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post #16 of 126 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2010, 05:30 PM
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

Holiday Q&A: Vera Zvonareva

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BRADENTON, FL, USA - Vera Zvonareva had the best season of her WTA career in 2010, reaching two Grand Slam finals and making it all the way to No.2 in the world. Now doing her off-season training, the Russian talks about the next big things coming up - Christmas, New Year, Russian Christmas, 2011...

On what Christmas means to her...
"To me, Christmas is an important family holiday. Unfortunately I'm not usually at home on December 25 because I'm away doing pre-season training, but me and my team won't forget to make it a special day with a nice dinner and presents Also, we celebrate Russian Christmas on January 7, so I'll be making lots of phone calls to my friends and family back home on that day."

On how her holiday shopping is going...
"I'll probably do all of my shopping online soon since I've already decided on what to give everyone But I'll probably need to make a last minute run to the mall too for some funny last minute gifts!"

On New Year's...
"New Year's Eve is the biggest holiday in Russia. Back home we usually exchange presents on New Year's Eve, while Christmas is more of a day spent with family. When I was a kid I couldn't wait for Kurants (the big clock on the main Kremlin tower) to ring at midnight on New Year's Eve so I could run down to open my presents under the tree! This year's I'll be going to New York for the countdown, though. It fits in my travel schedule perfectly and I think it would be great to see the ball drop in Times Square at least once in my life!"

On her pre-season training and the new season...
"I'm excited about the beginning of the new season! I'm definetly working very hard and trying to improve myself the best I can. I'm excited about the challenge and will try my best to do better than the previous year."

Follow Vera on her official website, Twitter page and Facebook fan page.
http://www.wtatour.com/page/OffCourt...249932,00.html
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post #17 of 126 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2011, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

I will update this Thread now.

First the interviews from US Open 2010, then from Aus Open 2011.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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post #18 of 126 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2011, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

US Open, R4:

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=66229

Quote:
September 6, 2010

Vera Zvonareva

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

V. ZVONAREVA/A. Petkovic
6-1, 6-2


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said that the wind was a problem. Was the temperature also an issue for you?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, the temperature is not an issue. And the wind, it wasn't an issue. It's just something that the conditions are like that. We had to deal with the wind.
You play with the wind on one side and you play against the wind on the other side. So you have to adapt. You have to change your strokes a little bit every two games. But that's something, you know, all the players have to deal with.

Q. You said on TV there's so many players that can win the tournament. Do you really believe that or do you think there's three or four strong favorites?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, obviously, you always, like -- I couldn't name one, two, or three girls. If you ask me, I will name, I don't know -- yeah, a lot of players. I really believe that.
I think right at the moment it's very competitive and it's very hard for everyone. There are unpredictable results, what they will call unpredictable, every day.
So I think that's what makes, yeah, the game interesting at the moment.

Q. But if it's unpredictable, are you surprised you've reached the quarterfinals?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, should I be surprised (laughter)?
No, I think, you know, I always believe in myself and I always believe if I can produce a good tennis, I can beat anyone. I know that it's not easy out there, even though it may look that the match today was easy. But it was not easy out there at all. I think I just was a little bit more experienced player tonight. I started off well. I made it very difficult for her.
But, you know, game-wise, it is never easy out there.

Q. What about Kaia Kanepi? What will you have to do?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. I think I never faced Kaia, actually. I remember her since juniors. We grew up together playing junior tournaments. But I also know that she's doing really good.
She reached quarterfinals of two Grand Slams this year. So that says a lot. Her game, you know, is very solid.
I haven't gotten the chance to think about it at all, and I never played her before. I'm still thinking about my match tonight, still, all that.
You know, I will take my time and I will think about it later. But at the moment, all I can say, it's going to be very tough challenge for me. I'm expecting a very tough match.

Q. If I recall correctly, a tough injury in Charleston, a run at Wimbledon, then here. Are you thrilled by this? Are you a little surprised by it? Is it the result of a lot of hard work?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. I'm just happy. You know, I'm happy that I played my first Grand Slam final this year. But I did something in the past. It's not something I'm trying to think about at all.
I'm happy that I made it to the quarterfinals today. Here it's going to be my first US Open quarterfinal.
But that's it. You know, I'm not thrilled or surprised or anything. I believe in myself and I'm happy that things are working out for me at the moment.

Q. At what point can you, as a player that's been around for a while, sense that a young player with potential, like Wozniacki, can actually come to a Grand Slam, not get nervous and beat a player like Sharapova? Sometimes young players play a veteran player and they can't handle it emotionally.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I think Caroline is doing a very good job. She's very tough mentally. And I think it was a great experience for her to go through all this when she was a junior player. She played a lot of junior competitions and she was one of the best ones, and she had to handle those situations all the time: to go on the court, defend herself, go through all these junior competitions. So they make you stronger.
When she came on the tour, she was already prepared. And I think she's doing a very, very good job because her game improved a lot. She got a lot of experience from the finals here last year. She beat a lot of, you know, top players in her career already.
So, uhm, you know, I think she deserve to win. You know, Maria is still a great player. You never know what's gonna happen next time. But, you know, today, I don't know, Caroline was just better.

Q. A lot of tennis, many people say, is about belief, inner feeling. Can you imagine yourself lifting the trophy a week from Saturday as the winner?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I'm taking it one match at a time. Like I said, I always believe in myself and I always believe I can win any tournament I'm coming to. Doesn't matter which one it is.
There is no reasons for me to come to the tournaments if I don't believe I can win it. That's the only reason I'm coming to play it.
So, you know, but I also know that it's not gonna happen every time. I'm not going to win the tournament every time, because it's just too difficult, 'cause everyone is working very hard. You know, I'm just thinking about my next match. Right now I'm still enjoying my win today. But tomorrow I will think about my match and I will take it one point at a time. I'm not going to look far ahead of me.

