PDA

View Full Version : Serena J. Williams d. Vera Zvonareva(Wimbledon Interviews)


Pureracket
Jul 3rd, 2010, 08:12 PM
Ladies' singles runner-up, V Zvonareva
Saturday, 3 July 2010

V Zvonareva Interview - 3 July


Q. You seemed overwhelmed by emotion understandably at the end. Can you put into perspective what it all meant to you?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, you know, I think it's great to be in the final, and think I will realize it later. But at the moment I think I'm still a bit disappointed with the performance today.

I think I could have ‑ not with the result but more the way I played ‑ I could have done better today. I did not show my best today, and it's a bit disappointing because it's the final. You know, you don't reach the Wimbledon final every day, so...

But overall, you know, Serena played really well. She didn't give me chances to get into the match.

Q. How difficult was it to deal with your frustrations during the match with the unforced errors?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I was not frustrated. I was just thinking about how to pump myself up to get out of it, to try to make those shots in.

The errors, yeah, maybe you can call them unforced errors. But you always take more risk against Serena because you know she's such a great mover and she can play a great defense.

So if you gonna take more risk, you will have to make more errors. And, uhm, I think she was lucky on a couple of occasions. She miss‑hit the ball and I didn't time it well. I missed it. Then I was a little bit ‑‑ I stopped going for my shots as much, and that's where she started playing her game.

Q. You said before the match that you had to stop her from dominating. How do you do that, and why is she so dominant?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, she's very powerful. She's very quick around the court, so it's very difficult to put her in defense right away. If you have to handle 120‑miles‑an‑hour serve and try to return it in a way to put her in defense, it's very difficult; it's not easy.

So you just have to find spots around the court and try to return the way that she ‑‑ you know, she's not in a great position. The same with the serve. You don't want to serve to her best shots so she cannot make her best returns.

I think today I was able, you know, to serve okay. Just those couple double‑faults, but it's nothing. Return, I was able to do the return. The most difficult were in the rallies where I didn't make the right choices at the right time. Maybe sometimes I went for too much and sometimes I didn't attack enough.

Q. Do you think she's beatable?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, of course she's beatable. She's a human being. She's not a machine. I mean, it's very difficult to beat her. You have to play your best. But, you know, if you do, you can do it.

Q. After being involved in the final today, how do you use that as motivation to go one step further in future slams?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, you know, first of all I'll be thinking about how to get to that final first and then to go one step more. But it was definitely good experience for me. You know, it's been a great week. Hopefully it can help me in the future, yeah.

Q. Can you describe her serve for us, what it's like facing her serve, what kind of spin she's using, those sorts of things.

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, she can use different serves. She can hit flat and she can use what is very good on the grass, effective on the grass, is a slice serve wide where it's very difficult to return. Then, you know, you can cover one side, but then she can go flat very hard the other side.

So she always changes it. And the second serve she can put so much rotation in, so it's very difficult to attack it, as well.

I think I made a mistake today. I stepped back, and I should have been more aggressive on her second serve. But, you know, it's something that I will keep in my mind for the future.

Q. There are very few players who play both singles and doubles. You're in both finals. To what extent has your singles game improved by having played doubles?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Uhm, I want to think, yeah, that, you know, a little bit extra because I didn't have enough matches. I haven't played enough matches on the grass before I came here. That's why I wanted to play doubles as well.

Also here you have to be a little bit quicker in doubles more. You have to use more volleys. You have to come into the net. I think in this week it helped a little bit me playing singles.

Q. What was the whole experience of being in the final like? What was the morning like, the buildup, and how were you?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Just as usual. I didn't feel any pressure. I didn't feel any ‑‑ you know, I was not nervous. I was just trying to prepare myself the best I can.

I think today maybe would have gone to the third set with Serena I would have done maybe better. But, you know, I did not realize what I had to do, you know, on the court against her. I made some, I think, bad tactical choices, and that's why she was able to break me.

Q. Most people would be really intimidated being in their first final. You didn't look intimidated at all.

VERA ZVONAREVA: No, I was not. Maybe because I have enough experience behind my back for so many years. Yeah, maybe I never played in a Grand Slam final, but actually, I did a mixed doubles and doubles, and I think maybe that helps as well.

Yeah, for me it was just another match. But, uhm, yeah, I think it was very difficult for me to play my best today because she was just ‑‑ you know, she was better. I would make I think the right choice, and then she will make a really good get and a passing shot.

