several tournaments around the world women have been able to appeal against the decisions of the line judges. The system was first tried out at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami with young American players Jamea Jackson and Ashley Harkleroad the initial guinea pigs.
“I was wrong,” said Jackson, who made history as the first woman ever to issue an appeal. “I thought it was wide, but I wanted to try it. I wanted to be the first. That’s what it was really all about.”
The ATP introduced a major change in doubles this year, modifying the scoring system in order to shorten matches and thereby encourage top singles players to compete in both codes. The WTA has decided to dip its toe in the same water. While it hasn’t gone as far as replacing the third set with a super tiebreak, it has tried out the no-advantage rule – i.e. a sudden-death deciding point after deuce. Doubles players at Luxembourg, Guangzhou and Seoul took part in the experiment. Their reactions were mixed. ‘
Television has also benefited from innovations. At a handful of tournaments players conducted pre-match interviews to camera, while coaches sitting in the stands were asked to discuss tactics during breaks in play. Improved microphones in the umpires’ chairs allowed fans to eavesdrop on the (often colourful) conversations between players and the chair.
The WTA Tour sponsor Sony Ericsson is in no small part responsible for much of this innovation. As well as helping to implement many of the technological ideas, they have also used their expertise in communications to bring women’s tennis to a wider fanbase. Live scoring to mobile phones and the new multimedia section of the WTA’s website are examples of this.
“These innovations represent part of the fulfilment of one of the central promises of
Sony Ericsson’s $88-million title sponsorship of the tour.” said a WTA spokesman. “To make tennis more fan-friendly, interactive and innovative, through the intersection of sport with technology.”
The WTA president Stacey Allaster also stressed that she and her colleagues wanted to make women’s tennis “as accessible, appealing and fan-friendly as possible.”
“We are working closely on a number of exciting initiatives that we believe will take women’s tennis another step forward in entertainment value.”
The most revolutionary of all these new initiatives was announced just last month: plans to shorten the WTA calendar. Currently the season runs from 1 January until mid-November – 45 weeks of hard graft and incessant air travel which, this year, resulted in record numbers of player injuries and withdrawals from tournaments. The WTA admits the season is “too long and too gruelling” and hopes to trim it by a few weeks before the end of the decade.
Two players who know all about a gruelling schedule are Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Dementieva, currently numbers 4 and 7 in the world. Assuming they both play their part in the season-ending WTA Championships in Madrid, Kuznetsova will this year have competed in 22 singles and nine doubles events, while Dementieva will have contested 21 singles, 12 doubles and two weeks of Fed Cup. Both Russians are opinionated when it comes to the new changes in the sport.
Here they talk exclusively to ACE about the changing world of women’s tennis.

It’s quite a revolutionary time for the sport. Are you happy with all the changes?
Kuznetsova: I feel like the WTA is really trying to take tennis to a different level. It’s not going to be the same classic sport any more. But I can’t really complain because I have only been in the sport for a short while. I don’t really have the right to say I want to keep everything the same. I think they should try new things. It makes it interesting for younger fans.

There are plans to shorten the tennis season. Surely no players are opposed to that?
Kuznetsova: I don’t think there’s any player that doesn’t agree with that. Right now, for example, my body feels really tired. And I’m only 21. Imagine what it’s like for older players. But shortening the season is a big project. You can’t do it immediately. There are a lot of sponsors and tournaments involved. But I would love to see the season shorter. I don’t need a big break. Two months would be okay for me. Eight or ten weeks maybe. All of November and December off.
Dementieva: I don’t think any players are against a shorter season. It’s an issue we have been talking about for a long, long time. We play so many tournaments throughout the year and we need a good long break at the end of the season to make sure that we all remain healthy. And to make sure we can play our best tennis every single tournament.
Look at other sports. Ice hockey, for example, has three months off. We have only one month and that includes the time we need to prepare for the new season. Two or three months off would be good.

Do you like the new on-court coaching rule?
Kuznetsova: I think it’s something we should try. If the statistics show it is popular with spectators then it’s good. There are other sports much more popular than tennis. Tennis needs to make changes to compete with them.
Dementieva: It’s great entertainment for the crowd. It would be very helpful for some young players. I don’t think I’m personally going to use it.

It’s interesting that players can designate anyone – coach, parent, another player – as their coach.
Kuznetsova: Yes, it’s funny because you can use your friends if you want. I personally wouldn’t be able to do it for another player. I would feel ridiculous.
Elena Dementieva: Yes this is true. But at the same time I think opponents can really use it against you. They can see your match and hear what the coach is telling you. They can study your tactics. Especially if the coach is speaking in English. It’s often on a microphone and you can hear every single piece of advice that the coach gives the player.

Do you believe WTA players should be more militant in pushing for equal prize money at all tournaments?
Kuznetsova: I think we are doing great things in the women’s game and deserve equal prize money in all tournaments. I guess we should have more publicity about it and talk more in the press.
Dementieva: I don’t know about being aggressive. We are doing our job the best way we can and we are playing great tennis. I think lots and lots of fans are coming to the Grand Slams because of women’s tennis.

Would you ever consider boycotting a tournament that refused to offer equal prize money?
Kuznetsova: You’d really have to feel strongly about it to do this. If I saw many players doing it I would do it. But it’s pretty hard to do it in the Grand Slams. Either you all do it or no one does it. If five of the top eight players agreed to do it then definitely I’d think about it. The tournaments have to realise that without us they wouldn’t earn any money.
Dementieva: No. I don’t think a boycott is a good idea. Most tournaments understand that
it is important to pay equal prize money to men and women because women’s tennis is getting more and more popular around the world. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until there’s equal prize money. I’m sure one day we’ll see it at Wimbledon as well.

The use of Hawk-Eye on line-call disputes seems to be very popular.
Kuznetsova: I like Hawk-Eye, for sure. I think it’s very interesting for spectators and very helpful for players. Sometimes you get crazy about a call that happens in the first set and it affects your whole match. But now you can challenge it. I would love to have it at every tournament. But I understand it’s very expensive.
Dementieva: I wish we could use it at every single tournament because it’s very helpful for the players and for the umpire. It’s very difficult for umpires to stay focused during the three hours of the game. For sure we have little mistakes that happen during a match. Sometimes if it happens during the tiebreak it really can change around the whole situation and may even cause one player to win the match. It’s also very good entertainment for the spectators. There are a couple of seconds when they are waiting for the results: in or out? You can really feel the pressure.

The WTA has experimented with doubles scoring. You both play a lot of doubles. What do you think?
Kuznetsova: I think it’s very good that they’re trying to make doubles matches shorter. If they can get more top singles players to play, that’s good. I just cannot afford to play singles and doubles all the time. But if I know it’s only two sets then I’ll play.
Dementieva: For players who want to play singles and doubles at the same event it’s very important to make doubles shorter. The no-ad rule and dropping the third set for a super tiebreak are both good ideas.

There have recently been many positive drugs tests in men’s tennis. Are you happy with how the women’s game is tested?
Dementieva: Yes, we have a lot of testing during the season and also in the off-season. I have never been tested off-season before, but we always have to complete papers saying where we’re going to be every single day so the testers can come whenever they want. You never know when they’re going to come. I think that’s very good for the game.

goldenlox
Dec 6th, 2006, 01:42 PM
2006 SONY ERICSSON CHAMPIONSHIPS
MADRID, SPAIN

November 10 , 2006
M. SHARAPOVA/S. Kuznetsova
6-1, 6-4

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA

Q. What happened, you started with the tournament, two of the matches, and you're out of the competition, what happened on the week?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm happy the year is over. I mean my mistake was yesterday, it was not today. I mean Maria, she's in great shape of all the players for the moment. I was in (inaudible). She's here. It's normal in tennis. Her best surface is in [INAUDIBLE]. I had my chances. I didn't use them and it's normal you lose. But at least I've been playing somehow. But it's tennis, another day it's another one. But at least it was better than yesterday.

Q. What did you learn in the year in projection for 2007?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: So many things. I'm very happy because in 2005 was really disappointing and tough year. So I was in doubt how I'll play this year and I worked pretty hard to come back and it was tough changes for me. And I've been working a lot. I think I'm changing for the best, but still have lots of things to work.

Q. Now, holidays?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. Probably go to Spain to doctor to take my wisdom teeth out. :eek: So it's not nice, then I go to St. Petersburg. So I'm looking forward to seeing my family.

Q. (Spanish) Can you tell us something about how the tournament is accepted here in Spain? Can you tell us how the tournament has been welcomed here in Spain for the first time?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I've enjoyed it. I'd like to play better especially in Madrid. I've liked the organization. I'd like to achieve a better result next year. I've got many things to improve, especially for indoor matches. I need to work on that and try to improve for next year.

Q. Are you comfortable on the court?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: During the whole tournament, there's indoor court than clay court. To be sincere indoor court does not fit my game. And to play against high and tall players here it's difficult, but I think I've improved since 2005, I think in LA. I've had chances today but that time I lost.
I was way behind. Maybe yesterday I played a better match and things have been different, well clay would be a different match. I would love to play here on clay but this is what we have. I think I've improved my game even if it's indoor but I need to work hard to improve.

goldenlox
Jan 9th, 2007, 09:34 PM
Wednesday, January 10, 2007

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/newsimage/20070110/sk.jpg
Svetlana Kuznetsova was forced to pull out of the Sydney International Tuesday after a respiratory problem left her gasping for air.

The Russian had lost the first set of her second-round match with Slovakia's Katarina Srebotnik 6-2 when she called it quits.
The world number four said she picked up an infection playing in Hong Kong last week that had left her with a croaky throat and struggling to breathe.
"It's really bad," she told a news conference. "I cannot do everything well.
"I just need to stop in the middle of the round to breathe, and my nose closes and I hear everything `ding dinging' in my ears. The blood is going up and I can't really focus with everything else."
Kuznetsova, US Open champion in 2004 and runner-up at the French Open last year, said she had considered pulling out of the match before it started but wanted to see how far she could push her body with the Australian Open less than a week away.
"My concern was if I can go on the court today or whether I should pull out before the match," she said.
"I did my best but I wasn't able to push my body to the max.
"I did not play for three days and I felt more or less good, but I just found it so difficult when you cannot breathe."
Kuznetsova said she opted against taking antibiotics to clear the infection and was hoping rest would ensure she makes it to the Open.
"I definitely will play the Australian Open but if I feel a bit like this I will push myself and maybe I will have to retire aga http://www.thestandard.com.hk/newsimage/20070110/rn.jpgin," she said.
"I am really motivated to play. If I am the same way as I am today, I won't. But if I get better, I think I should."
World No2 Rafael Nadal also withdrew from the Sydney event with a leg injury in the first set of his opening match, throwing his Australian Open challenge into doubt.
The two-time French Open champion had treatment on his right thigh when trailing Australian Chris Guccione 4-3 and called it quits 5-6 behind on serve.
Nadal had lengthy treatment from a trainer before resuming but decided not to complete the match due to concern over the injury ahead of the season's first Grand Slam, which starts on Monday in Melbourne.
The 20-year-old Spaniard missed last year's Australian Open with a left foot injury but said he hoped to be fit within two days.
"I hope in two more days I will be 100 percent because I want to play the Australian Open, for sure," he said. "It's very important for me, and last year I can't play, and this year I want to play here; it's important, so I will try my best."
Nadal only arrived late Monday from India where he lost to Belgian Xavier Malisse 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) in the semifinals in Chennai.
"I have a problem here," he told reporters, pointing to his inner thigh. "I don't know why exactly. I really don't know when." Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan also pulled out of his match with Czech Ivo Minar when trailing 2-6, 0-3, complaining of pain in his right wrist.

Foot's Fingers
Jan 18th, 2007, 08:19 AM
Kuznetsova happy to double up
by Jennifer Witham
Wednesday, 17 January, 2007

On the first day of the doubles competition, Kuznetsova was forced to play both her second-round singles match and her first-round doubles match on the same day, resulting in her media commitments being pushed back to late in the afternoon.

Kuznetsova, who won 15 out of 21 doubles matches in 2006, wasted little time in dispatching Australian hope Monique Adamczak in her singles match in the morning before backing up to partner Hingis in their first doubles contest in the afternoon.

Hingis helped Kuznetsova to register her second victory of the day with a straight sets win over Jelena Jankovic and Janette Husarova, 7-5 6-1.

While to some, playing two matches in the space of one day would seem a demanding task, Kuznetsova says she has fun competing in both competitions, even when they are so close together.

"It's alright, you don't have to warm-up specially and tomorrow I have a day of rest," she said, after all of her playing commitments were taken care of on Wednesday.

"(Playing singles and doubles on the same day), it's alright with me. I can do it both ways.

"If I had to play just singles, I would then go home and rest, but like this, I had fun. I was already warmed up and I have time to recover so it's cool.

"I will practice tomorrow, I will warm up Martina for her match and then I will hit a little bit and then I will have some time to go to the movies and stuff."

Kuznetsova said the load of both singles and doubles doesn't get too difficult to manage as tournaments like Grand Slams progress, but admitted she wouldn't want to combine the two all year round.

"It's doesn't get too much in Grand Slams, I don't think so, but in the road through (the season), it gets a bit tough," she said.

goldenlox
Jan 23rd, 2007, 12:22 PM
Kuznetsova Joins Dubai Field
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/KuznetsovaThumbsUpGoodRG06ANGLE.jpg
Photo By Ron Angle By Tennis Week
01/22/2007

Svetlana Kuznetsova has beaten two top-ranked players in Dubai, reached one final and mined the local shops for diamonds. Next month, she will try to seize the jewel that is the Dubai championship. Kuznetsova, a 2004 finalist and 2006 semifinalist, confirmed she will return to the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open, which starts on Feb. 19.


The 2004 U.S. Open champion joins a field that features three-time champion Justine Henin-Hardenne and reigning U.S. Open champion Maria Sharapova.
"My favorite thing is to buy some diamonds," Kuznetsova said of her annual trip to the tournament. "I almost don’t do it because I see so many that I don’t know what to get. And I know some girls last year went to ski and play tennis on snow, so I’d like to go and do some snow boarding, just a little bit for fun. It’s different. I think it’s cool, and I’m looking forward to doing it this year."
Kuznetsova beat Venus Williams in the 2004 quarterfinals before bowing to Henin-Hardenne in the final. She defeated Amélie Mauresmo in the 2006 quarters before losing again to eventual-champion Henin-Hardenne in the semifinals of the Tier II event.
In 2005, Kuznetsova made headlines when she was upset by Sania Mirza in the opening round.
"I have good memories, even though I lost first round one year," said Kuznetsova. "My run-up to the top started there when I reached the final. I really enjoyed that week. Last year I beat Amélie Mauresmo there for the first time too, so I’ve always loved being in Dubai. I enjoy it a lot."
The third-seeded Russian reached the fourth round of the Australian Open, falling to 16th-seeded Shahar Peer, 6-4, 6-2.

goldenlox
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:05 PM
Kuznetsova commits to Family Circle


The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C.
Svetlana Kuznetsova, the U.S. Open champion in 2004 and a French Open finalist last year, will play in the Family Circle Cup this April, tournament officials said Tuesday.

It will be Kuznetsova's second consecutive appearance in the clay-court tournament at Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island. Kuznetsova, currently ranked fourth in the world, reached the quarterfinals here last year.

Former Family Circle champs Justine Henin-Hardenne (2002, 2005) and Martina Hingis (1997, 1999) already committed to the tournament, along with standout Amelie Mauresmo.

Sedo
Feb 1st, 2007, 07:12 AM
Hi Sveta's fans,

Domain www.svetlanakuznetsova.com is on auction sale...

Foot's Fingers
Feb 8th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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.

Bероника
Feb 8th, 2007, 12:56 PM
http://www.eurosport.fr/tennis/sport_sto1077658.shtml

Foot's Fingers
Feb 20th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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.”

goldenlox
Feb 21st, 2007, 10:55 AM
http://www.gulfnews.com/images/07/02/20/21_sp_tennis_kuznetsova_4.jpg
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.

goldenlox
Mar 1st, 2007, 12:14 AM
Kuznetsova seals quarter-final berth
Web posted at: 3/1/2007 3:49:11
Source ::: The Peninsula/ by Rizwan Rehmat http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/images/March2007/2kuzarop.jpgRussia’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.”

~Kiera~
Mar 11th, 2007, 01:21 PM
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/travelblogue/2007/03/hustle_and_rust.html

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.

goldenlox
Mar 15th, 2007, 12:03 AM
S. KUZNETSOVA/E. Likhovtseva
6-1, 7-6
An interview with:
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Hello.
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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yep.
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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, yeah.
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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not really.
Q. You ever watched --
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No.
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.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, yeah.
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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.
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.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

goldenlox
Mar 17th, 2007, 02:14 AM
March 15, 2007

Svetlana Kuznetsova after beating Nicole Vaidisova

INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Right one.

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.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Um.

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.

goldenlox
May 26th, 2007, 11:10 PM
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

Observer
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.

goldenlox
Jul 3rd, 2007, 04:54 PM
S. Kuznetsova
3 July
Tuesday, 3 July, 2007


S. KUZNETSOVA/T. Paszek
6‑3, 6‑2
THE MODERATOR: Questions.

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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: In the past?

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).

goldenlox
Jul 4th, 2007, 11:53 PM
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.

goldenlox
Jul 5th, 2007, 07:44 PM
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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not really.

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.

Bероника
Aug 30th, 2007, 09:25 PM
S. KUZNETSOVA/C. Pin

6-3, 4-6, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions.
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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes.
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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.
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?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Tiebreaks?
Q. Yes.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No.
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

Bероника
Sep 2nd, 2007, 03:11 PM
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.

maryc
Sep 2nd, 2007, 03:41 PM
Sveta lives in Monte Carlo now?

Bероника
Sep 3rd, 2007, 05:31 PM
I was surprised reading this the other day.Today during her match against Azarenka,spanish commentor said she lives in Barcelona,but Montecarlo is her fiscal residence.

maryc
Sep 3rd, 2007, 06:30 PM
Wow. So she must have an apartment in Monte Carlo. I didn't know that.
Thanks for the information!

Bероника
Sep 3rd, 2007, 08:18 PM
Kuznetsova Continues to Roll

By Lisa Zimmerman
Monday, September 3, 2007


The fourth-round match between No. 4 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and Victoria Azarenka started fast, with Kuznetsova up, 3-0, in just 10 minutes. Although things slowed a bit, the 2004 US Open women’s champion held on to win, 6-2, 6-3.
At the outset, Azarenka of Belarus, who upset No. 16 Martina Hingis in round three, had trouble staying consistent and was unable to put together any sort of an aggressive game.
The wind, which gusted strongly, was a hindrance to both players, both on serve and on certain strokes.
A business-like Kuznetsova, who was the first-ever Russian woman to win the US Open title, was back on Center Court for the second time this tournament and looked solid on her shots, hardly giving up a point, as she went up, 5-0. But, Azarenka hung in and, with a deft drop shot followed by a Kuznetsova misfire into the net, she won her first game, sarcastically raising her arms in victory.
Kuznetsova easily won the first set, turning to look at her supporters in her family box, clenching her fists before jogging back to her chair for the changeover.
The 18-year-old Azarenka seemed to find her footing and get more into a rhythm, ultimately getting her first break in the top of the second set. Now it was Kuznetsova’s turn to be back on her heels. But she soon stepped up her game, as her opponent continued to become more and more visibly animated with each winning point.
As the match wore on, Kuznetsova’s experience came even more into play. The 22-year-old was able to keep her focus, while Azarenka at points seem to waver. Azarenka challenged twice, winning one and losing one. Her second challenge was pivotal, as it won her the game to pull even at 3-3 in the second set.
But it was not Azarenka’s day. Although it took five attempts (on one she double-faulted and could only laugh), Kuznetsova finally came away with the win, moving on to the quarterfinal for the first time since her 2004 championship. She will next take on unseeded Agnes Szavay, currently ranked No. 31 in the world, who in the third round upset No. 7 seed Nadia Petrova.

Bероника
Sep 3rd, 2007, 08:18 PM
S. KUZNETSOVA/V. Azarenka

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. I don't think a lot of people made you the favorite coming in. What did you feel coming in, what do you feel now about your chances?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, trying just to take it game by game, match by match, not like thinking who says am I favorite or am I not. I'm feeling like getting better every match. So this is very important for me. I think this is what about during Grand Slams. You don't have to play unbelievable in first match, but as long as you go through, as soon as you go better and better, it's very important. I'm very confident about my game and looking forward for my next match.
Q. You played the long second game of the second set. After that you really put together a strong streak. Did you feel like she got fatigued or did you pick it up after that game?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not at all. Not at all. Like because I think basically about the match, first set I think she been doing so many unforced errors. I mean, I had to stay focused and don't let her chances like to get in the match because from the start was very windy. I guess she was very nervous and she didn't know maybe how to control, so she was just missing all over the places. And in the second set, I knew I had to stay tough. I lost straightaway first game. I had chances to come back in second game. I lost it also. And then I said, Look, you just still have to play the same game to stay tough out there, and this is what I did. I think I just raised my game better in second set, and she was playing better than the first one.
Q. The other day Marat talked about being a former champion here. He said, What happens in the past, who cares. Do you feel like that or when you walk into this tournament you still have a sense of it's your house, too?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, Marat is special person. I have so much respect for him. I think he's such an unbelievable athlete. His personality is very special. In some point I agree what he says, but then in some point I will never forget. It's not a thing to forget, winning a Grand Slam. It's not like nobody cares. At some point, I agree, it's in the past. But still I been honored to win here. It's only one Grand Slam I won so far. Definitely always good memories. Definitely I come here I think about it because it's not possible without it. I feel proud for what I've done. But it's in the past. I'm consistent, I have to do better in the future.
Q. All these young girls in this part of the draw, do you remember three years ago when you were one of these young girls?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I don't take it at that. I'm just myself now. I'm experienced. I'm happy that I've been through what I've been. It's been some good and bad times. Just looking forward for each match I have. I guess for them is great opportunity for them to be there.
Q. What do you make of all these girls in the draw that are 18, 19? Is this an announcement from them they're ready to go deep in majors?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I just think they have good opportunity. That's it.
Q. Can you talk about your fellow Russian Anna, in your half of the draw, assess her game.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Anna, I mean, she's tough player. She plays good. She's just coming up. She win two, three tournaments this year. She's very confident about her game.
Q. What do you like about her game?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I not thinking. I don't know. She just good player. She is tough.
Q. What do you know about Szavay?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: She's tough. I played her last weekend. I think it's worked very good for me to play her. First set in New Haven, I never play her before, so I didn't know what to expect. I think now I know her game and I can prepare her better. I think it's very tough match. She's kind of black horse (sic), but I have to be tough out there. If I play my game, I have good chances.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Bероника
Sep 4th, 2007, 02:13 PM
Kuznetsova to lead Russia in Fed Cup final v Italy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - World number four Svetlana Kuznetsova will lead a powerful Russian team in this month's Fed Cup final against champions Italy.
On Monday, Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev named the 2004 U.S. Open champion along with world number six Anna Chakvetadze, world number eight Nadia Petrova and 56th-ranked Elena Vesnina for the Sept. 15-16 final at Moscow's Luzhniki arena.
Tarpishchev did not include world number two and 2006 U.S. Open champion Maria Sharapova, who pulled out of the July semi-final against the United States citing a shoulder injury.
"I feel it just wouldn't be right to invite Sharapova this time," Tarpishchev said after Russia beat a strong U.S. team, led by Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, 3-2 in Vermont.
With both Sharapova and Kuznetsova out injured, Chakvetadze, Petrova and Vesnina all played a key role in that victory.
Twice champions Russia are the favourites to beat last year's surprise winners Italy and regain the title they won in 2004 and 2005.