Q. Has your schoolwork in any way helped you as a tennis player?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, both -- I think it goes both ways. It helps. Of course, it helps to take your head away from tennis and experience different things, learn different things, enjoy doing something else besides tennis, because studies is something that I loved since a kid.
I used to love to go to school. Most kids hate it. You know, I loved it. I loved my school.
But also I'm a little bit disappointed because you need to put time into it. You need to put time into studies. With me playing tennis, you know, at that level it is very difficult. Right now I started school when I was injured, so I had a lot of time. But right now it is very difficult.
If I'm doing something, I want to do it hundred percent. So when I just go there and just try to do my exams, just answer those questions, I always want to learn a little bit more. But I really don't get the chance on the tour.
So on one hand it helps me, you know, to take my head away. On the other hand, it could be a little bit too many things to do in the same time.

Q. Are your studies on hold now?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Actually, September 1st was the first day back to school, and I missed it (smiling). But it started already. So my friends attended some classes already, but without me.

Q. Can you do any of that online, or is it all in person?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Uhm, well, online, not really. Exams you cannot do online. You have to go and find a teacher and you have to do your exams in person. But you can study. I'll always get a lot of e-mails with what was happening. Also there are websites that are given that you can do your own research and study on your own. Then you'll just have to attend and do your exams.

Q. The courses you're taking?
VERA ZVONAREVA: It's diplomatic academy of the ministry of foreign affairs. It's the faculty of international economic relations. There are a lot of different courses, yeah. But it's pretty much international economic relations.

Q. Which ones are you taking now?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, international economic relations is general. In this, we have finances, world trade organization. We have also history of diplomacy, because it's a diplomatic school. There are a lot of different ones, and they change every half year.

Q. You said after Wimbledon that you felt like you rushed too much mentally in the final. Is that something you're going to try to be careful about here, not to rush through your games?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think that's something I already -- that's an experience that I took from Wimbledon. That's something I put in the back of my head. That's something I will carry on with me. So I'm not really thinking about it at the moment, you know, because I'm not looking back. It's something that I know I shouldn't do. Yeah, I'm just gonna go and take it one match at a time and that's it.
All those experiences that I've had in the past, they are there. I know them. So if I'm in the same situation again, hopefully I can find words to myself, saying, Hey, you've been in that same situation, try to change it up at the moment, don't make the same mistake.

Q. How do you prepare each match and with who?
VERA ZVONAREVA: With my coach. You know, we just talk a little bit about the match. He warms me up before the matches. That's it.

Q. No tactical?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, of course we talk about tactics. We talk about opponents. We talk about what should I do with my game to try to beat my opponent. We try to focus on that in my prematch warmups.
Before each opponent, we do different type of warmup, depending on what I want to do in the match. That's it.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

US Open, QF:

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=66244

Quote:
September 8, 2010

Vera Zvonareva

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

V. ZVONAREVA/K. Kanepi
6-3, 7-5


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Crazy, crazy kind of weather out there today. Talk about the match and the conditions, how you were able to prevail.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think the weather was definitely not for the good tennis out there. But no matter what match had to be played, and we both were trying our best out there.
Like I said on the court, the most important thing was to find the right balance between being patient and being aggressive. I think I did it well.

Q. You've had such great success at the majors this year, been so consistent in the majors. Do you find yourself at a point where you're as confident as you've ever been playing in the big championships?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't question myself. You know, I always believed in myself. I always believe. I'm just going out there and trying my best in every match.
You know, it's been working pretty good for me so far.

Q. If you have a matchup with - we don't know yet - but with Caroline, you've been 50/50 with her. You're pretty evenly matched.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Um, yeah, well, it's gonna be tough match for both of them tonight. I don't know who's gonna win yet, Caroline or Dominika.
If it's Caroline, she's playing great tennis at the moment. She's been so consistent this year and won a few tournaments in a row. She's very tough opponent. You know, we played few times and we always had tough matches. I'm expecting a very tough one in the semifinal.
And even if Dominika wins, we just played a three-setter like few weeks ago. It was a very tough one.
No matter who's going through it, it's gonna be a tough challenge, and I'm up to it.

Q. With how many unforced errors she was making, you were talking about being balanced and aggressive. Were you trying to be a little bit more patient because of the errors she had been making?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I don't think she was just making errors for no reasons, you know. Um, I think I was making it difficult for her. She had to go more for her shots. I was trying to, you know, guess where she was playing and reading her game.
So I was trying to make it as difficult as possible for her. With those conditions, well, unforced errors, it looks like it's an easy shot. But with the wind going all the different directions and blowing, it's not easy to make those shots.
So sometimes you have to make the right choices. I think today I made, you know, right choices where I had just to, you know, put the ball in play and where sometimes I had to step up a little bit and do a little bit more with the ball.

Q. What did you learn from the match against Flavia last year?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Um, well, that match was in the past, but I learn from every single match. There is something to learn about from every match you play. So there are probably things that, you know, made me more experienced player at the moment.

Q. What's it like to compete in this tournament without Serena being here?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Um, well, I still have to go out there and fight against everyone. It's not easy out there. It's tough challenge for everybody.
Of course it's great to have Serena. She's a great champion, she's a great fighter, but it doesn't really make the field any more open.
There are so many great players out there. It's a challenge for everybody.

