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2006 Australian Open (Melbourne): loss to Lindsay Davenport (USA)

22nd January, 2006


Moderator: Questions.

Q: Where do you feel you came up short today?

Svetlana: First of all, I think the roof was been closed was much better for Lindsay than for me because I prefer to play with the roof open and not indoor court. This made the ball bounce much slower and the court much faster. Yeah, it was much more comfortable for Lindsay. Then in second set, Lindsay played very well. She served very good. I didn't serve that well during all the match. This was the main thing, I think, for me. Because, I mean, playing a player like Lindsay, I mean, she's good serve and plays very flat. And you have to use all chances you have. She was up 3-Love, and I came back for 4-3. Had overhead, which I missed. Then I didn't have much more chances to play. I know in the end she was not moving so well. But, I mean, she plays so much like flat, and the ball didn't bounce, the (indiscernible) was so high. So I couldn't do much about. And I don't feel that I get to my good shape to play top player, you know. I'm getting there, you know. Today I understood what I have to work on, and have just to get back to training court and work about it. But hopefully in couple matches with top players, I'll get my level and can compete against them in the top level.

Q: You mentioned the roof. Would you prefer to play with the roof open, despite the heat? Was it just bad luck they had to close it?

Svetlana: I mean, it would better -- it would be better for me to play with closed (sic) roof, definitely, because I think I can handle more heat.

Q: Coming from the Russian winter, what gives you the confidence to cope with the heat?

Svetlana: I mean, it's not about this. It's about the hours that you practise, I guess, and about how fit you are. I know I've been practicing cold weather, but I've played Perth, I've played Sydney in very hot weather, so I feel very comfortable. I've always played in my life better outside courts than inside courts. But, I mean, all credit to Lindsay, she played good.

Q: Do you feel you can again put yourself in a position to challenge for a Grand Slam, and what do you need to do to get back there?

Svetlana: I changed my serve in December, in November/December when I did my pre-season. It still takes time, you know, to get confident. I'm serving good in matches which I have to win. Matches against top players is still a bit shaky, you know, and not so confident on my serve. I think I need to practice this more. Just also time, because I cannot play defending tennis against Lindsay. I have to move her around, I have to just play my game. Still I couldn't get the rhythm that much today because it's tough. Lindsay serve good, play very flat. Yeah, this is what I think.

Q: Lots more hot weather forecast next week. If more and more of the tournament is played indoors, do you think it favors Lindsay's chances for perhaps winning a title here?

Svetlana: I think so, yeah. I think for Lindsay is better to play indoor because she plays fast tennis. What she doesn't like much I guess is to play in the hot weather and when the ball bounce lower and higher. Faster for her is better. But last year she did final here with open roof. So, I mean, she still could play this. I mean, she's No. 1, you know. She's playing very well. But is better for her to play indoor and grass court, the fast surfaces.

Q: When you talk about the ball keeping lower, the courts playing faster, how big a difference is it? Is it like night and day in terms of the difference?

Svetlana: It's just faster. It depends opponent who you play. I mean, when you play against Lindsay on outside court, is pretty fast, I think. I played her US Open, I played her Wimbledon. But I have much more chances to play her US Open than playing Wimbledon because her speed and her ball is pretty flat and doesn't bounce high. If it's bounce high is better for me because I can move her around, I can play more forehand, more my game.

Q: The speed today, did you feel it was as fast as when you played Lindsay in New York?

Svetlana: No. Much faster.

Q: Faster today?

Svetlana: Yeah, for sure.

Q: Than in New York?

Svetlana: Yeah, because the roof was closed and the ball was bouncing lower.

Q: Very dramatic difference?

Svetlana: I mean, I cannot measure the difference, you know. Just different for me. I have much more time on other surfaces.


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