Bероника
Sep 7th, 2007, 09:58 PM
Kuznetsova Rallies To Reach Final
By Lisa Zimmerman
Friday, September 7, 2007


It was the battle of the Russians, as No. 4 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova faced No. 6 Anna Chakvetadze. Kuznetsova outlasted her countrywoman to advance to the final, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
In some ways, the two women are a study in contrasts, with the former US Open champion Kuznetsova trying to make her way back versus the up-and-comer Chakvetadze.
In the first set, neither woman was able to hold serve in the first three games, with Chakvetadze going up, 2-1. She then held and broke Kuznetsova again, taking a comfortable 4-1 lead.
The swirling wind, which provided a nice relief to those in the stands, created a hindrance for both players, making the ball difficult to judge. On one point, Chakvetadze missed the ball entirely, when the wind lifted it away from her.
Whether due to nerves or focus, Kuznetsova struggled with her game throughout the entire first set, not finding her groove at all. She seemed to have no control over any of her shots and became more and more visibly frustrated, at one point letting out a huge, frustrated yell at another lost point.
Kuznetsova, who had dropped only one set in the tournament before today's match (to Camille Pin in round two), subsequently complained to the umpire that all of the talking in the crowd was distracting her. However, even after the crowd was warned and quieted a bit, she still could not focus and gave the first set to her opponent, with a staggering 21 unforced errors.
In fact, after the match, speaking on court to Mary Joe Fernandez, Kuznetsova admitted she was embarrassed by her performance in the first set, saying she had played about as badly as she could have.
In the second set, Kuznetsova began to awaken and find her stride. While the match went steadily back and forth, Chakvetadze stuttered a bit, and Kuznetsova regained some control over her game. Falling into a split to return a ball, she managed not only to get it in but to recover in time to return again and win the point.
Up 5-1 in the second, Kuznetsova was now fully on the offensive, and the pace of the match picked up, as she won the next game to send the match into a third set.
With the temperature in the mid-80s (and higher on the court) with not a cloud in the sky, the umpire alerted the players and the crowd that the heat rule was in effect, and the players received a 10-minute break before the start of the third set.
Coming back out, Kuznetsova continued to put pressure on her 20-year-old opponent. As Kuznetsova broke to go up 3-1, Chakvetadze was clearly distraught and looked to be in tears.
When Kuznetsova took a 4-1 lead, she finally flashed the first smile of the match and, looking toward her family box, clenched her fist and nodded her head. Her opponent could not summon the strength to make a comeback, and Kuznetsova served out the set, sending herself to the US Open final for the second time in her career.
The 2004 US Open champion next faces either Justine Henin, who won the US Open title in 2003, or Venus Williams, the 2000 and 2001 winner, for the 2007 women’s title.

Bероника
Sep 8th, 2007, 10:06 AM
S. KUZNETSOVA/A. Chakvetadze

3-6, 6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. What made the difference between the first and second and third sets?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I guess when you put the ball in court, you win. When you hit it out, you lose. This is basically it. I was so nervous in the first set. I knew it was my opportunity. You know, I was so stuck there. I was just not doing anything at all. Every ball I hit, I hit it with the frame, the handle, somewhere out. Forehand. Didn't serve well. This was it. I was down one set, 1-Love, Love-40. I still was fighting. I would never give up. It was semifinal. It was not the best match I've played, but it was also great challenge to me. You know, I was talking to myself, say, Look, it's your challenge. You're losing, but you know you can do it, you know you can play better. You know if you do good basically you have to win. It's your challenge. You take it or you don't. So I did, and I'm really proud of my effort today.
Q. Why do you think you were nervous?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Semifinal of Grand Slam (smiling)? I mean, my last semifinal was one year ago in Paris. US Open is special to me, well, as any Grand Slam also. But, you know, it was great feeling to be out there. When I won it, I played semifinals against Lindsay when I had nothing to lose. Now I'm the favorite to be in the final, so this is what makes the pressure. Of course, pressure I put to myself because I think I'm good enough to be there.
Q. Do you think now because you're not going to be the favorite in the final will you feel less pressure?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. You know, it's pressure about what I put to myself. You know, I think after this week I gonna be No. 2 for the first time in my career. Really proud of my ranking. I'm really looking forward to play No. 1, Justine or either Venus who is playing one of the best tennis she played this year. The best player basically. Really I'm up to this challenge to play against the best players because I want to compete and try to be the best.
Q. How much better do you have to play tomorrow to win, regardless of who wins today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, it's different, you know, because it's so much different because Anna's game is tough. With the wind she plays so flat. If the wind blows with your shot you have to take it early. If you play against the wind you have to play double. Tomorrow is just going to be very important to serve well.
Q. Do you root not to have to play the No. 1 player in the world?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not at all. Not at all. I want to play the winner of this match. Who wins the match means the better player, and I would like to compete against the best player in the finals of the Grand Slam. It's really now what I live for. I play tennis every day. I wish to be in this final. I wish to challenge myself there.
Q. What kind of challenge will it be if it's Venus, knowing she'll have the crowd on her side?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Doesn't matter. It's even more challenge to me. It's not about the crowd and stuff.
Q. When you're struggling like that early and there's nerves, do you move your feet more? Do you try to hit more spin? Give yourself margin? How do you snap out of it?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I just felt I didn't -- my feet was not moving because of my nerves. You know, everything was blocking by nerves. I was more tired because of the nerves, not because of physical thing, you know. I am pretty fit and I can play matches like that if I'm not nervous. When the nerves get in the middle it tough. I was just taking it as a challenge, you know. It's just basic match, but on the other side is a pressure match because I was the favorite and I had good chances to be in the final. I was just saying, you know, you got to take the challenge and you just gonna say, No, no. I'm playing bad so today I lose. So I didn't do that and I was fighting. It's like one hour or two hours match. Maybe one set goes wrong I always have the chance to come back. What is beautiful about tennis is that.
Q. Is it more difficult to get into a rhythm against her?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not really.
Q. Were you surprised she didn't come out more nervous?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, you never know if she was nervous or not. The first set I didn't even let her play because I was playing against myself. I was just doing mistakes and stuff. I don't know how she was feeling.
Q. Were you expecting a tougher fight in the third set?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Second set I already played okay, you know. Third set it was tough because I was a break down I think or something like that. Maybe not. I don't remember. But anyway, I don't know, I played good second set. I knew if I keep going I gonna win. I felt like I was in control of the match.
Q. Do you think your game matches up with one of those guys better than the other? Do you feel more comfortable against Justine or Venus?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I have not think about it at all. It takes time. I don't want to think about it because you want one of them to win more or less. I don't want to think about it. I just want to play the player who wins, that's it.
Q. You said your win in 2004 seemed very far away. Is it all coming back to you now?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It feels like now I knew -- I felt really low after I won here and then I lost next round. I was really down on myself. Now I realize how much effort it took me to be here again. I went through difficult times. Now I'm back here. I gonna have another chance, another opportunity to play against best player tomorrow. It just great. I really appreciate for myself and my team who work with me what I've done. I came back to this level. This is what I really think so.
Q. Will you watch this match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. I gonna eat, have massage. I gonna relax. I know like how they play. I don't want to watch.
Q. How confident are you to win tomorrow?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't want to think about the win or lose. I just gonna go out there and enjoy the final. To play in the night I have not had one match on Ashe on the night yet. I played a little bit late with the lights, but I really didn't have night match yet. Just, you know, the opportunity for me to play a great final. I just gonna give my best. Doesn't depend on me if I win or lose. Of course, it does, but on the other player also.
Q. Do you have your hat picked out for your next press conference?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm not doing this. I'm not doing this. I wake up every day. I do things as I feel. I don't plan for the future what clothes are going to go and stuff.
Q. Is being No. 1 a goal you've had for a long time, or is it more of a target that you're getting close?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You play tennis for some reasons. It's not like I wanted to be No. 1 since I was three years old. But when I start playing good tennis, it's definitely one of your goals. When you win a Grand Slam you got to set another goal. If it's No. 1, definitely it's going to be No. 1 because there is pretty much no other goals. It's for a time, but not for ages.
Q. Does being No. 2 sharpen your desire?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, because it's pretty close. In the rankings, it's pretty far.
Q. What is it about the US Open that brings out the best in you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I just really feel -- yesterday some journalist came to me and asked, How do I like the crowd? Because some players complain about the crowd. I said, You know what, it's one of my favorite crowds of everywhere. I love French Open. It's real close to me. I would love to win it one day. US Open and French is my favorite tournaments. But there sometimes you don't know if crowd going to whistle you or they gonna say something. You never know. But here, it's just kind of showtime, you know. The crowd is always crazy. It's always nice. It pumps me up. This is what I like about it, you know, because sometimes you don't have to be American to be favorite. Of course, I mean, you guys love here American people a lot, from your country, but still people are so open minded from different countries, and it's unbelievable to be here. It's something really strange. Many surprises happens, and I love that.
Q. Is it important to give the crowd a smile so they get on your side?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, some players do so. Well, whenever I'm playing I'm not focused of what crowd gonna think. I'm trying to be myself. Definitely I would never be mean to the crowd. But there is two ways: either they like it or they don't. I'm not gonna do something ugly so they gonna whistle me for sure because I'm not stupid. Then, you know, I don't know, I just feel comfortable to play here.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Jenny.C.Fan
Sep 8th, 2007, 11:28 AM
Thanks :)

goldenlox
Sep 8th, 2007, 12:47 PM
Kuznetova Fights Through Nerves To Reach U.S. Open Final
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/KuznetsovaGETTYOpensemi.jpg
By Richard Pagliaro
09/09/2007

Svetlana Kuznetsova plopped into her court-side seat and pounded her palms on the arms of the director's chair with the frustrated force of a woman on the brink of a physical break point.
A tight, tense Kuznetsova had just staggered through the sloppiest stretch of tennis she played during this U.S. Open and as she found herself down a set to Anna Chakvetadze in today's all-Russian semifinal, Kuznetsova's hopes of advancing to the final seemed as shaky as her seat creaking like an aging rocking chair left on a ledge.
It was then that Kuznetsova took a trip to the tennis lost and found: leaving the memories of a miserable start she called "embarrassing" on the sidelines, the fourth seed found her forehand and form and reeled off 12 of the next 13 games to roll over a rattled Chakvetadze, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, into her second U.S. Open final in the past four years.
Succumbing to a severe case of nerves in the first set, that made finding the center of the strings a challenge for the two-time Grand Slam finalist, Kuznetsova kept fighting and eventually put her cracked confidence back together shot-by-shot to spark her comeback against an opponent wound tighter than the blond braid bouncing off her back.
"I guess when you put the ball in the court, you win. When you hit it out, you lose," a philosophical Kuznetsova said after her comeback. "This is basically it. I was so nervous in the first set. I knew it was my opportunity. I was so stuck there. I was not doing anything at all. Every ball I hit, I hit with the frame, the handle, somewhere out...You know if you do good basically you have to win. It's your challenge. You take it or you don't. So I did and I'm really proud of my effort today."
The 2004 U.S. Open champion will face top-seeded Justine Henin, the reigning Roland Garros champion, who beat 12th-seeded Venus Williams, 7-6(2), 6-4, in the second semifinal, in tomorrow's 8 p.m. prime-time final. Given the fact Henin is 14-2 lifetime vs. Kuznetsova, it doesn't take a psychic to figure out Kuznetsova would have been more comfortable playing Williams, with whom she has split six meetings, but Kuznetsova claims she wants a shot at the world's the best.
"Who wins the match means the better player and I would like to compete against the best player in the finals of a Grand Slam," said Kuznetsova, who defeated compatriot Elena Dementieva in the 2004 U.S. Open final. "It's really now what I live for. I play tennis every day. It's even more challenge to me. I wish to be in this final. I wish to challenge myself there."
She's already overcome the ignominious distinction of being the first and only defending U.S. Open champion to fall in the first round when she crashed out of the opening round in 2005 and ended the season ranked No. 18. Rebounding from that career low point, Kuznetsova has reached two major finals in her last seven Grand Slam appearances and will rise to World No. 2 when the new Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings are released on Monday.
"I felt really low here after I won here and then lost the next round. I was really down on myself," Kuznetsova said. "Now I realize how much effort it took me to be here again. I went through difficult times. Now I'm back here. I gonna have another chance, another opportunity to play against the best player tomorrow. It is just great."
While she will take the court as an immense underdog against a woman who has an edge in virtually every facet of the game, the fact that Kuznetsova will face markedly less pressure tomorrow night than she endured today could conceivably compel her to play much cleaner tennis. That's not to say she will win the match — Henin will have to be off her game and Kuznetsova would have to elevate her level of play significantly — but she should compete much better in the final than she did today and if Kuznetsova can let her forehand fly without inhibition she could keep the match close.
Kuznetsova spent the first half hour today engaged in a fight on three fronts: battling herself, the conditions and Chakvetadze. It was such an unsightly match featuring both women scattering shots that strayed beyond the sidelines, you half expected chair umpire Lynn Welch to issue code violation warnings for littering the court or summon Band-Aids for the balls which bore the brunt of some brutal mis-hits and frame jobs.
"The first set, I didn't even let her play because I was playing against myself," Kuznetsova said. "I was just doing mistakes and stuff."
Nerves gnawing away at both women amid a swirling wind made finding the lines as easy as locating a sliver of scotch tape lost in in the fountain outside Arthur Ashe Stadium. The pair combined to cram 81 unforced errors (46 by Chakvetadze and 35 by Kuznetsova) and 13 service breaks into one hour and 36 minutes of play that must have felt like an eternity to the 20-year-old Chakvetadze, who was competing in her first Grand Slam semifinal.
Disguise is one of the key components to Chakvetadze's game: she anticipates shots so shrewdly and takes the ball so early opponents can find reading the Moscow native's shots can be as easy as deciphering a message scrawled across the surface of a lake. But Chakvetadze made no effort to conceal her complete disgust with her performance today. Resting her chin on her right hand, Chakvetadze summed up her collapse succinctly in her post-match press conference.
"I just played horrible," Chakvetadze said. "I didn't expect it would be such a turnaround after this first set. I just couldn't put the ball in the court. It's a very disappointing match for me. I didn't know what I did do."
At the outset, Chakvetadze did not choke and her ability to keep the ball in play allowed Kuznetsova, whose feet seemed stuck to the surface of the blue court as if competing on fly paper, to implode in committing 21 of her 35 errors in the opening set that saw Chakvetadze seize a 5-1 lead. Kuznetsova handed her the set bouncing a double fault off the top of the tape that went long.
Rather than looking to land shots in the corners, Kuznetsova responded to her shaky start by seeking closure in the center of the court and in the end she found something even more substantial: her confidence. Well aware she was hitting herself right out of the tournament, Kuznetsova implored herself to keep fighting and eventually talked her way right back into the match. "I was talking to myself, say, 'Look, it's your challenge. You're losing, but you know you can do it. You know you can play better,' " Kuznetsova said. "My feet was not moving because of the nerves. Everything was blocked by nerves. I was more tired because of nerves not because of the physical think. I am pretty fit and I can play matches like that if I'm not nervous. When nerves get in the middle it's tough. I was just taking it as a challenge. It's a basic match, but on the other side it is a pressure match because I was the favorite and had a good chance to be in the final." Finding a way to win when not playing well is the mark of a champion, but Kuznetsova's plight was more simple: she was simply searching for a way to compete. After losing the first game of the second set, Kuznetsova fought off four break points at 0-1 of the second set. Punctuating a potent down the line drive with a clenched fist and a cry of "Yeah!", Kuznetsova fired her favored forehand down the line again to hold for 1-1. That shot sparked the first Russian woman to win the U.S. Open. Consecutive double faults from Chakvetadze gave Kuznetsova the break and a 2-1 lead and she surged forward with the momentum, seizing 19 of 22 points in a sustained stretch of offensive play to extend her advantage. An errant Chakvetadze forehand gave Kuznetsova double set point. Two points later, Chakvetadze bashed a backhand so wildly wild it nearly knocked the microphone off chair umpire Welch's perch.
"It was tough conditions because it was very windy," Chakvetadze said. "I couldn't handle the wind."
Things got so bad for Chakvetadze she actually whiffed on an overhead at one point, recovering to run around the miss and belt a backhand, which she mis-hit deep. The 10-minute break before the final set due to the heat did not deter Kuznetsova who earned a commanding lead at 4-1 when Chakvetadze missed an open court forehand.
Chakvetadze, who played such beautifully controlled tennis in tearing through the draw without dropping a set, was emotionally overwhelmed at that point and spent the ensuing changeover burying her head in her towel pinching back tears of frustration. She couldn't wipe away error of her ways and when her backhand — her best shot — sailed wide, Kuznetsova broke for 5-1. A Kuznetsova forehand volley winner brought her to double match point at 40-15. A beaten Chakvetadze blocked a backhand wide as Kuznetsova completed her comeback to reach the final.
When they wake up Monday morning, Chakvetadze will rise to number five in the world, while Kuznetsova will stand as the world's number 2 player when the new WTA Tour rankings are released. The woman for the affinity for wearing multi-colored New York Yankees cats throughout this U.S. Open (the morose Yankees have hardly ever looked as colorful as their logo does perched on Kuznetsova's head) now hopes to cap off her return to the Flushing Meadows final by holding up the shiny silver U.S. Open championship trophy tomorrow night. If she wins, the top spot in the rankings looms as an enticing future goal.
"You play tennis for some reasons. It's not like I wanted to be number once since I was three years old," Kuznetsova said. "But when I start playing good tennis it's definitely one of your goals. When you win a Grand Slam you got to set another goal. If it's number one, definitely it's going to be number one because there is pretty much no other goals. It's for time, but not for the ages."

Bероника
Sep 9th, 2007, 09:39 AM
J. HENIN/S. Kuznetsova

6‑1, 6‑3
Q. Can you talk about how nervous you were at the beginning? Were you very nervous? How did you experience that?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, it's very tough. I think the match was much closer than the score, for sure. And, you know, like I always say that ‑‑ and I'm gonna say it once more. To beat Justine, she's No. 1. When she plays her best game I have to play my best game. I didn't play my best game so that's why I lost. And I had so many opportunities ‑‑ not so many, but with these players like her, so high level, you just have few opportunities, not many. If you don't use them, there's no way I gonna win. I had so many of them. I felt I just didn't move to the ball well enough because I was pretty tight. So I think I got to learn a lot out of this final and just see ‑‑ take many times and improve it. There is something about my game I have to work.

Q. She's had moments in the recent past where as great as she is, she'll get a little conservative at times, mental lapses. Is she at a point now where she's not going to have any mental lapses, because she seems so aggressive?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I'm not agree about it. We're not machines. Everybody, we're players. We are humans. And she is also, you know. She is No. 1 now and I think she deserves it. She works very hard to receive. She's very professional. She still had some ups and downs today, and I just didn't use it, you know.

Q. Considering you didn't play much in the summer after Wimbledon, was this a surprise to get as far as you did? Did you expect to play well?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, I didn't play many tournaments, but I did train a lot, you know. I really trained hard. I was improving some things. But next step I have to do some improve during the matches, you know. It's not about the training on the court. Just when I go to play finals I wish I play at my best, and today I didn't do so.

Q. Do you feel like the No. 2 player in the world, which is what you'll be on Monday?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's very hard to say, you know, because I think player No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, it's not about only ‑‑ some people Justine, because of the quality, you know, she's No. 1. She has unbelievable quality. Like you take another player like consistency, like Jelena, you know, if I'm there, the system is like that, I think I deserve it.

Q. What's the toughest part about playing Justine?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I've been asked the question just now about if she gets a lead she sometimes get a little bit weak. But for me it's tough. Like you get a little bit ‑‑ like she get a little bit like a break or something, I think she's getting more relaxed and she plays better. This is very tough. She play pretty unusual game. I didn't play nobody like that in this tournament. All the girls I play play totally different tennis.

Q. Are you going to train tonight? I know you like to hit the ball after the game.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, no, no. I went to hit in 2004 because I had doubles next day. I hope to have few days off.

Q. Would it be a good comparison if we say that Justine plays like Roger?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I think women and men, you can't compare. I don't know, no? I don't know. I think she No. 1. She deserve it. For me, I mean, Roger, he has all the records possible. I think it's a bit different. Justine, she's No. 1. athlete. She deserve it.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Bероника
Sep 15th, 2007, 04:03 PM
Brilliant Kuznetsova overpowers Santangelo

Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.fedcup.com/teams/player.asp?player=35013668) was on top form to put Russia (http://www.fedcup.com/teams/team.asp?team=RUS) 2-0 ahead against Italy (http://www.fedcup.com/teams/team.asp?team=ITA) in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas 2007 Final.

Fresh off the back of reaching the US Open, Kuznetsova defeated World No. 34 Mara Santangelo (http://www.fedcup.com/teams/player.asp?player=20010170) 61 62 in under an hour, overpowering the Italian from the very first point. Santangelo was on the back foot immediately as Kuznetsova broke her serve in the second game with a series of powerful backhands. This was a constant theme all the way through the match, with the Russian hitting five times more winning returns than her opponent.

The World No. 2 was also relentless in her serving, winning 90% of her first serve points, which included eight aces. With Kuznetsova playing in this manner, it was always going to be hard for the Italian, who was under constant pressure. She made a series of unforced errors, which certainly didn’t help her cause and her backhand also wasn’t working as it can, hitting the ball very flatly and with little top spin. Kutnetsova was completely the opposite, varying her pace and hitting a perfect length. Santangelo also didn’t seem to have a plan B and persisted with the same tactics through the whole match, staying rooted to the baseline.

“I was always under pressure and she played very very good today. She was just far too good for me today”, said Santangelo.

Kuznetsova was in vibrant form for this rubber and was nothing short of relentless against the Italian.

“That was not easy today and is a big plus for me. I played well on certain points and I’m in good shape at the moment. I was really ready for this and I always give my opponents as less chance as possible”, commented Kuznetsova.

Kuznetsova also acknowledged the vocal support she received during the match from the local Moscovites and her teammates, making special mention to Maria Sharapova who was watching from the team bench.

It doesn’t bode well for the rest of the tie for the Italians with Kuznetsova in this frame of mind and the Russians will be looking to wrap things, first thing on Sunday. “For tomorrow I will be ready, we want to fight all together.” If successful, this will be their third victory in four years.

As for the Italians, there have only been three comebacks from 0-2 since the best-of-five format was adopted for Fed Cup World Group matches in 1995, so its going to be a mountain to climb. Italian captain Corrado Barazzutti was realistic when asked about his side chances for tomorrow, saying, “I think it will very very difficult from this position, but we will try. Players know they have to fight.”

maryc
Sep 15th, 2007, 06:06 PM
Not an article, per se, but more of an advertisement:

http://www.howdoyoufila.com/svetlana.php

Jenny.C.Fan
Sep 18th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Thanks :)

1000
Sep 18th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Good job Sveta on your Fed Cup heroics

goldenlox
Oct 1st, 2007, 08:07 PM
Stuttgart. Svetlana Kuznetsova, the No 2 in the WTA World Rankings, was present at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix’s All Access Hour to answer questions posed by the journalists. The 22-year-old Russian’s thoughts on...

...her participation at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix:
“Mentally I’m extremely strong at the moment. I felt really good after the Russian team’s Fed Cup win in the middle of September. Especially as I won two important points for my country. It will help me enormously here at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, even though it’s not directly associated.”

...the set-up in the Porsche Arena:
“The facilities in Stuttgart are a dream. The walk from our hotel to the Center Court takes less than two minutes. It couldn’t be better. It’s such a pity we don’t have much of an opportunity to take the Porsche we’re provided with out for a spin. My only comfort is that I’ve already got a sports car from Zuffenhausen in my garage back home.”

...the time between the matches:
“It’s no problem for me having to play my first match on Wednesday. I’m used to it from most of the other tournaments. I use the time to prepare myself properly. I’ll be taking a look at Amélie Mauresmo’s and Serena Williams’ matches here. It’s really enjoyable watching the both of them. Should I have to play them, all I hope is that I’ll put in a good performance.”

