at Paris, France
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Interview with Svetlana Kuvnetsova
Q. Very strong serving performance today under
very heavy conditions on the court. Were you
concerned about the conditions on the court? Were
you concerned going on court with the conditions,
because you hit the ball so big, that it would not
be your best conditions?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, you know, I hit the ball
big, but I also do hit heavy. And when the ball with
these conditions was very heavy, it was very
comfortable for me.
Her ball was flat and slow, and I had ‑‑ I did so
many errors not going to the ball, because it was
way slower than I expected it to be. And then it was
I was starting to imagine it was raining a little
bit, and I was, like, Oh, I hope we can play. What
we do? We go? And thinking about this I realized I
lost first game.
I then I said, Come on. I got to play the match. I
got into the game. I was a bit weaker in the second
set. First few games I didn't play very well. I
could've break her.
But in the end I was pretty consistent, and I'm
pretty happy with the outcome.
Q. Do you know that Justine Henin just picked you to
win this tournament? She said that she would like
you to win this tournament.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. I spoke to Justine before,
and I had very good relationship with her, respected
her when she played. Now I respect her with her
achievements. She was one of the best athletes, and
it's really sad she leaving.
But I respect her decisions, and I had a short chat
with her when she was here. She said, Come on, maybe
it can be your year. Yeah, she cheered me up, so
it's good. So I thank her for that.
Q. You have had some awfully good results going back
to last August at New Haven. You've reached three
finals already this year, so you're playing very
good tennis. At some point, we're waiting for that
one major victory that gives you a title. Have you
thought about why you're not able to go that final
step? Are you thinking about what you have to do
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Definitely I am thinking. I'm
thinking about being consistent and hoping this
moment will come. I think working hard and doing
things every day, and reaching finals, I going to
get this stage one day.
Because I do the best effort I can, and one day
should happen. I was thinking about it, trying to
improve things, and I'm pretty confident with
Q. How much does this surface matter here amongst
the top players? Do you still expect all the top 5,
top 6 to go deep in the tournament, regardless if
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's very important. With these
balls, if you serve well, you're pretty in control
of the point.
Q. No, what...
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Sorry. Maybe I didn't get the
Q. What I'm getting, is with the top women's
players, does having clay really matter, or do you
still expect yourself and Maria and Ivanovic and
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Did you ask us how serve is
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Surface.
Q. Surface, I'm sorry.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's different. It suits more
to some players; it suits less to other players.
Like for Maria, it suits more maybe grass court. For
me, maybe more clay court. We're all different. It's
all different draw, different opponents. Everybody
is different players.
So it's pretty unpredictable now with things, I
think, because everybody can play really well. And I
think last month before French Open the results were
pretty also unpredictable. The top players didn't
win much tournaments.
So I think a really unpredictable tournament can
Q. How many, with Justine out now, realistically,
how many players ‑ and you don't have to name them ‑
do you think, realistically, could win this
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think five, more or less.
Q. And those would be the top five or...
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You say you don't need names. I
say five, and then you say it's going to be top 3 or
top 2. So, I mean... (laughter.)
Q. Not names, numbers.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Numbers. You guys always want
numbers, but it's nothing about numbers. It's about
the day and about how you play and about how
everybody going to be in shape or not.
Definitely, it's one of top ‑‑ it can be won maybe
black horse out of 15, and three, four, five players
out of top 10. That's okay for numbers.
Q. When you played Serena in Miami, you really,
really fought hard, even though you lost. Did that
match mean anything to you just in terms of how well
you battled against her?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. I think I had my chances.
She played better on that day, and I was ‑‑ I had
really long run. I played four weeks in a row, you
know. I was pretty ‑‑ in pretty good shape, so
definitely matter, that match. It was a big match.
I was fighting hard. For me it's very important that
I go out there and do everything. Going out on the
court some days opponent can play better and you can
do some errors, you know.
Q. But she intimidates a lot of people. Seemed to me
in that match you weren't intimidated by her at all.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't think I get intimidated
by anybody, you know. The top players intimidate the
rest. But top players don't get that intimidated of
top players, no? I don't know. It's how seems it to
Q. You say you were close with Justine, respect her
a lot. Given your record against her, is there a
little part of you that's not disappointed to see
her leave the game?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: What you want me to say? I'm
happy she left or I'm not happy I cannot battle her
again? (laughter.) Which one you want to hear?
No, I mean it's happened. It's past. It's past. I
cannot change it. You know, she decided to leave. I
respect that, and that's it, you know.
I'm not going to say I'm happy; I'm not going to say
I'm sad because I'm not going to play her again.
It's not about that. It's just about one more great
player leaving the game.
Q. What did you do this morning, waiting for the
match to start?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was chatting with players in
locker room a little bit. I try to stay inside in
locker room because it was so crowded in players'
lounge. I read, I listen to music, eat, warm up.
Q. Things you usually do?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah.
Q. Often when we show up at the Slams we see two or
three new Russians that maybe we have never seen
before, know very little about. Is it the same for
you? Do you come to the tournament and then you see
girls from Russia that you've never seen before in
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Some of them. Some of them, but
only few. I know more or less juniors who are
coming, and before I used to know every single girl
because I was interested in the results and other
tournaments and checking every time.
Now I never check, and I don't know. When I see some
girls talking Russian, or when they walk in the
locker room I try to figure out if it's Russian or
So I make sure I ask somebody, who is that, that
does understand me. But there is few players I don't
really know. In Grand Slams there are more players
Q. The weather is pretty unpredictable out there,
and you're very fortunate to get your match in
today. It's still early in the tournament. There are
still 12 days after this. But is it significant that
you got your first round match in where other
players still have not played?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, definitely. I think it's
very important, and I'm really happy. I had to wait
a little bit. I was first. I was lucky with that,
that I haven't been canceled. I get in my match, so
I have the rest of the day to relax, to take it
easy, and tomorrow I practice and get prepared for
my next match.
Q. There is three players from Serbia here, you
know. Can you see any of them as a winner of Roland
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes, definitely. Ivanovic or
Jankovic going to win. We are losers. No, I mean,
definitely I think they all have good chances.
Jelena plays well, Ana plays well. And Novak, he won
in Australia. Definitely it can happen.
Q. Is it possible to see both of them, a man and a
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Everything is possible. Nothing
is impossible, right?