Then next time you feel like you have to go for even more, and then you start missing.

Q. Did you have to be persuaded to parade around with your trophy at the end? You didn't seem quite to know what to do.

VERA ZVONAREVA: No, they were just asking me if maybe you should go around to show your trophy. So that's what I did because ‑‑ well, they asked Serena before.

Q. If you had to characterize this tremendous two‑week run of yours, how in a word or two would you characterize?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, you know, I think I'm such a perfectionist that I wouldn't consider it as a fabulous result, because you know how I always want everything perfect.

Even if I lose, you know, I feel like I could have done better. Sometimes I can lose some matches and think that, Well, I did everything I can today, and it was better. But I think at the moment I'm still disappointed because I think I could have played better tennis.

But otherwise, you know, I think I was able to come through a lot of difficult matches for the past two weeks. And I think it should give me more confidence, you know, in myself, because in the beginning of the tournament I really didn't play great tennis.

My first two rounds, I was like, Well, I better be raising my level of my game for the third one if I want to be in the fourth round. I just kept working and I kept fighting for it. I really was able to do it.

The fourth round, that's where I started playing, you know, much better tennis.

Q. Does your drive for perfection help you in your career or is it sometimes a problem? Did you have any health issues before going into the final?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Uhm, well, I think the perfectionism is something that can help you and something that can destroy you, as well. I think now I know how to handle my perfectionism better. I know that, you know, if I haven't done better today, I will try to do it tomorrow. I want everything perfect, so I know I will keep working hard.

But maybe earlier in my career I wanted everything perfect and everything perfect right now, and if it doesn't work right now, then I will get so angry with myself, you know.

But, yeah, health issues, not really. I just got a little bit sick. I lost my voice. But it's something, you know, that's not a big deal.

Q. Of all the weapons that you've seen other players have, how would you describe Serena Williams' first serve as a weapon?

VERA ZVONAREVA: As a weapon? Well, it's something that, I don't know, it's hard to describe. It's just something that's putting the opponents always in trouble. Like, you know, she uses it the way that, you know, Okay, I'm going to try to return; I'm going to try to stay aggressive.

But if you don't break her, it's also putting pressure on your serve because you know that, Well, I better be winning this game, otherwise she's gonna hold hers.

So it's not only the weapon like a shot weapon; it's also like maybe in a way a mental weapon that she's so confident in it that she knows that she can take more risk and she can go more on the returns. Even if she's not returning well, she can go for it because she can rely on her serve the next game.

Pureracket
Jul 3rd, 2010, 08:12 PM
S Williams - 3 July 2010
Saturday, 3 July 2010

Q. Where does this win rate for you in comparison to the others that you've won?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it means a lot because, uhm, it is 13. So it's kind of cool because I kind of was able to pass Billie. That's always nice.

I don't know where it rates. I mean, to have four Wimbledons is really, really exciting.

Q. Can you describe what goes through your mind when you're dominating a match the way you did today and the way you did for most of this tournament.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just thought, I got to stay focused and I want to win this game. If I get up a couple breaks, that way if I get nervous, I have a little space.

That's what I thought about, so... That's what I was trying to do out there.

Q. Why do you think you have been so able to dominate during this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. 'Cause, like I said, I honestly didn't think I was playing my best. I felt like my strokes were off, especially in the first week. And I just felt in practice ‑ more in practice than in the match ‑ I just felt like I was connecting late.

I don't know. I'm just really happy to have gotten through that.

Q. It was pretty clear from the start that she was going to try to meet your power with power. Did that occur to you, and did it comfort you thinking, I got her on my turf?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought she kind of mixed it up a little bit. I thought she hit some high balls. I saw her hit some slice. I felt like she, in the beginning, hit a little hard, but then I thought she totally mixed it up. I really thought she served really well.

Q. Do you still get nervous in these occasions?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I mean, I'm not ‑‑ I'm totally human. I feel like it's not easy to go out there and just be ‑‑ especially when everyone's expecting you to win, it makes it even more difficult.

Q. You talk about you didn't play your best, but 94% first serve is pretty outstanding.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I know. I think today I played well. I had 94 today?

Q. No.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I missed a lot of first serves today.

Q. You made 94 points when you put the first serve in.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, when I got it in, yeah. That's good.

But I needed to get it in. I didn't get it in as much as I wanted to today.

