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Australian Open (Melbourne): win over Nathalie Dechy (FRA) in first round

15th January, 2008

 
Q: Your first time here in Australia as the world No. 2. Is that a tag you're getting used to?

Svetlana: Well, definitely it's new for me. It's pretty new for every tournament where I go. So I just -- in end of the year I go to No. 2, so I'm pretty excited about this. Definitely it's a little bit of pressure because you got to keep it up, you know. And I try to do my best and I really enjoying being No. 2.

Q: Are you happy to be fairly anonymous? A lot of the players have higher profiles than you who are not ranked as high. Not as much attention.

Svetlana: I don't care about my profile; I care about my game.

Q: Do you feel you get enough credit for the player that you are, especially right now at your career-high ranking? And do you care about that?

Svetlana: You know, definitely, I mean, attention is good. Too much attention is not good. I mean, you never know what's good, what's not. You know, I try to really focus on my game. This is what I take care of, you know. I cannot take care of my attention or something else, you know. Because if you take this out, you know, you get game out of your mind, and I want to really focus on that.

Q: What about back home?

Svetlana: Back home, I got attention. I'm cool. I enjoy being there. I really miss home. So for me it's very important be there and enjoy. Had an amazing win for Fed Cup this year. It was really great thing.

Q: There are so many great players from your country now. Do you feel you get lost in the shuffle?

Svetlana: No, not at all. I think people know everybody of us. It's really good back there.

Q: What did you think of your performance today?

Svetlana: I think it was pretty good match. It was slow start. It's different surface. Well, it's a bit -- slightly different than Sydney last week and it takes time to get used to it. But I started a little bit slow, and then I make it up better.

Q: Do you feel like you're in the easier part of the draw?

Svetlana: I'm not watching the draw. I have no clue who is where, you know. I know my next opponent. Sorry, guys, I'm pretty boring, but it's just very simple for me (smiling). I'm just like that. I'm looking my next opponent. This is what I have to think of, you know, not think which part I am.

Q: You're very popular with your fellow players. Is that important to you? Is that a good thing?

Svetlana: For me a very important thing. First thing for me is be a good person before being a good player, you know. Because even if I would be like first in the world, I would get everything, attention and everything, would win everything, and then you're a shit person it's not good. I mean, I think every like top player, we have great personality, like Justine, other girls. We are all like good people. For me it's very important. And I like to communicate with girls. I like to roll good, you know.

Q: You've been called the biggest character in the locker room.

Svetlana: Am I? Well, that's good to know (laughter). I don't know. I just love to have fun, you know. I'm just happy to live. You know, life is short and you have to enjoy. I make jokes with every girl. I don't know, I just feel friendly with everybody. I don't feel it's triviality so much. I don't want to get into it. Because if you get, This girl said this, that one said that. I'm over it. You know, whatever. If they want say something they come to my face and say it to me. The same I do to other people. I just go straight and I talk. Like this you don't have problems with nobody.

Q: Who would you say your closest friend is on the tour?

Svetlana: I have many. It's very hard. I mean, I'm good with Justine (Henin). I'm good with Serena (Williams). I'm good with Alicia (Molik). I don't want to miss any names because I'm really good with many girls. Like (Elena) Likhovtseva, definitely from my Russian girls, one of my best friends.

Q: We also understand that you dictate the music in the locker room.

Svetlana: Well, from my locker it's my music. If they don't like, many times I ask like, Do you mind, like, the music or whatever? Normally it's me and Justine in locker room like before finals or semis. Somehow, I always play her. So I always ask her, Does it bother you? That's it. I put the music. Nobody does else.

Q: Does she ever say yes?

Svetlana: No. She's, No, it's fine. She just laughs. She goes, Put the kind of music you listen. I say, I'm sorry, I'm just different.

Q: Is there a favorite style of music you play before a big match?

Svetlana: Most style I listen is hip hop, R&B. Most of it, like 80% of my songs.

Q: Favorite artists?

Svetlana: Plenty ones. Like before I was so -- I had -- I loved 50 Cent, but now I like everything, like T-Pain, Chris Brown, 'Lil Wayne, so many names.

Q: Do you feel like you're playing your best tennis at the moment?

Svetlana: I feel like doesn't matter like what day I have, I go on the court and I feel more consistent that I can change things. Even if I'm not playing well, like I have always Plan B or I always can control myself, you know. Like I'm always there. Like sometimes I would have bad day and I would like not play so good, you know, play game what nobody expect from me. Now I feel more consistent. I feel being better there.

Q: What do you think can take you to the next level? You played in the Sydney final, lost to Justine. You're world No. 2. What is it going to take for you to step up and start winning those kinds of matches, perhaps be No. 1?

Svetlana: Yeah, I mean, getting to these matches, having them, this is already very positive thing. Playing against Justine I had chances, but she just played really well the important moments. I also had to play a little bit different game, just to change this a little bit. Just get in there all the time would make my chances, and I think I can change it by that.

Q: Is Fed Cup going to be a big priority for you again this year?

Svetlana: No. My priority -- well, it's complicated to explain, but my priority is Olympic Games and Grand Slams. But then I was not going to play Fed Cup at all. But captain ask me, C'mon, let's play. I mean, there are so many other girls to play. You know, I don't want to take spot of somebody. Somebody can play for me. Then he ask me like, C'mon, let's share. Some players play one round, some players play another round. I'm not going to Israel after here. If the girls win, I promise I gonna play for next round.

 

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