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WTA Tour Championship (Doha): loss to Vera Zvonareva (RUS) - White Group

4th November, 2008

Moderator: Questions, please.

Q: Can you talk about the conditions out there, the wind, the sand? I don't know what it was like for you?

Svetlana: Well, definitely it was very tough conditions. You couldn't play proper tennis. But I guess the conditions were for both of us. But, yeah, it was the most difficult days. I've been here for a week, and today was the worst day, so. It's weird, but, you know, it's for both of us.

Q: What about your own game? What didn't go right today?

Svetlana: I wasn't playing good. It was tough. It was a bit frustrating, because, first of all, I didn't play better for a while. I didn't play matches for a few weeks. I felt in the match, even playing in that game I could win, because I had so many opportunities in both sets, especially in the first set. I saw she was extremely nervous in the first set. I had Love-30 on her serve, I didn't take any advantage of that. I had 40-Love twice or so many times and lost my serve. I had these opportunities and I couldn't make it, you know. And definitely, if you're not making this, you cannot win the match. You know, I've been doing so many changes as we've been speaking before. I understand it's pretty hard to improve just straightaway. But, you know, it's tough moments, and now I'm trying to hold on and work it through. And definitely it's tough, but I believe I can do it.

Q: Is the court surface causing any problems like grip or something?

Svetlana: No, no. I mean, I'm not the kind of player who is going to come and say I lost because of the wind or because of the court. I think I just didn't play good enough. The court is good for both of us. I think the court is fine, and this is it, you know. Just, she played better in some moments. She was lacking some breakpoints, but I didn't take my chances.

Q: The round robin system gives you a chance of staying in the tournament. Are you still optimistic that you can progress?

Svetlana: Well, definitely I am. But it's weird. This is what is very weird about this tournament. You lose and you still play tomorrow, and you still have two chances to win. You never get a chance to play tournaments like this, only once a year. It's very unusual for me. But yeah, definitely. I'm positive. I have to find positivity in that. And maybe I play better tomorrow, you know, who knows. I can play very good next matches, you know. You never know. But it's also good opportunity for me to play against best players here and improve my tennis. Doesn't matter how it goes.

Q: You've talked about changes you've made in your personal and coaching life. But what kind of changes did you refer to, strategic or technical? I mean, are you making changes in your game or how you play?

Svetlana: Yeah, definitely, definitely. I train different, completely different than I've been training in Spain. I've been there for very long time. It's been hard on me. I could not -- I could not practice again the same way. You know, I was a bit tired of everything. I was desperate to change something, you know, to do new practice, and new sessions and new exercises. It's very tough to do seven years the same exercise every time, so. Yeah, this is what I'm saying. Yeah, on the court I'm looking for some different, new points, but maybe I'm taking it the wrong way a little bit so that's why it doesn't go so well for me. But also I have to learn that it's going to take time, you know. I cannot change it now already, you know. I make the decision, and I don't regret it. I just play for the future and try to improve.

Q: Like changes in patterns that you're playing on the courts or what do you mean?

Svetlana: No, a little bit strategy, a little bit different shots, a little bit different on the serve. Just a little bit. You know, I'm professional. I cannot change my forehand, for example, from day to night or start to serve-and-volley every second ball.

Q: Can you just talk about having the tournament in this part of the world? Do you think that's a good thing, is that a positive thing, a negative thing?

Svetlana: No, I mean, I think it's a great thing. Because especially with me coming to Emirates and Qatar, because I love playing here. And I think they're doing a great job. They're organizing the tournament very well. They're very kind to us. And I only wish we could have more tournaments. It was very tough to prepare for this schedule, because we had Olympics and we had to play commitments indoors. We didn't have any possibilities to play outdoors, so it's pretty rough. But I only wish there were going to be tournaments before.

Q: I mean more in terms of women's rights and that sort of thing?

Svetlana: Oh, I'm not going to get that deep there. You know, women's rights. It's hard to say for me. But I've been talking to people, and I think it's improved in here. I respect every region they have. And as they think here, it's their opinion. For me, I respect them. I come here to play one week, perform. If they do this tournament, it means they welcome women to play here and they want to see us to play because they put so much money into it. So I'm just happy to be here and happy the tournaments like this.


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