HOMEPAGE > > Vera Zvonareva (26 Gennaio)

26/01/2011 12:48 CEST - AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Vera Zvonareva (26 Gennaio)

VERA ZVONAREVA b. Petra Kvitova 62 64

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Q. What distracted you at 3 Love in the second set?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I think that well, there is something. Someone wasn't feeling right in the stands, so it was a little bit of, you know, the distraction there. I hope the person is feeling right now.
Well, 3 Love I was trying to keep playing the same way I was playing, but I think she really lifted her game. There are a couple of unforced errors that I made in the second set that I didn't make in the first. That sort of leveled the match a little bit.
But it's something that you expect. You know, if you come in like I came in and I played a very clean match there will be a moment where you lose your focus and you will have one or two unforced errors.
She's a very good player. She took that opportunity, that little chance that I gave her. She used it and got back into the match.
But I'm really happy the way I handled the situation after, and I was able to come up with some good shots when I needed it and finish in two sets.

Q. Was the key to your game today aggression?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think it was part of it, definitely. I had to stay aggressive. She's such an aggressive player herself. You don't want her to, you know, just keep going for her shots.
I was trying to hang in there and fight for every point.

Q. She came in very hot. She wins Brisbane, upsets Stosur, Pennetta. You seemed to control the match today. Talk about how you were able to do that.
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think it's experience. You know, I know that every single match is very difficult, and I knew that she's very tough opponent. So I was trying to keep to stick to my game plan and what I had to do today.
I was trying to concentrate on myself, not pay attention to what was going on on the other side. I was trying to stay aggressive, and, yeah, just keep fighting.

Q. You didn't have a great record against Flavia Pennetta. Were you happy that Kvitova beat her? Did you think about that?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I always wish for them to have a great match. Whoever is better that day will, you know, advance to the next round. And I really don't think about records or anything like that. I know every single opponent is very tough, and you have to go out there and compete and try to play your best tennis in order to beat anyone at that stage of a Grand Slam.
We always have tough matches against Flavia. Obviously, Grand Slams are different. They are special. But next time we play against each other I'm sure we'll have a tough one.
But at the moment I had to play Petra. She's a great player as well. She had a great run, and I had to concentrate on that.

Q. But still they are different players for you? Okay, you have to compete against everyone, you have to beat everyone. But there are players who give you more troubles than others. Yes or no?
VERA ZVONAREVA: For sure, like for everyone else. You ask 128 players in the draw, they will tell you that.
It's just the way the game matches up. But, you know, I still think that no matter what, I can still beat anyone on the other side of the net if I play my best tennis. It's just a matter of me actually going out there and executing that.
And if I'm able to prepare myself, if I'm able to stay fresh, it doesn't matter who is on the other side of the net. If I play my best, I believe I can beat anyone.

Q. Did the attack in Moscow affect your preparation for the match?
VERA ZVONAREVA: It is definitely a difficult one. If you saw, I wore a black ribbon on my visor today. It is my condolences and support to everyone suffering back home. Definitely the news came and it was quite shocking. It was difficult.
But, you know, those things, you know, you still have you're here in Australia and you have your match coming. You just try to think about that.
Definitely there was a moment where I felt a bit uncomfortable. You're calling back home and making sure everyone is okay, the people that you know. You know, I just tried to put it away. It happened. It is terrible. But, you know, you try to move on.

Q. There's a lot of talk about who might win this tournament. Do you think the fact that you reached the last two Grand Slam finals gets a bit forgotten sometimes?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I really don't think what is going on around the tournament, what newspapers say, what people say, what press says. I'm really not following it. To be honest with you, I don't really care.
I'm just trying to do my best here, and I know every single match is very tough. But I always believe in myself, concentrating on my game. You know, then we will see what's going to happen.

Q. Do you think you're a better player for the experiences last year in those two finals?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Definitely those experiences definitely helped me a lot, you know. And I think I'm even more mature, even more experienced because of that right now. Just trying to use it to my advantage, try to think about certain things that I already experienced in the past. You just learn from it and deal with it much better.

Q. What is it like without Serena in the draw?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Tough. Every single match is tough. Every single player is tough. So you still have to play.
You know, I wish for Serena to be back on the court soon because she's a great champion. She's great for women's tennis. Great athlete overall. I wish she will come back very soon.
But with Serena or without Serena is a very tough competition, and you still have to go out there and try your best.

Q. You beat Kim three out of four times last year, but you lost obviously in the big final. So if you play her, can you talk about what you're going to have to do to play your best?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I have to make sure I prepare myself well for the match, I don't overtrain, I stay fresh, stay focused on that match. I haven't thought about it yet, but I definitely will try to take positives from those matches when I beat her and try to think over again, okay, why I lost so quickly in the final, just try to avoid those moments.
Like I always do, keep trying to do my best.

