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Sony Ericsson Open (Miami): loss to Serena Williams (USA) in semi finals

3rd April, 2008

Moderator: Questions, please.

Q: Seemed like you really played well. Controlled the match most of the way. Where do you feel like you let it slip away?

Svetlana: Well, I think if I played the right points at the right time it would be a little bit more lucky and I would have done it in two sets, because I was a set up and 15-40 and there was a possibility to go for it. To me, it seemed when I was on the top of the result and top of the game, I was playing too careful and she was better. She was playing better. When she was up, I was playing better. You know, I mean, it's like -- it's uncomfortable, this situation, because I was playing well. I felt like I doing the right thing, you know. But maybe sometimes -- in the third set she served better in the end. She played good. But I still, every game, I had opportunity, I had it like every single game. Sometimes she just played incredible shots. You know, it's just tennis. She just played better in the third set. I think I could have finished it in two, but she's a good player, you know. It was a tough match.

Q: Did you sense she was injured at all? She had a back injury timeout. She wasn't serving hard the first set.

Svetlana: Well, I don't know. I cannot say for her what was her problem. But she was serving -- maybe she was not serving hard, but she was serving keep serve, you know, and the ball was bouncing here. I don't know what kind of injury she has, though. In the end, she was moving incredible well and she was serving hard. So I don't know.

Q: Just how tough is it to play Venus and then Serena or Serena and then Venus? How tough is it to play the two Williams sisters back to back?

Svetlana: I never played. You know, it's different. I'm excited, because I like to play both of them. They hit hard; they serve well. You never know what to expect. But I'm okay with my performance. I played better against Venus. I was more inside of the court today. Sometimes I was pretty much behind, but I had a long month. I had so many matches. This tournament I played singles and doubles. It was really tough. I was almost out in the second round, match ball like that, and she missed serve like that. So I stayed in the tournament and I fight through every match. I fight so hard, and today I give my best. Maybe sometimes I wasn't playing the right game, but she served well.

Q: Were nerves a factor at all? It seemed like there were a few times you had breakpoint chances or game points where you kind of blew what looked like you should have put a shot away.

Svetlana: That is what I'm saying. When I was on the top, I was playing too careful. When she was on top, I was playing better, you know. I couldn't find the right balance there. I think that was my main mistake for the match. Still I was dictating the game. I felt like she was not dictating all the time. You know, it was equal, it was more maybe to my side. She had maybe more winners, but it's because she served aces more time.

Q: What's the big difference mentally and emotionally between playing Serena and Justine?

Svetlana: They're both very tough players. They're one of the best players. Serena at top of her game, it's very hard to play her. When Justine is in top -- they're just so different. Just different. Emotionally it's the same thing. You just play somebody, one the best athletes in the world and I count myself also one of the best players. It's exciting, because it's really you have to play your best level, and in important moments you really have to take the right decision because you wouldn't have many chances during the match.

Q: What happened at match point? The second set you had kind of a floating volley and you netted it. You weren't sure what to do with that one, or...

Svetlana: No. I mean, I just didn't work because I have to move to the ball. I had problems playing with the wind sometimes, because like forehands I was missing some because I was not moving well to it. It was hard for me to get used to play against the wind and then two games you have to go for it, so I didn't go to it. I had to do extra two steps.

Q: Were you trying to bring her in with the backhand slice to the net?

Svetlana: No, no. I was trying to do some different tactic and strategy. I think what we planned I really did everything, but it just matter of mistakes I did in important moments.

Q: It was nice to see, you know, long women's match going almost three hours. How were you feeling physically? You said before you like playing somebody like Serena where you have to reach to the top.

Svetlana: Yeah, physically I was fine, you know, because I had really, really long month here. I did finals of Indian Wells, and I played here singles and doubles. Today was my fourth day in a row. I played three setters with Azarenka, and then I played singles against Peer and I played doubles the same day, and then I played Venus and then I played doubles and then today I played Serena. Sorry it was fifth day I played, so I didn't have one day off. It was extremely hard at the end of month. I'm really happy with my physical condition. I think it was fine. Of course, Serena - I felt Serena was a bit more fresher, but still I think we stayed equal. She just played sometimes maybe better shot than I did and I was not good when I was on top.

Q: Looking back, do you think it was a smart decision to play doubles here?

Svetlana: It's hard, you know. I could have been out in the second round and that's it. But so far I was in -- I think I count myself as I'm fit enough to play singles and doubles. It's just hard, because I played singles and doubles in Indian Wells and singles and doubles here. Now I have some time off. I don't know. I'm pretty cool with that.

Q: When she broke you in the eighth game of the third set, she did a backhand off the net and it kind of clipped the net and you kind of netted the next one. Was that just a tough break?

Svetlana: Yeah, I think this game I had so many chances. It was amazing. Every time I felt like I hit it, but I could not take it, you know? Like you have cheese here and you cannot just eat it. I mean, I had opportunities so much, but she played good shot or something would happen and I would -- so many times I would not go for it. I would like to see next time me be a bit more aggressive and play better when I'm on the top.


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