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2006 Pilot Pen Champs. (New Haven): loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL)

25th August, 2006


Moderator: Questions for Svetlana.

Q: Seems like she's a tough match-up for you. What is it about her game that poses so many problems?

Svetlana: I mean, I think if like, okay, it's like matches we played, I won only one. But, I mean, like five or six matches, it was just first year I was on the tour. She was one of top players, I was like 30, 40 in the world. Normally, she was winning before. But I think she's winning lately the matches when we play because I think she plays just a little bit smarter than me and she mixes up the game. Well, for me, it's one player in the tour who I have -- I've beaten only one. I still have chances, but I don't win often. I mean, I have to deal with it. I have to grow in my game. I'm still 21 years old. I think I'm still in the start of my career and she's on her best shape. She's doing really well. I think she's one of the best players on the world. So I'm just, when I play her, I have nothing to lose. I'm doing my best. But today, like I wanted beat her so badly. I was feeling so comfortable. I was enjoying the game so much. I really like to play her. I think it's very interesting, because, I mean, she plays all the time different game. She mix it up. She never plays the same. I mean, you always have to think about her, so this is different and brings the game to different level. I'm looking forward to play more matches against her, because this is where I have to grow and how I have to improve. This would be very easy if I win, and then I say, okay, I can beat anybody. It's too easy. It's going to be like this in the life, I think. I try to be positive. Still I don't have good record against her, but this shows me where I have to grow and gives me more motivation.

Q: Are you happy where you are going into the Open?

Svetlana: After this tournament, I'm pretty am, because it was quite long break after Wimbledon for me. It was hard time to get into the matches again. Still I feel comfortable on the hard court, but it's different. I played Miami well. I went to clay. I played pretty well on clay. Then the grass completely took me out of the rhythm and stuff. Then I didn't play anything. It was pretty tough. In Montréal, I was not feeling so good. Here, the first match was tough. The second match was tough. I was going through this. I've beaten Elena yesterday, which was very good match also. I mean, yes, I lost to Justine, but I feel pretty good out there.

Q: Was fatigue a factor at all?

Svetlana: You know, not at all. Today I was feeling one of the best days. I mean, of moving and stuff. Maybe I was too accelerated today. I wanted to play so badly. I wanted to do so fast. Sometimes I was overhitting it or not taking enough time between the points to think. I was getting pissed sometimes trying to stay positive. I started the tournament, I was very tired. I was dead some days. But then as days was going, I was feeling every time better and better.

Q: Is it fun when the crowd gets behind you? They were trying to get you going tonight. Do you like that?

Svetlana: Yeah, I mean, it's very excited. I love to play with the crowd. It's different, because as I get used to play in front of big crowd action it really makes you motivated more. When you play top players, you have top player, you have all crowd out there, you feel like you play for someone. The people get excited, and it's amazing atmosphere out there. Really, I always say if the fans won't be there, we wouldn't be here. So it's very exciting to play for them. Seeing people, enjoying, especially when they trying to help you out.


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