Jenny.C.Fan
Oct 2nd, 2007, 08:23 AM
Thanks :)

goldenlox
Oct 6th, 2007, 04:05 PM
“I want to have a dog so much”
Stuttgart. No matter how much Svetlana Kuznetsova wanted to play in the semi-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix today, deep down there is somewhere else she’d rather be.
For most of us, when we want a holiday we go away. When tennis players such as Kuznetsova want a holiday, they go home. Understandable, when the season stretches from January into November. The players know that if they do decide to take a break then others will be building up the ranking points ready to overtake them, and often their sponsor contracts dictate how much they receive based on their results and ranking.
So, despite climbing to number two in the world and the glory of playing in Grand Slam finals, there is a down side to the job. “The down side for me is that I want to have a dog so much, but I cannot because I’m never home to take care of it,” Kuznetsova said. “And basically, if you really want to meet people and do whatever it’s difficult because you travel all the time so you’re never in the same spot. You travel every week and it’s new friends, new people and it’s hard to stay in contact with everybody. Also there are lots of things that people don’t realise we go through. When you travel you have so many ups and downs and you still have to go out there and take it all out of your head when you come onto the court. And there is an obligation to play all of the tournaments. There’s no want to rest five months or do whatever. It doesn’t matter how you feel. You have a match and you go and you play, and that’s it.”
Despite all that, she does enjoy being in Stuttgart. “I love the site. I love playing in Germany a lot. I don’t like so much the sound of the German language but I love playing in Germany. And of course we are driving cars all week long. I love it and always have good memories.”
When she does manage to spend a few precious days away from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, she makes the most of them. “I love to go to movies. I love to spend time with my friends having an easy dinner and talking. I hang out on the internet, listen to music. I’ve got about 2000 songs on my ipod. I always download the latest songs. I do make myself read, but it’s not my favourite thing to do.”
If she did take a real holiday, like other people, she’d head for the sun. “I wish I can go to Jamaica one day. There are so many places I want to go, but I always try to come back to Russia because I never spend time there. I don’t like to lay on the beach. I need activity. I’d try to do some reggae dancing, learn that at least.”
Kuznetsova enjoys cooking, especially Japanese food, but even when she’s not playing tournaments her training programme often leaves her too tired to do much. “Cooking I can do, but when I’m in Barcelona training I come back so, so tired and I don’t want to cook so I prefer my mum to cook if she’s staying with me, or I’ll go to restaurants with friends.”
Although she is, of course, Russian, she has been based at the Casal/Sanchez Academy in Spain for many years. That is another frustration. “I’m never in Russia,” she said. “I love being in Russia, but I can never be there. There are so many tv shows the Russian girls ask ‘did you watch this or that’ and I’m not even watching the tv, so it’s hard. Anywhere I have Russian tv it makes my life so much easier and having language without translating it to yourself. It’s a different mentality, but I’m pretty used to the other way anyhow.”
The Russian mindset is very different from that of the Spaniards, and Kuznetsova can appreciate the best and worst of both. “Russian, Spanish, it’s all different mentalities, but I try to think about the best I like from each of them. With Spain, what I don’t like is that they’re very slow. It’s like tomorrow, we’ll finish tomorrow. They’re normally late and everything is very easy-going, you know. In Russia it’s more positive. It’s faster. You need this, you do that and it’s done. It’s more clear. But in Spain I like the respect. They have respect for people. You have to be a person first before a player, for example. That’s what I got good. Maybe it’s from my academy, maybe it’s from the club where I train, maybe my coaches. I don’t know if it’s Spanish or not, but you’ve got to have respect for people. And in Russia it’s a bit opposite, if you’re somebody, you’re number one or nothing. I don’t think it’s the right way. You have to respect umpires, linesmen, ballboys, everybody. Even normal people in the hotel, whatever. And Russia’s a little bit the opposite.”
Considering she is a top player, one who has been in three Grand Slam finals, it is disappointing that she is less well-known than some of the more glamorous or flashy players. Many people do not know that she has a good sense of humour, for example. “I’m very easy-going,” she said. “I’m very friendly with people, very open. I’m very shy actually, but as I grow up I’m getting better and better, but sometimes someone will say a compliment and I won’t take it seriously because I think they’re just telling me to make me feel good, not because they really think so. I love to make jokes, I love communication, I love to talk with people, I love to listen to people or just have an interesting conversation. Not about politics though. I don’t like politics.”

Jenny.C.Fan
Oct 6th, 2007, 06:20 PM
Thats a fab article, really interesting :)

Chrisi
Oct 7th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Great article :D

She doesn't like the sound of the German language :rolleyes:

Special_W
Oct 23rd, 2007, 09:03 PM
She doesn't like the sound of the German language :rolleyes:

It´s a pity! Well Chrisi, then we have to convice with other skills :bolt:

Chrisi
Oct 24th, 2007, 03:49 PM
It´s a pity! Well Chrisi, then we have to convice with other skills :bolt:


Yeah, we should. Or at least send her some very beautiful german quotes or textes with translations :D

Bероника
Nov 5th, 2007, 09:03 PM
Sveta was this morning in a spanish radio show (I missed it because I was at work),but I found the transcription of the interview on the website:

http://www.marca.com/edicion/marca/tenis/e...lo/1053951.html (http://www.marca.com/edicion/marca/tenis/es/desarrollo/1053951.html)


A quick translation of it I just made:

She arrives to Madrid with self-confidence and aims to reach the final

Kuznetsova: “I hope to be soon the number one”

Svetlana Kuznetsova was born in St Petersburg 22 years ago,but she’s been training in Barcelona for a long time now.That’s why she speaks spanish very well.World number 2 after a spectacular season, “Sveta” as her friends call her, the tireless player arrives to Madrid intending to close the year in a perfect way.Sincere,nice and thoughtful,she answered the phone call from “Tie-break” ,the tennis show from Radio Marca...

At this moment you are world number 2,when will you get number 1?
I hope it will be soon.It’s a dream for me and I’m training hard to get to my aims and that is one of them.

Is Justine Henin right now invincible or she is beatable?
I think she is not invincible.At the moment she’s playing incredibly well and she has win almost every tournament she has played.She has only lost 4 matchs this year and I was the one who beat her in one of them- Berlin tourney-.I think I can beat her,but I need to work more to get to her level.

You had also a great season: one title,five finals...How do you rate your season?
I’ve been playing well during the whole year,regularly,I never lost in the first round so far.I also reached the US Open final...It’s my best season.I should have won some other title,but the year has been a very good one,I’m very good and number 2 in the world.

And the sweet was at the Fed Cup final.You must be feeling proud of being world champion with your country...
Yes,of course.For me it was a very important aim in my career because the second time I win Fed Cup,but it’s the first time that I win it being the number 1 in my team and winning the important matchs.When Rusia won against Italy it was something huge for all of us and also for me.

Do you think we can say Russian tennis is the first power nowadays in women’s tennis?Kuznetsova,Petrova,Sharapova,Chakvetadze... you are a lot.
Yes,we are a lot and we play very well.We are aware we had to work hard for the things we had to go through in Russia,where we had very difficult beginnings,where we didn’t even had sponsors.

Spain is the opposite,where women’s tennis level is low.You that know both ways,why has Spain such a low level compared to Russia?
Difficult to say,but tennis is now a more physical sport and we russians stand out at it:Maria is very tall,Dementieva,Petrova or myself are strong women and hit the ball very hard...We can’t compare russian players to spanish ones because it’s also a matter of periods:since Arantxa and Conchita left tennis,spanish tennis level went lower,but I know the girls are trying it and working hard.

I have to confess your game is one of my favourites to watch on tour.You join aggressiveness with power,technique and quality...What do you think you have to improve of your game?
Thank you very much.I feel very motivated to play this way but I think I can improve all a little bit.I have to be more aware of the things that happen on court and believe more in myself.I’m powerful but I can still get better to climb.

The schedule and your work have brought you to Madrid to play WTA Tour Championship,what is your goal getting here?
I arrive much better because last year I already played in Madrid and I know what it is like.Indoor is not my favourite surface but this year I’ve been playing a lot better than in previous years and I think I have more confidence and more possibilities of doing better.

Is your aim getting past round robin phase and advance to semifinals?
Yes,at least.But I never did it in the past...I think I can get to the final and I believe in myself.

You spend a lot of time from tourney to tourney,but you usually train in Barcelona.What does Spain have that the rest of the world doesn’t have?
I train in Spain because I arrived here when I was 14 and even if I like also spending little times in Russia because I miss my country,here I feel very good.In Barcelona I’m very calm because nobody disturbs me,I have my place to rest,the club where I train,the weather is good,it’s close to all the tournaments in Europe,I’m in a good academy,with good conditions...

Do you think there are too many tournaments on calendar and very little time to rest?
Yes,I absolutely agree.Now when I finish Madrid,I only have 8 to 10 days to rest and then I start full training again a month before going to Australia...

To finish,a tie-break...
If you weren’t a tennis player,you would be...any sport,soccer,softball,dancing hip-hop
A little habit that you can confess...to hit the ball always with the same side of the racket
A place in the world you would recommend...St Petersburg
Your tennis idol is or has been...Roger Federer
With who would you go into a desert island...my partner (she wouldn’t tell more...)
What does Russia have that Spain doesn’t...a lot of money
What does Spain have that Russia doesn’t...they respect people more.


Astonished by your good spanish,I say you goodbye wishing you all the luck in the world at present and in the future

maryc
Nov 5th, 2007, 09:47 PM
Thank you very much for the translation!

Jenny.C.Fan
Nov 6th, 2007, 08:21 AM
Thanks vero :)

tim4
Nov 15th, 2007, 10:26 PM
Guess who was waiting on my doorstep when I got home from work this evening?

It was Sveta.

Yes, as a British tennis fan, and a subscriber to the Lawn Tennis Association's "Ace" magazine, today I received the latest issue. A nice photo of Sveta is on the front cover, together with a headline suggesting how hopefully Sveta will crack it next year and overhaul Justine at the top of the rankings, and there's a nice feature article inside - Sveta was interviewed at the Zurich tournament last month.

Those of you not resident in Britain won't have seen the article, so if I have time I might post some more about it another day.

maryc
Nov 15th, 2007, 10:45 PM
Sveta is stalking you? Cool. Enjoy. (And thanks for the info...I'll look
for a copy on eBay.)

Bероника
Nov 16th, 2007, 02:58 PM
:lol: Tim,for a minute I thought she was really waiting for you ;) Not that lucky :p

Well it would be very nice indeed if you could post some of the article.I don't get this magazine over here :( Also I think it's great Ace magazine dedicate her that space,in french and spanish tennis magazines (the ones I'm subscribed to) they had barely paid attention in the last times to the world number 2 :o

tim4
Nov 16th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Well, that's it, she is the world number 2, but one of the things they say in the article is that she's not a Sharapova or a Kournikova, she lets her racket do the talking, she earns most of her money from tournament prize money rather than endorsements. Until now, she's rarely had a major mention in that magazine. One thing it picks up on is that Sveta is Russian through and through, although she travels a lot and is really a 'citizen of the globe'; any thought that she would ever alter her nationality to e.g. Spanish is strongly refuted, Sveta will always be true to her Russian origins you can be sure of that.

svetaisthebest
Nov 17th, 2007, 02:27 AM
Thanks for the summary :)

Bероника
Nov 17th, 2007, 02:44 PM
Thanks Tim :D

goldenlox
Nov 19th, 2007, 12:37 PM
Getting Cosy With Kuzy

Svetlana Kuznetsova, the Russian No. 1, is proud of her roots but revels in the cultural diversity of her touring lifestyle. Dominic Bliss meets the rap-loving daughter of top cyclists to find out how learning to breakdance fits in with her ambition to be world No. 1 next season.

In a former life Svetlana Kuznetsova was a black woman. she's convinced of it. She feels such an afinity for African people and culture that, as far as she's concerned, it's the only explanation. "I like African people so much," she says. "I have a lot of black friends. I feel great with them. I love everything about black culture. You know how sometimes you feel you have a past life? I feel like I was black in mine."

It was music that first attracted the Russian player to black culture. eldom without her iPod, she has a particular penchant for all things RnB and Hip Hop. In the players' lounge you regularly see her nodding her head to the dulcet tones of Kanye West, The Game, Neo and 50 Cent. Her agent has tried to engineer a meeting between her and the latter (apparently the American gangsta rapper is a big tennis fan), but so far they have only spoken on the phone. "I'm not really into this hard stuff about killing," Sveta adds, aware that 50 Cent's image and style of music is at times very violent. (The former drug dealer has released songs with titles like 'Gunz Come Out', 'Gangsta Shit,' "My Gun Go Off' and 'I'll Still Kill' and has been shot many times.) Kuznetsova says "the sensitive and commercial stuff" is more her bag.

The 22-year-old Russian is sitting in the press cafe at Zurich's Hallenstadio, venue for the Zurich Open. In spite of a season that has seen her competing in 20 tournaments and regularly traversing the globe, she is upbeat and genuinely jolly. She shows off her multiple ear-rings - on her left ear a chain connects one in the top of her ear to one in the bottom. Her hair this week is medium-length and blonde, but by the time you read this it could be anything from short and black to tight corn-rows. Typically she changes hairstyle more often than David Beckham and Posh Spice put together. As the interview warms up she even reveals the top half of a tattoo engraved on her bikini line. It shows the tail of a tiger heading southwards. After her most consistent year yet, which saw her win in New Haven and reach the finals at Doha, Indian Wells, Berlin. Rome and the US Open, Sveta is currently enjoying a career high ranking of No. 2 in the world. She attributes her cent success to mental focus and more maturity. "I used to rush things so much," she says. "I just needed to focus and take my time. When I was 19 (after the 2004 US Open win) I got to No. 4 in the world and I didn't know how to handle it."

After the initial surge of form she then dropped down to 18 at the end of 2005. "To fall down is very painful," she adds. "Then to stand up again, it's very hard." But this year has seen her back at the top of her game. "I'm starting to be much more consistent," she says. "It was one step to get to the six finals this year. The next step, next year is to win all these finals and get to No. 1 in the world." Being the top player in Russia is not so important. In fact so many of her compatriots (Sharapova, Myskina, Petrova) have also held the national top spot over the last three years, that it's now an accolade without much lustre. Even Sveta concedes this. "Two or three years ago it would have been huge for me to be No. 1 in my country" she says. "But now I'm just focused on being the best I can be. The Russian No.1 changes all the time because different players are in different shape at different times of the year."

On court is where it counts
Nevertheless reaching No. 2 in the world last earned Sveta certain bonuses from her racket and clothing sponsors. But there has been no interest yet from new sponsors. Nor does she expect there to be. "Sponsorship deals are very hard in Russia," she says. "We are always looking and my agent is working hard on this. But IMG (her management agency) doesn't have a huge presence in Russia."Sveta says she's happy to be one of those less glamorous players whose primary earnings are on the court. So far this year she has taken home just under $2 million in prize money and very little by comparison from sponsorship deals. Compare that with Maria Sharapova who in 2006 earned $3.8 million in prize money and, according to Sports Illustrated magazine, a trouser-wetting $20 million in sporship payments. "Maria is not getting deals because she was No. 1 in Russia," Sveta stresses. "It's because they've made this image of her. She is a marketing player. I'm different. If I would be sold as she is, I don't know if I could handle it. It's really hard to be always posing and smiling. She deserves this money but, in the end, I think every player should ask themselves this question: "Are you happy with what you're doing?" I'm not going to answer for Maria or for Anna Kournikova or anyone else. But I can say I'm happy wwith what I'm doing. And I don't have lots of sponssorship deals."
Sveta says she invests most of her money in stocks , shares and other financial packages. In the future she plans to put some into property. Currently she rents a flat in a certain tax-friendly principality by the name of Monaco. She stays there when practising at the Monte Carlo County Club; when practising at her long-term training centre, the Academia Sanchez-Casal, in Barcelona, she stays at aan apartment owned by her parents in the outsskirts of the same Spanish city. Her coach Stefan Ortega and hitting partner Antonio Baldellou are both based there too.

Her home town, however, is St Peterburg, on Russia's Baltic coast. Here she spent her entire youth among world champion cyclists. Her mother, father and brother, Galini, Alexandr and Nikolai, were all top-level bikers. In his time Alexandr has coached eight Olympic champions, including his son and wife. He still coaches Lokomotiv cycling club, one of the most successful in the whole of Russia. It was in this atmosphere of sporting excellence that Sveta learned the athletic skills and discipline that would eventually serve her so well in tennis. She remembers how, as a kid, she tried to follow the strict regime that her father imposed on his young cyclists. "I was always living with Dad's team. They had to go to bed at 10pm and always get up very early. I wanted to be just like the guys. I remember, in the middle of winter, they would get up and go running at 7am. On Sundays when I had no school I would get up with them. It was very cold. They would say "What are you doing here. Why aren't you sleeping?"

Part of her father's training discipline involved black marks in a report book for cyclists who turned up late for training. By carrying out menial tasks around the club, cyclists could then erase any black marks they had accumulated. Since she was just a little kid, and the only girl to boot, Sveta was exempt from these punishments. Yet she remembers how she made her own report book and imposed on herself the same system of black marks and forfeits, just as the cyclists did. "I looked up to those guys and I liked to do what they were doing." Her father's team trained for free, but occasionally, in return, they would carry out manual odd-jobs around the club. "I would go with them and help them out," Sveta remembers. "Carpentry, little construction jobs, stuff like that. I loved doing that." Noways her father is able to spend a lot more money on his cycling facilities. Helped by his daughter's fame (and some of her prize money), he is currently building a huge sports and 200-room hotel complex in St Petersburg.

Politics gone bad
Like Sveta, the Russian president Vladimir Putin also hails from St Petersburg. But unlike Boris Yeltsin, his predecessor, Putin is no fan of tennis. Fishing and judo are more his bag. He is black belt in the latter and a former champion of the city of Leningrad (St Petersburg's old name). Sveta says she was extremely disappointed when Putin failed to congratulate her after her 2004 US Open win. "He is from my city and I'm the only (champion) tennis player from St Petersburg. When Myskina won the French Open and Sharapova won Wimbledon, he called them. But I won the US Open and I had nothing. I was really sad about that. It really hurt me. He never did anything. But it's been a long time past. I have a lot of respect for him and I know he does big things for Russia. That is much more important."

You can tell Sveta isn't comfortable talking politics. She quickly turns the conversation back to her favourite subject: black music and culture. She talks of her plans to travel in Africa and the Caribbean, especially South Africa, Cameroon and Jamaica. And she describes how she would love to learn how to breakdance. Shyness and the risk of injury have so far prevented her. "It's funny because I can play tennis in front of many people." she says, "but I cannot start dancing because I have no clue. I would love to dance well, especially breakdancing, but I hate it when people laugh at me. "It's strange to see a Russian professing such a closeness to black people and music. At first sight, the two cultures, both geographically and societally, could't be further apart. But then Svetlana is no ordinary Russian. During her 22 years she has already travelled the world and experienced more international culture than most Russians would in a dozen lifetimes. As a teenager she moved to Spain, to train at the Academia Sanchez-Casal, Andy Murray's old alma mater. Since then she has criss-crossed the globe countless times. The WTA calendar means she is able to spend the odd week competing in Russia, and Fed Cup of course draws her back to her motherland several times a year. But other than, her only time back home is at Chrismas and a few weekends snatched here and there. Yet she bridles at the suggestion that she may be losing her Russian roots. "No, no, no, no, no! Never, never!" she protests when asked if she now feels more Spanish than Russian. "Sometimes I like things that are European more, but I'm definitely closer to Russian culture. When I'm in (western) Europe I understand European people, but when I'm in Russia I'm like 'Oh my God! Those European people think so differently.'" She explains how her mind-set undergoes a complete change whenever she returns to Russia. "When I come to Russia I feel like a different person. I switch to a different mentality. My coach Stefan notices it, too. It just happens automtically. I can't explain it."

Citizen of the world
Like other Russians players who have moved abroad (notably Sharapova and Kournikova), when speaking Russian her accent has a foreign lilt to it. "My brother jokes about my accent," Svetlana says. "But that's normal, because I speak much more Spanish and English than Russian." And she admits that all the living and travelling abroad has inevitably eroded her national identity somewhat, making her more a citizen of the world, rather than a Russian citizen. This is par for the course for any travelling professional. "For sure, that's the same for everybody because we spend eight months of the year on the road." As a junior, when Sveta first moved to Barcelona, her academy directors explored the idea of her switching nationality and applying for a Spanish passport. It certainly would have made visas a lot easier to obtain. "I remember when they were working on it," she says. "I was just a kid and I didn't really know. But my dad and my family would never let me do that. My dad said, 'Over my dead body will you become Spanish.' Now of course I would never switch nationality. I'm proud of being a Russian. I would never chat on my country." But as a junior it had seemed a good idea to her coaches. "They tried to do all the paperwork," Sveta remembers. "But the guy from the Spanish federation said, 'She will never be top 30, so we don't need her.' And in one year I had won the US Open." The guy from the Spanish federation must be kicking himself now.

Jenny.C.Fan
Nov 19th, 2007, 12:54 PM
Nice read :)

Bероника
Nov 19th, 2007, 02:52 PM
Thanks,Goldenlox!!! Very interesting read indeed.

svetaisthebest
Nov 20th, 2007, 07:29 AM
Thanks so much for that article :)

Bероника
Jan 5th, 2008, 08:06 AM
Kuznetsova Won't Play on National Team


Svetlana Kuznetsova, the No.2 ranked women's tennis player in the world, will not play on the Russian national team against Israel in the first round of the Federation Cup (the women's equivalent of the Davis Cup), Sport Ekspress newspaper reports. She told team captain Shamil Tarpishchev that she will challenge Belgian Justine Henin for first place in the world and the Federation Cup match does not fit her schedule.


Tarpishchev allowed Kuznetsova to miss the match, substituting 15th-ranked Dinara Safina on the team. Maria Sharapova and Anna Chakvetadze will also play on the team. The final lineup of the team will be announced during the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. The Russian team is the current holder of the Federation Cup.

http://www.kommersant.com/p-11847/r_530/tennis/

Bероника
Jan 11th, 2008, 03:52 PM
January 9, 2008


Svetlana Kuznetsova

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. How do you feel about your form going into the Australian Open?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I hope to still get some more matches here, but I feel good. I would like to feel -- yeah, to play more points is the main key I need now.
But I feel like I played well. I playing a little bit different and I improved some things that I was working on in pre-season and really look forward to play. I think I mature also, just analyzing more what I'm doing during the game.

Q. It's been a few years since you won a breakthrough Grand Slam, and you've been knocking on the door last couple of years. What do you have to do to your game to take it to the next step?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Be play a bit more consistent. I was consistent last year than past years. I'm all the time just one step far away, you know? To make the step I just need to play important matches better and maybe believe in myself a little bit more.
Yeah, definitely to do the right thing on important moments. I think I was missing that.

Q. You played on Court 1 yesterday and on Centre Court today. Did you notice any change, difference?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, yeah, it's always different to play Centre Court because it's bigger and much more space, but on Centre Court it's more wind and the difference of speed, there is a little bit, but I don't know exactly which way it goes. It was a bit weird today.

Q. There's been a couple comments from Fabrice Santoro and Richard Gasquet that the ball is a little slower and you have to use a lot more power. Do you find that?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. The ball is slower, especially it gets at the end, like on the fifth, sixth game. Yeah, you got to use a little bit power. Sometimes if you don't play it really good the ball stops and it's very comfortable for opponent. The balls are heavy and you got to use more power, but for me I like that.

Q. Do you see that this year's Australian Open is as open as it's every been?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I see last year Justine was not here and now she's and she is No. 1, so I think she's main one I think for everybody. She was in the final the year she played and she played good, she won the US Open.
So for me she's the main contender, and then around other ones who is around. I think the main one is Justine I think.

Q. Do I think that when everyone is playing their best she's the best?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I don't think. I mean, this is the point of tennis is never nobody plays a better game -- like the best. Like if everybody plays the best it's never happens because there is so many ups and downs. Justine, she has more matches than other players where she plays good, so this is her key, I guess.

Q. How much does fitness play a part at the Australian Open more than the other Grand Slams because of its timing?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Because of this time and then because of the heat. Because fitness and the heat it's very important thing. Players who is fitter going to play better the matches when it's very hot, which is most of the matches. This is why it's most important, not because of the time of the year.

Bероника
Jan 11th, 2008, 04:18 PM
January 10, 2008

Svetlana Kuznetsova

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your 18th meeting with Justine tomorrow. You getting sick of this in the final?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not at all. You know, the thing is you can count meetings first when we started playing. I think first year I played like five times with Justine and she was in Top 3 players in the world and I was like number 80, so it was pretty clear that she was winning.
But we had a few very close matches and I won two matches. She's No. 1 so that's world. It's means it's good. If I play Justine it means I always lose to No. 1. That is fine.
But I also have opportunities to beat her. She's going to go the favorite and that's fine with me. I just going to go there and play my game.

Q. It's not intimidating at all?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not, not at all. She's No. 1 clearly now. I just have to work for my game to try to improve it so maybe one day I can be where she is.

