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Medibank International (Sydney): loss to Justine Henin (BEL) in final

11th January, 2008

Moderator: Questions, please.

Q: Do you feel like there was a game that she won or maybe you lost?

Svetlana: I think, I mean, we both played some moments very well and stuff. It was some ups and downs but it was all right because one side was so windy. I was not doing mistakes by myself. She was pushing me to do them. She was aggressive. I had 3-Love, 15-40 in the third set and she served very well. I mean, I didn't do -- she push me to do mistake. It's not like I miss. I think it was a great game. Maybe I had some chances and maybe sometimes I was aggressive, had to be a little bit more aggressive, but she definitely -- she beat me or she played better maybe some moments. She has maybe more experience. She played more better some important moments.

Q: The games against Justine, would you go over them with a fine-tooth comb more often because that's the girl you want to beat?

Svetlana: Not really. I mean, I'm not going to go count all whatever 18 games I've played against her or whatever. Now I think we are much closer than before. I've been working hard and I think I'm getting closer. I think difference is not so big, you know, and she just been there longer. She has more experience being there, but I'm trying my best and I work hard every day. I think I'm getting closer, so this is what I going to work on, my things, not about -- definitely I going to think about tactic against her, but I think I should work better on serve, these points.

Q: You said the other day that one of the things you needed to do before the Australian Open, to win another Grand Slam, was to improve your self-confidence. Does a result like this tonight give you more confidence or does it take it away because you got so close?

Svetlana: No, definitely not going to take my confidence away, because, I mean, I going to be very stupid to do that because I lost to No. 1, you know. It's only one girl who beat me and it's No. 1. If I going to make it to the finals it's going to be great. Definitely it's positive things, because I lost to No. 1 and I had 3-Love up, 15-40 in the third set and I had possibilities and I played a pretty good game. It just change things and take them a positive way. I mean, I cannot blame nobody for that. I just work on my things and take positive out of that. I mean, I live a good life. I'm No. 2 and I improve every day and I'm young. There is no taking my confidence away for sure.

Q: When you were up 3-Love in the third and then things changed, can you just kind of explain more in depth what was going on?

Svetlana: Well, I broke her against the wind. It was like wind blowing from one side. I lost the same side later two -- twice my serve on the same side, so it's very tricky side to play. It was very hard to keep serve there. I guess she just served a little bit better. I mean, I cannot -- I'm not explaining like she's No. 1, I have to be ready for every moment. It's never relax, and I didn't relax neither moment in the match, but she just played some moments very good. But In don't think that the key was exactly in the 3-Love, 15-40, because she served great there, but I had other opportunities.

Q: Did you notice anything different about her game, her tactics, from the last time you played her?

Svetlana: No, not really. I knew everything she going to do and I think I done better things to play against her than I done last time, so I think this is improvement for me. But still, you have to play better because, I mean, she's the best one now.

Q: You said you worked hard in the off-season. What were some the things that you did do get prepared for this season?

Svetlana: Work every day, five hours, whatever, just, you know, just do -- it's day by day the work. It's not like doing something from another world, like going snow boarding or something. I did opposite. I didn't go snow boarding. I stayed in Barcelona. I just been very consistent in myself, much more consistent than before, so I think that was the key. I think I feel my improvement in the court, and this is like the biggest pleasure you can feel.

Q: But you didn't work on any specific part of your game, like the forehand, backhand, serve?

Svetlana: You know, more forehand.

Q: So you're hoping it be a lot bigger tool this season than it was last season?

Svetlana: Well, you know, what can you expect? I feel like last year in this tournament I was sick and definitely I played much better this year. This is the best year I started so far and it's only first tournament, but I'm really excited about being in the finals and playing Justine in this way. Definitely I disappointed about the lose, but I have to take positive things. Never let it bring you down.

Q: So you're feeling good going into the Open?

Svetlana: Yes. I mean, you got to enjoy the life. I know I lost, but I know I've done everything, I gave everything. Some moments she was just better.

Q: Did you have a look at your draw? The draw is out.

Svetlana: Uh-uh, no. I just -- Justine told me that she plays on Monday and I play on Tuesday when we were in ceremony, but I had no clue. But some mistake I saw who I play first round, but I didn't pretend to see that because I don't care. Like I will think about this on Sunday.

Q: When do you go to Melbourne?

Svetlana: Tomorrow 8:00am. I know. You let me go to sleep. No, I really enjoy talking to you guys.


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