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2006 French Open (Paris): loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL) in final

10th June, 2006

Moderator: Questions, please.

Q: What was your game plan going in, and did you execute it the way you wanted to?

Svetlana: Well, more or less, I was trying to play the way I wanted to play but I didn't expect that the ball would come so easy. Sometimes I was expecting rallies to be so much different, you know. I was all the time I had chance to play inside the court and I had so many chance to go forward and play my forehand that I was just overdoing it. I was not ready for, like, sitter, you know. Yeah, I think I just lose my chances. I had plenty of them during the whole match. Yeah, it was the same picture as usual I have against Justine playing. It looked so much similar to other matches. But I just don't use the chances. If you don't use the chance, you don't win the matches.

Q: Were you surprised about the way she played or what she did in the match?

Svetlana: Well, I just expecting her ball bit heavier, you know. Today it was not so heavy. But also the court was very slippery today, and the ball was -- she hit it, it was flat, it will bounce very fast, and if you hit it with a spin, it's bounce very high. I was playing a lot with the spin and I was not serving that well. Yeah, these points which, I mean -- I was just thinking the match gonna be different.

Q: You scored ten points in a row at the start of the second set. Obviously, you had the momentum. Immediately, you lost the momentum. What happened at the time?

Svetlana: No, I'm saying I didn't use the chances I had. I had so many of them. And she served well some important moments on the lines. But the rest, I was 2-Love, 30-Love, and I felt like I'm in control, same as I was in the end of the first set. Then you just miss two balls and then you lose your chance, you know. You let her come back to the match. And if you keep losing, keep missing, you know, you keep letting her back, it's not possible to win. So I think that was the key.

Q: You had a lot of problems with your forehand, it seemed like. Was there something in particular that you felt?

Svetlana: No, the forehand is the shot, the best shot I got. It's also the shot I got to build my game on, you know. I wanted to move her around but the balls was so -- a little bit different coming to me than I expected them to. They were a little bit easier, but also bouncing a little bit higher. I was hitting it and I was not sometimes very well placed to hit that ball, and sometimes I was going for too much so I was just missing. But I think I kept the right tactics. The thing is I just was missing too much.

Q: Overall, you had a very great tournament. Do you hope to keep that for Wimbledon?

Svetlana: Yeah, definitely. But Wimbledon is grass court. It's completely different story, you know. I got to go and recover and practice, I guess, lots of serve and volleying out there. Yes, I felt as I been fighting a lot this tournament. I been down so many matches, last three matches, which I won. I made it through. It was a little bit different with Miami, for example, because Miami I was playing different game because my game suits a little bit more to hard court. I was playing better than here. Still, I was playing good, but I didn't feel such good as Miami, but still it was good and I been fighting a lot. So I keep it in my mind, and I try to improve some shots and do as always less unforced errors. But also I build my game on hitting hard and moving opponent around. Sometimes it happens you do lots of unforced errors.

Q: What has made Justine so successful, do you think, on the clay here at the French Open, three titles in the last four years? Is there one particular thing you would point to as the main reason for that success?

Svetlana: Hmm, I guess her backhand is very good. She gives lot of spin to it. And she plays smart, she mixes up her game. She serves pretty well. And, of course, I guess it's mentality. It's the thing, self-belief. She believes a lot to win.

Q: When you get into a match on clay with Justine, is there a feeling that she's not going to give you a point, you'll have to take it from her, you'll have to take some risks with your game?

Svetlana: I thought about it today. I thought that it's going to be very hard. And sometimes it was easier than I expected it to be. So this was surprised me a little bit. Yeah, I been -- I saw her behind more, not so much in court, but also I didn't let her go in because I was dictating the point most of the time.


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