Q. And you're quite good friends.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, we're cool. We're cool. We shot a lot. Actually I'm good with everybody on the Tour. I'm not the person going to stay in conflict. I hate that. I like to be friends with everybody.
She's not friends with many people, but with me she's good. I have all respect for her. She has an amazing career and I have all respect. I mean, some points I have or I take example of her.

Q. Is it hard playing a good friend?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. I have everybody play good friends so I have to play almost every day.

Q. How big do you think the gap is between No. 1 and No. 2?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You see points gap, no? In the points it's pretty big gap. I don't know, it's not my thing to deal. It's important I'm No. 2 for me, and I going to see from there.
I have only one place to go and I looking forward to improve my game. I still have lots of things to work on.

Q. Without divulging your game plan tomorrow, what one or two things do you need to do to be spot on with Justine?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Just to play every ball. She's No. 1 but she's not perfect, you know, you going to have chances.

End of FastScripts

Bероника
Jan 11th, 2008, 04:25 PM
SYDNEY, Australia - Like she has done so many times in the past, Svetlana Kuznetsova pushed Justine Henin to the limits; but like so many of those encounters the world No.1 came away the winner anyway, this time rallying back from several third set deficits to prevail, 46 62 64, and claim her 40th Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title.
Having just gone the distance against No.4 seed Ana Ivanovic in the semis - prevailing 62 26 64 - No.1 seed Henin had her hands full for the second straight day against No.2 seed Kuznetsova, beginning with a tight opening set, in which the Russian raced to 4-1 and allowed the Belgian to close to 4-4 before reeling off two more games and the set. Henin then broke right away and that set the tone for a somewhat lopsided second set, but the decider was a dogfight from beginning to end.
Kuznetsova drew first blood in the third set, breaking at love and saving break points in two service games to jump out to a 3-0 lead; she even had a point for 4-0, but Henin hung tough and evened it up, 3-3. Kuznetsova's serve was strong and she held for 4-3 and had break point for 5-3 but was again unable to convert and the Belgian won three games in a row to clinch victory. Two hours and 16 minutes after the pair took the court, Henin was still on top of the world.
"This was perfect," Henin said. "I was starting to feel much better today because Sveta played a great match, I thought. She was really intense and aggressive, didn't make many mistakes, and really pushed me to the limits tonight. That's the kind of match I really needed before the Open. It's good to see that I could deal with the nerves tonight because I was in a pretty bad situation in the third set. I remained calm and played my best when I was under the most pressure."
"She pushed me to make mistakes, it's not like I just missed," Kuznetsova said. "Maybe I had chances and sometimes I should've been more aggressive, but she definitely played better in the important moments."
Although the two have consistently played each other close over the years, Henin improves to 16-2 in their 18 career encounters. This was also the first time in nearly two years that the world's Top 2 would do battle, and the Henin win meant that No.1s improved to 66-37 against No.2s since computer rankings began.
"I'm not going to count all the games I've played against her or whatever; we're much closer than before," Kuznetsova lamented. "I have been working hard and I'm getting closer. She has more experience being there, but I'm trying my best.
"I live a good life. I'm No.2, young and improving every day. There is no taking my confidence away."
"She is a really a complete player and a great player," said Henin on her closest challenger in the rankings. "I can see she worked hard in the off-season because she was in great shape this week, and that means she's going to be motivated for the Open, and one of the favorites."
With her milestone title, Henin also extends her win streak to 28, her last loss coming last July in the Wimbledon semifinals (to Marion Bartoli). It is the longest streak since Venus Williams notched 35 in a row in 2000. Now, she travels to Melbourne as a favorite for her second career Australian Open title.
"I'm concerned about what I'm going to do; I'll build my game and confidence and just try to win every match I have to play. The Grand Slams are the goals this year, as well as the Olympic games. I left Melbourne with a pretty bad feeling two years ago so I'm glad to go back, and I hope I can be at my best level."
It was a week to remember at the Medibank International, not just because of the Top 2 final. There was a near-Top 4 semifinal roster with No.4 Ana Ivanovic being Henin's penultimate opponent, but Kuznetsova facing Nicole Vaidisova, ranked No.12 (the Czech teenager took out No.3 Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals). None of the four seeded doubles teams, all of whom made the Sony Ericsson Championships doubles line-up last fall, even made the semis; in the end it was unseeded two-time Slam champs Yan Zi and Zheng Jie who lifted the trophy.

maryc
Jan 11th, 2008, 04:49 PM
Thanks for the articles!

iheartjelenaj
Jan 15th, 2008, 01:45 PM
here's an interview of kuzy taken from the a.o.'s website

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...375493161.html

Q. Your first time here in Australia as the world No. 2. Is that a tag you're getting used to?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, definitely it's new for me. It's pretty new for every tournament where I go. So I just ‑‑ in end of the year I go to No. 2, so I'm pretty excited about this.

Definitely it's a little bit of pressure because you got to keep it up, you know. And I try to do my best and I really enjoying being No. 2.

Q. Are you happy to be fairly anonymous? A lot of the players have higher profiles than you who are not ranked as high. Not as much attention.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't care about my profile; I care about my game.

Q. Do you feel you get enough credit for the player that you are, especially right now at your career‑high ranking? And do you care about that?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, definitely, I mean, attention is good. Too much attention is not good. I mean, you never know what's good, what's not.

You know, I try to really focus on my game. This is what I take care of, you know. I cannot take care of my attention or something else, you know. Because if you take this out, you know, you get game out of your mind, and I want to really focus on that.

Q. What about back home?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Back home, I got attention. I'm cool. I enjoy being there. I really miss home. So for me it's very important be there and enjoy. Had an amazing win for Fed Cup this year. It was really great thing.

Q. There are so many great players from your country now. Do you feel you get lost in the shuffle?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not at all. I think people know everybody of us. It's really good back there.

Q. What did you think of your performance today?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think it was pretty good match. It was slow start. It's different surface. Well, it's a bit ‑‑ slightly different than Sydney last week and it takes time to get used to it.

But I started a little bit slow, and then I make it up better.

Q. Do you feel like you're in the easier part of the draw?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm not watching the draw. I have no clue who is where, you know. I know my next opponent. Sorry, guys, I'm pretty boring, but it's just very simple for me (smiling). I'm just like that.

I'm looking my next opponent. This is what I have to think of, you know, not think which part I am.

Q. You're very popular with your fellow players. Is that important to you? Is that a good thing?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: For me a very important thing. First thing for me is be a good person before being a good player, you know. Because even if I would be like first in the world, I would get everything, attention and everything, would win everything, and then you're a shit person it's not good.

I mean, I think every like top player, we have great personality, like Justine, other girls. We are all like good people. For me it's very important. And I like to communicate with girls. I like to roll good, you know.

Q. You've been called the biggest character in the locker room.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Am I? Well, that's good to know (laughter). I don't know. I just love to have fun, you know. I'm just happy to live. You know, life is short and you have to enjoy. I make jokes with every girl. I don't know, I just feel friendly with everybody.

I don't feel it's triviality so much. I don't want to get into it. Because if you get, This girl said this, that one said that. I'm over it. You know, whatever. If they want say something they come to my face and say it to me.

The same I do to other people. I just go straight and I talk. Like this you don't have problems with nobody.

Q. Who would you say your closest friend is on the tour?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I have many. It's very hard. I mean, I'm good with Justine. I'm good with Serena. I'm good with Alicia. I don't want to miss any names because I'm really good with many girls. Like Likhovtseva, definitely from my Russian girls, one of my best friends.

Q. We also understand that you dictate the music in the locker room.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, from my locker it's my music. If they don't like, many times I ask like, Do you mind, like, the music or whatever? Normally it's me and Justine in locker room like before finals or semis.

Somehow, I always play her. So I always ask her, Does it bother you? That's it. I put the music. Nobody does else.

Q. Does she ever say yes?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. She's, No, it's fine. She just laughs. She goes, Put the kind of music you listen. I say, I'm sorry, I'm just different.

Q. Is there a favorite style of music you play before a big match?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Most style I listen is hip hop, R&B. Most of it, like 80% of my songs.

Q. Favorite artists?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Plenty ones. Like before I was so ‑‑ I had ‑‑ I loved 50 Cent, but now I like everything, like T‑Pain, Chris Brown, 'Lil Wayne, so many names.

Q. Do you feel like you're playing your best tennis at the moment?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I feel like doesn't matter like what day I have, I go on the court and I feel more consistent that I can change things. Even if I'm not playing well, like I have always Plan B or I always can control myself, you know. Like I'm always there.

Like sometimes I would have bad day and I would like not play so good, you know, play game what nobody expect from me. Now I feel more consistent. I feel being better there.

Q. What do you think can take you to the next level? You played in the Sydney final, lost to Justine. You're world No. 2. What is it going to take for you to step up and start winning those kinds of matches, perhaps be No. 1?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, getting to these matches, having them, this is already very positive thing. Playing against Justine I had chances, but she just played really well the important moments.

I also had to play a little bit different game, just to change this a little bit. Just get in there all the time would make my chances, and I think I can change it by that.

Q. Is Fed Cup going to be a big priority for you again this year?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. My priority ‑‑ well, it's complicated to explain, but my priority is Olympic Games and Grand Slams. But then I was not going to play Fed Cup at all. But captain ask me, C'mon, let's play. I mean, there are so many other girls to play. You know, I don't want to take spot of somebody. Somebody can play for me.

Then he ask me like, C'mon, let's share. Some players play one round, some players play another round. I'm not going to Israel after here. If the girls win, I promise I gonna play for next round.

Destiny
Jan 15th, 2008, 02:51 PM
love her such a great personality love her:hearts:

Bероника
Jan 15th, 2008, 03:31 PM
Thanks a lot,iheartjelenaj for posting her interview :D

Good to see she has her priorities in the right place.

I don't care about my profile; I care about my game.

First thing for me is be a good person before being a good player, you know.

Very interesting reading.Go Sveta!!!!! It's difficult not to love her after reading things like that ;) :hearts:

Света_мой_№1
Jan 15th, 2008, 05:28 PM
Thanks a lot,iheartjelenaj for posting her interview :D

Good to see she has her priorities in the right place.





Very interesting reading.Go Sveta!!!!! It's difficult not to love her after reading things like that ;) :hearts:

yeah try to not love it wont work

Bероника
Jan 16th, 2008, 01:36 PM
She won't Svet it

Peter Hanlon
January 16, 2008

THE conclusion to Novak Djokovic's well-attended match yesterday afternoon prompted such an exodus from Rod Laver Arena that one watcher wondered if the Svetlana Kuznetsova-Nathalie Dechy duel that followed should be dubbed "the lunch break".
It was hardly an appropriate way to mark the arrival of the world No.2, but Kuznetsova is used to flying under the radar. Besides, when you have none other than than Roger Federer leading your cheer squad, the appreciation or otherwise of a few thousand mere mortals is neither here nor there. It was the case yesterday as Kuznetsova emerged a 6-3, 6-1 victor with the minimum of fuss.
The Russian was joined in the second round last night by Venus Williams, who survived a strong rearguard action from Yan Zi of China before advancing, 6-2, 7-5.
The Wimbledon champion, resplendent in earrings so big they might have acted as wings, led 5-2 in the second set only for Yan to level at 5-5, but the American recovered her poise to clinch victory in 74 minutes and set up a match against Frenchwoman Camille Pin.
Many a plucked eyebrow was raised in the women's locker room at the French Open last year when Federer was asked who on the women's tour he most enjoyed watching. The style and substance of a Williams or two, perhaps? The grace of Mauresmo? Henin's heavenly backhand? Vaidisova, Jankovic, Sharapova, Ivanovic … take your pick of the glamazons of the game?
No, Svetlana Kuznetsova.
"I like her game, she plays well," Federer said.
This came as something of a surprise, not least to Kuznetsova, who, when told by Russian journalists, dismissed it as a joke, one she only gathered was for real after logging on to the internet and checking for herself. "If I would have to choose a compliment from anybody, it's definitely the best I ever heard," she said at the time. "Roger is a legend and to hear him say that is almost a dream. He's my hero."
Touching as the endorsement was, Kuznetsova is happy in the knowledge that she will never be singed by the spotlight's glare.
"I don't care about my profile, I care about my game," she said yesterday, a blunt assessment that brought a knowing chuckle from a Russian journalist. Kuznetsova knows her standing is high where it counts most to her - among her peers. Three years ago during this tournament, the Belgian sports minister caused a storm by announcing that she had failed a drugs test. The substance she tested positive for was ephedrine, a common ingredient in cough and cold remedies which is illegal in competition but permitted in charity events of the type Kuznetsova was contesting at the time.
The wave of support for the girl they know as "Koozy" was tidal, right up to WTA chief executive Larry Scott's attacking the politician, Claude Eerdekens, for not following procedures. Alicia Molik, then her doubles partner, was so disgusted at seeing the story on the front page of a tabloid newspaper in her local newsagent that she purchased every copy and threw them in the bin outside.
Yesterday, even Frenchwoman Dechy, an accomplished opponent who went within two points of a berth in the final here three years ago, could not find a harsh word for her. "She's definitely one of the nicest and friendliest girls on the tour. She's a friend. On court it's tough, but afterwards I'm still going to laugh with her.
"[And] her strokes take you back two steps. She's able to play an all-round game, come to the net, do everything. She has no major weaknesses."
Unlike several of the women's seeds yesterday, 10th seed Marion Bartoli among them.
The Frenchwoman who came from the clouds before losing to Venus Williams in last year's Wimbledon final was never comfortable against Swede Sofia Arvidsson, eventually losing 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-3.
Sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze enjoyed an easy passage when her opponent, German Andrea Petkovic, retired with a right knee injury in the first game of their match.
Women's ninth seed Daniela Hantuchova survived a decent work out before downing American Vania King 6-3 7-5, and Marat Safin's 16th-seeded little sister, Dinara Safina, handed 18-year-old German Sabine Lisicki the best win of her career, going down in three sets.

iheartjelenaj
Jan 16th, 2008, 02:55 PM
She won't Svet it

Yesterday, even Frenchwoman Dechy, an accomplished opponent who went within two points of a berth in the final here three years ago, could not find a harsh word for her. "She's definitely one of the nicest and friendliest girls on the tour. She's a friend. On court it's tough, but afterwards I'm still going to laugh with her."


thanks for the article! :yeah:

aww, i wanna be kuzy's friend :hug:

Bероника
Jan 16th, 2008, 02:59 PM
Seems like she's loved by all the girls.It just can't be a coincidence ;)

I find what Alicia did so sweet :hearts: I like that girl a lot too.

flyingmachine
Jan 16th, 2008, 11:15 PM
Nice articule.:)

Foot's Fingers
Jan 17th, 2008, 08:37 AM
Svetlana Kuznetsova 17.01.08
Thursday, 17 January, 2008


Transcribed Interview



Q. How do you explain the first set?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I didn't start well, definitely, and I've been missing it up, and she been playing pretty good. And then I was getting a bit tighter and I still didn't play my game. But when I was down 5‑2, 5‑3, I felt I'm just not doing the things.

I think I just tried to put more balls in play and tried to make rallies long. So she's not very consistent, so I wanted to play with her.


Q. A lot of the players say that early in the championship it's hard to get your rhythm. Was that something you found difficult to do today?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes. Every match is different. And especially my first match was against Nathalie Dechy. And today was against Pironkova, two different players. They play different style. It's not easy to get the rhythm.

I was feeling not bad there, but it was very weird match, not very consistent.


Q. You got it all together in the second set. That must have pleased you.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. I played better. I still was not happy with the first set, but I couldn't change anything so I just did better in the second.


Q. Do you find it useful to get advice from former champions?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I have my coach. And I get all advice, how you say this, from my coach.

svetaisthebest
Jan 17th, 2008, 08:57 PM
Thanks for the article

Bероника
Jan 19th, 2008, 01:59 AM
Kuznetsova crashes out in third round

Saturday, 19 January, 2008
By James Ranson

http://www.australianopen.com/images/pics/large/b_kuznetsova_0119.jpg (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/photos/2008-01-19/200801191200708161921.html)


No. 2 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova has crashed out of Australian Open 2008 in losing to Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets 6-3 6-4.
Kuznetsova made 19 unforced errors in the opening set and failed to improve on that with 17 in the second. Just like the Russian's form the match failed to scale any great heights.
Radwanska proved a very tough opponent however, it was Kuznetsova’s erratic game that was the deciding factor. Twice she missed easy overhead smashes on crucial points.
The No. 2 seed started poorly in the first set and found herself 3-0 down, a scoreline she never recovered from.
In the second set, Kuznetsova got the early break, before the No. 29 seed got it back on serve. At 4-4, the former Wimbledon junior winner made the crucial breakthrough needing only to serve out the match.
Kuznetsova though, threatened to break back immediately at 4-5, leading 15-40 on Radwanska's serve, but an audacious drop shot and further errors from Kuznetsova sealed the game and the match.

iheartjelenaj
Jan 19th, 2008, 05:38 AM
.........:bigcry:

svetaisthebest
Jan 19th, 2008, 07:11 AM
Sveta's post match press conference :sad:

Q. What are your thoughts on that?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's pretty simple. I think I beat myself up out there, so I didn't do much, right things. I was just playing within myself, and I lost the match and this is it.

Q. She's beaten quite a few top players. What is it about her game that's so difficult?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: For me, it wasn't about her game. She played well, but I was not doing anything to win the match. And playing like this, I think I deserve to lose today.

Q. Were you not feeling okay, or was something wrong?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was feeling fine. I was feeling fine. It's the way I was thinking on the game. The way I prepare for the game and everything, it wasn't right.

I've got to learn to do it right way next time during Grand Slams. It's lots of pressure. I got to handle it and got to play well and do it differently, you know. Otherwise, it will happen to me many times. You know, I got to learn a lot from this lose and definitely a very disappointed one, but I got to go with it. So that's it.

Q. You say you weren't thinking right. What were you thinking then?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, it's my problems, you know, what I was thinking of. But, no, I got to just take a different way. You know, Grand Slam is very hard. Lots of things around, which I really have to get more distance from that and just focus on the game, and that's it.

Q. Is it mental pressure that got to you?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, the mental pressure, I don't know. Because the pressure, you make it yourself. If I had pressure I put it on me myself, and I'm responsible for that and for this lose.

I mean, the way I've been on the court I didn't deserve to win today, is this is what happens. I got learn from it and just try to improve it next time.

Q. You handled pressure in Grand Slams so well before on many occasions. Why was that different?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Every day you live and every day you are learn, I think. Today was one of those days which my things didn't work, and I was not thinking properly about what I have to do. I was just playing within myself there.

I was not doing my right game and right strategy, which I had to play which I thought of playing for the match.

Q. She played with no pressure whatsoever. She seemed to be a lot more freer than you were. Is it just a case of her being young and not having experienced that before, that she was just enjoying the moment, and you were feeling the pressure because she was playing so freely?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, definitely I wasn't feeling that she was under pressure or not. This is the point. I was not playing against her, I was playing against me. This is the main thing. I've been there, and that's it.

About her, I don't know. It can go both ways. When you're young you normally play Grand Slam without pressure and you enjoy yourself. Actually, I maybe should have taken an example and just to enjoy the game. I was not enjoying my game today. Most of games I play well I enjoy the game, and this is what I have to do.

Q. Did you feel anything unusual

before you got on the court?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. I mean, you always got some feelings before the match, the way it was going. I definitely felt it was going to be a hard match, but I just didn't play good.

Q. Do you think she's a special young talent?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: She plays well, you know, but she doesn't have unbelievable shot. She's consistent and makes you play every ball.

Q. We saw you playing a very good final in Sydney against Justine. How tough is this loss to take?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: As I said, the pressure was there and definitely the expectation because I still know I have the game. I know it's there, and it's really disappointing to be on the court and not doing this.

So definitely it crosses my mind and I start to do the wrong things. So, no, I just have to learn, I have to go and don't let myself down. Just take positive things. It's not going to be easy.

This is a pretty tough loss because I think I've been in the best shape ever in Australian Open, and I just didn't make it work.

flyingmachine
Jan 19th, 2008, 11:34 AM
NO :bigcry:

Talita Kumi
Jan 19th, 2008, 11:47 AM
Sveta :hug:

Bероника
Feb 11th, 2008, 03:12 PM
I highlighted the part about Sveta ;)

MOSCOW, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Russia will recall clay-court specialist Igor Andreev for the Davis Cup quarter-final with the Czech Republic in April, captain Shamil Tarpishchev said.
Russia defeated injury-hit Serbia 3-2 in their first-round match on an indoor hard court at the weekend to set up a home tie at the Czechs which is set to be played on clay at the 6,000-seat Luzhniki arena.
Tarpishchev said the surface for the Fed Cup semi-final against the United States two weeks later had yet to be decided.
"Most definately we'll host the Czechs on clay but for the Fed Cup we have a few options -- it depends on the players," he said.
Tarpishchev, who also coaches the Fed Cup team, expects world number three Svetlana Kuznetsova or Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova to spearhead Russia's challenge against the Americans.
This month, Florida-based Sharapova made her Fed Cup debut for Russia, leading them to a 4-1 first-round win over Israel in Tel Aviv.
"If we have Kuznetsova we'll play on clay, with Sharapova it'll be a hard court," Tarpishchev told Reuters.
"Of course, we can also make a last-minute switch depending on who the Americans will bring. If it's the Williams sisters (Serena and Venus) almost certainly we'll pick clay."
Russia's Davis Cup win over Serbia extended their winning home streak to 15 ties, dating back to their defeat by the United States in the 1995 final.
They were handed the advantage over the Serbs on Sunday when Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, suffering from a virus infection, was forced to retire against Nikolay Davydenko, handing the hosts an unbeatable 3-1 lead.
Despite Russia's record, Tarpishchev remains cautious.
"I've learned over the years not to take any match lightly," said the 59-year-old, who has led Russia to three Fed Cups and two Davis Cups since 2002 and is bidding to become the first captain to win a unique double by lifting both trophies in the same year after narrowly missing the feat last year.
"And each year the wins are getting tougher and tougher."

So it's Sveta or Sharapova? Why not both?

Bероника
Feb 20th, 2008, 09:23 PM
Kuznetsova overcomes desert storm

http://images.photogallery.indiatimes.com/images/space.gif
AFPhttp://images.photogallery.indiatimes.com/images/space.gif

http://images.photogallery.indiatimes.com/images/space.gif
DOHA, February 20: World number two Svetlana Kuznetsova continued her bid to close the gap on Justine Henin at the pinnacle of the rankings by overcoming a desert storm as well as Nathalie Dechy, the former top 20 player from France.

Kuznetsova came from 1-3 down in the second set to dig out an industrious win by 7-5, 7-5 against a dangerous opponent who had a one win head-to-head advantage, though the Russian reckoned the greater adversary was the conditions.

The sandstorm which had blown up from Saudi Arabia and caused the closure of Baghdad airport also brought powerful gusts of wind and clouds of particles which tested the players' temperaments as well as their skills.

"It was very, very, very difficult because I have not played in a wind like this," said Kuznetsova after reaching the third round of the $ 2.5-million Qatar Open, the WTA Tour's newest tier one event.

"It was crazy, you can't control the ball, and tactics won't help much. You have to be clever and create something because it's a very unpredictable situation", she said.

"You have to be clever and analyze as you play, how the wind is blowing and what she doesn't like", she added.

"It's very hard to stay calm. You see an easy ball and you can't make it and sometimes it's easier to make a hard ball than an easy one", said Kuznetsova.

Kuznetsova was nevertheless most pleased with the way she managed to remain calm, especially during two difficult phases; one when Dechy climbed back from 2-5 to within a couple of points of 6-6 in the first set, and then while she was repairing the two game deficit in the second set.

Some of the time Kuznetsova tried to hit flatter to keep the ball lower and away from the influence of the stormy gusts and near the end of the match, when Dechy saved a match point on her serve to reach 5-5, Kuznetsova served very well to restore her advantage.

She duly converted the second match point two games later, with a solid service return and a heavy forehand pulled suddenly across court, looking mighty relieved to have done so.

Kuznetesova could have a quarter-final with Venus Williams, the Wimbledon champion, but in a draw in which there are so many dangerous young players making their way forward, little can be called probable.

