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French Open (Paris): win over Kaia Kanepi (EST) in quarter finals

4th June, 2008

Q: The first set was pretty tight. Was it because Kanepi was playing really well, or also you having trouble to get into the match?

Svetlana: I think I didn't ever play her. Like I played her a long time ago, so I didn't know what to expect. Her ball was really heavy, and I was a bit tight also in the start, because, you know I'm nervous and I want to do well. But then I figured my way, and it became so much easier for me.

Q: Of course we have to ask this question about the No. 1 spot, because three of you now can get the No. 1 spot after this tournament. Is it something you have in your mind?

Svetlana: They asked this yesterday in the press conference, and, you know, I try to take it as different thing, you know, just different bonus if I win. It's one more thing would come. Definitely it would be nice and it would be like one of dreams come true. But also to win Grand Slam for me, to win French Open for me is also big, you know. But I still don't see so far ahead, because my next match going to be so tight. I'm not even thinking about if I win or if I lose, you know. So I'm focusing right now on my next match. About No. 1, I think if it should happen, it will happen, you know, sooner or later. Because I'm working hard, and if I deserve this, I think it's going to come.

Q: Do you think that you won the match because you played better on the more important points? I mean, you converted your first set point; you converted your first match point. Is that what made the difference, while Kanepi netted a lot of her shots?

Svetlana: I think it was a different level, you know, because I been fighting all match for every single ball the same way. She started very well. She was hitting so hard and everything, and she took a lead 4-2 ahead in 40-Love. But I still stayed there and I showed her that I was tough, and so at some moments she started to miss more. I beat her by playing point by point.

Q: Did you notice a difference in your game between the tournaments you played before the French where the results were not so good, especially in Rome, I would say, and here in Paris?

Svetlana: Sorry?

Q: Did you notice a big difference in your game? But is it just the game or the way you are focused?

Svetlana: Motivation. It's just motivation. I just have so much different playing in the French Open. It's so big for me. It's so different motivation, and I have it. And those tournaments I was not on top of my game. I was prepared well, but I was not ready mentally to play them.

Q: In a match like this you're obviously a big favorite. When you play your semifinal it's a bit more even. Which do you prefer, and how do you handle both situations?

Svetlana: Well, I think it was like Safina was leading 5-Love. I don't know if she finish already.

Q: She just won.

Svetlana: She won. It's a game. I'm favorite, you know. But this is something probably I'm used to, you know, because I play most of the matches and I'm favorite, so I take it as it comes. Today I was favorite, but the girl came out, has nothing to lose, so she started playing so well. I think I had to keep up a little bit with her, and then I jumped a little bit higher, and she could not keep up with me then. Yeah, it's going to be very tough match. Dinara is playing very well on clay court. She won Berlin, she won two matches here with match balls down. She has too many lives, so I have to be careful with her.

Q: Do you think so far in this tournament you're at the top of the game already, or do you think there's room for improvement?

Svetlana: Definitely, there's always room for improvement.


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