Q. How important is it - if you have to play Caroline - not to get frustrated, because it seems like she makes everyone play patiently?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, you have to be patient against her. She's a tough player because she reads the game well. So you have to be patient but still go for your shots.
But, you know, you cannot get frustrated if you are playing against anyone. If you get frustrated, well, you will probably lose the match. Doesn't matter if it's Caroline or someone else on the other side of the net.
I think you can -- you know, you should get sometimes angry with yourself. Sometimes you should pump yourself. But you have to always be out there and trying not to get frustrated against anybody.

Q. Will experience matter for you, or do you think that Caroline has enough experience now where you being on the tour longer and being in bigger matches is all that matters to you?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I think Caroline's got enough experience right now. She's very mature for her age, and I think a lot of people are underestimating her. But she's going out there and she's doing her job very, very well.
I can say she's very experienced, so it's, you know -- if I have to play Caroline, it's just going to be a tough match, but we both have been in those situations.

Q. What happened in your final in Montreal? Did you get frustrated there?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Oh, in Montreal I think I just couldn't find my game. I think I had to play Victoria in the morning, and they have absolutely different styles of game, Victoria and Caroline. It was very difficult for me just to change the mindset and switch to another match.
I was getting ready and preparing myself to play Victoria for two days while we were sitting in the rain.
Then I played her, you know, the style that I wanted, and then I had to play against Caroline, who's playing absolutely different. So I just couldn't manage and couldn't adapt to the differences in the game.
Then when I finally started, you know, finding my game a little bit, Caroline came up with some great shots. I felt like I just didn't have enough time on the court to get used to the game.

Q. What does it say about yourself that you were able to reach two Grand Slam semifinals in a row this summer?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Um, what does it say? I guess I'm improving. I'm still improving, you know. I've been playing for a while, but I'm still out there and still working hard. I'm still improving.
That feels great, you know. I can go out there, and I will try to work even more.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

US Open, SF:

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=66261

Quote:
September 10, 2010

Vera Zvonareva

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

V. ZVONAREVA/C. Wozniacki
6-4, 6-3


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was the key to your victory today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Um, I think it's the same probably as the previous match, very similar. It's the right balance between being patient and being aggressive. You know, with those windy conditions you have to play sometimes ugly, you know. You don't have to expect to play your best tennis.
That's what I did well. I was not expecting to play my best tennis, but, you know, I was trying to be patient when I needed, and step up when I got the chance.

Q. In what way did your experience of being in the Wimbledon final maybe be a help to you in this tournament so far? And looking ahead to tomorrow, how might it help?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think it was a great experience overall at Wimbledon. You know, it's something that I will always remember. But I'm trying to look forward. Wimbledon is in the past. I have this experience. I'm just looking forward.
You know, I was looking forward to play my match today, and I'm gonna look forward to play the match tomorrow. I'm gonna take it just as another match. I'm gonna play point by point and not to think about anything else.

Q. It seems to me, having been in most of the press conferences, if not all of them in these last two weeks, that you are emoting tremendous confidence. I feel that from you. Is that a fair assessment of the way you've felt in this two weeks?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. I always believe in myself. I always believe I can beat anyone on the other side of the net if I'm able to play my best tennis. There is nothing really changed for me, you know. I know I'm not gonna play perfect tennis all the time, like most of the players, but that's what we all trying to do.
I know if I'm doing it, if I'm playing well, I can beat anyone.

Q. What are your emotions right now? Are you happy? What?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Of course I'm happy. I just won my semifinal, and it was my first semifinal in the US Open. Of course I'm happy. You know, I beat a very tough opponent.
Caroline played here last year in the finals and she's No. 2 in the world. You know, I should enjoy this moment.

Q. What does it feel like to be at this stage of the competition again in another Grand Slam?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I don't really think about what stage of the competition it is. I'm taking it one match at a time. I know that I won my match today. I know that I have to play another match tomorrow.
Tomorrow is another day, and I will have to go out there and try my best again. That's it. I'm not really thinking about what stage of the tournament it is.

Q. Right now you don't seem to be very, very excited, but normally you are someone who emotionally gives a lot to the public, to the crowd. I've seen sometimes crying, sometimes smiling. I mean, what do you think is better, weakness, or is it strength to be very emotional?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I play with passion, but I leave it on the court. Off the court, I'm very calm, and, you know, just not that emotional at all. The tennis is an emotional game. As long as you know yourself and you know which emotions are good for you, which are bad, you can use it to your advantage. That's it.
I think that tennis is an emotional game and that you should show your emotions, because it shows that you are trying your best out there.

Q. Which match provoke you more emotions if you can remember in the past? Which one shocked you a little bit more than others?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Nothing shocked me. Nothing. I'm out there. I'm trying to do my best. I'm trying to play my best. Sometimes I'm happy; sometimes I'm not; sometimes, you know, I have to be hard on myself; sometimes I have to pump myself up; sometimes I have to say to myself that, Okay, it's time to relax.
That's what I'm trying to do. If I say something wrong to myself, I just take it as an experience, and I know that in the next match I'm not gonna do it.

Q. Last year you were very unhappy leaving the US Open, what is the different circumstances between last year and this year in terms of your emotions and your ability to play so well at a high level?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, last year is something that was in the past. I had some experience last year, not only here at the US Open, the whole year overall I played a lot of matches. I take that experience and I try to use it to my advantage. Never look back. I'm just looking forward all the time.

Q. Were you asked about the strings? You broke a lot of strings in the match.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah.

Q. Can you say what happened? Has it happened before? Did you actually take your coach's racquet?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, that was actually my old racquet. Yeah, that's my old racquet. I had five newly strung racquets before the match, and I don't know what happened. I mean, in one hour to go through five racquets, it's quite a lot. But, you know, it happens.
I will just have to bring some more racquets tomorrow. (Laughter.)

