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French Open (Paris): win over Victoria Azarenka (BLR) in fourth round

3rd June, 2008

Q: Well done.

Svetlana: Thank you.

Q: No breaks today.

Svetlana: No, not today.

Q: Yesterday at 5:30 in the afternoon, Court 1 came open and was basically unused until late in the evening while you sat around and waited for the stadium court to open up before they finally decided at 8:15 to put you on Court 1, which was quite late. Were you upset by that?

Svetlana: No, not really. I was trying to focus on my match and not to think they move us to another court. But we also have -- I think everybody think that the Monfils match going to go a little bit faster, but it was so slow. So in the end it was getting late. I came to referee, I say, Look, are we go to play now or you cancel us so we can play earlier tomorrow? They say, yeah, but we want to keep everybody even because we have only court No. 1 and we have two matches of quarterfinals. So we want you guys to be even. I say, Yeah, we're not even to another players if we play today, tomorrow, and after tomorrow the winner, three days in a row, if you look forward. But anyway, you know, they decided us to play like they did, and this was, I think, the right decision. But they could make it a bit earlier, I think.

Q: Wouldn't it have been better for you if you could know that today would have been a day off, you could come in, have an hour practice if you wished, you didn't have the pressure of thinking about a match?

Svetlana: No, it's pressure, but it's still the same. It's a bit different, but still it's happen, and I cannot change it and I go along with it. It's good. It's finish well for me, so...

Q: Definitely there will be a lot of Russian players in the semis, and probably two Serbian girls, as well. What would you give as a secret before that success? And why do you think that the Russian tennis players in the women are represented in the semis, and when we look at the male players they are struggling more than the women? Why do you think that is?

Svetlana: You know, this question has been asked so many times, and I just don't know what to answer anymore. We say always the same. It's about how we work. It's about how we live in Russia. It's about difficult atmosphere there. Nothing gets too easy, and we are very hard workers and very professional athletes. I guess for girls, the girls are a little bit more serious than the guys maybe. But normally Davydenko is playing semis here. He was good. Some guys also can do well here.

Q: Today you're up 5-2 and you're dominating with your serve. She holds serve for 5-3 at 40-Love. You were a little upset about losing that game. Wouldn't it be better for you if at that point, 5-3, not being upset, just taking the ball, saying, I have the balls, I'm going to serve it out, that's going to be the match, I'm not going to get emotionally worried about her winning one game. Is it better for you that way?

Svetlana: Well, I'm perfectionist. I try to get the best out of it, so I try to play every point. Of course I disappoint if I -- it's not about she played well the game. It's about I didn't play well, you know, because this is what I was disappointed of. I didn't make her play as much as I should have, so this is why I was disappointed. But then I tried still to focus on my serve. I still served one double fault on match ball. Still, I think it was pretty okay game.

Q: I don't think you've ever played Kanepi.

Svetlana: Juniors French Open final.

Q: Okay. As a pro. I didn't finish my question.

Svetlana: Sorry.

Q: So what do you know about her game? What do you know about her?

Svetlana: Well, what I remember of juniors, it doesn't mean much now because she's completely different player. So do I. But I don't know. I don't really know. I know she hits the ball hard and probably she has better forehand. I couldn't see any of her matches because, first of all, I was not looking forward, and then I was playing Azarenka and I finish when they finish. So it's a box of surprises probably coming.

Q: Tell me how you think you're playing. What's your level? You've been at the final at this tournament before. How does how your playing now compared to, you know, your other good performances here in Paris?

Svetlana: So far I have the easiest round for four rounds, you know. I don't know if I had so quick round, you know. I didn't lose more than five games in the match. So just feel very comfortable playing here and really focus on myself. I feel like I matured by years go by, and just really enjoying myself here.

Q: You've lost six games in the second round.

Svetlana: Six. (laughter.) One game mistake. Sorry.

Q: Before you serve, you like to clean the line off with your shoe. There are probably two good reasons for this: One, make it difficult for the linesman to see a ball that might hit the line, or just a superstition. Which one is it?

Svetlana: It's a third one. So the linesman doesn't count foot fault, you know. No, if -- well, I don't know. I'm just used to it. It's just routine. It's not superstition. Just a routine.

Q: Is it something you pick up just being around Nadal in Barcelona? Because he has so many quirky things that he does.

Svetlana: Well, I don't do few of his things. No, not really. I'm just doing this because I like to do it. Just came up to be my routine.


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