Kuznetsova nevertheless knows that if she can repeat last year's performance of reaching the final or do even better, she will reduce some of the large 3,000-point gap between her and Henin, the world number one who has chosen not to defend the title here this week.

maryc
Feb 21st, 2008, 12:27 AM
Gracias.

svetaisthebest
Feb 21st, 2008, 05:56 AM
Thanks for the article

Bероника
Feb 22nd, 2008, 05:01 PM
Kuznetsova sent packing at Qatar Open

There are also bad fortunes for other top seeds at the 2.5 million U.S. dollars tournament plagued by a vicious sandstorm as second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova was upset by Austrian Sybille Bammer 6-3, 7-6(8) and sixth-seeded Venus Williams lost to Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 6-3 in the third round.

The 15th-seeded Bammer overcame strong wind to win in exactly two hours. Bammer broke Kuznetsova's serve three times in the first set, and both players had four breaks in the second.


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-02/22/xin_5720205221331656134912.jpg
Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova serves to Nathalie Dechy of France during their match in the Qatar Open tennis tournament in Doha Feb. 20, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


"I started to play better in the end, but in these conditions it was pretty impossible to play a normal game," Kuznetsova said. "Playing bad I still had chances, so this is disappointing."

Bероника
Feb 22nd, 2008, 05:02 PM
Seeded stars blown away by Qatar windhttp://www.gulf-times.com/site/images/spacer.gif

Published: Friday, 22 February, 2008, 07:34 AM Doha Time

A 28-year-old mother and a virtually unknown teenager caused the biggest upsets at the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s Qatar Total Open yesterday by scalping two of the game’s modern-day legends at the Khalifa Tennis Complex.

Austrian Sybille Bammer, the only mother playing regularly on the Tour, sent Russian World No. 2 and second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova packing in the second round on an evening when swirling cold winds made life difficult for even the best in the business. Bammer, the 15th seed, won 6-3, 7-6 (10/8).
A little while later Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, an 18-year-old pocket dynamite put paid to her idol Venus Williams’ ambitions with a quickfire 6-3, 6-3 victory with the American seven-time Grand Slam winner appearing all at sea in vicious conditions triggered by a sandstorm that originated in Saudi Arabia.
Late in the night Jelena Jankovic and Maria Sharapova, the third and fourth seeds, prevented any further mishaps by advancing to the quarter-finals with easy straight set wins over Ai Sugiyama and Tamarine Tanasugarn respectively.
It all completed an extraordinary sequence of events that began with the pulling out of top seed Ana Ivanovic after she failed to recover from an ankle injury suffered on Wednesday.
Kuznetsova said at times she found the conditions so difficult she was embarrassed that she couldn’t cope.
“It was embarrassing to stay out there,â€* she said. “It was very disappointing to lose like that to her. I could not play my game,â€* said the Russian
“I fought, but I did not really start fighting till the end,â€* admitted Kuznetsova.
“I guess I just got adjusted to it by then. But I should have started fighting earlier.â€*
Asked if she thought play should be postponed when the wind was so strong, Kuznetsova said: “I think so, yes. But you don’t think about this when you are on the court.
“Though it was in my head two or three times someone should cancel this because it’s a disaster.â€*
Kuznetsova had complained about the conditions during her second round match against Nathalie Dechy on Wednesday, but yesterday things got to her while Bammer stayed steady and calm.
“I just went to court and told myself to stay cool,â€* said Bammer. “The conditions were difficult, although I remember winning a game in even windier conditions some years ago in California.â€*
Bammer said calling the match off was not an option because that meant playing two matches the next day which would have been even tougher.
Williams, the sixth seed, was woefully out of touch against the hard-running Cibulkova who was not overawed in the least at the prospect of playing against a player whom she has idolised ever since she was a child.
“Venus is one of the greatest players in the game and one of my idols,â€* said Cibulkova, who in the past had come close to upsetting Nicola Vaidisova and Jankovic in the Fed Cup but couldn’t pull it off.
“However, this time I decided I was not going to play the name in front of me and that helped.â€*
Williams’s error-ridden game was exemplified by the fact that she committed a staggering 44 unforced errors against Cibulkova’s four which had an enormous bearing on the match.
“It’s part of my game (not making unforced errors),â€* said the teenager, who had shocked ninth seeded Patty Schnyder in the first round on Wednesday.
Cibulkova said she was expecting the wind and was prepared for it. “It was windy on Wednesday so I knew it would continue. I was ready for it.â€*

BY ANIL JOHN

Bероника
Feb 27th, 2008, 02:08 PM
Kuznetsova eager to cross last hurdle in world rankings

By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
Published: February 27, 2008, 00:06

Dubai: World No 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova feels she may be very close to taking another step in the rankings, provided she is willing to work - and that too at a fast rate - on certain aspects of her game.
"Being the second best player in the world can be pretty tough," Kuznetsova smiled as she met media in the traditional opening day interviews at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.
"Now the only thing left for me is to be the world No 1. I am pretty happy with the way I am playing and improving in my game. But it is that one last hurdle that I need to overcome, and much of it depends on how fast I can make the alterations in my game," Kuznetsova stated.
Since turning professional in 2000, the 22-year-old has nine singles career titles on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, including the US Open way back in 2004.



Her Grand Slam success nearly hit top gear again last season when she made it to the final at the US Open, only to lose to top seed Justine Henin.
Playing against such quality players, Kuznetsova is aware that she needs to do something to be crowned the best in the world.
"I need to make certain changes in my game if I need to make things work for me," she admitted.

Bероника
Feb 29th, 2008, 02:06 PM
Kuznetsova Battles into Final at Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships

Dubai, UAE, February 29th, 2008: Second seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova reached the final of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships with a hard-fought 5-7 6-4 6-3 win over fourth seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia on Friday.

It was a tense match from beginning to end, with neither player giving an inch in the two-hour 42-minute match. Although Kuznetsova twice took the lead in the first set she dropped her own serve in the next game each time. And even though the second break left her leading 5-3 she was unable to close out the set. She made a backhand error to lose a set point at 5-4, held a game point to lead 6-5 before losing her serve again, and then she was unable to convert a break point as Jankovic served for the set.

Despite that disappointment Kuznetsova responded by breaking to lead 2-0 in the second set, but Jankovic again responded by breaking in the fifth game and once more to lead 4-3. But instead of going on to close out the match, she allowed Kuznetsova to win the next three games and the set.

After an early break each in the deciding set Jankovic began to tire, and after Kuznetsova survived three break points at 2-2 she allowed the Russian to break for 4-2. She then held six match points on the Jankovic serve, losing most of them with backhand errors, before serving out the match to love.

“The match was going longer and longer and I was feeling better and better. I cannot explain it,” Kuznetsova said. “I was far from my best game and it was very important to stay focused because usually when I play her I have so many chances and when I don’t use them I get so frustrated.

“That’s what happened to me after the first set a little it. The same thing happened when I played her in the final in Rome and today it was very important for me to go through it. I thought I did it pretty well, and in the third set I just had to stay calm and play my game.”

Jankovic said she intends to work on her conditioning after she grew tired in the final stages.

“Unfortunately one had to lose and that was me today, but I have to work a little bit on my conditioning because physically I wasn’t there at the end,” said Jankovic. “At the end of the second set and throughout the third I had a tough time really using my legs and getting into a shot.

“She was the stronger one today. She was the one who kept the pace up the whole time and I dropped down because of my fitness and physical condition."

Bероника
Feb 29th, 2008, 02:10 PM
Kuznetsova moves into Dubai final as Jankovic runs out of gas


Dubai, UAE - Svetlana Kuznetsova blunted the late-match heroics of Serb Jelena Jankovic, posting a hard-fought 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 comeback on Friday to reach the final of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. Jankovic, the fourth seed, saved six match points in the penultimate game of a struggle which lasted for more than two and a half hours.

Kuznetsova on Saturday plays the winner from a later semi between Russian eighth seed Elena Dementieva and Italian outsider Francesca Schiavone, who ended the 17-match Dubai win streak of Justine Henin in the quarter-finals.

"The longer it went, the better I got," said second seeded Russian Kuznetsova. "I don't know why.

"It's best not to look over at Jelena in the tough times. Even through she looks like she might be tired, she runs down every ball. I just focussed within myself.

"I stayed calm in the third set and played my game. I used heavy spin which is good for me and not for her. And my serve worked much better."

The contest was riddled with breaks of serve - a total of 13 of out 43 chances. Jankovic stood her ground in the eighth game of the final set as she saved the six Kuznetsova match point to hold serve.

But a final winning chance for the Russian a game later finally did the job for Kuznetsova, playing Dubai for the sixth straight time with a 2004 runner-up finish.

Jankovic was againt backed by an enthusiastic crowd of several hundred Serbs waving flags and chanting.

The fourth seed who began 2008 on the back foot after sinus surgery in the autumn which prevented a proper preparation, said she is paying the price on the fitness level.

"I was just exhausted at the end, i was struggling to keep up. We played a good match, but one of us had to lose and that was me today."

Jankovic said she had to build her game up this week in the Gulf: "In practise I was feeling nothing," said the player who admits she is actively seeking a full-time coach.

"But in each match I could feel improvement, that's the positive thing. I need to work on my fitness and endurance. That was the difference in the match today.

"I had a tough time using my legs and getting to the ball. I still leave the court feeling positive though."

Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open winner who is seeking her tenth career crown, leads Schiavone 8-3 and has beaten Dementieva in five of eight meetings.

"Being favourite means nothing," said the Russian. "It only means more pressure on yourself. Either girl will be a tough match."

goldenlox
Mar 14th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Svetlana Kuznetsova hopes to end her habit of finishing second by winning Pacific Life Open

2004 U.S. Open champ hopes to end her habit of finishing second


http://cmsimg.gdn.mydesert.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=J1&Date=20080314&Category=EVENTS10&ArtNo=803140393&Ref=AR&Profile=1038&MaxW=180&Border=0 (http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?template=zoom&Site=J1&Date=20080314&Category=EVENTS10&ArtNo=803140393&Ref=AR&Profile=1038)
Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia practices during the Pacific Life Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Thursday. Kuznetsova was runner-up in the 2007 Pacific Life Open.
(Marilyn Chung, The Desert Sun)


INDIAN WELLS - If anything, losing gets harder for Svetlana Kuznetsova to accept as she gets older.

She knows she is a better player today than she was in 2004, when she defeated fellow Russian Elena Dementieva in the final of the U.S. Open for her only Grand Slam singles title. But back then, she says, she simply wasn't thinking about what she was doing on the court. She just did it.
"There was no expectation," said Kuznetsova, who fell in the finals to Daniela Hantuchova last year at the Pacific Life Open, her best finish in the desert but the second of five finals disappointments in 2007. "I had a good stroke, and there were so many good matches in a row. I played perfect tennis."
Over the next two years, Kuznetsova started thinking too much about her game, she said. She began to accept pressure to succeed.
If overthinking and pressure defined 2005 and 2006, then 2007 and, so far, 2008 have to be defined by how close she has come to winning titles, and how many times she has been stopped just short.
Kuznetsova fell short in five of six finals appearances in 2007 - her lone singles title of the year came as a top seed at the Pilot Pen Tennis in New Haven. Outside that, she fell in the finals at five events, including the U.S. Open and Pacific Life Open, both hardcourt tournaments suited to her game.
"I hate to lose," Kuznetsova said. "I'm a competitor big time. It brings me down for one, two days after a loss. But then I have to find strength to keep improving and keep trying."
The parade of runner-up finishes, though hard to swallow, boosted her WTA ranking to No. 2 by the end of the year. Days after her finals loss in Indian Wells last March she rose from No. 4 to No. 3.
Rankings aside, Kuznetsova says she hates losing now even more than four or five years ago.
"I think it's because my expectations are even bigger, and I know I can do better than losing 90 percent of the time," she said. "I'm a perfectionist. I never push fault onto anyone else. I say, 'yeah, I did this, that bad. I have to do this better.'"
Four events into 2008, Kuznetsova has two more runner-up finishes, at the Medibank International in Australia and most recently the Dubai Tennis Championships. She is the second seed at the Pac-Life, where she says she loves the courts and the bounce of the ball.
"It suits my game so much," she said.
That, and Kuznetsova finds herself in what might be the softest side of the main draw, though she says she tries not to pay attention to who she'll be playing beyond the next round.
Fellow Russian and No. 8 seed Dinara Safina represents the strongest challenge through the quarterfinals, after which the winner will face the loaded Hantuchova-Sharapova bracket in the semis.
"I feel every year that I know more and more everyday what I do on the court, and I can do more things," Kuznetsova said. "Another thing I have to work is myself. You know, I focus on the court and less ups and downs. That's my main goal."

Bероника
Mar 14th, 2008, 08:35 PM
Thanks,goldenlox.That was an interesting read.

Bероника
Mar 17th, 2008, 12:49 AM
Kuznetsova recovers to advance

World number three Kuznetsova, who lost to another Slovakian, Daniela Hantuchova, in last year's final at Indian Wells, was relieved after booking her place in the fourth round of the women's draw at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
"I just stopped a little bit and lost my concentration," the Russian told reporters of her slump midway through the match. "I had chances to break her straight, and I didn't do that.
"I have to figure out how to start playing better earlier after being 5-0 down in the second set. I didn't want to go to the third set 6-0 down so I changed that to give me the key to play better in the third."
Kuznetsova, initially dominating the baseline exchanges, cruised through the opening set after breaking her opponent in the second and sixth games.
However, the Russian inexplicably began to over-hit her groundstrokes and was broken in the second and fourth games of the second set to trail 0-5.

Although she mounted a fightback to close to 4-5, Cibulkova again broke in the 10th game to level the match.
Kuznetsova, a runner-up this year in Sydney and Dubai, upped her game in the third set to book a place in the next round against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki.

goldenlox
Mar 17th, 2008, 07:15 PM
Sveta doesn't need the spotlight to feel content on, off the court


Updated: March 17, 2008

Comment (http://myespn.go.com/conversation/story?id=3297830)
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http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0317/ten_a_kuznetsova_580.jpg AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Kuznetsova is a fiery competitor on the court, though some may argue her results are not up to snuff.

Rafael Nadal (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=261) has been asked incessantly about Roger Federer (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=425) in the past few years. Almost without fail, he seems to mention Federer is No. 1 on the court and off it. Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=379) could become the women's equivalent to the Swiss -- and Federer just happens to be a fan.


Kuznetsova already has the off-court bit down. When the women's tour needs the bubbly Russian, affectionately known as "Sveta," to spend time with sponsors, no problem. Tournament directors worried about late pullouts don't sweat over the 22-year-old. The week after winning the U.S. Open four years ago, for instance, she kept her word and took part in a tiny event in the Indonesian resort of Bali, sticking around to claim the title.


"I think you have to stay to your word," said the world No. 3 and the latest campaign's Indian Wells finalist. "I try to stay to it as much as I can.''


Worried about a surly response, sulking or excuses following a tough loss? Don't be. Kuznetsova, tennis-reared at the Barcelona academy run by Spanish Davis Cup captain Emilio Sanchez and Sergio Casal, won't bite and doesn't show up at postmatch press conferences simply to avoid fines.


"As a human being, she's great," was how her coach, Stefan Ortega, put it.


The amount of fondness for Kuznetsova was somewhat displayed three years ago, when she was enveloped in a bizarre scandal at the Australian Open. A player tested positive for a substance banned on the women's tour at an exhibition in Belgium a month earlier, and the Belgian sports minister cleared local darling Justine Henin (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=398). That left Kuznetsova, Nathalie Dechy (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=404) and Elena Dementieva (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=377).


Kuznetsova eventually admitted she was the culprit, taking a cold medicine, which may have contained ephedrine, the drug in question. There was nothing illegal about it, however, since Kuznetsova was contesting an out-of-competition event.


Larry Scott, the normally even-keeled WTA chairman and CEO (just don't get him started on equal prize money), ripped into the minister and called his actions "disgraceful." Aussie Alicia Molik (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=387), then Kuznetsova's doubles partner, was so enraged at the coverage Kuznetsova was receiving that she bought all the newspapers at her local convenience store and threw them in the garbage. (Dementieva, it should be pointed out, was ticked at Kuznetsova for not coming out earlier.)


Dechy labeled Kuznetsova one of the "friendliest" pros around at this season's Australian Open, which was echoed by Ana Ivanovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=200), no recluse herself. One WTA insider went further, stating Kuznetsova was "hands down" the most popular player on the circuit and never uttered a bad word about anyone.


Being friendly can be unusual in the cutthroat world of tennis, and especially in the locker room, where Kuznetsova's music -- she loves hip hop and R&B -- often blares. (Ortega has tried to convince Kuznetsova to listen to Metallica and Iron Maiden, a couple of his favorites, but she won't budge.)
[+] Enlarge (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3297830#)

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0317/ten_a_kuznetsova2_300.jpg (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3297830#) AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Kuznetsova has been to three Grand Slam finals but walked away with only one title (2004 U.S. Open).


"Most people are talking you up, telling you how good you are, and it's difficult to have normal relations with another player on the tour, just as a friend, because you might be kind of feeling you're giving something away if you chat to them in the changing room," said Jo Durie, a former top-five pro from England and now an analyst for Eurosport. "Svetlana will chat to anybody and is down to earth. She really enjoys tennis and is honest with herself.''


Still relatively overshadowed compared to the likes of Maria Sharapova (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=399), the Williams sisters, Henin and the newest women's starlets, Ivanovic and fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=312), Kuznetsova was thrust into the spotlight -- no controversies this time -- at the U.S. Open in 2004. She dropped one set and downed Dementieva in the final to cap a season of Russian domination.


Struggling with the pressure and hit by injuries, she became the first defending U.S. Open women's champion in the Open era to exit in the first round the following year.


Despite the big forehand, good serve and stellar court coverage (her version of the splits would make Kim Clijsters proud), the inconsistency remains.


In 2007, she reached the U.S. Open final but failed to advance past the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. Hardly results you'd expect from someone who ended the campaign ranked No. 2.


In 2006, Kuznetsova progressed to the Roland Garros final, and didn't get past the fourth round at the other three.


Her record in finals altogether is a sobering 9-15 (and 0-2 so far in 2008), and not once has she emerged from the round-robin stage at the year-end championships.


"Watching her as a commentator frustrates because you can see how good she is," Durie said. "Yet there are moments in matches where she seems to not be there and tactically it all goes out the window, and she thrashes about.''


Kuznetsova has a few theories about her topsy-turvy performances, though didn't disclose them. Ortega hinted that Kuznetsova's concentration at the big events isn't what it should be, and wants her to improve her footwork and finish off more points at the net. She's also a Grand Slam doubles champion.


Holding her back slightly is a lingering injury to her serving shoulder, which still isn't 100 percent.


"In Grand Slams, there are always a lot of people around you," said Ortega, who considers Kuznetsova a sister. "A lot of people ask for something. To keep people away and try to focus on only what you have to do is sometimes very difficult. I think that's why [she needs] also support from people like me and Emilio, so we can help her to be a little bit more focused.''


"I think if she was maybe as strong as Henin sometimes is [mentally], then she would be No. 1," Durie added. "She's got everything."


Federer noted Kuznetsova's abilities at last year's French Open, saying he liked her game and that "she plays well," a compliment Kuznetsova is still trying to absorb. The two recently ran into each other in Dubai, the site of back-to-back women's and men's tourneys, and had a brief chat.

"We just talked about basic stuff," Kuznetsova said. "For me it's a huge compliment what he said, and I still think about it, like, 'Oh my god, did he really say that?' Then I'm like, 'I can get some tips from him.' But I was just too shy to ask."

Bероника
Mar 18th, 2008, 12:23 PM
Thanks,Goldenlox.That was very interesting article :D

iheartjelenaj
Mar 18th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Seriously, I hope I can meet her one day. USO maybe??

Bероника
Mar 18th, 2008, 07:56 PM
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN (http://www.asapsports.com/show_events.php?category=7&year=2008&title=PACIFIC+LIFE+OPEN)



March 16, 2008



Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.asapsports.com/show_player.php?id=11587)


INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You look to be so in control in the first set. What happened in the second set?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I just stopped a little bit. I lose my concentration. Just a little bit there and a little bit there. I had chances to break her straight, and I didn't do that.
So she was lead 2-Love. She got a little bit more -- I let her be back in the match, and I stopped. And every time I was worse and worse till 5-Love, and I managed to win that game and come back and I had chances at 5-4 which I didn't use.

Q. Do you take anything out of that match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, definitely. I have to figure out how to start to play better earlier than 5-Love down in the second set.

Q. The conditions a problem at all today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. They were not that bad, like yesterday was much worse.

Q. You must be pleased your match was today and not yesterday, given the strong wind?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, definitely. We played doubles yesterday. It was awful.

Q. When you are down 5-Love like that, how important is it to try and, you know, rather than just say, Forget this set; I'll get her next set? How important is it to try and come back right then?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I try always to think that every point is important because I think in the end of the day it's true. There is always -- any point could be turning point in every match, so I got to play the best.
Of course some points you play bad and I just did some easy mistakes and I was not moving my feet.
Definitely it was important because I still wanted to have some games under my belt. I didn't want to go to the third set 6-Love down. So I changed that to give me key to play better in the third.

Q. You've reached a couple of finals earlier this year, I believe? How happy have you been with your form this season?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was a bit disappointed about Australian Open to lose, because I think I was very well prepared and I don't do so well. But this is just -- I have to take some lessons from that. The same as from Doha. You know, it was so windy and I didn't play well.
Dubai I did final and -- I mean, she played good; I didn't play so well. In tennis, you got to go with whatever comes and try to make it better all the time.

End of FastScripts

svetaisthebest
Mar 18th, 2008, 08:03 PM
Thanks for the interview

teleri
Mar 19th, 2008, 01:08 AM
Thanks for the interview.

Bероника
Mar 19th, 2008, 04:21 PM
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN (http://www.asapsports.com/show_events.php?category=7&year=2008&title=PACIFIC+LIFE+OPEN)



March 18, 2008



Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.asapsports.com/show_player.php?id=11587)


INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about the match today? It seemed pretty routine for you today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, much better. I think he was just more focused when the second set started. I didn't let what happened in the other match happen, and this is it. Just being much more consistent.

Q. You feel like you're in you're stride right now?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, definitely I'm getting better. I need matches, so it's important to me to keep playing matches.
I have very tough match tomorrow, which I'm hungry for. I play Radwanska. I lost to her in Australian Open, so I would love to get this back.

Q. So a revenge match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I hope so. I'll do my best. It's going to be a very difficult match, but I'm looking forward to it a lot.

Q. Where are you hanging mostly when you're not travel in? Are you in Spain? Are you in Russia?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I try to go back as much as I can to Moscow, and then Monte-Carlo.

Q. When did you change your residence to Monte-Carlo?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: In June last year. June, July. Summer is much better in Monte-Carlo than in Spain, but I also have to come to Spain to train.

Q. Do you live near any other tennis players in Monte-Carlo?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know exactly. I been there a few times and I seen only tennis players on the courts and stuff. But I know like so many of them that live there.
I don't know exactly the map, I just know where my apartment is and a few other hotels and a few supermarkets and that's it, and few tennis clubs. So I need to get better in that.

Q. Did you run into the other players like grocery shopping things like that?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not yet, because I'm hanging on the beach most of the time, and players are work.

Q. Can you just talk about the Australian Open match against her.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, it was pretty destructive match. I didn't play well at all. I had so many opportunities and I didn't use any of them.
I played my -- not good game, I would say so, and she played too well. It was the roof closed, and I was not kind of there mentally, you know. I didn't get that point. It was the Grand Slam. It was so many things which maybe distracted me.
So now I'm different mood and I'm playing different. I know it was Grand Slam, so it was very disappointing loss for me. It was also pretty much pressure also going there. And, yeah, that's it.

Q. Do you handle the pressure now better than you used to?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Some days. (Laughter). It's never like every day is perfect, you know. I try. I go out there. Every day it's a new day, so every day you need to face the same thing. One day you do it better and one day you do it worse and one day you do it perfect and one day it's not coming.

Q. Are there more good than bad days than there used to be?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, so far, if you watch my results this year, there is some that is very good and some that is pretty disgusting. So it's half and half.

Q. There are so many good Russian players. Do you have any idea who will be on the Olympic team at this point? Probably you and Maria and Chakvetadke.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: And I would say Dementieva. I think so.

