Re: Vera Zvonareva - Interview Thread
Vera Zvonareva Interview
Miami, Fl., U.S.A.
March 30, 2011
V. ZVONAREVA/A. Radwanska
7 5, 6 3
An interview with:
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...
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.