View Full Version : Nadia Petrova on the biggest win of her career

Sep 7th, 2004, 09:47 PM
N. PETROVA/J. Henin-Hardenne

6-3, 6-2

An interview with:



Q. What was the big difference between today and the other five times?

NADIA PETROVA: Well, today I was more mentally stronger. I kept my nerves down. I really focused on every point. I tried to give her as many balls as possible and also come to the net, put kind of a pressure on her. I really was holding my serve well. A little bit in the first set, I little bit struggled because I was a little bit getting used to the atmosphere of the stadium. But the rest of the match, I play very good.

Q. What do you suppose it was that made you mentally stronger?

NADIA PETROVA: Probably -- I don't know, I was just playing on the big stadium. It was me and Justine. I just make myself play for the crowd and really enjoy it.

Q. Biggest win of your career up to now?

NADIA PETROVA: Yes, yes, up to now, it's my best win. Of course, on the Grand Slam, beating the defending champion, it's quite a lot of pressure in the beginning, but I'm very happy that I won this match.

Q. Did you feel her weakness from the beginning of the match?

NADIA PETROVA: No. A little bit in the beginning of the second set. I was a little bit doubting that I can still pull this match out because, you know, knowing her experience, I was thinking she would change something in the game and start playing maybe different tennis, be more consistent, be in charge of the game. But I've stayed strong till the end of the match.

Q. A lot of people get intimidated by playing the No. 1 player in the world. At what point did you realize you could really beat her?

NADIA PETROVA: When I hold the serve to make it 3-1. Of I was really calm. It was a very easy game. I knew if I would just hold my serve till the end of the match, I would win it.

Q. Were you consciously playing to her forehand knowing she was making a lot of errors off the forehand side?

NADIA PETROVA: Well, she was making errors from both of the sides, but she really played a high spin with her backhand to my backhand, which was taking me into trouble. I just been moving her a little bit. I didn't give her a chance to stay in one spot and really accelerate against the ball.

Q. Was your serve important today?

NADIA PETROVA: Number one, I really had to focus with my serve, play as many balls as possible in, attack to the net.

Q. Did you feel any pressure?

NADIA PETROVA: There was a little bit. But, you know, some days you can't handle it, some days you can. Today was one of the day when I was in charge of it.

Q. Your serve became better and better.

NADIA PETROVA: Yeah, in the beginning I still was making a bit of unforced errors. I was just getting used. When I start warming up, I felt that the court was feeling a little bit short because of this high, high seats. You know, it's like pushing a little bit on you. But I was then getting more and more in charge of the game.

Q. Your summer coming in here wasn't what you wanted it to be. You weren't playing to your level at all coming into the US Open.


Q. Just talk about how you've gotten yourself from that point to where you are now, just in a week.

NADIA PETROVA: Well, my tennis was fine. I was a little bit unlucky in San Diego and Montreal. I played Likhovtseva. That was quite difficult matches. I lost in three sets. And she had a very good results, reaching the final there, beating Jennifer Capriati. She was on top. Then I went to the Olympics. I was there all by myself. I never really had time to think over and just spend some time with myself. Then came to New Haven, played a good tennis, lost to Lisa Raymond. But I knew sooner or later a good result would come.

Q. When you were thinking by yourself, what were you thinking and maybe what changed for you?

NADIA PETROVA: Well, the thing is that I like everything perfect, in practice, in the match. I'm very critical on myself. I just gave myself a little bit time, took it a little bit easy. I just knew, you know, I had to keep on doing my things during practice and bring it into the match, and, you know, the success will come.

Q. Did you surprise yourself?

NADIA PETROVA: Actually not. Actually not. I'm playing pretty strong tennis and, you know, I have a very good serve. If I'm just able to control myself during the match and keep the balls in, I can beat anyone.

Q. When you look at the players who have been No. 1 since you came on tour four years ago, how would you compare Justine to Capriati or the Williams sisters or Davenport, the other players who have been No. 1?

NADIA PETROVA: Well, she's a different player from all of them. You know, she's not as tall, she's not as strong. But she's very fast and explosive and she has a very good arm. She can play all kind of shots. She's very strong mentally. That's why she keep holding her spot as No. 1.

Q. What was it you attacked?

NADIA PETROVA: Well, I just had to win big points today and put pressure on her.

Q. What about your match with Svetlana, that should be a pretty hard-hitting match?

NADIA PETROVA: Exactly, yeah. She's very strong girl. She's physically strong. She hits balls well. But at some stages, she's not consistent, she can have some few unforced errors. So I just have to win the long and important points against her.

Q. What's your record against her?

NADIA PETROVA: I never played her.

Q. In your previous matches against Justine, were you able to attack her backhand down the line, come in like you did today, close out all those points?

NADIA PETROVA: I still did. But I felt few times little bit nervous against her. That's why, you know, I had some one, two unforced errors there. So she was in charge of the other matches.

Q. You say that you're playing pretty good tennis, but you had only won one match in your previous four tournaments. How do you explain that?

NADIA PETROVA: Well, you mean that I'm getting that far in the last four tournaments, is that the question?

Q. In your last four tournaments, you only won a total of one match.

NADIA PETROVA: (Holding up two fingers.)

Q. Which one did I miss?

NADIA PETROVA: Athens. Well, I must say, every time I've been losing, I've been losing to the player who has been playing the best tennis on this day. You know, all the matches went pretty tough. It's really hard. It's been a hard time for me.

Q. Looking at the quarterfinals here, there's three Russians. What does this say for the state of Russian tennis?

NADIA PETROVA: Well, as you know, two Russian girls already won in a Grand Slam, so I think we're able, any one of us, able to win a US Open or the next Grand Slam. So we know that if somebody did, that we can do it, too. You know, just looking back at Anastasia, Maria, it gives us a feeling and belief that we can do it, too.

Q. Were you surprised that Sharapova, Myskina win Paris and Wimbledon, of course, but they couldn't maintain the level of play after winning the Grand Slams?

NADIA PETROVA: Well, it is very difficult because every time they come to the tournaments, they have so much attention from media and people from outside. I think it's just -- it is tiring and it puts pressure on them, lots of expectation. And I think that's the main thing.

Q. I take it that's a problem you'd like to have?

NADIA PETROVA: I don't mind, yeah. Maybe I'll try to handle it different (smiling).

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:bounce: :bounce: nice interview

Sep 7th, 2004, 09:58 PM

Sep 8th, 2004, 03:59 AM
Go Nadia.

Sep 8th, 2004, 09:11 AM
Go Nadia :kiss: