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Australian Open (Melbourne): win over Jie Zheng (CHN) in fourth round

26th January, 2009

Q: What are your thoughts on the early finish? Did you need more match play, or is it a blessing in disguise?

Svetlana: Well, only the strongest are blessed. You know, the saying. We say it in Russian. You know, I was winning. It would be great for me to play. It was no problem. I felt great. Either way for me was good. But I felt sorry for her because she was in great shape. She was playing good. This pain I hope is not very dangerous.

Q: Are you somewhat of the quiet achiever in the draw? You're not getting any publicity. Are you happy with your form and how you're playing?

Svetlana: I don't care about publicity at all. I'm just going to play and focus on my game. As soon as I do that, I am fine with that. And, uhm, I'm getting better and better. It was tough year for me. I made a few changes. It was pretty big for me, these changes. Now looking forward, just to perform well, to enjoy my game and just to have fun on the court. I had some tough matches, especially my first one. But I feel I improving and I looking forward to play next match.

Q: You play Serena Williams next. Your thoughts on that game?

Svetlana: Definitely gonna be hard. I mean, she won many Grand Slams. She's very tough. She serves well. But definitely I'm confident in myself, and I just want to play my best and will go there with motivation, just fight with spirit hopefully.

Q: I don't know your record against Serena, but I remember your match in Miami last year.

Svetlana: Yeah, it was the last year match. I won her once before in Stuttgart. I remember losing once in Rome. I'm not sure if I played her many more times than that.

Q: The Miami match was a terrific match.

Svetlana: Yeah, it was great match, yeah. I had lots of fun. It was very exciting. Yeah, but then she came up playing better than me. But, yeah, you know, I'm just going to go out there and play my best.

Q: It wasn't very much difference between the two of you. A match like that should give you confidence you can beat her.

Svetlana: Yeah, I know I can. I beat her in Stuttgart once very comfortably. I was playing unbelievable match by then. But she beat me next time. And this is tennis. I don't think there is huge space between players in top 8 or top 10. I don't believe that. I think everybody can win. Depends on the day. I just gonna go out there and just play same game.

Q: What about the way she plays, her game style, how it fits into how you play, players you like or don't like to play?

Svetlana: Well, I didn't play her that many times, you know. But she serves big, you know. Lots of things depend on her serve. She try to return, step in, hit strong. I'm fine with it. It's not like I cannot play her or something. I feel comfortable, and I don't think I make her that uncomfortable that much either. I think just gonna be a good game.

Q: What as Olga brought to your game?

Svetlana: Well, I cannot exactly name the things, but she's very positive. She's always fun to work with. Every day she has so much motivation. Sometimes I come to practice -- you know, every day you cannot bring a hundred percent of yourself. Some days you're very tired, especially pre-season. You do lots of work. I see her, how she's motivated. Sometimes she makes me motivated. So I think this is great thing about her. I'm really enjoying working with her and getting to know more things, more different opinions, because before I used to know like only Spanish school, now I know a bit more Russian school. For me it's fun to have more experience and just work with her.

Q: She really was the first Soviet, Russian player, when she came along. Does she tell you stories about how tough it was?

Svetlana: Oh, yeah, definitely a lot. She keep telling stories all the time. So many stories, you know, she told us. She been also Fed Cup captain. She was also main coach of the Russian team. It's unbelievable how much experience before in U.S.S.R. and how much they suffer, that they didn't let them how to play, you know, in normal level, how much they miss. But because of them -- I appreciate them, to do this whole effort. Because of them, we are now here and we have possibility to play, to travel around the world and, you know, to earn some good money and to have fun, you know.

Q: What do you think about China's player today?

Svetlana: Well, it was unfortunately she did an injury, you know. But I think I started to play well. I've been attacking her serve. I think I was in control of the match. But I think she is very talented. She plays good and she keeps improving all the time.


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