Q. Where is the Olympics as a priority for you? For some players it's different. Obviously Andy is not playing.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: For me it's very important. It's like a Grand Slam or even maybe more important than.

Q. Really?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, for sure. My family is all cyclists. In Russia, for Russian people, it's so big. It's huge.

Q. So if you could have a Wimbledon title or the Olympic gold medal...
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Olympic gold medal.

Q. No question?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No question.

Q. Wow. What about the French?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It would come very close, you know. I hope I don't need to choose this one.

Q. The French?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I hope I don't have to choose this one, but...

Q. But it's that important to you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, if I have one Grand Slam and I would have one Olympic medal it would be good. I have chances to win next year, you know? There is no Olympics.

Q. But it is tough. It ends right before the US Open, and that's...
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm strong. I train hard, so I think I should be fine.

Q. Maybe you should enter in cycling in the Olympics?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't like it. It's so boring.

Q. Do you say that in front of your parents?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. They're fine. That's my opinion, you know. I'm a ball player, I'm not cycling.

Q. Will they go to the Olympics, do you think, your parents?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I don't think so. My dad if he gets a team, but I don't think he gets a team.

Q. Do your parents travel with you at all? I don't think I've ever seen them.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, they're not. My dad has never saw me play, you know. You would not believe that one.

Q. In your life?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Life?

Q. In your life he's seen you play.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, he see me play on TV every time I play. He never saw me play live on the tournament. You say you never saw him, so he never been there. He saw me play when I was like 14 in St. Petersburg when I play championship of the city.
He wanted to come like in 2005, 2004 in Kremlin Cup in Moscow. I'm like, Dad, you know, I play tennis already since I been seven. I was like nineteen. Twelve years, thirteen years. I'm fine. Just don't bother.
My mom, she was traveling with me when I was younger. But for me, it's tough, because I see people, players with parents around, and it's huge support to you, but then in the same time the parents, what they care for you, it's more than enough.
You know, they do it with so much heart and sometimes they don't -- I'm not saying about my parents, but they don't see this limit.

Q. So it's not healthy.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes. For me it's not healthy. Everybody has their own routine and people, the parents, most of the parents go like, Oh, what this one is doing and this one is doing. I want you to be --
Sometimes I feel it's negative vibe coming from parents because they're overwhelm people. They don't want only to do -- the daughter to do well or the son to do well, they want others to do not so good.
So this is not healthy. You know, you need to concentrate on yourself, and that's it. Sometimes it's just difficult.

Q. But your mother has never come when, like when you're in the French Open final or the US Open final?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. US Open, no. But why? You know, it's a bit -- this is a bit comes to superstitious for me, because if you have the same team, why you need somebody else? If you go with this team to the final, why do I need...

Q. Right. I won't come sit in your box if you're winning, Sveta. I promise you.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, you can see different people in my box. I'm not superstitious person. For me, I am winning. It's not the some grip or shower or towel or the line win it, you know? This is me.
If I do something, I like the routine. So if I don't string two racquets I string three, I'm not going to...

Q. But your mother doesn't say, Oh, I'd like to see you play in a tournament?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: She gets so nervous. She gets so nervous, my mom. Like sometimes I remember I was playing and she would start jumping up and down and I would like miss easy ball and go like that.
For me it's like the worst. Like my box, I'm so mad I missed, and my mom goes, (gasping.) I'm going, Oh, my God. Like you know I feel it, the support of them so much because they care so much.

Q. Right. But just to be clear, your father and your mother have never come to watch a professional match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: My father. My father. My mother, yes, she been traveling with me. She was traveling with me maybe until age seventeen. And from seventeen until twenty, nineteen and a half, she was living with me all the time.

Q. But your father is too nervous, or he's not interested or you don't want him there?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Like there was one time -- first of all, he's very busy. He is obsessed about his team all his life. Like, I mean, obsessed in a good way. He's too professional. He needs to control everybody, how they train, how they do.
And then he has his own schedule. He's building track in St., Petersburg, and then he has to control his team. I've always been on my own with my mom. My dad always called my mom every day and check how much I was training. He was still there, you know. He a not there, but he's there.

Q. Right.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: After this day that he said, I'm coming, I'm like, Oh, no. That's fine.

Q. That was the Kremlin Cup?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.

Q. In what year?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: 2005 maybe, or 2004 maybe. Probably 2004.

Q. You're not saying that he's banned from watching you play professionally?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. He's not banned. Once he come, and since that time we didn't discuss that topic at all.

Q. Do you care about the dancing thing that Monica Seles is doing tonight, Dancing with the Stars?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, she is doing? I will try to watch it. What time is it?

Q. I think 8:00.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think that would be fun to watch. I think Alicia Molik did it one year. I didn't watch it. She promised to give me a video, but she never did, so... I would love to watch it.

Q. Did she do bad and that's why she didn't give you the video?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: She was a bit shy. But I said look, all of Australia saw you doing that, so why you don't want me to see that?

End of FastScripts

Talita Kumi
Mar 19th, 2008, 06:25 PM
nice :smoke:

Bероника
Mar 20th, 2008, 11:12 AM
Kuznetsova cruises into last four

By Mark Lamport-Stokes
INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - Second-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova swept past Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-4 to reach the semi-finals at the Pacific Life Open on Wednesday.
Kuznetsova, who was upset by Radwanska in the third round of the Australian Open in January, broke her 19-year-old opponent in the first and third games of the opening set on the Stadium Court.
After service breaks were traded early in the second set, the 22-year-old Russian, who lost to Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova in last year's final at Indian Wells, broke in the seventh game before serving out to seal the win in 10th.
"That was pretty good," Kuznetsova told reporters after reaching her third WTA semi-final of the year. "I played better in the first set and missed a few (opportunities) in the second but overall it was still pretty good.
"I'm confident playing out there and it was a good win for me after losing to her in the Australian Open."
Asked if she had carried any memories of her 6-3 6-4 defeat in Melbourne into Wednesday's match, she replied: "I think some signs of the Australian Open.
"I remember that I didn't do this well or that well and I still was close in the match. When I do everything right, this is the result which comes."
The Russian world number three, who clinched her first grand slam title at the 2004 U.S. Open, will meet either fifth-seeded Hantuchova or Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals.

Hantuchova, twice a winner at Indian Wells, was scheduled to play Russian Sharapova, the 2006 champion, in an evening match on Wednesday.
The Slovakian will be hunting her 10th consecutive victory on the hardcourt surface at Indian Wells while Sharapova will be bidding to win her 18th successive match of the year.
"Either of those players will be extremely tough," Kuznetsova said. "Maria is more confident in my view at the moment and she is, I guess, the favourite tonight.
"But Daniela has always played well in this tournament. I have no preference over who I play."

Bероника
Mar 20th, 2008, 11:13 AM
Kuznetsova karaoke experience a lingering sour note

Indian Wells, California (dpa) - Svetlana Kuznetsova still cringes at the memory of a 2007 French Open karaoke performance now preserved for posterity on YouTube.

"Oh, my God, this is disgusting," said the second-seeded Russian after Wednesday's 6-2, 6-4 quarter-final defeat of Agnieszka Radwanska at the Indian Wells Masters.

"Sometimes, to make my friends laugh and I show (it) to them. They're like, 'Oh, my God.'"

Kuznetsova was one of many players lured to a tournament laundry room set up with a camera and sound system for brief appearances, which eventually were shown as space-fillers during French television coverage of the Grand Slam.

The library of karaoke, which includes the non-musical likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Justine Henin and Serena Williams, has become a small - if fleeting - part of the cultural history of the sport.

Kuznetsova, as well as other players like Lleyton Hewitt, say they were led astray about the exact purpose of the "musical" exercise.

"These guys, they lied to me. They told me, 'you can yell or do whatever. We're not going take your voice.'

"They say, "Just open your mouth. When I saw it on TV, I was so embarrassed," said Kuznetsova.

The Russian said that she also did karaoke at the US Open and showed some small improvement. "It was impossible to do worse, actually. I improved."

But her ideal in the tennis karaoke stakes remains the "booty shake" of Serena Williams.

"I love Serena's one, how she shake booty. That is hard. She gets my trophy. Believe me, she can teach me that, but I don't think I'm going to do it."

As a result of her experience, Kuznetsova said she has sworn off any future contact with karaoke.

"Last time in Moscow I went with my friends to the karaoke bar. I told them: 'You guys just embarrass yourselves, I'm done with that. I'm just going watch and laugh about you, but I'm not going to do that myself.'

"If you play tennis for all your life, 10 hours a day and then go do ice skating, you will embarrass yourself."

Bероника
Mar 20th, 2008, 02:11 PM
March 19, 2008



Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.asapsports.com/show_player.php?id=11587)


INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Straight-sets win. How happy were you with your performance today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, pretty good. I think I played better first set, but in the second she played a little bit better, and I missed few, but it was pretty good still, and I'm confident playing out there. It was good win for me after playing her in Australian Open.

Q. Was the difference just focus?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. I just was more dictating my game and I was more focus and more calm.

Q. When you go out for a match like today, any memories of the Australian Open or is it a new match, new tournament?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Definitely new match, new tournament, but I think some signs of Australian Open, I remember that I didn't do this well or that well and I still was close in the match. When I do everything right, this is the result which comes.

Q. You only dropped one set so far this week. Overall, are you happy with how you've played?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, pretty much. This set which I dropped, it was pretty up-and-down match, and I think I been focused on that much more last two matches and I played good.
If I look at my draw, I remember played all girls at least two years younger than me there, and I'm not that old. I'm only 22. They're like all 19, 18 and all teenagers basically. Still it's great new people come and always tough to play them because pressure is always on me.
I'm pretty happy with the way I played, and I'm looking forward for after tomorrow's match, which both players are going to be extremely tough.

Q. Do you have any preference to who you play?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, both of them play similar game. Maria is more confident for me at the moment. She is, I guess the favorite tonight.
But Daniela has always played well in this tournament. No preference.

Q. Can you look back at last year's final against Daniela, kind of what worked, what didn't?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't think I played any good. I don't think so. I think if it's going to be happening after tomorrow that she wins it's going to be very exciting match for me to play.

Q. How do you guard against those moments? You've talked about you played a good tournament, but then you had a couple drops here and there. What kind of things are you trying to do to keep more of that even keel?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, I try things to distract me during the week of the tournament. But it's very hard, because you're a player and you cannot be 30 weeks a year focusing on one game. It's really hard. Especially, I'm young. You know, I have so many things in my mind to do.
But still, you know, some important tournaments, you got to take everything apart and focus on the important stuff.

Q. As part of your preparation, will you watch the match tonight?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think I would watch a little bit, either on TV or there. It's going to be interesting match also to watch not just because I play them.

Q. You ever look at yourself on YouTube? I was looking yesterday. I saw you do some karaoke.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, my God. This is disgusting. I tell you, I watched this. I sometimes -- I want to make my friends laugh and I show to them. They're like, Oh, my God.
Because these guys, they lied to me. They should not put this, first of all, like that. They told me, You can yell or do whatever. We're not going take your voice. They say, Just open your mouth, so I wanted to show emotions and then I go to the final with Justine, and first thing I see on the TV, it's me. I'm like, Oh, my God. I was like, Oh, no way. I was so embarrassed.

Q. Did you see the other ones?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I saw I did one with you in Sydney. I saw I did that one somewhere.

Q. No, I'm talking about...
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Karaoke? Yeah, I saw -- actually, I did two karaokes. And I did once -- two at French Open. Second one was a little bit better. I been improving. Because just lower the net here, it's impossible to fall, you know. It's impossible to do worse, actually. I improved.
Then I did one in US Open, but I never got to see this one nowhere. I love Serena's one, how she shake booty. That is hard. She got my trophy. Believe me, she teach me that. But I don't think I'm going to do.

Q. Did you see Novak's one?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. I don't like that. I tell you, for me, the trophy is Serena's.

Q. So when you go out on the town, do you do karaoke or not?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, no. I'm embarrassed. Last time in Moscow I went with my friends to outlets and singers to the karaoke bar, and I was like, You guys just embarrass yourselves. I'm done with that. I'm just going watch and laugh about you, but I'm not going to do that myself.

Q. I asked Lleyton about it last night, and he makes it sound like they lied to all of you to get you to do that.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, yeah. This is the thing. You don't start to say that I want to sing karaoke and I'm good at that. Not at all. No, no, no. I'm experiment person, and I like to try new things. I say, Okay, I'll do it.
Once in Miami they wanted me to climb something. I climbed. They wanted me to do snowboard in Dubai. Well, actually, the snowboards in Dubai, I asked to do something different. I do that. You know, new things should be there on the tour so people don't get bored how we do press and how we warm up.

Q. So karaoke is dead for you now?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I got to practice on my own maybe at home so somebody can teach me so I'm not going to be that embarrassed.

Q. If you had a choice of a song, what would it be?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, my God. I wish it would be Ayo Technology of 50 Cent. But he talk so fast I need some lessons first. Like if I would take some lessons, I can do anything. You know, I don't want to go out there and embarrass myself. Still, it's fun, because people write their comments, like, It's disgusting, she embarrass herself.
I'm like, Hey, why don't you guys try to play tennis for all your life, 10 hours a day and then go do ice skating, for example? Who not going embarrass themself.

Q. Did you watch Monica last night on TV?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was going to watch but then I had dinner and I prefer dinner.

Q. She had a tough night.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: How did she do?

Q. She only got 15s out of 30.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I never watch the show in my life. So what -- like, I know the dance.

Q. The high score is a 10 and she got 5s, and that's pretty low. Very stiff.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Stiff? Maybe she need more practice. Be nice. I know that also like R & B singer Mario did this dance. I think I saw a bit of that. But it's so much better. People come from singing and dancing and do it all their life, and then tennis player who knows only backhand and forehand and mentality and concentration and serve, I send you tomorrow to catch birds. It's impossible.

Q. In Australia Scott Draper is on the show at the moment and doing very well.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, you know, some people have some different talents, but most tennis players, I'm sorry, but I don't think much good at that.

Q. Todd Woodbridge didn't do so well.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Alicia also didn't do well.

Q. So you're next?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Dancing? No.

Q. What do you prefer, singing or dancing?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: This is worse. This is both worse. I would choose neither one. Stay home and mind myself laughing about other people.

Q. You said you improved the second time you did karaoke. Maybe that third time with a bit of practice it'll be really good.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, but I don't want put myself through the risk and embarrass myself one more time. Because the second time I was like, No, I'm not going to sing, guys. You have to put somebody else.

End of FastScripts

hayleytrotter
Mar 20th, 2008, 03:22 PM
ohh that presser is nice.

I want to meet her! I go to sydney and all of the aus open every year, hmmm. i should make a better effort next year (so should she! hahaha :-P)

iheartjelenaj
Mar 20th, 2008, 10:27 PM
I hope Kuzy beats Sharapova *fingers crossed*. Kuzy needs to prove that she's a contender, so beating Sharapova would be a big statement.

teleri
Mar 21st, 2008, 05:29 AM
She is funny as always. But the way she talks in interview bugs me sometimes like she is being confused in what she 's saying.

Bероника
Mar 21st, 2008, 06:47 PM
Svetlana Kuznetsova showing she know how to be American hip


INDIAN WELLS - Russian star Svetlana Kuznetsova said the kind of music she listens to usually has people want to get up and shake their groove thing.
Kuznetsova would rather not.
A huge fan of hip hop, Kuznetsova has a long list of musicians she admires: Beyonce, Mario, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, and Snoop Dog.
Not exactly the kind of acts you would expect to be popular in Russia.
However, her passion for music has helped her create a bond with one of her rivals on the tour, Serena Williams.
"We laugh all the time," Kuznetsova said. "She goes, 'How does a Russian like hip hop? Where did you get that?' Sometime I think in my past life I was black."
It is Williams who tries to get Kuznetsova up and start dancing to the beat. Apparently, that's a futile effort.
"Sing and dance, not good for me," Kuznetsova said. "I like the lyrics."
That's part of the dichotomy of Kuznetsova. She has a fun personality that would try anything once, even if it was karaoke at the French Open, which she described her performance as "disgusting."
Kuznetsova said she's kind of shy, and, ironically, not comfortable in front of crowds.
"I don't like things where people watch me," Kuznetsova said. "I walked into restaurant and people stare at you. And it's like, 'Hi, how are you doing.' I don't know what to do. It's so confusing."
But that is part of Kuznetsova's personality, one who defies conventions.
As a child, Kuznetsova grew up in the first family of cycling in Russia. Father Alexandr Kuznetsov coached six Olympic champions and world champions; mother Galina Tsareva is a six-time world champion with 20 world records, and brother Nikolai Kuznetsov was a silver medalist in the 1996 Olympics.
As for her shyness, Kuznetsova said it had one repercussion. In a mall in New York, Kuznetsova said she ran into Ciara.
"She bought the same hat as mine," Kuznetsova recalled. "She wanted mine, but I told her she couldn't have it. She looked at me like she knew me, but I didn't say anything."
Kuznetsova said one of her favorites, 50 Cent, called her at the U.S. Open. And she has even established a friendship with Grace Jones, a musician that might be best known in American for starring in the James Bond movie, "A View to a Kill," and "Conan, the Destroyer."
"I met them at Wimbledon and they invited me to a concert in Barcelona and we hung out at the Open," Kuznetsova said. "She's so funny, so crazy."

Bероника
Mar 22nd, 2008, 09:39 PM
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN

March 21, 2008

Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.tennis-x.com/playernews/Svetlana-Kuznetsova.php) Interview after semifinal win over Maria Sharapova (http://www.tennis-x.com/playernews/Maria-Sharapova.php)

INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Seemed like you had more energy in the third set than the previous two sets. Were you eating anything on changeovers or drinking anything? You had a lot more energy in the third set.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I guess I'm just fit. I felt pretty tired, you know, out there.
Q. Didn't look like it.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: But I guess it's my strength. I train a lot, so I felt great out there in the third set, and I think I really stepped inside and played inside, not so far behind.
Q. You're the first person to beat Maria this year. How does that feel?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It feels great. I don't think Maria plays like always she can play, you know. Neither did I. But I think it was very good, interesting third set.
First, so so; second better; and third we got both our game. It was a good match, and I feel great winning.
Q. So what were your thoughts going into the third set? Because as you said, you played very well with the forehand, you served better, didn't play so defensive, and you really took the match from her.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I thought we both didn't play first set well. Second set, I had my chances. I had Love-30, and I was just a bit too far behind. I figured out how to play better, my coach helped me a little bit, and then I stepped in and I felt much more comfortable.
I'm not a player who has to defend so much as I did maybe in the end of second set, so that's why probably lost it. But Maria, her strokes is very -- she stroke the ball very well, and she has extremely long shoulders. So it's really hard to move her around and the ball comes pretty flat, so you got to really have very good reaction to react.
Q. Did you sense that she was not all that keen to play, that she didn't have anywhere near as much energy as you did? Looked like you had a lost more bounce, a lot more zest for the game than she did?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I don't know. I wasn't looking at her energy. I saw her concentrate on every point, and she always positive. I watched her play Daniela and I watched her play today. We both didn't play well first set, but we both tried our best and stayed focused. I know Maria's not loser. She's not going to quit the match.
She's going to play till the last point, and I really took it away from her. I think it's my credit I played well in the third set.
Q. How much of her playing is a mental battle, especially in the third set?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think it's mentally better for me, even she won second set. But with this heat on hardcourts, outdoors, I think I'm just little bit fitter. But in the third set I have little bit advantage because I'm used to her game already a little bit more.
But, anyway, I mean, she's great server. It's going to depend actual a lot on serving when you play her.
Q. Any particular reason why you both struggled a bit for rhythm in that first set?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I guess I didn't play player who plays like her and she didn't play player who plays like me, so we both were very different. Sometimes I was expecting the ball come much faster in the first game and I was so frustrated it was not going that faster as I was expecting it to.
I was too much behind, and I had so many opportunities and I got broken, I broke her, and then, you know, I saw she was not 100 percent there. Myself, I wasn't there, either. So it was very frustrating. It was no rhythm. With Maria you don't play long rallies at all. It was maybe few, which was great rallies. It's maybe two, three shots, and it's never good, you know, never can get the rhythm.
Q. Can you talk about your success here these last two years? You've done very well to make the finals back to back years. Can you just talk about what's contributed to that success?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I feel great here. The ball bounce well. I like these balls. I love these courts. It's very good atmosphere for me. I can stay focus, because it's not so much moving around. I get bored, but still I'm on my thing.
Q. What do you do try to not be bored here? Have you found anything to do?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm still bored. I want to go to outlet but my coach said, No, you stay at room. I'm like, Okay. I read a book, I go to the Internet, I watch movies. I love American TV. I'm lucky, so I can watch so many shows like Mtv and E Channel and watch a little bit gossip, so I'm interested in something.
I'm pretty cool, you know. You have so much free time here that can -- I can think a lot, so I kind of clean up my head. So it's good. It's good.
Q. How does that compare when you go to Miami (http://www.tennis-x.com/tournament/Miami.php)?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, Miami is crazy, you know. I love this atmosphere, you know. I'm so emotional, and sometimes I give too much emotions to stuff, not tennis. You know what I mean? Like tennis is first thing for me, but sometimes I feel like I need more attention to that.
I need -- I still try to do that. Like in Miami probably I would go away of all things possibly of what I can go away. But it's hard, because everything I do I want to do it the best. Like I talk to you guys, I put myself into it. I want to explain whatever I feel.
I go to do aces for the tournament, I try to do my best. It spends energy there, there, there, there. Sometimes I need more focus on the tennis.
Q. How was it different at Wimbledon (http://www.tennis-x.com/tournaments/wimbledon.shtml) from, say, here?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It rains. (laughter.)
Q. Really? It rains there?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Sometimes, you know, few times, few years.
Well, Wimbledon is different. Like if you would put me play with Maria, it's going to be even less rhythm in Wimbledon playing her. In Wimbledon, it's too much crowd, it's too much people who -- like I like to meet new people, I like to chat, I like to communicate.
But you have to realize this takes your energy away. So I have to sometimes take me away from it.
Q. So how did you win the US Open (http://www.tennis-x.com/tournaments/usopen.shtml)? That's the craziest of all.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was young. Nobody wanted even to talk to me, so I was like (waving hand). They were like, Hey, oh, she plays tennis there on the back courts, you know.
Q. What are your thoughts of the women's final being moved from Saturday here? It extends it for you at least one day.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't mind. You know, a final is a final. How many days?
But probably Saturday would be better because of next week Miami. But still we're not going to play till Friday, so that's fine. If it's better for tournament it's good for us.
Q. Let's look ahead to the possible opponents. First, if you could talk about playing Ana and then if you could talk about playing Jelena.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, I was thinking about it this tournament. Like I've been going match by match by match. If I going to face playing Ana, I feel ridiculous because I was the oldest player on this tournament. I didn't play nobody older than me, and I'm only 22. These girls are all like 19, 20. I'm like, Oh, my God, I'm 22.
Last few years I was newcomer and was like, Oh, my God. It's so frustrating me so much. The girls play me extremely well. I lost to Ana in Madrid (http://www.tennis-x.com/tournament/Madrid.php), yeah. I had chances there. It's good to play her.
I would love to play both of them, and both matches would be extremely tough. She plays well, she serve well, she improve so much her movement on the court. It's going to be tough match, and definitely because I lost last time. But I took few revenges already here. Hopefully one more.
With Jelena I played in Dubai (http://www.tennis-x.com/tournament/Dubai.php). It was extremely hard match. It was like two-and-a-half hours. We run miles and miles on the court. It was extremely interesting, so I'm looking forward to any of them, and it's going to be very hard.
Q. How important will it be to finally get a title?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: For me it's very important, because I've been to the finals and I know what's that, you know? To play it, you know? To really play it, not to think about that it's finals, play it.
So I think this time I can get it better, you know. Like I will need to put myself out there and play my game, you know? Not thinking about something else. Both can win, because we're all top 4, top 3 players in the world. So it's 50/50. Nobody has much priority to win, so we just play. Anything can happen.
Q. You said earlier this week that an Olympic gold medal would be more important to you than a Wimbledon title, and maybe a French Open (http://www.tennis-x.com/tournaments/frenchopen.shtml) title. Do you think the Olympics are much more important to Russian tennis players than other countries, than other tennis players from other countries?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I haven't been talking to other players, but my family it is like that because my parents are so much Olympic tradition.
Definitely I'm not going to compare, when they ask us to compare I don't have another way to choose Olympics or French or Wimbledon. But for me, every tournament, it's very important, and I'm going to give my best every single week. This is how you get better.
Q. If the winner of Sunday's final had to sing karaoke in front of that center court crowd, would you welcome the challenge?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Look, who wins, rules. This is the thing which I remember, and I know it's like this in tennis and everywhere. So the winner rules. If I win, means I rule.
Look, if I win, I'm happy. I can do pretty crazy stuff if I win. I'm not promising anything.
Q. If you win, what would you do with that trophy, the big fish trophy?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I love this. I love the trophy. I really like the dolphin.
End of FastScripts

Bероника
Mar 25th, 2008, 05:21 PM
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN (http://www.asapsports.com/show_events.php?category=7&year=2008&title=PACIFIC+LIFE+OPEN)



March 23, 2008



Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.asapsports.com/show_player.php?id=11587)


INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you tell us your evaluation of how the match went today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I think she played incredibly well in the first set. Every important ball she hit winner on the line. It was line on the line, on the line.
Like I had some opportunities. I had one break point then and she played well. She served very good serves in.
I mean, I was not serving great, but she did me one break and I was too close to the break. She had outstanding first set. It's no words. She played better.
But for second set, I felt like more pressure because I had to go for it a little bit more, and she broke me twice. She was serving so much better. For her it was so much easier to win games on her serve than I did on mine.
But I think I've been just not so great, I should be playing good against her. I played a little bit too much to her forehand.

