August 27, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you feel about the way you played, and what do you think of
her game? She played a real tough first set.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I think in the first set, I mean, first of
all, I was going out there and I knew she's young girl, she's playing
good, but I had no clue how she will play.
And during the match, I had ‑‑ like people can talk to you about the
game or the point, can play more or less, but I've never seen how she
plays. I knew she had been to my academy where I'm train, but I never
paid attention how she will play.
She plays the ball really flat and fast. But when you move her around,
you got to find just your keys to play. So for me, it was about this
first set. You know, I was looking how to ‑‑ when I was in danger
situation, I was 4‑2 down 40‑Love on her serve, I think it was, and I
just realize I had to go more to the forehand, because backhand she was
making so good shots.
It kind of made me go outside of the court and just defend. This is what
I didn't want to play like. So I started to play better through her
forehand and moving her around a little bit more.
And second set, I just start to be so much more confident in my game,
just making my moves, you know, depending on myself. First set, some
point I just had to wait a little bit of her mistakes. Because she plays
very good, but she takes lots of risk on the points.
But she's young. I was very surprised, because it was her first US Open
she been play in. She's 18, you know. She had nothing to lose. But also
it was good experience for her, and for me it was tough match to play.
Q. You had a breakthrough here obviously with the championship. I mean,
talk about what this place means to you, what this tournament means to
you as a one‑time champion.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, you just come out here. I come to every
Grand Slam, but here you feel special, like I've made it here. I really
can do it and I've done it here.
It's amazing feeling, because I've been also to the final here last
year. And it's like this thing, it supports me in some kind of way. I
don't know how to explain.
I just play much more confident. I'm enjoying this city so much, the
crowd. When you play here, it's different atmosphere, and you just have
so much fun being on the court. Even playing first at 11:00 it's not so
many people, but you feel special being on central court.
Q. Are you happy with your game right now, the way you're playing?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not really. But you know what? I don't think
you should be coming into Grand Slam and playing first matches the best
game you got. I think I want like to grow every much playing better and
Today I play much better than my first match, so it's looking good for
me. I just want to go step by step. Definitely I'm not in my best shape
now, and I haven't been playing well before US Open.
But Grand Slams kind of keep me much more motivated, and I do much more
better on Grand Slams.
Q. What can you tell us about your younger opponent for today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well yeah, she plays good. It was her first US
Open, main draw, I think. And she been not scared at all. She been
hitting the ball very strong. She was playing very good.
Q. How do you keep up your mental toughness in your training?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, you just ‑‑ when you go out there, some days
you don't have so good and you just have to cheer you up, you know, just
to keep playing, to keep putting different goals each practice so you
don't get bored and you still keep motivated.
Because if you think, Oh, today I have to go again, and tomorrow, again.
You just have to enjoy your game, work on different zones, different
parts of your game, maybe technique, maybe physic, everything different.
Like this it keeps you motivated and setting goals for yourself.
Q. Many people have said the women's side is so wide open this year.
Having success here, also having a tough times here, just your
experiences, how much of an advantage do you think that is for you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes, I agree completely that it's so open. I think
it's very interesting for everybody, because it's very unpredictable.
It's tough for every top player, I think, because everybody has a really
good chance to win it.
Yeah, it gives me good confidence, because I lost here once in first
round. I remember this, and this makes me go harder and harder. If I
remember good things, making final or winning one day, keeps me even
more positive, gives me more anger, you know, to play.
Q. I know that was a while ago, the first‑round loss here. But can you
go through what you did in the first set today? Does a little piece of
that still linger in your head?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, has nothing to do with it. It was totally
different ‑‑ I was not prepared to play here in 2005. I came up not
practicing anything because I was injured, and I don't know actually why
I did that, because I was not prepared to play.
I lost to somebody, and it didn't matter who I was playing because I was
just not playing.
Now, I have much more experience, I play better. And even with my worse
I can win matches if I stay tough, so for me it's important to stay
Q. World No. 1 ranking on the women's side has changed I think five
times this year, four different women. Justine obviously is not in the
game. She's retired. Talk about the women's field right now. Is there
more parity now than there has been, say, in the past several years?
World No. 1 can go to almost anybody if you really fight hard.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I was listen to the TV last night, and they
were saying that it's not good for tennis if there is not a clear
leader. It's better to have just, like, for example, with Henin. I don't
know if to be agree or not. For players it's different.
To be player, you want to see yourself or somebody else to have always a
stroke to be No. 1, knowing that if you do a good job you can be there.
But definitely it's a lot of nerves and we are all new.
Generation change so quick, and we are all like here 23 and younger,
most of the girls. Like nobody there, Justine left, so everybody wants
to, but everybody nervous, kind of.
It's a bit funny situation, but I think it's interesting for everybody.
It shows ‑‑ everybody learns so much from it.
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