Q. She said it was a really big factor today in this match for her.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was. I think she knew going into the match that I was serving well, so I thought that she really returned well. So I didn't hit as many aces as I did in the beginning of my first few matches.

I think that she did a really good job at just reading that and just being prepared, so that was really impressive.

Q. You said your father taught you to serve. Could you imagine then you would be the greatest female server in the history of the game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, is that what it's dubbed now? I have a really consistent serve and I place it really well. I might not hit it as hard, but I place it very well.

So, uhm, no, I didn't imagine. Because, like I said, I always kind of was chatting with Venus while we served. We were laughing and playing. We didn't really take serving serious.

Q. You've overtaken Billie. How many Grand Slam titles do you think you win and how many will you be happy to win over the course of your career?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm happy to win 13. You never know what tomorrow brings. I'm happy to have gotten this far. Uhm, who would have thought. But, you know, it just takes a dream and a little work effort.

Q. Do you know how much you can bench press?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't lift weights. I just do like Thera‑Bands. I haven't touched a weight in years.

Q. In other sports they dream about hitting the game‑winning shot. You don't dream of winning in a blow‑out. Is there part of you that wishes you were tested to do what it was like to be out there 4‑All in the third?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely not. I mean, I don't know who would sit here and say, Oh, I wish it were three tough sets. No chance.

Because for me, if I were to win 0‑0 ‑‑ and I think everyone else on tour would agree that's better than, you know, winning in three sets. I mean, maybe it's better for the fans.

But at the end of the day, we don't want to be out there longer than necessary.

Q. How important to you is your place in the history of the game and where you're considered among the all‑time greats?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, it's definitely important, I guess. I never thought about it. I guess now that you ask me, I mean, maybe I think I'll be mentioned regardless whether I won today or not. So, I mean, yeah, it's cool.

Q. About four years ago you were criticized for a certain kind of indifference, being more interested in pet projects and acting than in tennis. Do you think in the big picture you've turned that around? Do you think you've gotten the most out of your career and talents?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, uhm, no, I'm still very interested in doing different things, and I still am very involved in doing different things. I've never really cared what people said, how they said whether I should be playing tennis and hitting balls or whatever. It never really bothered or mattered to me.

At the end of the day, that person has to go home and be happy. And so if I was happy winning or losing or whatever, then that's my life.

Q. You talk about passing Billie Jean. Looking at the names ahead of you, do you ever take a look at that and say, Wow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, I know Martina and I guess five other people are ahead of me. I didn't even know I was six on the list or seven or whatnot. I'm telling you, I don't think about that kind of stuff.

My thing is I love my dogs; I love my family; I love going to the movies; I love reading; I love going shopping. Like it's not on my list to be, you know, this.

At the end of the day, I would love to open more schools in Africa or in the United States, and I would love to help people. I would like to be remembered, Okay, yeah, she was a tennis player, but, wow, she really did a lot to inspire other people and help other people.

That's what I think about, not about Serena Williams won X amount of Grand Slams.

Q. Is tennis your way of drawing attention to your wider interests, as you just mentioned?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. And I think the better I can do, the more I can help other people.

Q. What will be your thoughts when we get to the US Open after the way things ended last year and you have this summer in front of you to get ready for it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, it was what it was. My thoughts will be just to try to do better in the semifinals. That's what I've always been thinking about.

Q. Your dad just said that it actually was good for you, all that hullabaloo happened, that it taught you some lessons. Could you reflect on that? Do you think you learned from that experience?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think it was in a way good. I said that straightaway. I think people always live life. When you're like me, you live life in the public. It is what it is.

You live, you make some mistakes, you make some errors, and then you make some great things, you make some winners, so to say.

No one's perfect. I never said I was. And, yeah.

Q. We saw you go out and take the dish out to the fans and sign autographs in the walkway. When you came back in the clubhouse, you were dancing around with joy. Can you express what you were feeling at that moment?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was really feeling Frank Sinatra‑ish, Come Fly With Me, Fly Me To The moon. This old‑style dance. That's what I felt like at the moment.

Q. Have you thought about any timetable or plan for your career? Did you still think you would be playing at 28?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought I probably still be playing at 28. Timetable? Who knows. I'm always trying to stay healthy and do the best that I can. I never think about how long I'm going to play.

Q. Is there a chance you'll still be playing at 38, do you think?

SERENA WILLIAMS: 38?

Q. Yeah.

SERENA WILLIAMS: If I am, I want you to personally take me off and escort me off the court. There's no way I need to be out here at 38.

