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US Open (New York): loss to Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) in third round

29th August, 2008

Q: What was the difference today in your view?

Svetlana: Well, I think she served better than I did. She served so many aces, and I was not able -- I had possibility and I had many chances, especially the first set, but somehow I overdo it, and some moments I didn't take advantage of her second serve and I was doing mistakes. I had 15-30 in second serve for my forehand, and many different points, you know, I had to go for it more and I was overdoing it, you know. I couldn't find the middle point. I was hitting far away, I was missing, you know, and I mean, I think she played her top game for me, like she played unbelievable. I still had chances not playing my game, but I was fighting, and I wanted so much to win that match.

Q: Is it harder for you -- obviously it's never a happy moment to leave in a Grand Slam, but with the other people who are out, who weren't here, and your history in this tournament, does it make it -- you seem to have been particularly upset afterwards toward the end. Is this harder to swallow, just given your success here and how this tournament is seemingly up for grabs?

Svetlana: I'm not thinking about who's people out or in the tournament or anything like that, but for me, it's a special tournament and I wanted to play very well here.

Q: Katarina Srebotnik has been around for many years. Are you familiar with her play and the two of you have met in the past?

Svetlana: Yeah, I won once, 7-6 in the third and won the tournament.

Q: This was the best you've seen her play?

Svetlana: Yeah, pretty much. I mean, you cannot improve more than she did. I think she -- for her, she served very well. She came to the net so many times, she was more aggressive than I was, so I think I played -- I overplayed her on the baseline. She started coming in, and I was not able to keep her back or came in myself.

Q: Two days ago you were talking in this interview saying how difficult it is to practice and to be inspired. So first of all do you think it's a good idea to be, to talk so openly?

Svetlana: About what? About how it's difficult to be inspired?

Q: Well, how difficult it is to practice, you know, day after day.

Svetlana: Well, I'm an open person. I'm not going to hide and try to go around and say, you know, tennis is fun, it's so easy, because people will understand it's not true, you know. I think it's -- for everybody it's difficult, you know. It's tough to practice every day. It's the reason -- I've been struggling a lot this year, and by that, I was trying to play better, and I was better in Grand Slams, but still it was tough. I don't know. I'm the way I am, and I don't know, good and bad, I'm not going to change.

Q: Still, you a few years ago, when you won this tournament, I'll never forget that, you were in this room and you were all starry eyes and it was so beautiful to see, how you said, you just...

Svetlana: Now it's ugly to see me here?

Q: No, it's not. You were so up?

Svetlana: You see I'm closing up, because sometimes your comments -- normally I'm open person. I learned. I was still similar example. She did win Wimbledon, but this girl could win Wimbledon. She beat Maria Sharapova, and she came to this press conference, she so open, she wanted to say so much to the press, and it's like I won the US Open and I wanted to share myself, to share happiness when I won it. And also people started telling her, so you happy you won? She says, yes, I am. So were you angry with -- were you motivated? What did bring you motivation to beat Maria? Well, I was just motivated to be here. She's great player. And then, do you like her dress? And she says, no really. So can we say you're more motivated her beating her you did not like her dress? She says, well, whatever. Next morning it was in the press, "She hated her dress, that's why she beat her." This is why players close up, because we don't really mean it. I'm just trying to be open to show how the players feel. I think through the press, Billie Jean King was saying about this, she was saying this, because through press it's not about our work, it's our job, but we communicate to the kids, to the world, you know. So many kids and people looking up for you. Looking at what you're going to do, to learn something from players. So I prefer to give them the real message, how it is.

Q: What do you feel like you need to do to, you know, after the Olympics and then here, I mean, to sort of get back to your level where...

Svetlana: You know, I think -- I played better in Olympics, but today, me, was completely different. It's different -- like I start to play much different. I start to be in the court more, you know. I did some wrong points, but I didn't lose like -- I didn't play bad, you know. She just played her best game and I was not at my good level, you know. Because sometimes I can win matches not being at my best. That happens, but I just have to be back in the court and working harder and harder and just looking forward to play next tournament. I have already difficult schedule still, and I'm very focused and doing better. You know, ups and downs happens with everyone. To see who is toughest is when you have downs and you still fighting to get up.

Q: Do you think this tournament will help eventually kind of solve the glut of top women who's going to be No. 1?

Svetlana: No, it's getting so much messed up, so I don't get anything who's going to be No. 1. I mean, for me, the toughest player of the summer was Dinara Safina. She was playing so well. She was working very hard, and now she has the most chances for me from anybody. Dementieva is playing well. So it's kind of messed up, but they're not like in -- I don't know what the ranking are, and other girls, Ana, she was injured. Jelena struggles all the time. Everybody has good opportunity. I don't think it's going to help this tournament. I think it's going to take a while, actually, but this is my opinion and I can be wrong.


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