Q. Have you ever broken that many strings in a match?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Not that I could remember, you know. I remember I played a junior event, like I said on the court, but I only had two racquets. Two strings broke. I had to, you know, borrow the racquet from one of the fans, but that's it.
Now I have many more racquets, and still happens to me. It was the first time.

Q. You mentioned you only look ahead. We don't know who your next opponent will be, so starting with the possibility of playing with Kim, a person you've beaten the last two times you've played, both in three-set matches, can you give a preview of what that match will come down to if you play her?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Any match with Kim will come down to the tough challenge, you know. She's a great mover on the court. She has a lot of experience. She won here last year. You know, it's going to be tough. You know, we played a couple of matches for the past couple of months, but those matches are in the past.
I will think about what worked the best for me, and I will try to take it with me tomorrow, and, you know, do it again. Those things that didn't work well for me, I tried to avoid them. That's it.

Q. Against Venus, if you play her, a person you haven't beaten in seven years, how would you describe the challenge there?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, Venus is very powerful and aggressive player, and for sure it's a tough challenge to play against her, even though I haven't won a match in a while against her. I really felt we had a lot of tough, very close encounters.
You know, I will just think about it over again. I will think about what I was doing well, and I will try to do it again tomorrow.

Q. I know you don't want to look back too much but it's pretty amazing when we look back at that vision when you're hitting your knees on the court and tears are flowing in this US Open. For you to bow out in the round of 16 there and now in the final is pretty amazing for us. Is it amazing for you? Can you sum it up?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think I have my team that supports me and believes in me all the time when most people don't. But I'm the one who believes in myself a lot. I knew that I could be in that position. It's not easy. Every player is working hard. I'm working hard. It's not easy to do it every time, but I believe I can do it.
Last year, like I said, you know, it happens to everybody. I'm sure there are a lot of players that had a lot of match points and lost that match and broke a lot of racquets and were disappointed a lot. It happens to everybody.
So, you know, that's in the past. It's just an experience, and I'm just looking forward and trying to, you know, manage it better the next time.

Q. Wozniacki today made a lot of unforced errors, a lot more than she usually does. How much of that was to your credit, do you think, and how much of her level was just below...
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I don't think about it at all. I was just trying to do my job on the court. I knew I had to be patient, and I know I don't give much rhythm. With those windy conditions, it was difficult for both of us to play each other, because we both don't give much rhythm.
We are very patient on the court. It's maybe something different. Maybe I was different opponent to her.
But I really don't think about it. I was just trying to execute my game plan and concentrate on my own game.

Q. If you had to go out for dinner with a Russian tennis person, which one do you choose between the women and which one do you choose between the men?
VERA ZVONAREVA: That's a tough question. We go eat out with a lot of girls, you know, during the tournament, Russian girls. A lot. With guys more...

Q. Pick one.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Why? You need a story? (laughter.)
You want a story?

Q. Yes.
VERA ZVONAREVA: I'll pick Matt Damon.
He might be -- he might be Russian in his next movie. (Laughter.)

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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post #21 of 126 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2011, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

US Open, Final:

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=66269

Quote:
September 11, 2010

Vera Zvonareva

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

K. CLIJSTERS/V. Zvonareva
6-2, 6-1


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you think that you were more overwhelmed by the occasion, by Kim, or by a combination of both?
VERA ZVONAREVA: None of those. I don't think I was overwhelmed. Of course it was a great honor to be in the finals of US Open and playing in front of New York crowd.
But, um, I think Kim just played very good match. She didn't really, you know, give me chances to get into the match.
But I also think that physically today she was just much better player than me. Physically I was not capable, you know, of playing the same level as I was able to play even like yesterday or in my previous matches.

Q. Why do you think that is?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. It's hard to say in the moment. I will have to go back and analyze a little bit. I think I have to learn how to make sure that I recover well, and I'm physically fit and ready to play when it comes down to the last matches of the tournament, like semifinals or finals.
I will still have to learn how to do it and how to pace myself, maybe, with practicing and preparing. Also maybe if I really want to go deep in the Grand Slams, maybe I will have to stop playing doubles because there are some days off on the way, you know, during two weeks.
People that are playing only singles, they can -- on those days off, they can go with a very light practice session and just work on some things that they want to work. I felt like here I had to play every day. It's tough not only physically, it's also mentally tiring.
So by the time, you know, the most important match of the tournament arrives, for me it was very difficult out there physically today.

Q. What Kim said afterwards, that you'll go on a win a Grand Slam, was that some consolation? Do you believe that will still come, a Grand Slam win?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I always believe in myself, you know. You know, of course I'm disappointed at the moment, and I'm disappointed because I believe that I was not able to play my best today.
But I'm trying to look forward. I'm trying to think about what I have to do next to, you know, play better. Hopefully I will have another chance. Hopefully I will go far in another Grand Slam. Hopefully I will be more experienced.

Q. Do you take some comfort that Kim was in four major finals before she won her first title?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, yeah, she told me that. I was like, Okay. It was just two for me. That's okay. It's not too bad.
But, yeah, you know, sometimes you can be disappointed and think, Okay, I had two chances and I didn't use them. But, you know, that's how it goes. It's just great experience for me.
I tried my best out there. I gave 100%. I was just not -- I was not able to hang in there physically today.
Hopefully, like I said, I will have another chance.

Q. Mentally was it very tough, because she gave you almost no chances? We saw you frustrated from time to time.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, of course I was frustrated because I was losing games like 40-Love, 40-Love, and was not able to, you know, come up with my game.
But I was just trying to find a way to pump myself up, to change something up. But there was a moment a little bit in the second set where I started playing a little bit better. I had a breakpoint. She came up with an ace.
You know, it was very difficult today, because she just -- she came up with some great, great shots in the key moments.