Q. How much Frank Sinatra do you have on your iPod?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's weird, I do. I have Frank Sinatra and Mozart on my MP3 player, which is random, along with some Lil' John and Roscoe Dash. (Laughing.)

Q. What is it about the Williams sisters here at Wimbledon, you guys winning 9 of the last 11?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. That's really cool. I'm just glad that I was able to win, especially that Venus lost. I really wanted a Williams sisters to go ahead and win it. 11 years consistent is really cool.

I think I was in the final one year that we lost. I don't know what happened the other year. I don't remember.

Q. Did you already choose a dress for the Champions' dinner?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I always pack a dress when I come to Wimbledon. I have a dress that I brought.

Q. Can you describe it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a Max Azria. I might change my mind; might wear something else.

Q. Going to watch the men's final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'll watch it. I'm into watching tennis, so I'll watch it.

Q. Do you have a favorite or prediction?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Have no predictions, no favorites. I think it will be a really good match. Really like interesting, good players.

Q. You talk about inspiring people in projects in Africa and America. Have you got much of that going on at the moment? Is there much that you're planning in regards for the future?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm always planning to do more and what I have going on in Africa already, and just giving kids an opportunity to go to school in America, because it's different there.

Q. Similar things to what Andre Agassi has going on in Las Vegas?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I would love to. I mean, he has really always gave back. I think that kind of defined him in his career. So I would love to do that, as well.

Q. What does it mean to you when the greats of women's tennis bestow you with praise? Martina said today that your serve was the greatest ever in women's tennis. What does hearing that sort of thing mean to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's amazing. I mean, I'm living in a time where the game is faster than it was several years ago. So this moment, if they say I'm the greatest, I feel good about that, because in a couple years it will be someone else.

Q. Can you see yourself in 10 years' time after Pete has pulled you off the court sitting out there with him looking down on the champions of that age?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Hopefully, yeah, if I come. If not, hopefully I'm somewhere, you know, relaxing. Maybe spanking some kids, who knows.

Q. How about not losing a set in this whole tournament...

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was really cool. I did that in the US Open in, what was it, 2002. But it was a little disappointing I wasn't down match point this time and come back to win.

Q. Four Wimbledon titles and 13 Grand Slams must give you a bit of clout. Is there anything positive you'd like to change about this championship or about the game of tennis in general?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think, you know, this is run really well. This is the cream of everything. It's so perfect and so nice here. Uhm, yeah, I'm just here for the ride.

Q. How much more difficult is it for you when Venus is on the other side of the net in a Wimbledon final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's way more difficult 'cause, first of all, she is gonna serve some aces, make my life really, really hard out there. Just playing‑wise it's more difficult.

Now, mental‑wise for me, again, it's difficult, because I feel like I'm playing my best opponent that I've ever played. It just takes it to a whole new level.

Q. How much easier is it when Venus isn't around for the final to face you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, it's not necessarily easier because then it's a lot of pressure on me. Past years it's been great because everyone expected Venus to win and I was kind find like the underdog.

This year when she lost and everyone thought I was going to win, it became a lot of expectations. I just had to take it one at a time.

Q. How did you deal with that? What was the challenge like for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just felt like, no matter what happens, I should just stay relaxed and do what I can.

Q. Looked like you held up some fingers shortly after the match, pointing towards your family. What was that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was 13. I did 10 and 3. Then I thought, I hope I got the number right. You know me, I tend to forget (laughter).

Q. Excluding your talented sister, what have been the toughest strokes that you have faced in terms of the serve, return, groundstrokes?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always thought Lindsay Davenport proved to be really tough because she was really tall and intimidating. She hit a really clean shot. She was always one of my tougher opponents.

I don't know. I don't underestimate anyone. I mean, everyone I play, from the girl I played in the first round to the girl I played in the final, I never underestimate anyone, because on that day they always bring their toughest game when they play me.

Q. Is there a stroke you wish you could have? If you sat down and said, If only I could have somebody's backhand, forehand, volley, especially when you were growing up?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think if I'd build the perfect game. I'd have Nadal's speed. I'd have like, I don't know, Roger's forehand. I would keep my serve so it can kind of keep it even. Then I don't know. Maybe Venus' reach.

Q. Whose mind would you have?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'd keep mine.

Q. How do you compare this back‑to‑back to the Lakers' back‑to‑back?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, please. The Lakers was much better than mine.