Q. This is your third final this year. Did you approach this any different than the other finals?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, every final you come another player also plays. I had different and better chances, like against Justine. Still it was amazing final. She just played better in the end, but it is great match.
Against Jelena I had chances. I use my opportunities. But today, I didn't have that many chances. She just played better, I think.

Q. Was that painful for you, Svetlana?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, definitely. It's always painful to lose, but I prefer to get to the final losing than to lose in second round. I still played pretty good tournament, though.

Q. Do you think you're a different player in these finals than you are in the earlier rounds?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's not that it's finals, it's just she played better than me. That's it. It's not about how many finals I win or loss. She played better. It's different.

Q. Do you think she can beat Justine any time soon?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's different. We have so different game, me and Justine, just players play so much in the court and different with Ana. She has chance, definitely.

Q. Can you talk about the fans? I guess a couple of times they were making some noise.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't make any comments, okay? I'm not even thinking about going to that level.

Q. People are always asking you, it seems, about how you play in the finals. Does that seem a bit strange to you since you won seven tournaments last year?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I won nine, no?

Q. Was it nine?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: That's different. At least two more finals I won, you know, I didn't lose.
Well, no, I know you guys, you have to have something to write about. Normally you don't write - sorry to say that - normally you don't write about positive things. You try to find something interesting for people.
I guess trying to find something about me losing finals, but that's okay. I'm not going to go down on myself, you know. She played better. I have to improve some movements. That's it. I'm just going to face next tournament better I can, and try to get to the final.
When I get to the final, I'm going to face it again. I'm going to do my best out there and let's see if I can make it. I'm not going to get down on myself. But you can ask whatever you want, guys.

Q. So what do you have to improve?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Today's match I had to be aggressive and play more backhand and serve a little bit better. But Ana, she play outstanding set. You cannot her playing better the first set.
And second set I didn't move well. I felt a little bit more pressure. I was going too much and not moving well, so it's hard to win like that.

Q. Looked like you almost turned it around because you break back and then hold. Seemed like everyone was thinking maybe you were back in the match. Momentum seemed to go back and you went back quickly.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: There, I lost it, made a little mistake. I gave it a little bit to her, because I felt like I had pressure on me all the time. She wasn't giving me any free points and she was attacking. It was, like, you feel like it's her day, like it's goes everything her way.
I was trying to stay calm and play every ball. Doesn't matter what, many things been disturbing me. But still, I was trying to be there and play every point, and she just played better today, you know.
I would like to see her play when it's not her day, you know. To figure out some different ways to win. That's how I did today. I couldn't find a way, but it wasn't my great day of playing, either.

Q. Is there a particular point when you get a sense, this is starting to get away, when the pressure starts to build?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, you know, in the first set it was like quick moment 1, 2, you know? First games I was like holding my serve but tough, and she was holding so easy. Then I had opportunities to have Love-30. One game I didn't play so good. And then advantage on her serve, and she played so unbelievable, like she served so well.
First of all, I have to read better her serve. Then in second set, where she broke me second time, it was pretty bad, though.

Q. Svetlana, Radwanska, who you beat in the quarterfinals, told me it was very different Svetlana this tournament than at Australian Open when she beat you. That means you progress. Do you think you can do better in Miami?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I can do better definitely. There is always room to improve, for sure. I was so different than when I played her in Australian Open. I lost little bit myself there during the tournament.

End of FastScripts

hayleytrotter
Mar 28th, 2008, 03:52 AM
I lost little bit myself there during the tournament.


Aww. I was so sad to see her lose (I was had a all grounds pass at the AO, in vodafone and RLA so i was looking foward to lots of sveta).

svetaisthebest
Mar 28th, 2008, 09:06 AM
I lost little bit myself there during the tournament.


Aww. I was so sad to see her lose (I was had a all grounds pass at the AO, in vodafone and RLA so i was looking foward to lots of sveta).

How did you get an all ground pass so you can see both RLA and Vodafone because i didnt know they existed :o:lol: i thought that if you buy one you cant get into the other :confused:

hayleytrotter
Mar 28th, 2008, 12:37 PM
How did you get an all ground pass so you can see both RLA and Vodafone because i didnt know they existed :o:lol: i thought that if you buy one you cant get into the other :confused:

I had a corporate pass to both he he he he! I thought it would just be easier to say all access, cause once you get access to rla/vodafone then you can go to all the outside courts too.:):)

svetaisthebest
Mar 28th, 2008, 12:45 PM
I had a corporate pass to both he he he he! I thought it would just be easier to say all access, cause once you get access to rla/vodafone then you can go to all the outside courts too.:):)

youre so lucky :p .i hate it when buying tickets and not knowing which courts your faves are going to play on :lol:

hayleytrotter
Mar 28th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Trust me i was pretty pissed off when they started putting maria and sveta on vodafone because my seats there wernt good but my seats at rod laver were great.

I always go to medibank too, so next year i will take lots of photos for everyone, (because the past two years ive been completely camera-lazy... woops).

teleri
Mar 28th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Trust me i was pretty pissed off when they started putting maria and sveta on vodafone because my seats there wernt good but my seats at rod laver were great.

I always go to medibank too, so next year i will take lots of photos for everyone, (because the past two years ive been completely camera-lazy... woops).


I'm so jealous. AO is one of my favorite tournaments. I like heat and noise.:) I say like I played. haha

svetaisthebest
Mar 28th, 2008, 10:11 PM
Trust me i was pretty pissed off when they started putting maria and sveta on vodafone because my seats there wernt good but my seats at rod laver were great.

I always go to medibank too, so next year i will take lots of photos for everyone, (because the past two years ive been completely camera-lazy... woops).

i bought tickets for both vodafone and RLA and on every time i had tickets for a certain court Sveta happned to playing on the other one:sad::sad::sad: and i kept on missing her on the pratcice courts so i didnt even see her :sad:

Bероника
Mar 31st, 2008, 12:17 AM
S. KUZNETSOVA/V. Azarenka

1‑6, 7‑5, 6‑0

An interview with:

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a close one, huh?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, pretty much like this. When she serves out, and matchpoint I was like, Oh, my god. I saw that one was out, so I was pretty happy with that one.

Q. When you get down to your last breath like that, do you start thinking back to the Vaidisova match or other matches where you had to dig down?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. My only thought was like okay, 6‑1, 5‑2, I'm just one break down. Actually, if you don't look that side, you're just one break.
But then it's lots of pressure, because I was not playing any well. So this is what I was working to change. I was not awake quite well. I was not moving that well.
It's very different court. The stadium is much different than court No. 1 where I played before, and it's much different. But still I had to improve that I was working on it during the match. It's pretty late, but I got it, so...
I started to move better and just play a little bit better. I didn't play well, but still I won the match.

Q. You know, Jelena had lots of trouble last night.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I didn't know anything about it.

Q. She had a comeback big time last night, too. They're after you guys.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think the conditions here than Indian Wells is very different. The ball is completely different, you know. The ball bounce there like double higher. So, like my serve with spin, it's not doing the same thing that did there.
Like I have to find another strokes. My forehand I can hit better here, but you need matches to get used to it. In difficult and critical moments, it's hard to understand everything.

Q. Do you think it's because there's more moisture in the air here? This is much more humid.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, yeah, because the balls are the same. The air is just humid, and the balls are very heavy, very heavy. I like these conditions. But still, from Indian Wells, you played three weeks with one balls, and then with one kind of thing you're used to it.
You know, you close your eyes and you do this. Here you close your eyes and, Where's the ball? Oh, I don't know. So you have to change this.

Q. The toughness that you found today, I know you've had a little bit of trouble in finals lately, is that something that you need to sort of fine tune so that you're bringing that out in yourself when it really counts in a final?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, yeah. I hit doubles in finals because I lose them. But the final maybe I should have win it was Dubai, because Sydney Justine just played better than me in important moments. It was a great match. It's not like I give up. I didn't.
She just played well. In Indian Wells last week, Ana, I took the wrong tactics. I was playing wrong against her, so she was very comfortable out there. She played unbelievable in very important moments in first set.
In second set, I wasn't played so well, but continues like I'm not there. But, yeah, definitely. If I can improve even more in the finals it would be great. It's just another level I should take there, you know.

Q. Have you ever worked with a sports psychologist or anyone to work with you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I do work. But it's not only from psychology. It's another level you've got to play. Not like you've played before the final, it has to be higher.

Q. You were down 3‑5 to Vaidisova, but you came back from that one, too. Is there a mentality that once you've come back in a big match at a big tournament, it's easy to do the next time?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I think the mentality is that I always have to believe in myself. This is, I think, the main thing. Being there, I know I'm better player. I know I can do better than I was doing whole match, and I knew I have this reserve there.
But for me, I have to work next step not to get to this limit. You know, because when I get water here, I start to play much better. But I need to play much better before getting water to my nose so I can be there. You know what I mean? So...
But it's there. It's definitely there, and this moment I just find myself better.

Q. When you won this tournament a couple years ago, I mean, the conditions here from year to year don't change that much.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't play Indian Wells before.

Q. I'm sorry?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't play Indian Wells before.

Q. That was the difference, just the fatigue?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's huge. One, it's fatigue, and second it's conditions that you come new, you're fresh. And you're used to condition much quicker. It's different, you know.
You come from home to tournament you get it quicker, but then you play matches. I played seven or six matches at Indian Wells, and then you have to change everything; this is hard. But I think I have ability to do that, and I'm looking forward for my next match to improve.
There is sometimes you have these tough matches from the start, but then you can improve in the tournament. So I'm looking forward in my next match to improve it.

Q. When you got here the weather wasn't quite like this. It was a little cooler, so you really didn't have much time to get used to this, did you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, first of all, it's this. But then second, it's still different conditions. It's heavier. Usually like I play here, I sweat so much. But still I was in first set, second set, I was not moving well.
But then in the third I got so much on top of her. Like she was tired, and I was not that. I mean, I'm fit, but I need these matches to play. I don't know.

Q. Will you be ready in two days?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think I play tomorrow.

Q. Tomorrow?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.

Q. Will you be ready tomorrow?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I'll do my best to be ready. I'll make sure I bring it, and right from the first game.

Q. When you walked in here, you were walking very slowly.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I always walk slowly. Always. On the court, I take my time. I don't like to walk fast. I hate it. I don't know. For what? I don't have any rush.

Q. Except when you're dancing though, right?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I don't dance.

Q. Not even to hip‑hop?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I love hip‑hop, but I don't dance hip‑hop, believe me. I would be wrong.

Q. The humidity it's similar to Spain, isn't it?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not really. It's much dryer. It's not right? Yeah, it's much humid. More humid.

Q. Here?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes. But then it was completely different to the Pacific. It's not maybe the same, but from last week, it's hard to change. I think this is also the reason that Novak lost, you know. Because you cannot get so quick used to that.

Q. So next it's either, is it Azarenka? Radwanska?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I played today Azarenka, but tomorrow I play Peer, and this girl who beat Azarenka.

Q. Larcher de Brito.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Света_мой_№1
Mar 31st, 2008, 05:05 PM
larcher de brito?? whats that

Bероника
Mar 31st, 2008, 05:07 PM
The player that lost to Peer yesterday ;)

Света_мой_№1
Mar 31st, 2008, 06:52 PM
ok thanks just found a pic of her she is just 15

Bероника
Apr 1st, 2008, 03:27 PM
Kuznetsova to lead Russia against U.S., Sharapova out

By Gennady Fyodorov

MOSCOW, March 31 (Reuters) - World number four Svetlana Kuznetsova will lead Fed Cup champions Russia in next month's semi-final against the United States in Moscow.
In the absence of Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova, who will skip the April 26-27 tie, captain Shamil Tarpishchev also named world number six Anna Chakvetadze, 13th-ranked Dinara Safina, Vera Zvonareva (20) and Elena Vesnina (53).
World number five Sharapova won both of her singles matches in her Fed Cup debut against Israel last month to help Russia to a 4-1 quarter-final victory.
"We had an agreement with Kuznetsova and Sharapova that one of them would play against Israel and the other against the U.S.," Tarpishchev told Reuters on Monday.
"Sharapova had already played in Tel Aviv, so now it's Kuznetsova's turn. It was sort of a trade-off because both of them have very busy schedules.
"They have to juggle individual tournaments with the Fed Cup. It's not easy as both Kuznetsova and Sharapova are also hoping to become the world number one this year," Tarpishchev added.
"Besides, this is an Olympic year, so it's even more difficult to fit in all your commitments. So I'm very thankful to all our girls for their support of the team's cause."
Tarpishchev also said he might call up Elena Dementieva depending on her availability. The 11th-ranked player beat Kuznetsova in an all-Russian final in Dubai earlier this month.
The Americans will be without Serena Williams and Venus Williams in a side spearheaded by rejuvenated former world number one Lindsay Davenport.
"It doesn't matter who they are going to bring, we'll be ready," Tarpishchev said.
The Russians are aiming for their second Fed Cup title in a row and their fourth triumph in the last five years.

(Editing by Padraic Halpin)

teleri
Apr 1st, 2008, 05:17 PM
Kuznetsova to lead Russia against U.S., Sharapova out

By Gennady Fyodorov

MOSCOW, March 31 (Reuters) - World number four Svetlana Kuznetsova will lead Fed Cup champions Russia in next month's semi-final against the United States in Moscow.
In the absence of Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova, who will skip the April 26-27 tie, captain Shamil Tarpishchev also named world number six Anna Chakvetadze, 13th-ranked Dinara Safina, Vera Zvonareva (20) and Elena Vesnina (53).
World number five Sharapova won both of her singles matches in her Fed Cup debut against Israel last month to help Russia to a 4-1 quarter-final victory.
"We had an agreement with Kuznetsova and Sharapova that one of them would play against Israel and the other against the U.S.," Tarpishchev told Reuters on Monday.
"Sharapova had already played in Tel Aviv, so now it's Kuznetsova's turn. It was sort of a trade-off because both of them have very busy schedules.
"They have to juggle individual tournaments with the Fed Cup. It's not easy as both Kuznetsova and Sharapova are also hoping to become the world number one this year," Tarpishchev added.
"Besides, this is an Olympic year, so it's even more difficult to fit in all your commitments. So I'm very thankful to all our girls for their support of the team's cause."
Tarpishchev also said he might call up Elena Dementieva depending on her availability. The 11th-ranked player beat Kuznetsova in an all-Russian final in Dubai earlier this month.
The Americans will be without Serena Williams and Venus Williams in a side spearheaded by rejuvenated former world number one Lindsay Davenport.
"It doesn't matter who they are going to bring, we'll be ready," Tarpishchev said.
The Russians are aiming for their second Fed Cup title in a row and their fourth triumph in the last five years.

(Editing by Padraic Halpin)


Tarpishchev is so protecting Sharapova. He always find the excuses for her. It's understandable though he needs her for the Olympics.

Bероника
Apr 2nd, 2008, 12:49 PM
S. KUZNETSOVA/V. Williams
6‑4, 6‑4

An interview with:

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty good match for you today, huh?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It was pretty ups and downs for me and for her, but I guess I was more consistent and I played better.
I served better. I served more consistently than she. I didn't have so many aces, but I was more consistent.

Q. So you think about it at all when you're playing that, you know, she's looking to play her sister in the semifinals?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Doesn't matter because I gotta to take game one at a time. Because if I think, Oh, Venus and Serena, you know, it makes huge ball. You never think about it. You just gotta go day by day, because I never know what to expect from her, and sometimes I don't know what to expect from me.
You know, it's different days. It's tennis, so anything could happen because she's very good player. She was No. 1. She won Olympics. I don't know, so many titles. She's good, you know. She can play amazing some days, and today I think I played better.

Q. This is a good tournament for you. You won it a couple years ago. A lot of players don't like the wind and everything. You seem to feel pretty comfortable here.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Believe me, after wind in Doha, this is... (Phone ringing) Sorry. This is like nothing.

Q. Somebody's calling you.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's a message.
So it's comfortable. I like the balls. I love to play in the States. I always play good somewhere. I played Indian Wells finals twice, I won US Open, I won New Haven. I feel pretty good.

Q. You should move here.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I love the States. I love States. I really do. And I love New York.

Q. Look ahead to Serena. She played really well today.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't see anything. I guess she played unbelievable, but I was in my hotel watching Next Top Model or whatever I was watching. I was not watching any of tennis. It was not on TV. I wanted to watch. It was interesting.

Q. How would you approach her?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, we played indoors last year. We have 1‑1. First time I won. In Moscow she beat me. I beat her in Stuttgart. It's tough. I'm really happy to play her. I'm very excited, you know.
It's going to be tough match. Definitely she's going to have crowd on her side, as Venus did today. But I'm looking forward to playing her.

Q. Are you going to play Amelia or Charleston or any of those? None of those?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. For me, I love States, but to be one month and a half out of my hometown for me it's too much.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

goldenlox
Apr 3rd, 2008, 11:09 PM
Svetlana Kuznetsova - 4.3.08
S. WILLIAMS/S. Kuznetsova
3‑6, 7‑5, 6‑3
An interview with:
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seemed like you really played well. Controlled the match most of the way. Where do you feel like you let it slip away?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I think if I played the right points at the right time it would be a little bit more lucky and I would have done it in two sets, because I was a set up and 15‑40 and there was a possibility to go for it.
To me, it seemed when I was on the top of the result and top of the game, I was playing too careful and she was better. She was playing better.
When she was up, I was playing better. You know, I mean, it's like ‑‑ it's uncomfortable, this situation, because I was playing well. I felt like I doing the right thing, you know.
But maybe sometimes ‑‑ in the third set she served better in the end. She played good. But I still, every game, I had opportunity, I had it like every single game.
Sometimes she just played incredible shots. You know, it's just tennis. She just played better in the third set. I think I could have finished it in two, but she's a good player, you know. It was a tough match.

Q. Did you sense she was injured at all? She had a back injury timeout. She wasn't serving hard the first set.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I don't know. I cannot say for her what was her problem. But she was serving ‑‑ maybe she was not serving hard, but she was serving keep serve, you know, and the ball was bouncing here. I don't know what kind of injury she has, though. In the end, she was moving incredible well and she was serving hard. So I don't know.

Q. Just how tough is it to play Venus and then Serena or Serena and then Venus? How tough is it to play the two Williams sisters back to back?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I never played. You know, it's different. I'm excited, because I like to play both of them. They hit hard; they serve well. You never know what to expect.
But I'm okay with my performance. I played better against Venus. I was more inside of the court today. Sometimes I was pretty much behind, but I had a long month. I had so many matches.
This tournament I played singles and doubles. It was really tough. I was almost out in the second round, match ball like that, and she missed serve like that. So I stayed in the tournament and I fight through every match.
I fight so hard, and today I give my best. Maybe sometimes I wasn't playing the right game, but she served well.

Q. Were nerves a factor at all? It seemed like there were a few times you had breakpoint chances or game points where you kind of blew what looked like you should have put a shot away.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: That is what I'm saying. When I was on the top, I was playing too careful. When she was on top, I was playing better, you know. I couldn't find the right balance there.
I think that was my main mistake for the match. Still I was dictating the game. I felt like she was not dictating all the time. You know, it was equal, it was more maybe to my side. She had maybe more winners, but it's because she served aces more time.

Q. What's the big difference mentally and emotionally between playing Serena and Justine?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: They're both very tough players. They're one of the best players. Serena at top of her game, it's very hard to play her. When Justine is in top ‑‑ they're just so different. Just different.
Emotionally it's the same thing. You just play somebody, one the best athletes in the world and I count myself also one of the best players. It's exciting, because it's really you have to play your best level, and in important moments you really have to take the right decision because you wouldn't have many chances during the match.

Q. What happened at match point? The second set you had kind of a floating volley and you netted it. You weren't sure what to do with that one, or...
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. I mean, I just didn't work because I have to move to the ball. I had problems playing with the wind sometimes, because like forehands I was missing some because I was not moving well to it. It was hard for me to get used to play against the wind and then two games you have to go for it, so I didn't go to it. I had to do extra two steps.

Q. Were you trying to bring her in with the backhand slice to the net?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, no. I was trying to do some different tactic and strategy. I think what we planned I really did everything, but it just matter of mistakes I did in important moments.

Q. It was nice to see, you know, long women's match going almost three hours. How were you feeling physically? You said before you like playing somebody like Serena where you have to reach to the top.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, physically I was fine, you know, because I had really, really long month here. I did finals of Indian Wells, and I played here singles and doubles.
Today was my fourth day in a row. I played three setters with Azarenka, and then I played singles against Peer and I played doubles the same day, and then I played Venus and then I played doubles and then today I played Serena.
Sorry it was fifth day I played, so I didn't have one day off. It was extremely hard at the end of month.
I'm really happy with my physical condition. I think it was fine. Of course, Serena ‑ I felt Serena was a bit more fresher, but still I think we stayed equal. She just played sometimes maybe better shot than I did and I was not good when I was on top.

Q. Looking back, do you think it was a smart decision to play doubles here?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's hard, you know. I could have been out in the second round and that's it. But so far I was in ‑‑ I think I count myself as I'm fit enough to play singles and doubles. It's just hard, because I played singles and doubles in Indian Wells and singles and doubles here.
Now I have some time off. I don't know. I'm pretty cool with that.

Q. When she broke you in the eighth game of the third set, she did a backhand off the net and it kind of clipped the net and you kind of netted the next one. Was that just a tough break?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I think this game I had so many chances. It was amazing. Every time I felt like I hit it, but I could not take it, you know? Like you have cheese here and you cannot just eat it.
I mean, I had opportunities so much, but she played good shot or something would happen and I would ‑‑ so many times I would not go for it. I would like to see next time me be a bit more aggressive and play better when I'm on the top.

Bероника
Apr 4th, 2008, 01:22 PM
Thanks Goldenlox for the interview :wavey:

teleri
Apr 4th, 2008, 04:42 PM
Thanks,GL. Her interview explains everything.