Q. Tonight concludes the Grand Slam season for the women. I know it's very soon after the loss, but are you able to look back and say, Hey, two Grand Slam finals this season; this was a breakthrough summer for me?
VERA ZVONAREVA: It was a great summer, for sure. You know, it's a great experience to be in the finals of Grand Slams, but I'm just gonna look forward.
You know, I'm just gonna look forward and think about what do I have to do to improve, you know, to go all the way in the Grand Slam.
That's about it. But when I finish my career, maybe I will look back and I will remember some great moments. But at the moment, I will try to look forward.

Q. You mentioned the frustration. Can you describe what was going through your mind when you cracked the racquet and also after the match what you were feeling when you let it all out?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Um, when I cracked my racquet, I was like, Come on. Why can't you just -- the ball is just two steps away. I was able to do it -- I was able to get this ball in previous matches, and right now I'm just like so slow, cannot move. I just need to get some energy, you know, from something.
You just let the emotions out. Maybe it will help, you know, to be a little bit more fast, quicker, I don't know, something.
But, you know, I was still a bit slower; I was physically not fast enough. With Kim, you have to be fast. You have to play fast. You have to move quick. I was just overall very slow.
And at the end of the match, you know, I was upset that I was not able to, you know, turn it around. But also, I was maybe not too upset because I knew I gave it 100%. I was just physically not there. I couldn't do better than that.

Q. What effect, if any, did yesterday's win over Wozniacki have on your performance tonight? Any?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Ah, I don't know. I think it was a good match for me yesterday. Maybe, you know, I gave a lot in yesterday's match and was not able to recover for today's match.
I'm not sure. I will have to look back and analyze it a little bit better. But, you know, yesterday was a great match. Today not so good.
But like I said, I will look forward.

Q. Kim is very gracious person. She made a point of really trying to make you feel better. A lot of players wouldn't do that. What's that mean to you when someone like Kim, in her moment of triumph, is actually looking out, trying...
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think she's a great person, and she really knows how to be in those situations. When she gives such a support, it's great from her.
You know, I think she -- yeah, like I said, she's a great champion, but also a great person. You know, maybe because she said that maybe I'm not so disappointed right now. (Smiling.)

Q. Is there a comparison possible between your loss at Wimbledon and this one in the final? Has Serena, did she give you more chances, or do you feel you had a little bit more opportunities against Serena than against Kim today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Um, no. I think with Serena it was very difficult at Wimbledon. It was on the grass, probably her favorite surface.
I just was a little bit -- I was rushing and didn't exactly know what to do today. I think I knew what I wanted to do on the court. I just could not execute my game. It was different when -- you know, I think I was a bit nervous before the match, but when I stepped out on the court today, I was not nervous at all. I was ready to play. I knew what I had to do. I just, yeah, couldn't produce anything.

Q. Was this the best Kim you've ever played against? The scorelines in all your losses even were good.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think today I think probably Kim played her best match against me, but I also think maybe I gave her chance to play her best match because I was not fast enough on the court and I was not -- my shots weren't powerful enough today.
I hit every shot and it was a bit slower than usual, so she had much more time to play her game.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

So, now the interviews from Aus Open 2011.

Have fun!

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

Aus Open, R1: Vera def. Bammer 6-2 6-1

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...319234524.html

Quote:
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.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

Aus Open, R2: Vera def. Jovanovski 2-6 6-3 6-1

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...511390121.html

Quote:
Vera Zvonareva - 20.01.11

Thursday, 20 January, 2011

Q. A slow start, but then you got it all together. What are your thoughts on the match?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, definitely think that she's a very good player, you know, and she started off very aggressive. We never played before. So it got me some time to understand her game, to read her game.

Yeah, maybe, you know, I was a little bit slow in the beginning with my decisions and, uhm, few unforced errors here and there. But I was able to pick it up and really turn it around in the second set. Then it was a bit easier for me.

Q. She was hitting the ball so cleanly in the first set. Was it a matter of hanging on and waiting till she started missing a few of those?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I think I was also playing the way she likes, the way that was comfortable for her. So, of course, she was able to hit the ball a bit cleaner.

Then I mixed it up a little bit more, I changed a little bit my game. Then, you know, I was able to turn it around. Also I was able to play a little bit with a higher intensity and having a little bit less unforced errors and it made it a bit difficult for her.

Q. Did you sense a change come over her when she started missing a few?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I was trying to concentrate more on my game, what I had to do. Was trying not to think what was going on on the other side of the net. Was just trying to take one point at a time. Just really happy that I was able to turn this match around.

Q. Is your game at a level you'd like it to be at this stage of the championship?

VERA ZVONAREVA: It is definitely getting better, and that's what I wanted, this kind of match, where maybe you're not playing perfect throughout the whole match, maybe a little bit inconsistent yet, but you still getting through this kind of match. And I really think that it will really help me to improve for the next one. I'm very positive about it.

I'm maybe not as sharp yet as I want to be, but definitely this kind of match will help me to be better the next one.

Q. You had a problem with your racquets today or the string?

VERA ZVONAREVA: No, I just wanted to get a tighter racquet. There are a couple racquets that the strings broke on top on the edge of my racquet. It happens sometimes. That's part of the game.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

Aus Open, R3: Vera def. Safarova 6-3 7-6

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...669267404.html

Quote:
Vera Zvonareva - 22.01.11

Saturday, 22 January, 2011

Q. A big second set. How were you playing that second set?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I was just trying to fight for every point like I was doing in the first set. I had some chances to go 4 1 up when I was up 3 1, Love 40 on her serve. I think there was a moment where maybe I was not aggressive enough, and I let her dominate a little bit before I was dictating the game, and then I let her step up and go for her shots a little bit.