Q. Why is that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, because they went like seven. They went to the end, like you guys wanted. They went the whole stretch.

Q. Where do you want LeBron to end up?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think he should stay in Cleveland because he's from Ohio. He's built such a great franchise there with the Cavaliers. He's taken that team to just ‑‑ so many people watch them. It's such a popular team now.

Obviously, I like Miami, but I think it's cool that he stays in Cleveland.

Q. You're one of Wimbledon's great champions. Was there a champion from the past you would have loved to play on that Centre Court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think the no‑brainer would probably be Navratilova. I've actually always wanted to play Gabriela Sabatini and Chris Evert. I don't know why. I've always wanted to play those two, so...

Q. The Hawk‑Eye is such a big part of tennis now. There's a big argument in football about whether or not it should be brought in because of the goals and all that. Do you have anything to say to the decision makers in that sport about whether or not it works and whether or not they should do it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't play soccer, so I don't know. But, like, I just think it's unfair that you can make a goal, like USA did twice, and England did, and it cannot be a goal. I just think that's outrageous, so...

Q. You say they probably should bring it in?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think they should. It's just so frustrating, especially when you're rooting for a team. It's just like you see it and then, I don't know, the crowd, they show replays, who knows.

But I just can't imagine that you could have it right there and it's just not there. It's just so frustrating.

Q. Speaking about Hawk‑Eye, in the third game of the second set you hit a wide slice serve; she challenged; it was overturned; you get a second serve; you hit the exact same serve. Was that going to be like, Let me show you again?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt like I just wanted to hit it there again. I don't know why. I knew the serve was out, so...

Like I said, I usually know when I'm right or wrong. I knew it was out. I just knew that I wanted to hit it there again.

Q. Speaking of Hawk‑Eye, you could argue because of the mess in New York with Jennifer that night, the same umpire in the chair today.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I know. Tell me about it (smiling).

Q. In some way do you take in some pride that not only the USTA apologized to you, but it really did lead to Hawk‑Eye and your getting messed over that night led to a huge change in our game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Could that have been 14? That could have been 14 today.

Man, yeah. Like, I don't know. I just feel like if it's yours, if it's your point, if it's your goal, it belongs to you. It doesn't belong to the other person. Now that it's 2010, about to be 2011, I guess on other planets they have way more sophisticated things, so...

The least we can have is Hawk‑Eye in sports, so...

Cakeisgood
Jul 3rd, 2010, 08:32 PM
As it's pretty well known, I'm no Serena fan, but this was a lovely interview.

Very real, and very down to earth (except for her very last reply :))

tennisbum79
Jul 3rd, 2010, 09:26 PM
Excellent interview from Serena.

She has very good perspctive in life.
Helping others is very important to her.

tennisbum79
Jul 3rd, 2010, 09:29 PM
Vera describes what it is like facing Serena's serve


Q. Can you describe her serve for us, what it's like facing her serve, what kind of spin she's using, those sorts of things.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, she can use different serves. She can hit flat and she can use what is very good on the grass, effective on the grass, is a slice serve wide where it's very difficult to return. Then, you know, you can cover one side, but then she can go flat very hard the other side.
So she always changes it. And the second serve she can put so much rotation in, so it's very difficult to attack it, as well.
I think I made a mistake today. I stepped back, and I should have been more aggressive on her second serve. But, you know, it's something that I will keep in my mind for the future.




Q. Of all the weapons that you've seen other players have, how would you describe Serena Williams' first serve as a weapon?

VERA ZVONAREVA: As a weapon? Well, it's something that, I don't know, it's hard to describe. It's just something that's putting the opponents always in trouble. Like, you know, she uses it the way that, you know, Okay, I'm going to try to return; I'm going to try to stay aggressive.

But if you don't break her, it's also putting pressure on your serve because you know that, Well, I better be winning this game, otherwise she's gonna hold hers.

So it's not only the weapon like a shot weapon; it's also like maybe in a way a mental weapon that she's so confident in it that she knows that she can take more risk and she can go more on the returns. Even if she's not returning well, she can go for it because she can rely on her serve the next game.

LightWarrior
Jul 3rd, 2010, 09:32 PM
So now she has a crush on Evert and Sabatini ?

dreamgoddess099
Jul 3rd, 2010, 10:02 PM
So now she has a crush on Evert and Sabatini ?

She named Navratilova first, guess she's got one on her too.:p

Lol at "spanking some kids."