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Medibank International (Sydney): withdrawal due to abdominal strain

14th January, 2009

Moderator: Unfortunately, Svetlana has had to withdraw today due to an abdominal strain she sustained in yesterday's match against Kaia [Kanepi]. I think Svetlana first felt the effects in the third set and called the physio on to the court. She was able to finish the match, but unfortunately today cannot play. We'll open it up for questions.

aQ: You had long matches this week. Was it just too much tennis at the beginning of the season, body reacting?

Svetlana: No, I feel pretty good physically. I just think it was so windy and the serve was moving a lot the ball yesterday. I pulled it a little bit in the third set. I felt it a little bit before, but I thought, well, it's just tight muscle. Now every time it start to pull and feel worse and worse. Yesterday I could manage to finish and win the match. I went to warm-up today but it's been worse. I tried to warm-up without serving hard. I had this injury before and I played with not such strong serve and still managed to play. But I don't see the point of doing this, because injury got worse. Yeah.

Q: So you've got a few days to get it right before Melbourne?

Svetlana: Yeah.

Q: That shouldn't be a problem.

Svetlana: You never know. You know, I'll do my best to recovery. I will try to be fit for Australian Open.

Q: What happens now rehabilitation-wise between now and Melbourne? Is it stretching? What sort of things do you have to do?

Svetlana: Well, for the moment physio's telling me to rest two days maybe, not to do anything. Maybe don't play tennis also. Stretch it a lot and do treatments. Then I'll start to play little by little. I to do MRI on site tomorrow to figure out what I have there and see how it can be managed to cure this problem to be better for Melbourne.

Q: Can you ask for a late start in the singles?

Svetlana: I don't think it's going to be possible, because in Grand Slam it's tough. You know, they just decide which part of the draw you're playing. But so far I have four days, and I'll have to take it easy and to see how it can be.

Q: Are you playing doubles in Melbourne?

Svetlana: I sign in with Petrova, but, well, it's big question mark, so...

Q: Is it the first time this kind of injury happens?

Svetlana: No. I played the French Open final with this, you know, in 2000, what was it? 2005 or '06, 2006. I've injured it in Rome and I played Rome, and then I played French Open all tournament with this injury serving slowly. But it's got worse. I had four centimeters and was even blood inside, so it was tough injury. I know what it is, and I cannot let myself to injure it even worse. I have to be careful, and especially Grand Slams next week.

Q: So you were playing the final in Paris, it could be in the final Melbourne as well.

Svetlana: Well, on hard court the serve I used to serve in Roland Garros didn't work for me. But, well, maybe it would be great.

Q: When will you decide if you're playing Melbourne?

Svetlana: Well, I still will go out there and try. I think the next three or four days will show me lot.

Q: How do you feel inside?

Svetlana: I need to see two, three days how it's going to be recovering. It's not terribly bad like I cannot laugh. I can laugh. The only thing, I cannot serve, and sometimes backhand is tough. Yeah, I'll just need some days off.

Q: Are you disappointed to get an injury so close to a Grand Slam?

Svetlana: That's very tough, you know, because I been working very hard pre-season. I'm very disappointed. I wanted to go out there today so much and play. It's very hard to take this decision, because me, to convince myself that I have an injury, it's really tough. I like to go through it. Now I have to be extremely careful, because I had this injury and I know what it can be. How it can be worse. So I have to be careful and I have to pull out of here.

Q: Is part of the thinking perhaps that sort of playing Sugiyama she can keep you out there for a long time?

Svetlana: It's not about this. I like playing Ai and I needed some matches. It would be amazing possibility for me to play another good match. It's not about what she would do to me. I didn't think about the opponent, you know. I just thought about my body and about recovery.


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