So that was the reason she was able to get back on the scoreboard in that second set. You know, then I maybe started playing a little bit too passive and just doing the same thing over and over again, so I couldn't close it out.

But then in the tiebreak I started mixing it up a little bit more. You know, I came with some good shots when I needed. I made those shots. Overall, I think it was a very good match.

Q. Have you played a tougher tiebreak?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Oh, I'm sure, yeah. I did in the past. I actually remember I played against Anastasia Myskina years and years ago. It was the longest one in the final set. It was 21 19 or something. It happens. It's tennis.

I think I played a lot of matches and tough tiebreaks already.

Q. But you didn't win that tiebreaker against Myskina.

VERA ZVONAREVA: No. But tennis, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose (laughter). You learn from it and you try to make it better next time.

Q. Now when you're playing these tiebreakers, you've had a very good last year. Seems like you're more composed, know what to do to win the points.

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I think I'm just a different player than before. I'm more experienced, more mature. It's not only about tiebreaks. That's about the whole game.

I think I know myself better and I know what game I want to play, and it helps me during the key points.

Q. As the rounds progress, do you think sweeping out the cobwebs more and more?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Definitely. The level of my game, if you would compare today's match to my first match, I think I was playing a different level already. I still think there's still room for improvement. And there are those situations I have been in today where I had my chances and didn't use them, and then we had to go into this long second set.

That's something that I will definitely have to improve for the next matches. I will definitely have to step up and keep my game throughout the whole match, especially at this stage of the tournament.

Q. You've been amazingly consistent at the Grand Slams in the past year. Just want to talk about that, how you've been able to go round by round, not panic, play the game you want to play.

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, you know, I don't know. I think once you spend so many years on the tour and you really learn from it, also you really understand that here it is, here is your Grand Slam, that's where you have to give your hundred percent, that's where you have to fight.

Nothing is easy. Every single opponent is very tough. You just try to fight through every match. This kind of tournaments, that's what you train for, that's what you practice for, and that's basically your only chances. I think I'm really enjoying it. I'm really enjoying that challenge, and I think that helps a lot.

Q. Wozniacki said in her press conference it's time we all moved on and stopped asking you two whether you deserve your ranking. Are you getting tired of those questions, too?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, you just asked me another one, no? (Laughter.)

Well, maybe it is, yeah, time to stop, so then I don't have to answer it over and over again.

Q. Is it tough playing in the heat?

VERA ZVONAREVA: For me not. You know, I never had problems with the heat. I really prefer when it's hot and I don't feel cold. That's not an issue for me at all.

Q. Outside of mentally, can you just talk about your technical improvement? Seems like you have more options in your game now, too.

VERA ZVONAREVA: It's not that I didn't have options before; it's always that I had too many options, but I didn't know which one to choose. Now I think I'm working on, Okay, I know what I need to do in that match. Just stick to it; do it; don't try to do too much with the ball.

Because I have all the shots in my game. I can go cross courts, down the line, short, deep. You name it, I can do it all. But once the ball comes, you have all those options in your head and you're like, Okay, which one do I choose?

Sometimes I choose all different ones, and maybe they're not the best against this opponent. Why should I do it? So now I'm just trying to stick to what I have to do in this particular match against this particular opponent and try to really, you know, put my head into it and don't let myself make all those different choices.

Even though I like to play and I like to mix it up, now I'm just trying to stick to the plan.

Q. Can you talk about Pavlyuchenkova?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Never played Anastasia before. There's not much I can say at the moment. Definitely she's a great player already. Very young, but I think very established. I think she proved herself to be very tough opponent over the course of the last two years.

So it's going to be tough challenge, but that's what I like. You know, I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. Do you like playing the younger Russians?

VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I like to play against tough opponents. That doesn't matter where they from, what their age is. It really doesn't. You know, you have a good challenge and you try to go out there and try to show your best.

If we have even more Russian players, I'm just happy. We have a lot, but even more are coming. That makes me very proud of my country.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

^ yes, the tiebreak against Myskina was amazing.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

Aus Open, R4: Vera def. Benesova 6-4 6-1

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...846538579.html

Quote:
Vera Zvonareva - 24.01.11

Monday, 24 January, 2011

Q. What was your assessment of your game today?

VERA ZVONAREVA: The assessment? Well, I think I did pretty good overall. You know, I started off okay, but then she was able to go 4 2 up in the first set. I thought I was a little bit slow, a little bit passive. But then I was able to find the right momentum, stay a little bit more aggressive. I kept that till the end of the match and I'm really happy about that.

Q. Do you play better in the majors than the non majors?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I hope. I don't know.

You know, I try to give my best all the time. You know, been pretty good in the majors last year and, you know, this year started off well. But you can never, you know, expect. You never know what's going to happen. I try to give my best all the time.

Q. Do you get nervous in the majors? What is your mentality in the majors different from the rest of the year?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I'm not sure. It's just the atmosphere, the tournament around, you know, it is your Grand Slam, and that's what you work hard, very hard, over the many, many years. That's where you want to play your best tennis.

I think this kind of, you know, thought, it brings maybe even the best out of myself in a way that I'm really enjoying the challenge and I'm really excited about it. Want to really do well here in Australia and any other Grand Slam.