Q. What can you tell us about Kim, not only the player, but the woman as well?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think she's a great person, you know, and also a great player. It's always pleasure to have her on the tour. She brings excitement to the game, and she also brings excitement off the court around the game. She makes tennis more popular and I think it is great to have her on the tour with us.

Q. Was there a particular turning point for you mentally in your career, any particular time?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think there was one of the moments when I got injured. Actually, it happened in Hobart. I sprained my ankle. I had to come back. I obviously tried here in Australian Open. But then I had to take one month off, and then there was a tournament in Doha where I was playing and coming back after the injury.
You know, I think I started looking at things a bit differently. I started thinking, Okay, you can get injured any moment. Your career can be over. You got to try your best every day.
Since that, I think that tournament turned things around a lot for me. Something changed. I'm just trying to take the best out of each day, out of each match. I think by that time I already got a bit more experience. And overall all of those things, they helped a lot.

Q. You're talking about injuries. Last week there was an American football player who quit in a very big game. A lot of people questioned how hurt he was. When do you decide whether you need to stop in a match? Does the process change in a major?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, obviously it is very difficult decision. Me, myself, I always play through injuries. It was not a good choice some of the times. Uhm, you know, for example, the surgery that I got last year, before coming here to Australia, I could have avoided it if I would not push myself that hard.
And you learn. I think that's an experience. That's something you learn along your career. Each person has different limits to themselves, and they have to know themselves really well to make that decision.
Once you play through it once, you know how much you can handle and how far you can go. That's the point where you have to make the decisions.
There are people around you, your team, and they can give you advices. But it is really you have to make the choice. You try to make it smart and you try to put all these things around it. It's difficult. But it's you who's feeling it and you have to make the choices.

Q. If you were in a major final, would you be willing to be not smart about it?
VERA ZVONAREVA: For sure there is some times there is a match like that. If you're in a final of a major or something, you make a choice to play through injury. Yes, there are moments like this, and you'll probably make that choice.
But if it's not, then maybe it's better to pull yourself off. But sometimes injuries are so bad that you really cannot continue, you cannot move physically. Then, well, you have to stop.

Q. Many players said they don't read press, they don't care what press writes, and then as soon as they finish to play tennis they become press. Are you going to be one of those? The second question is, would make bigger history in the media, from your point of view, a final victory of Vera Zvonareva who never won a slam or a victory of a Chinese player who never won a slam?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, that's a quite deep thoughts. I'm not really following it, so I don't think there is reasons to answer this question at the moment. I feel we all still have semifinals ahead of us, so we will see what's going to happen there.
But regarding the first question, I think, you know, it's tough to say what's the future will bring. You know, I have no idea. I'm also a student, trying to get my degree in international economic relations at the Diplomatic Academy back home. That's something that interests me.
But I have no idea, you know, what future will bring to me once I stop playing. But I try to live in this moment. I'm here; I'm a tennis player. My job is to play tennis. Well, your job is to write articles. That's all we do. You do write and I play tennis. I don't need to know what you're doing in your job.

Q. You just said you study economics. Obviously you've earned a bit of prize money being in two big finals. I'm wondering if you started to invest your own money?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, like I said, first of all, I'm a tennis player. You know, I just play tennis and sometimes don't really think about those things.
I try to help out a little bit. I have my own charity back home. The charity, I'm trying to help kids that are sick with Rett syndrome. It's something that is not known in Russia, a very rare disease. I try to create the association. The website will start running soon. I'm hoping to raise some funds and awareness about it and some things like that.

Q. A lot of players talk about having fun, how important it is to enjoy tennis. At a Grand Slam when there's stress and anxiety, big matches, can you actually go on court two days from now and have fun, or is it just business?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, you will be surprised, but that's what I'm doing right now. You know, I wake up in the morning and I think, I got a big match ahead of me; that's great. It's going to be a very tough challenge, but I'm excited about it. I'm happy about it.
You go through a lot in your career, and once you can feel like that, I think that's a great feeling. You know, I was talking to Stefan Edberg once. Once you wake up, Oh, my gosh, I have to play a match today, then maybe it's time you are not playing tennis anymore.
At the moment, I'm actually enjoying this challenge a lot. I'm enjoying tough matches. I'm enjoying winning in those tough situations. Even if you lose, you lose. But being on that court at very tough moment is something that excites me a lot.

Q. Did you have to develop that, or has that always been that way for you?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think it's something that came along, you know, with experience and maturity that I got with years being on the tour. It is something that I experience much more right now. I don't know why, but I always, since I was a kid, liked to play under pressure.
I like this challenge. I'm really happy that I really can do it at that high level.


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