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Old Nov 1st, 2004, 09:07 PM   #31
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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.
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Old Dec 12th, 2004, 06:33 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenlox
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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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.
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 04:09 AM   #33
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Thanks Goldenlox
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 01:44 PM   #34
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great interviews! surprised to find out her parents were really good cyclists!
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Anastasia Myskina my NO.1 favourite.
Daniela Hantuchova super eyecandy!
Emilie Loit heartbreaker.
Alize Cornet she's just 15!
Elena Dementieva pretty!
Amelie Mauresmo idol!
Svetlana Kuznetsova so fuckable! ps. She was never ugly!!

All the best to:
Nathalie Dechy, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin-Hardenne,
Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Kirilenko,
Marion Bartoli, Aravane Rezai, Dinara Safina,
Victoria Azarenka, Olga Poutchkova
and all the other pretty players!


I like these players because they are HAWT HAWT HAWT!

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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 09:21 PM   #35
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Svetlana a Muscovite... Get your facts straight Mark.
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Old Dec 15th, 2004, 08:29 AM   #36
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svetlana aint from moscow! she's from st petersburg russia. oh my!
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RIDING THE 3AM ROLLERCOASTER

Anastasia Myskina my NO.1 favourite.
Daniela Hantuchova super eyecandy!
Emilie Loit heartbreaker.
Alize Cornet she's just 15!
Elena Dementieva pretty!
Amelie Mauresmo idol!
Svetlana Kuznetsova so fuckable! ps. She was never ugly!!

All the best to:
Nathalie Dechy, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin-Hardenne,
Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Kirilenko,
Marion Bartoli, Aravane Rezai, Dinara Safina,
Victoria Azarenka, Olga Poutchkova
and all the other pretty players!


I like these players because they are HAWT HAWT HAWT!

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Old Dec 15th, 2004, 11:31 PM   #37
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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.
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and good luck russians: dementieva, safina, kirilenko, sharapova, kuznetsova, bovina, zvonareva, dushevina.

also good luck to: azarenka, lucic, sprem, vakulenko, vaidisova, safarova, ivanovic, groenefeld, mirza, krajicek, kvitkova, larcher de brito, lisicki.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veryborednow
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
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 01:36 AM   #39
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thanks for the awesome articles - is it true sveta is a music junkie
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Old Feb 28th, 2005, 11:38 PM   #40
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yeah thanks for the articles.
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and good luck russians: dementieva, safina, kirilenko, sharapova, kuznetsova, bovina, zvonareva, dushevina.

also good luck to: azarenka, lucic, sprem, vakulenko, vaidisova, safarova, ivanovic, groenefeld, mirza, krajicek, kvitkova, larcher de brito, lisicki.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #41
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Kuznetsova Cruises Into Roland Garros Second Round

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.
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #42
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Kuznetsova blames nerves for defeat by Henin Mon 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.
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 06:53 PM   #43
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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.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 10:35 AM   #44
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thank you,very interesting!!if you have more of her,just post it!!greets from germany,stefan
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #45
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just sad,that kuzzie is not at birmingham.but she better get ready for wimbledon,so thats the right decision!!go,kuzzie-baby!
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