Q. You're No. 2 in the world. You've been to the final of the last two Grand Slams. Do you like being kind of under the radar or do you think you deserve more respect?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I hope players respect me as a player, and I respect all other players, as well. I really don't think about that much. You know, I'm here to do my job. I'm a tennis player. I'm trying to do my best. That's it.

If I perform well and I win matches, you know, I think people will respect me. But it's not something I really think about. You know, there are a lot of people that always underestimated me and there are a lot of people that never believed in me and there are a lot of people that thought I never will make it to even like Grand Slam semifinals or something.

But it doesn't really matter to me. The most important thing is that people around me, my team, they believe in me. And the most important thing is that I believe in myself, and that's it.

Q. Was that incentive that the people didn't believe in you?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I don't know. You know, it's just sometimes you feel something like this. But I've had great people around me throughout my career that have been able to help me out. I think, like I said, the most important thing, that I always believed in myself. It was just the matter of learning how to bring the best out of yourself in the matches when you need it.

Q. After what you said about playing in a Grand Slam, liking playing in a Grand Slam, your experiences last year when you made it to the final, does that help you this week in terms of getting your perspective and keeping yourself fresh?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I hope it does. You know, I learned a lot over the past two Grand Slams. I think I tried to use it to my advantage. I tried to prepare myself for my matches the best I can. I think I know myself a little bit better now. I know myself as a player better, and as a person as well. Hopefully that experience will help me, you know, to play my best tennis when I need it.

Q. Is it an opportunity for other players that Serena were not here, or do you wish that she were here?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I always wish for Serena to play all the events because I think she's great for women's tennis. She's a great player, she's a great athlete. We all respect her a lot. But I think there is a very tough draw. Women's side is very strong at the moment. There are so many players that can go very far in the tournaments, and you can never predict it.

I think this kind of challenge makes women's tennis very interesting. You know, even if Serena is not here, I really think there are so many great players out there. It is still a great competition.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
GNTM 2018
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post #28 of 126 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2011, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

^ Nice words from Vera about Serena.

Serena: "We have great personalities like Jelena (Jankovic) on the tour."
Jelena: "If I had to pick someone after me, I'd pick Serena."


Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Jelena Jankovic
A. Radwanska V. Zvonareva C. Wozniacki P. Kvitova
N. Petrova A. Chakvetadze A. Myskina L. Davenport M. Hingis
A. Kournikova T. Paszek K. Sprem J. Dokic I. Tulyaganova
GNTM 2018
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post #29 of 126 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2011, 11:06 AM
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

Press Conference
Vera Zvonareva Interview
Miami, Fl., U.S.A.
23.02.2011
March 30, 2011
V. ZVONAREVA/A. Radwanska

7 5, 6 3

An interview with:

VERA ZVONAREVA

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Great match. I guess you didn't do much wrong out there. I notice the trips to the net, 25 of 32. Got to be pleased with that.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, definitely. I'm pleased the way I played today, and especially against Agnieszka it's never easy. She keeps the ball in play, so you really have to focus really well.
I was able to keep my concentration throughout the whole match. Still a little bit ups and downs, but overall I'm really happy. Especially in those windy conditions, you know, I had to take my chances and come into the net. I was pretty successful out there, so I'm pleased with that as well.

Q. You seem so relaxed on the court. I don't know if you changed your way, you mental approach to tennis. Are you more relaxed out there than you used to be?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know, but I'm definitely more experienced and I'm more mature. I'm just trying to enjoy my time on the court. Don't really think about anything else when I'm out there. Trying to focus on trying to play the best I can every single match. (Smiling.)

Q. You will meet either Clijsters or as Azarenka. Talk about each one.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I know both players pretty well. I had some tough matches against Victoria and against Kim. I won some of them against both players and I lost some of them against both players.
So no matter what, it's going to be a difficult match, tough challenge, and really happy about the challenge. I enjoy those tough matches.
If I play Victoria then you know, I haven't really given it a thought yet really about either player, but I definitely know that it's going to be a tough one.
I'm just going to come later, maybe watch a little, and then we will see tomorrow.

Q. What did you learn from the two Grand Slam finals that you were in?
VERA ZVONAREVA: What did I learn? I learned a lot of things along the way. I wouldn't just say it is something that I really learned just from the final itself. Definitely was a great experience to be out there and to play in front of such a great crowd in Wimbledon and US Open, but I think I learned a lot of things just playing a lot of matches in the two weeks.
I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to prepare myself the best I can in order to get to the last stages of the tournament in the best shape possible. Yeah, it's tough because I never really played seven matches in a row before.
So, for me, there were some new things. I think I learned how to prepare myself so even if I play an easy match or a tough match, no matter what, I know what to do, what I need to practice in order to improve for the next game.

Q. I know that you're an emotional person or have been on the court in the past. Is that something that you're over, I guess I would say, or that you've talked to anybody about?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I'm an emotional person no matter what. The way I was and the way I am right now, I think I'm just more experienced and more mature and I know how to handle different situations.
But, you know, there are moments where I need it pump myself up and moments where I need to be a little bit hard on myself. There are moments where I need to take it easy. I think I know those moments and I know what to tell myself now.
At the end of the day, if I need to break that racquet, I don't care. I will break the racquet on the court and I will play longer. It doesn't matter.
You know, emotions, they're very vital in any sport. If you don't play any sport with emotions, it's tough to win anything. You just to have use your emotions to your advantage. That's it.

Q. Is it you hate to lose that much or are you a perfectionist that bothers you the most?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think I'm more of a perfectionist that bothers me the most. I know that I you can do better and better every day. Sometimes it's not happening.
But I'm accepting it the way it is and just trying make it better on the court and trying while I'm still there on the court to give 100% every single day.