Bероника
Apr 7th, 2008, 01:14 PM
SPORTS KIDS

Up Close with ... Kuznetsova


Editor's note: Neuman brothers Danny and Pacey, both 12, and Mikey, 14, are sports fanatics and play in local football and basketball leagues. Generating their own questions, the Miami Beach locals interview a different professional athlete each month and Sports Scene features their Q&As. Visit www.neumansports.com (http://www.neumansports.com/) or www.youtube.com/sportsbrothers (http://www.youtube.com/sportsbrothers), websites the kids created on their own. The boys also write a column for Sports Illustrated for Kids. Visit www.sikids.com (http://www.sikids.com/).
This issue, the Neuman brothers interview Russian professional tennis player Svetlana Kuznetsova, whom they met at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Q: What was it like winning the U.S. Open?
A: It was something amazing. You know, like a few months later, I was saying 'There is no way I won it.' It was crazy, a really big thing.
Q: When you're on the court and you say, 'Oh my gosh, everybody is looking at me,' what do you do to keep your focus and get over that nervousness?
A: It's not like that, actually. When you go out to the finals, come onto the court and you see 25,000 people, the first moment it gets to you so much. But then you start to focus on the game, what you really came for, and you don't even realize there are people around. You know it's really weird because when you play the game you don't think there are so many people watching.
Q: What's going through your mind when you have your opponent fooled and you know you're going to win?
A: You have to stay in focus because things look easy but they're never so easy in tennis. All the time when you relax, an opponent can get back and start believing in it to gain [momentum]. It's very hard because they start to play much better, and you start to put pressure on yourself. Tennis is a very mental game.
Q: What was your favorite tennis moment?
A: One of them was definitely winning the U.S. Open in 2004. It was my one Grand Slam so far. The second one is the year after I had very hard times. I got down to position 18 and I was really upset. But the next year I climbed back up and I won this title in Miami, so it was very important for me to be back again.
Q: What has been your hardest loss?
A: Definitely the year when I won the U.S. Open and the next year I lost in the first round. And it wasn't about who I lost to. It was about myself. I was not playing well at that moment. I was not ready to defend my title. It was very hard to lose the tour in the first round.
Q: How do you feel about instant replays in tennis?
A: It's pretty cool. It's very good for the fans more than for the players. It's great for the crowd.
Q: Can you tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to know?
A: I'm a crazy person. I like to do funny things. I just love to hang out with people, go out with friends, go to concerts.
Q: What one thing would make this world a better place?
A: No war. To me, war is horrible. People dying and it's just for the interest of the country.
Q: What was your biggest fear as a kid?
A: Once in our house, [people broke in and stole] something from us and I was always scared. So when I was home alone, I was under my sheets like somebody's coming all the time.
Q: When you were a kid, how were you as a student and what was your best and worst subject?
A: I liked mathematics. I was so into it. I hated Russian language because it's so hard. You got to know all the words and there aren't so many rules. There are some rules but there are so many words you have to remember. But I still enjoyed being in class, making some friends. I was practicing tennis so much, I was not able to be with the other kids so much.
Q: Can you tell us something your mother always told you as a kid?
A: My mom always told me that if you don't try, you will quit tennis in two years.
Q: If you could have one super power what would it be?
A: To read other people's minds.
Q: What was your most meaningful gift you have ever received?
A: The earrings of my grandmother. It's something special. My grandparents passed away a few years ago, and when you get something from them, it will always stay with you. That's a present no money could buy.
Favorites
• Cartoon character: Winnie the Pooh.
• Ice cream flavor: vanilla.
• Movie: Save the Last Dance.
• Toy as kid: dog.
• Color: blue.
• Animal: dog, tiger or panther.
• Video game: Super Mario.
• Drink: tea.
• Food: Japanese.

svetaisthebest
Apr 7th, 2008, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the interview:D

Bероника
Apr 28th, 2008, 03:07 PM
Sharapova, Kuznetsova headed to Beijing Olympics



Agence France-Presse
First Posted 19:20:00 04/28/2008


MOSCOW -- Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova will represent Russia in the women's singles at the Beijing Olympics, the country's federation chief Shamil Tarpishchev said Monday.
"We can send four single players and two doubles to Beijing," Tarpishchev told the press. "Sharapova and Kuznetsova will definitely play in the women's tournament, while the other girls will fight it out for the two remaining places."
Three times Grand Slam tournament winner Sharapova is set to become one of the biggest names competing in Beijing and is certain to attract huge media attention.
"In the men's squad only Nikolay Davydenko has already gained his pass to the Games, while the other [players] still have chances to qualify. I can say nothing about our doubles for the moment."
"We will announce our final line-ups just before the deadline on June 8," he said.
Tarpishchev also said that Russia will play at full strength in the Fed Cup final.
"I'm really happy that we managed to reach the Fed Cup final and the Davis Cup semi-finals," Tarpishchev said. "I believe both our upcoming matches will be really tough."
"In the Fed Cup final our strongest players will compete against Spain," the Russian tennis boss said.

Bероника
May 15th, 2008, 03:04 PM
Sveta,talking about Justine's retiring:

It's sad for tennis, and the whole tour is in disbelief. Justine is a true champion and a great ambassador for the game. She'll be greatly missed. Champions like this don't come around very often. I wish her all the success in the future, in whatever she decides to do. -- Svetlana Kuznetsova, current world No. 5

teleri
May 15th, 2008, 04:25 PM
I like Sveta's comment most and then Kim and Amelie. She respect Justine a lot. All the words she said are absolutely true. I am not a Justine fan but I still don't believe it happened and I'm sad for tennis fans and Justine. She will be missed as a great champion surely.

P.S. I like the sentence "Champions like this don't come around very often." It is like Justine is a special one. :)

goldenlox
May 24th, 2008, 11:32 PM
Putting substance over glitz and style

Svetlana Kuznetsova is more interested in winning the French Open than polishing her image like the other female players

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00344/Svetlana-Kuznetsova_344078a.jpg
Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia






Barry Flatman


div#related-article-links p a, div#related-article-links p a:visited {color:#06c;}“Svetlana Kuznetsova can make it and she’s someone I like and appreciate a lot. So I wish that it will be her in two weeks’ time” - newly retired French Open champion Justine Henin on who she wants to inherit her title
Some would call her a players’ player, respected by those within the game but largely ignored by those on the periphery and virtually unknown by the tennis-watching public. Therefore the novelty of the occasion prompted an ironic smile. Regardless of spending the majority of the past four years as one the world’s five best female tennis players, winning the US Open title and reaching another two major finals, Svetlana Kuznetsova isn’t normally required when the cameras are focused on the glamour of the female game.
While Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic monopolise the photo shoots and the Williams sisters revel in celebrity status that transcends the tennis court, Kuznetsova is used to being ignored. In fact she positively subscribes to the point of view that anonymity has its benefits and enjoys the ability to stroll around the great cities of the world without a posse of paparazzi in her wake.
Yet for once the 22-year-old Russian is in demand. First there was the costume fitting for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s controversial promotional film that intruded so much into the players’ time off that Sharapova threatened to boycott the production and risk a $700,000 fine. Then there were hairstylists and make-up artists before two hours on a set by the rooftop pool, filming a scene at a fictitious glamorous party, surrounded by a throng of beautiful people.
Related Links

Kuznetsova crashes out in Melbourne (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article3215075.ece)
Kuznetsova and Venus Williams ease through (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article3190521.ece)
Indisputably not the normal domain of the player everyone on the tour refers to simply as Sveta. “A very different experience for me,” she admitted. “I don’t usually get asked to be involved in those sort of things but if I’m not going to be one of the players who is photographed all the time, that’s fine. I’m cool with that.
“There are times when women’s tennis is wrongly judged on what the player’s image is all about rather than what is the quality of her game. I am not prepared to undergo a makeover. I am not going on the court to show off my dress. I am going out there to play.
“However, it’s wrong to complain about it too much because I know it is the appeal of the glamorous players that brings people to the matches. It wins television contracts. It makes women’s tennis more popular, but I wish people would focus more on what happens on the court. Sometimes I do wish people would ask me more questions and take more of an interest but I’m fine with myself. People who know me tend to like me and that’s the important thing.”
In terms of threatened boycotts, Kuznetsova would never dream of being so rebellious as her rival and compatriot Sharapova, but neither is she expecting the appearance in the production to be a life-changing experience. However, she could well be forced to reconsider if a second major title comes her way in the next fortnight and, after the retirement of Justine Henin, the chances are good.
The French Open’s women’s singles draw has a lopsided look. While Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, both Williams sisters and potential teenage breakthrough players such as Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska and France’s Alize Cornet are all packed in the bottom half, Kuznetsova and Sharapova are the only two stand-out performers in the top.
And there is something about Paris that inspires Kuznetsova. “It’s a romantic city,” she enthuses. “There’s lots of love, lots of passion. When I play tennis there I feel all those emotions. The French is a very important tournament for me. It’s hard to put into words because the tournament is just so different for me. I love it. I have felt that way since first coming here to play in the junior tournament. Maybe it was that the first time I came to Paris I was so much in love with someone but it’s not just about memories. I feel so motivated walking into the place every year. One year I know I’m going to win the title.”
There have been some near misses and she winces at the memory of opportunities lost. There were the two match points squandered in the fourth round against Anastasia Myskina in 2004 when the raven-haired Russian went on to take the title. A year later at the same stage, a split-second’s impetuosity ruined another chance against eventual champion Henin and in 2006 she made the final before losing to the diminutive Belgian.
Now Myskina and Henin are no longer on the tour and most believe the battle for at least one final place is simply between Sharapova and Kuznetsova, with the disparity between the two Russians so obvious. One is festooned with endorsement contracts, the other is not viewed as marketable in the domain of perfumes, jewellery or other female accoutrements and simply has deals with her racket and clothing manufacturers. One actually lives in their mother country and is in the process of buying an apartment in Moscow, the other makes only rare visits.
One is better known for her image than her game, the other respected as a player of enormous strength and determination. “I don’t hold any grudges against Maria and never have. She has different marketing, she’s more a commercial type of person. I don’t concern myself thinking about those things and think it is my game that is more interesting.
“I like to be the person everyone in the locker room gets along with, so sure, I would like people to get to know me better. I am not doing too many commercials but the important thing is to be respected.
“I try to be myself. I am a very open person who likes to have fun. I don’t want to be a clown but life can be fun and I like to make jokes. Outside of the court I don’t like to wish people bad things but when I get on [the court] I am fighter.”
While Henin wants Kuznetsova to win the French Open title, the watching public need to be convinced of the Russian’s credentials. She knows the next fortnight is her great opportunity.

svetaisthebest
May 25th, 2008, 06:37 AM
nice article :)

thanks :)

Elisabeth
May 25th, 2008, 07:22 AM
Ah great article!! :D Thanks for posting ;)

Bероника
May 25th, 2008, 08:39 AM
thanks goldenlox for posting that ;)

teleri
May 28th, 2008, 08:40 AM
Day 3 - An interview with Svetlana Kuznetsova - Tuesday, May 27, 2008



Q. Very strong serving performance today under very heavy conditions on the court. Were you concerned about the conditions on the court? Were you concerned going on court with the conditions, because you hit the ball so big, that it would not be your best conditions?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, you know, I hit the ball big, but I also do hit heavy. And when the ball with these conditions was very heavy, it was very comfortable for me.

Her ball was flat and slow, and I had ‑‑ I did so many errors not going to the ball, because it was way slower than I expected it to be. And then it was just weird.

I was starting to imagine it was raining a little bit, and I was, like, Oh, I hope we can play. What we do? We go? And thinking about this I realized I lost first game.

I then I said, Come on. I got to play the match. I got into the game. I was a bit weaker in the second set. First few games I didn't play very well. I could've break her.

But in the end I was pretty consistent, and I'm pretty happy with the outcome.


Q. Do you know that Justine Henin just picked you to win this tournament? She said that she would like you to win this tournament.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. I spoke to Justine before, and I had very good relationship with her, respected her when she played. Now I respect her with her achievements. She was one of the best athletes, and it's really sad she leaving.

But I respect her decisions, and I had a short chat with her when she was here. She said, Come on, maybe it can be your year. Yeah, she cheered me up, so it's good. So I thank her for that.


Q. You have had some awfully good results going back to last August at New Haven. You've reached three finals already this year, so you're playing very good tennis. At some point, we're waiting for that one major victory that gives you a title. Have you thought about why you're not able to go that final step? Are you thinking about what you have to do more?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Definitely I am thinking. I'm thinking about being consistent and hoping this moment will come. I think working hard and doing things every day, and reaching finals, I going to get this stage one day.

Because I do the best effort I can, and one day should happen. I was thinking about it, trying to improve things, and I'm pretty confident with myself.


Q. How much does this surface matter here amongst the top players? Do you still expect all the top 5, top 6 to go deep in the tournament, regardless if it's clay?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's very important. With these balls, if you serve well, you're pretty in control of the point.


Q. No, what...

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Sorry. Maybe I didn't get the question. (Laughing.)

Q. What I'm getting, is with the top women's players, does having clay really matter, or do you still expect yourself and Maria and Ivanovic and Jankovic...

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Did you ask us how serve is important?


Q. Surface.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Surface.


Q. Surface, I'm sorry.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's different. It suits more to some players; it suits less to other players. Like for Maria, it suits more maybe grass court. For me, maybe more clay court. We're all different. It's all different draw, different opponents. Everybody is different players.

So it's pretty unpredictable now with things, I think, because everybody can play really well. And I think last month before French Open the results were pretty also unpredictable. The top players didn't win much tournaments.

So I think a really unpredictable tournament can happen.


Q. How many, with Justine out now, realistically, how many players ‑ and you don't have to name them ‑ do you think, realistically, could win this tournament?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think five, more or less.


Q. And those would be the top five or...

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You say you don't need names. I say five, and then you say it's going to be top 3 or top 2. So, I mean... (laughter.)


Q. Not names, numbers.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Numbers. You guys always want numbers, but it's nothing about numbers. It's about the day and about how you play and about how everybody going to be in shape or not.

Definitely, it's one of top ‑‑ it can be won maybe black horse out of 15, and three, four, five players out of top 10. That's okay for numbers.


Q. When you played Serena in Miami, you really, really fought hard, even though you lost. Did that match mean anything to you just in terms of how well you battled against her?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. I think I had my chances. She played better on that day, and I was ‑‑ I had really long run. I played four weeks in a row, you know. I was pretty ‑‑ in pretty good shape, so definitely matter, that match. It was a big match.

I was fighting hard. For me it's very important that I go out there and do everything. Going out on the court some days opponent can play better and you can do some errors, you know.


Q. But she intimidates a lot of people. Seemed to me in that match you weren't intimidated by her at all.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't think I get intimidated by anybody, you know. The top players intimidate the rest. But top players don't get that intimidated of top players, no? I don't know. It's how seems it to me.


Q. You say you were close with Justine, respect her a lot. Given your record against her, is there a little part of you that's not disappointed to see her leave the game?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: What you want me to say? I'm happy she left or I'm not happy I cannot battle her again? (laughter.) Which one you want to hear?

No, I mean it's happened. It's past. It's past. I cannot change it. You know, she decided to leave. I respect that, and that's it, you know.

I'm not going to say I'm happy; I'm not going to say I'm sad because I'm not going to play her again. It's not about that. It's just about one more great player leaving the game.


Q. What did you do this morning, waiting for the match to start?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was chatting with players in locker room a little bit. I try to stay inside in locker room because it was so crowded in players' lounge. I read, I listen to music, eat, warm up. That's it.


Q. Things you usually do?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.


Q. Often when we show up at the Slams we see two or three new Russians that maybe we have never seen before, know very little about. Is it the same for you? Do you come to the tournament and then you see girls from Russia that you've never seen before in your life?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Some of them. Some of them, but only few. I know more or less juniors who are coming, and before I used to know every single girl because I was interested in the results and other tournaments and checking every time.

Now I never check, and I don't know. When I see some girls talking Russian, or when they walk in the locker room I try to figure out if it's Russian or not.

So I make sure I ask somebody, who is that, that does understand me. But there is few players I don't really know. In Grand Slams there are more players like that.


Q. The weather is pretty unpredictable out there, and you're very fortunate to get your match in today. It's still early in the tournament. There are still 12 days after this. But is it significant that you got your first round match in where other players still have not played?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, definitely. I think it's very important, and I'm really happy. I had to wait a little bit. I was first. I was lucky with that, that I haven't been canceled. I get in my match, so I have the rest of the day to relax, to take it easy, and tomorrow I practice and get prepared for my next match.


Q. There is three players from Serbia here, you know. Can you see any of them as a winner of Roland Garros?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes, definitely. Ivanovic or Jankovic going to win. We are losers. No, I mean, definitely I think they all have good chances. Jelena plays well, Ana plays well. And Novak, he won in Australia. Definitely it can happen.


Q. Is it possible to see both of them, a man and a woman?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Everything is possible. Nothing is impossible, right?

Bероника
May 28th, 2008, 01:25 PM
thanks teleri ;)

Some journalists sound retarded,no wonder she answers them this way :lol:

teleri
May 31st, 2008, 01:20 PM
Kuznetsova sets up clash with Belarus sensation
Saturday, May 31, 2008
By Matt Cronin

Svetlana Kuznetsova is looking very much the finalist-to-be after she thrashed her Russian compatriot Nadia Petrova 6-2, 6-1 in the third round.

Kuznetsova, the 2006 finalist, will meet red hot Belarusian teen Victoria Azarenka, who continued her amazing run by blitzing Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-1.

Another Russian, No13 seed Dinara Safina, continued her stellar play, winning her eighth straight match on tour by overpowering Jie Zheng 6-2, 7-5.

While the clash between Kuznetsova and Petrova was expected to be a barnburner, in the end it was not even close as Petrova is nowhere near her stellar 2006 form and Kuznetsova was relentless and accurate from inside the baseline.

While Petrova's face couldn't mask her frustration, Kuznetsova was cool and lethal, dictating play with her huge inside out forehand and playing consistent off her backhand side.

“I play really consistent,” said Kuznetsova, who chanced her serve two months ago. “I was trying not to do unforced errors in the first two, three shots. It's important for me. And not to rush too much. I was playing so high on the net, lots of spin. I was moving pretty well. Definitely I think I have a chance. Why not? I think there is a few players who have a really shot to win it, and I hope one of them is me.”

The 18-year-old Azarenka was just as impressive, scorching balls off the ground and simply blowing the athletic Italian off the court. Amazingly, the No16 seed has only lost six games in three matches.

“The first match was good, but it was a little bit different because it was a first match and supposed to play on Monday; I played on Wednesday,” Azarenka said. “I was a little bit nervous, but then last two matches, I was in the zone.”

The former ITF junior standout is tall, powerful and has clean strokes. She's still a work in progress but after winter knee surgery, has picked up her stride, reaching the final of Prague and the semis of Berlin.

“I improved a lot my serve, and this year I improved a lot my forehand, which was my weak shot,” she said. “Now it's like my weapon, which helps me a lot. I worked a lot on coming in and the volleys. That's what helps me, not to play the match at the baseline. I just go and try to finish the point earlier.”

A former ball girl for 1988 Roland Garros finalist Natasha Zvereva, she is looking forward to playing Kuznetsova, whom she lost to at the 2007 US Open.

“I don't think now I'm going to have any nerves because I experienced a lot of matches, big stadiums, good players,” said Azarenka. “I just look at it very different now than I used to before.”

Safina, who reached the quarterfinals here in 2006, is experiencing one of the best surges of her career. Never one of the most mentally strong players on tour, the Berlin titlist is playing headier tennis and amazingly, made fewer unforced errors than the scrappy Zheng, registering 23 to 35 from her foe.

She will face the winner of the match between top seed Maria Sharapova and Italian Karin Knapp.

Bероника
Jun 3rd, 2008, 05:26 PM
I found this interview on RG site.I see only in the french part,so I translate it ;)

http://www.rolandgarros.com/fr_FR/news/articles/2008-06-03/200806031212501303890.html
Interview serve and volley with Svetlana Kuznetsova

mardi 3 juin 2008
Par Benjamin Adler
Favourite film ?
Save the Last Dance and Gladiator.

Favourite CD ?
Song of the year for me is « Ayo Technology » byJustin Timberlake and 50 Cents. I love rap music, Nas, Snoop, Eve. But I also listen to russian rock.
Favourite writer?
Poushkin.

Favourite web site?
Classmates.com, in Russia it's a little bit like Facebook.

Favourite city ?
Saint-Pétersbourg but also Moscou.

Your best victory ?
L’US Open en 2004.

Your worst defeat?
Au premier tour de l’US Open 2005.

Favourite dish ?
Les sushi.

Most stupid thing you've done ?
I can't tell (laughs)

An actress to play you on screen ?
Eve. It's a singer but she can also play.

Most underestimated player on tour ?
Petrova, Azarenka and me.

Your first kiss ?
I was 10 or 11. It's not a great memory, the boy's mouth smelled bad.

Your craziest dream ?
To meet famous rappers.




:lol: at some of the answers

Bероника
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:21 PM
Day 10 - An interview with Svetlana Kuznetsova - Tuesday, June 3, 2008


http://www.rolandgarros.com/images/headers/fo4510h2_e.gif

Q. Well done.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Thank you.

Q. No breaks today.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not today.

Q. Yesterday at 5:30 in the afternoon, Court 1 came open and was basically unused until late in the evening while you sat around and waited for the stadium court to open up before they finally decided at 8:15 to put you on Court 1, which was quite late. Were you upset by that?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not really. I was trying to focus on my match and not to think they move us to another court. But we also have ‑‑ I think everybody think that the Monfils match going to go a little bit faster, but it was so slow.
So in the end it was getting late. I came to referee, I say, Look, are we go to play now or you cancel us so we can play earlier tomorrow? They say, yeah, but we want to keep everybody even because we have only court No. 1 and we have two matches of quarterfinals. So we want you guys to be even.
I say, Yeah, we're not even to another players if we play today, tomorrow, and after tomorrow the winner, three days in a row, if you look forward.
But anyway, you know, they decided us to play like they did, and this was, I think, the right decision. But they could make it a bit earlier, I think.

Q. Wouldn't it have been better for you if you could know that today would have been a day off, you could come in, have an hour practice if you wished, you didn't have the pressure of thinking about a match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, it's pressure, but it's still the same. It's a bit different, but still it's happen, and I cannot change it and I go along with it.
It's good. It's finish well for me, so...

Q. Definitely there will be a lot of Russian players in the semis, and probably two Serbian girls, as well. What would you give as a secret before that success? And why do you think that the Russian tennis players in the women are represented in the semis, and when we look at the male players they are struggling more than the women? Why do you think that is?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, this question has been asked so many times, and I just don't know what to answer anymore. We say always the same. It's about how we work. It's about how we live in Russia. It's about difficult atmosphere there. Nothing gets too easy, and we are very hard workers and very professional athletes.
I guess for girls, the girls are a little bit more serious than the guys maybe. But normally Davydenko is playing semis here. He was good. Some guys also can do well here.

Q. Today you're up 5‑2 and you're dominating with your serve. She holds serve for 5‑3 at 40‑Love. You were a little upset about losing that game. Wouldn't it be better for you if at that point, 5‑3, not being upset, just taking the ball, saying, I have the balls, I'm going to serve it out, that's going to be the match, I'm not going to get emotionally worried about her winning one game. Is it better for you that way?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I'm perfectionist. I try to get the best out of it, so I try to play every point. Of course I disappoint if I ‑‑ it's not about she played well the game. It's about I didn't play well, you know, because this is what I was disappointed of. I didn't make her play as much as I should have, so this is why I was disappointed.
But then I tried still to focus on my serve. I still served one double fault on match ball. Still, I think it was pretty okay game.

Q. I don't think you've ever played Kanepi.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Juniors French Open final.

Q. Okay. As a pro. I didn't finish my question.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Sorry.

Q. So what do you know about her game? What do you know about her?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, what I remember of juniors, it doesn't mean much now because she's completely different player. So do I.
But I don't know. I don't really know. I know she hits the ball hard and probably she has better forehand. I couldn't see any of her matches because, first of all, I was not looking forward, and then I was playing Azarenka and I finish when they finish. So it's a box of surprises probably coming.

Q. Tell me how you think you're playing. What's your level? You've been at the final at this tournament before. How does how your playing now compared to, you know, your other good performances here in Paris?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: So far I have the easiest round for four rounds, you know. I don't know if I had so quick round, you know. I didn't lose more than five games in the match.
So just feel very comfortable playing here and really focus on myself. I feel like I matured by years go by, and just really enjoying myself here.

Q. You've lost six games in the second round.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Six. (laughter.) One game mistake. Sorry.

Q. Before you serve, you like to clean the line off with your shoe. There are probably two good reasons for this: One, make it difficult for the linesman to see a ball that might hit the line, or just a superstition. Which one is it?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's a third one. So the linesman doesn't count foot fault, you know. No, if ‑‑ well, I don't know. I'm just used to it. It's just routine. It's not superstition. Just a routine.

Q. Is it something you pick up just being around Nadal in Barcelona? Because he has so many quirky things that he does.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I don't do few of his things.
No, not really. I'm just doing this because I like to do it. Just came up to be my routine.