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INTERVIEWS

March 16, 2007


S. KUZNETSOVA/S. Bammer

6-7, 6-4, 6-1

An interview with:

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Svetlana, please.

Q. How did you get back in it after that very long first set, tiebreaker, all those set points?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was so upset. I mean, I was so upset because I started to understand how the game was and how I had to play. But I just -- it was all the time really small outs or really the unforced errors. I would like know like I would have 40 unforced errors in the first set.
It was tough, but I said, "Hey, you lost your chance. You had opportunities, but still you're in the game and it's still one more set to go." I thought she ran much more than I did, and I found the game.
So I said, "Okay. I can still keep it up. I didn't lose yet."
So I had to start all over again. It was very disappointing to do it in three sets, and the end result is what I wanted, so that's important.

Q. You finished so strongly in such difficult conditions with the weather?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I was thinking so much, "When the shade gonna come, when the shade." I was so uncomfortable in this heat, "Yeah, please come in, come in, please."
When we played this long game, she was all the time in the shade and I was in the sun, so I was like, "When is my turn to go on the side?" It was hard, but I knew I was fitter, and for me, what was important, just to find my key.

Q. What did your coach say to you after the first set? He was very emphatic talking to you, saying what, maybe go down the line more with the forehand?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was so ecstatic that I barely understood some. I mean, I was so disappointed. He was talking just that I -- I started to drive things. I have to keep going, but I had to move more to the ball and I was standing a lot and just -- that I found the right tactic, basically. And that I have to keep going, you know, dictate the game myself, not let her play.
And he was just saying about things what she was doing to me and what I had to do to her.

Q. So what about Daniela? You've played her seven times. You're up 5-2. You won the last time. She beat you in Zurich, I believe. You both had the same coaches, which is even more fascinating.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Same coaches?

Q. Coaches. She was Casal/Sanchez, too.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't realize it was 5-2. Today I was thinking it was 2-2, 3-2, and it's like 5-2? How much --

Q. 5-2.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes, I think it was one -- I guess, one was in Zurich. Another one was in Lipswich, first time I played, very hard surface.
So in indoor, she's more dangerous than hard court, but she's starting to get her level up again and she's improving a lot. She trains in my -- in the same club as I do. And, yeah, I'm looking forward to play her. I played her in Doha. It was one or two weeks ago, and I come up strong. And I know pretty much how to play her.
But it's gonna be very tough match because she plays pretty well and she's in good shape now.

Q. Now, when you beat her so recently, how much confidence does that give you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's much more confident, you know. It's easier in the mind, you know, because come up with somebody with who you most of times lose, it's tough. But still doesn't matter anything. I just want to go out there and give my best and see what happens.

Q. When you look at her career and her talent, does it surprise you she hasn't won more titles? She won her several years ago once.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, it's the one title only she won?

Q. Uh-huh.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, it's surprising, but I guess everybody has highs and lows in their career, and it's just normal. And she's back on the track now. So I'm very happy for her. I don't know what's exactly been going with her, so I can't really judge her.

Q. Svetlana, in the beginning or it seemed like you were limping a little bit. You seemed like you weren't walking around all that well. Were you having more problems with your foot?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No.

Q. Maybe I was -- no?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Not really. Not that I know. No, I mean it was pretty hot. It was very hot there. I was out of the breeze so many times in the first set. Then I just got into it and was just much better. I just, when I start focusing my game and not thought about going around the court, it was better.

Q. You played, as I remember, for something like two hours and 39 minutes in that heat. How much can you have left for tomorrow?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: All of me. It was two hours 40 minutes, but I guess it was only first set which was one hour and a half, and then other hour, it was another two sets. So I came up strong, so I think this is what's important. And third set was completely in the shade. So it was good.

Q. Do you run into Daniela frequently in Barcelona? I know she doesn't spend quite as much time there.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: She's not, really, you know. It was very funny thing, I was thinking to say it or not to you guys, but we were having heat another day here with Daniela, we were like sitting and chatting and we go -- because our coaches -- they've been -- my coach has been coaching her coach who is with her here. So it was kind of funny and then we go, "Yeah, you guys, you have to play match between you guys together and we should coach you."
And then we just, we come up with the idea, "Okay. We make both final here? You guys play a match at the academy back."
So they say, "Okay. That's cool."
So I say, "Okay. Here we go for final." Just one day before, we will go like, "Hey, one more match left for both of us, so let's go. Let's keep it up."
You know, we both thought it was so far, but then finally we're here. It's very -- it's very surprising, very interesting thing, and I'm just looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. What is the name of the coach you're talking about here? "My coach has been coaching her coach." Which coach are you referring to?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: My coach is Stefan Ortega.

Q. S-t-e- --
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: S-t-e-f-a-n, Ortega, and her coach, I don't know.

Q. Stefan Ortega?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm just kidding. Her coach is Nico, but I don't know the surname.
So, yeah, I mean, they've been kind of good mates all the time, like Nick will come and ask him, like, yeah, what's going on in the tour, in the circuit, because he been in men's circuit not the women's.
So they're kind of friends, so I'm not -- I'm not meeting with Daniela many times. I saw her in preseason there just one week practicing. That's all I seen her there.

Q. So, Svetlana, clarify, you said that the two coaches have to play each other now? Is that what you said?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes they have to play each other on clay court.

Q. On a clay court?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes.

Q. Back at the academy?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes.

Q. Not here?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. But I know who gonna win, but...

Q. Who's gonna win? Your coach or Daniela's?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I have to train my coach to win, but for the moment Nick has chances there.

Q. When is this match gonna take place?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. We have to think. But now I spoke with my coach, he goes, "No, no. We play one set."
I said, "No, no. You play whole match."
So, but still, I have to go. We have to train with him a lot so he get in shape and he beats. I trust him, so...

Q. Whole match two-out-of-three or three-out-of-five?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, no, I gonna get bored.

Q. Just your general thoughts about the equal pay about the French Open today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I saw (Larry Scott). he told me that, so I was very excited. We've been speaking two weeks about it, two weeks ago. And he said, "Yeah, hopefully we're gonna get French Open soon."
And I said, "Yeah, hopefully so."
THE MODERATOR: Thanks.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports....



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