Q. Can you talk about your second degree? That sounded interesting. Are you still going for that?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yes, it is my final year. I'm a little bit behind with a lot of commitments that I'm required to do being one of the top players out there. Especially the past couple years it's been tougher for me.
But overall, I'm trying to get the education, degree. I'm working on my thesis right now, and will have a final examination in, you know, June/July.
I might have to miss it because of Wimbledon and the French Open. So hopefully they will postpone my exams and I can take them a bit later.

Q. I can't imagine doing both. How tough is that, and how many other players would do that?
VERA ZVONAREVA: There are some players that are trying to do that, and I think there are players that think it is important nowadays. They're trying to pursue something else besides tennis.
For me it's very important because I always loved going to school and I always loved to learn different things. Studying is one of the ways that takes my head off the tennis court and let's me focus on something else.
I'm really enjoying it, especially the international economic relations. I got the chance to meet different people from different backgrounds speaking all different languages. For me, it is very interesting and I'm excited about it, because I think it's very important to develop yourself, not only as a player, but develop yourself as a person as well.

Q. What's your thesis on?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Thesis on I will try to translate. Sport basically how to use athletes and sports to bring Russian products on the international markets.

Q. Is it about like a future goal for you or more just about being educated?
VERA ZVONAREVA: It is about being educated at the moment, because I think knowledge is vital. First I need to get knowledge in all different things, so then I can make my opinion. Because if you don't know things, it's really hard to make right choices later.
But it is something as well that I'm looking into the future, because I think our government politics are a little bit you know, we would love the World Cup in 2018 to Russia. We will have Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.
Now we have Japan was supposed to host World Skating Championship, and because of the situation out there right now, Russian was willing to help and brought the Championship to Moscow.
We're really developing our sport in the country and trying to develop our athletes. Hopefully it will help people to learn about Russia a little bit more. Hopefully we'll be open and we will see more people come into Russia as tourists.
There are a lot great things. Hopefully we can develop ourselves a little bit more through the sport.

Q. What kind of products? Obviously I know that you've got great vodka and a few other...
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, you know, there are a lot of good products that we produce, but for some reason they never want to sell them internationally. The market is very closed.

Q. Like caviar?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, caviar is international, but even if you talk about everyday things, like shampoo, clothes, we produce a lot things but they never go on international market.
I think it is important. We've got a lot have resources, even the food. We can sell a lot of things. I think if people come to Russia for the World Cup, Olympic Games, they can see those things, and hopefully it will help us to be more international.

Q. At the Moscow events that you play in, which I've been to, like Fed Cup, it's nice, but there is a difference in terms of the events, let's say, in the U.S. or somewhere in Europe. Do you think with the international community coming for World Cup and the Olympics that Russia has to step it up now?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, definitely Russia has to step it up. I think we will learn along the way because they're willing to learn. They send a lot of people to learn. Like I think here in the United States, sport is a great entertainment. They make a great show and everyone is into it.
That's something we have to learn. That's something that you can't just learn by watching. You have to experience it. I think that's why they bring in all those international events into Russia. I think it will be great for our country.
Also, it will help to bring some investments. You have to build stadiums, you have to place different international companies in the country to run those businesses. There are a lot of banks coming into Russia, international banks.
So overall, hopefully it will help to, yeah, the boost the investment in the country. Because we've got a great potential out there.

Q. All the studying you do online, I'm assuming.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, it's not really online. We have our website where I can go and follow on the lectures and read on it.
But then when I go back I have to take my exams in person. I sort of have to study on my own, but then I have to go to the teacher and we run through topics, and then obviously I have to do my exams out there in person.

Q. I also saw here that I guess you're a women's advocate. I saw a Gender Equality promotion and involvement with women in the caucuses or something like that.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, that actually was WTA and UNESCO partnership on, yeah, gender equality issues. I've been part of it because I think it's very important that everyone in the world gets the same opportunities.
I think a lot of people think about yeah, when women start talking about equality they think about feminism, and I think it's not the right approach. It's not about that all. It's just about giving everyone equal opportunities, and then everyone can make their choices in life.
Doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. If we look around the world, there are some countries that give same opportunities, but there are a lot countries where women don't have the same opportunities and they cannot make their choices and cannot get education, play some sport if they want to.
I think it is very bad. Because overall, sport activities or education, it develops a person. Overall, it will help the whole international community. I was just part of it, and hopefully we can do some better things in the future.

Q. Do you know much about when Billie Jean played the Battle of the Sexes with Bobby Riggs?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah.

Q. Really wasn't to show that a woman tennis player can play with a guy tennis player, which is not easy, but .
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, it is definitely not easy. You know, I think it is a funny thing to do, but overall I think it is a little bit stupid to compare men to women in sport. We just know there are physiological differences.
I never heard Usain Bolt say, Come on, I can run better than Marion Jones. She cannot run. You know, I think it's a little bit stupid to compare female tennis players to male tennis players, especially when guys start comparing themselves.
I mean, if they want to go and compete against girls, of course they can go and do it. But I think we have to be respectful to each other. We all work very hard and try to do our best. If you look at any sport, you know, as long as you have personalities in sport and as long as the sport brings excitement to the public, I think it is great.
And no matter who's doing it, who's playing the sport, girls or guys, I think it's great. It's a great effort to all the players in all the sports.

Sometimes you gotta put your foot down...
Quote:
Q. Do you speak French?
JELENA JANKOVIC: A little bit. I don't want to speak French. I don't want to do anything. I am not in the mood now.
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post #30 of 126 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 2011, 08:20 AM
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Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread

Interview in Istanbul by Vladas Lasitskas.

http://tennis.sport-express.ru/reviews/14443/
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