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2007 Pilot Pen Tennis (New Haven): win over Agnes Szavay (HUN) in final

25th August, 2007

Moderator: Questions, please.

Q: Three consecutive matches where your opponents have retired. Is it the curse of Kuznetsova, or what's going on?

Svetlana: I know. I wish I knew. When I saw this was call for physio I was like, Please no, not now. I feel a little sorry for her. US Open is coming and it's important tournament and she's playing very well. Hopefully she can recover, you know.

Q: How strange is it to win a tournament like this with three straight retirements?

Svetlana: Well, it's really strange, you know, but only thing I can say is I've been -- most of the times I been winning. Today was the closest match like I was close to lose, but also I was kind of getting my game back, you know, during the match and then she got tired. I cannot change it. Only thing I can do is take it.

Q: This is the fifth final this year and your first win. Talk about how it feels to win one.

Svetlana: It feels good. I was playing only great tennis past weeks when I made it to the final, but then I couldn't make it in the final. I was just not playing good. My game wasn't going the right way. I been missing so many easy forehands in the first set. I think I change it in the second set and I start to hit and finally move to it. And, yeah, I just think like even was not playing my best to get it together it's better.

Q: Did Agnes surprise you at all in the first set how well she was playing?

Svetlana: I knew she was playing well because I heard from the girls she won some good matches, and I know she's tough. But the thing is for me it's tough. I never play her before. Definitely something going to happen weird because I never saw her play before. So she plays very good tennis and has very backhand. I guess everybody saw that. Yeah, during the match I had to be calm, you know. I know some things were not going my way, but I still had to look she's doing and find keys for the match. Normally you play Dementieva you come in the match and you know the tactics and you know what to do. My coach told me more or less how I have to play, but it's not the same thing. Like, you know, I don't know what to expect from her.

Q: Agnes said afterwards that you made her laugh. What did you say to her?

Svetlana: Oh, I don't know. I say so much stuff I never remember what I say.

Q: She said you made her feel better afterwards.

Svetlana: I wish I would know, but now if I would say something I would make up the story and you guys still laugh but it won't be true.

Q: You must have felt that, you know, you have had the drop out of matches early because of this so you probably knew how she felt, and it must be so tough when have to do something like that at this level.

Svetlana: Sorry? I didn't get the question.

Q: You must have a good sense of how hard it is to have to retire, and she's young and coming up and everything. It must have been helpful for her to hear from you.

Svetlana: Oh, yes, I mean, for her I guess it was very hard. She was crying and I really felt bad, you know, because I was playing the match and trying to do my thing. But still I always feel bad for an opponent if an opponent hurt. I mean, she was playing some unbelievable game. For her it's so bad like she play unbelievable match and she's confident and now this moment it just happens here. But also, you know, you cannot ask from your body to play eight matches in a row in eight days. It's pretty hard. The tennis now it's not soft. We hit the ball pretty hard, and you saw how she hits the ball. The US Open coming, so I just wish her to recover and have two days off. I said some strange thing different and that's why I made her laugh, but I don't remember it.

Q: Can you talk about how you are going into the US Open? Are you playing some of your best tennis? Are you confident going into next week?

Svetlana: I'm not playing my best tennis and I think it's okay, because as I take example of my past good Grand Slams, you know, you don't have to play good tennis in the first matches. It's important to go through and during the tournament to start feeling the ball better and better. I play good and I have quite enough matches under my belt, so I'm pretty comfortable with myself going in there and just going to be focus and do my best in my first match and hopefully to win it and to first good match.

Q: Svetlana, when you do win like this, do you actually feel like you won? Do you know what I'm saying? Three retirements in a row.

Svetlana: Yeah. As I say again, against Schiavone it was set up. It was 6-2, so I been winning. It's not like I would be losing and then pull out and then nobody give it to me for free. But, yeah, it was easier win than to finish the match. Same with Elena. It was 3-Love. She was like sick, you know, from heat, but I was feeling, too. I was suffering a lot on the court and I had pretty bad evening afterwards because it was very hard with the heat for me also. So I won this match, but more physically than playing the game. But today, I mean, she just played so many matches. It's really frustrating to win like this but still I say it again: I take it.

Q: When you see her with the trainer do you change your game? You had a couple drop shots immediately in the second set.

Svetlana: No. It just came up like that. It's always like when somebody is hurt and your opponent is hurt it's very hard to play. Like when I'm hurt I have limited game. The things hurt I don't do them, you know. Like maybe, I don't know, my leg hurt I don't play so much backhand. You just change your game. But then you don't depend on yourself when somebody else hurt. I don't know what exactly movement she cannot do. It's important I don't take it mentally otherwise you try ti do stuff you don't have to do. Basically you have to stay and play the game, the same one you played.

Q: The US Open obviously has good memories for you. Do you get excited now or have you been excited for a few weeks about the prospect of returning there?

Svetlana: It has very good memories and also very bad memories. To win one year and come the next year with injuries and lose first round. But still, I try to stay with the good ones. I just love New York and I just going enjoy this tournament as I do any other Grand Slam. This is one of my favorite Grand Slams. I just miss New York a lot through the year and just looking forward to go there again and enjoy the game and enjoy the crowd.


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