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Maria Kirilenko, Australian Open, January 18, 2010
 

An interview with:


MARIA KIRILENKO

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. Would that be the best win of your short career?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Well, I think I already beat her maybe a few years ago, Maria, and I beat already couple good players from top 10.

I think it's one of, yeah, the best wins for me.


Q. Did you have a game plan going into the match?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Well, of course, yes. And I expect it you know. Maria Sharapova plays so aggressive and her ball's coming so hard.

And, yeah, I was prepare, you know. I was also trying to be aggressive. And, yeah, I think that's help me as well.


Q. What was going through your mind with two match points?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Well, nothing, I think, special. I was just concentrate, try to concentrate on the point and imagine that it's not the match point, you know. Because when you have a match point, of course the nerves going to you, and you just, yeah, too emotion.

And, yeah, I try to be, you know, calm, focus. Then, yeah, when I won the match point was great.


Q. At what point in the match did you know that you had her in the bag?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Actually, in the first set I was a little bit late, you know. She was playing so aggressive, and I kind of made a defensive, you know, play.

And then I start to feel much better in the second set actually. I start to feel that I can be aggressive, as well. I did more winners than in first set.

And from that point, I start to feel that, yeah, I'm playing good from the baseline and I can beat her.


Q. You've had some knee problems. Suddenly did you feel like you were moving much better than you had for a long time?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, it's true. I had a knee problem last year, actually here in Australia. It was not so good. Actually after Wimbledon, yeah, I start to make some treatment, you know. It's really help me.

Since that time, I have a less pain on my knee. For example, today I played three and a half hours, and I didn't even have a pain. And I was moving quite good, I think.


Q. To be a friend of Maria and know her well, it helps or it doesn't help at all?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Well, actually I'm friend with everybody, you know. All the locker room are my friends (laughter).

I mean, you know, when you on the court, you don't think about that she's my friend or what. Both of us want to win, you know, and be in the next round.

So that's what you think about.


Q. Is it possible I read on your lips vamos sometimes when you do a point, or not?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yes, because I'm practicing in Spain, in Valencia, and all the guys, coaches, they always saying vamos. That's why I think say instead of say, Come on, I said, Vamos.


Q. What did you do in the off‑season, and what was your routine leading up to this?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, I had last tournament in Moscow n my hometown. After that, I had holidays at home actually for, I don't know, I think two weeks, and then I start to practice in Moscow with my fitness, and also a little bit of tennis, you know, step by step.

Then I went to Valencia for practice more.


Q. When did you come here?

MARIA KIRILENKO: I came Wednesday, I think. Because I played Auckland, and then I didn't play Sydney because I was late for the quallies. I had to play quallies there. I had a nice week practice before Australia.


Q. You put your fingers to your lips late in the match. Was that to get the crowd to quieten down?

MARIA KIRILENKO: It's unbelievable. I got so many questions in the locker room, in the players' lounge. What did you do? What does it mean? I don't know. Everyone can think what does that mean.

Normally, it was for me actually, that everything is calm, you know. Because, you know, of course it's a great win, but it's only the first round I pass. It's nothing big happens actually.


Q. Do you know that usually Arshavin does the same when he kicks the goal?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, that's true. That's what Kuznetsova just told me. Because she thinking that I was watching Arshavin before the match.

But that's not it. I said, No, I didn't watch.


Q. At 5‑3 you threw away a couple of line challenges. You seemed quite desperate to get it finished. How important mentally is it to come through a match like that?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, I get a little bit nervous at 5‑3 when I was serving. Actually, her return, she start to play quite aggressive. For me was little bit difficult, you know, because the ball coming so fast.

When you little bit nervous, you need to control the ball as well. Maybe was a little bit short and she, yeah, just made some winners.

But actually I didn't do mistake. I didn't make easy mistake, so she won that game.


Q. Is it hard as a returner to know what to expect with Maria's serve?

MARIA KIRILENKO: I mean, yes, her serve ‑‑ she didn't do too much double‑fault actually today. I expected to get more (laughter).

And, yeah, her serve was quite fast. You know, I watch on the speed machine, was 108. Like she improve with the serve, the speed of the serve.

And I think my return is quite good. I return so many her serve today, especially first serve.


Q. Last year you were playing a lot of doubles together with Pennetta. Everybody said it was the best pair from an aesthetic point of view. Did you split up because there was a rivalry in terms of beauty?

MARIA KIRILENKO: It sounds like you're from Italy, right (laughter)?

Yeah, I played with Flavia one and a half year, I think. After Wimbledon, I don't know, we both decide to stop and change the partner, because sometimes it's going so well and then, you know, it doesn't go well. Then you want to stop for a moment.

I don't know, maybe we continue to play with her in the future.


Q. What did you think of Maria's outfit or costume? Do you ever pay attention to things like that?

MARIA KIRILENKO: It was blue, I think, like POWERade. I mean, yeah, what can I say? Was good dress. She always have a nice dresses. I think I always have a nice dresses, as well.

But I change from Stella from US Open, and still I think they did making good clothes for me, so colorful. I'm really comfortable in that, as well.


Q. Your boyfriend plays Federer. Have you had a word about how to take down the big guns?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, he had Federer and I have Sharapova. I think before the matches he said that we can start the year like loud, you know (laughter). And I already start the year loud, I think. So now his turn.

Of course is going to be tough, but, you know, in the first round, you know, never know what's gonna happen.
 


 

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