Aus Open, R1: Vera def. Bammer 6-2 6-1
Vera Zvonareva - 18.01.11
Tuesday, 18 January, 2011
Q. Must be pleased with the way you played today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Definitely. You know, it is nice to start your Grand Slam like that. Was my first match, and, uhm, you know, always difficult to play your best tennis out there in the first match.
But I've done what I needed to win and I'm pretty happy. So I'm looking forward for the next challenge.
Q. How many games do you think you'll need to get under your belt before you hit your form?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Oh, it's tough to say. You never know.
But you definitely need to go through few of those matches to be able to play your best. Like any other player would need. For me sometimes just one match is enough, and sometimes you need two or three.
It is hard to say. But definitely playing more will, uhm, bring more better tennis out of myself.
Q. Does that always make this part of the tournament a very dangerous time because you're not at full form?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, it is difficult. But it is, you know, a good challenge. We try to prepare ourselves the best we can for the first Grand Slam. But, you know, like I think even for all the players it's not always easy to play your best tennis in the first matches.
It is part of the game. And that's something that I, myself as a player, have to go through. I know, you know, even if I'm not playing my perfect tennis, I can still beat anyone on the other side of the net. That's the most important thing. That's what you try to do in a Grand Slam.
Q. Having made the finals of Wimbledon, the US Open, do you think that's made you better prepared to take that extra step perhaps here?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Uhm, definitely. You know, that experience, it is a very good experience. That's something that made me stronger, better player, more mature.
And, you know, I don't know what's going to happen ahead of myself. I'm trying to look forward. I'm trying to improve. You know, hopefully that experience will make me even better player than before.
But, you know, I still have to take it one match at a time and I have to try my best every day. That's what's going to happen in the next match.
Q. Must make you more confident as a player reaching two finals.
VERA ZVONAREVA: I'm always confident in myself. I always believed in myself. There are a lot of people that didn't, but never bothered me. It was just a matter of bringing the best tennis out of myself at those moments when I need it.
And I think I'm pretty good at it. I'm trying. I know it's not going to be perfect every day and I will have some losses, but that's part of the game.
Overall I think I'm much better player than before. I'm much more experienced, much more mature. Hopefully, you know, this will help me to get through some tough matches.
Q. There's been a lot of talk about you and Caroline being 1 and 2 without having won a Grand Slam. How does that affect you?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I really don't think about what is going on around. I'm a tennis player, and my job is to play tennis. So I go out there, I try my best in every single match. If I win, that's great. If I have some losses, well, I try to take something out of it and try to go back on the court and work even harder.
That's all I'm thinking about. I'm really not thinking about what is going on around that.
Q. What is more important, reaching No. 1 or winning a Grand Slam?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Either thing is great, you know. I mean, I wouldn't find a player who would say, I don't want to be No. 1 in the world, or, I don't want to win a Grand Slam. Everyone wants to be No. 1; everyone wants to win Grand Slams.
In order to do so, you have to win matches; you have to win a lot of matches. That's what I'm trying to do. That's it.
Q. Is there anything about this tournament in particular that might suit you and help your chances that maybe wasn't at Wimbledon or the US?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, you know, I just have great memories from Australia. Was my first Grand Slam semifinal here. I always performed quite good here. There were some bad matches, but overall, uhm, I'm enjoying the atmosphere. I'm just enjoying playing here. You know, hopefully this kind of atmosphere can help me to feel great on the court and help me to bring the best tennis out of myself.
If I do, I believe I can beat anyone on the other side of the net.
Q. Your season last year was outstanding. What do you feel, looking back now, was the biggest part of your game that improved over that period?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think, you know, to be able to play at that top level you have to know yourself well. It's all about the details. I think over the past few years, I learned a lot about myself and how to deal with myself in different situations. And all those little details, I was just able to put them together.
And not thinking anything else, just putting all those little things, and they came very well together. And I think that's why I was able to play my best tennis at the Grand Slams.
And, uhm, you know, when something is not working, it's not only about one thing in your game; it's all things together. To learn how to make that happen when you need it, that's an interesting part. And that comes with experience and with the maturity, and I think I got it right last year.