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Old Jan 14th, 2006, 08:37 AM   #77
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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….
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