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China Open (Beijing): win over Jie Zheng (CHN) in first round

4th October, 2009

Q: You got off to a slow start in the first set. What was the reason for this and how did you bounce back?

Svetlana: I think that I started both sets pretty slow. I wasn't quite moving well. But in the sunshine and in the shade, it's very hard to play from that side. Then when I started to move better, I started to play better. Then I lost my concentration again, and then got it back and started to play better.

Q: I don't know if you noticed, you had the same score against Zheng at the semi-finals here last year. Do you think there was a difference between the two matches? Second question: During the match, you were kicking and playing with the ball, something the fans are familiar with, it's one of your habits - did you think you were totally sure that you would win the game?

Svetlana: About the score, I would not even remember that unless you told me. I didn't even remember that I played her last year. I think each match is a new match. It doesn't matter what happens. You just have to play all over again. I played her this year in 3 sets - I think she is improving every time I play her. And about kicking the ball, it's not about being sure that I am going to win. It's just what I like to do during the match - it takes the pressure off me and keeps me focused on the game. Something I like to do and its fun and I think that people like this.

Q: For this match, were you worried about if the audience would give you some pressure? What was you strategy against her?

Svetlana: I wasn't worried about the audience. It's hard to play Chinese in China, but I knew it wouldn't be worse than the Olympics. After the Olympics, I was ready for any crowd, I was fine with that. About my strategy - it was just to play my game and dictate. I play more forehand and play speed and attack and not play at her pace. When I did that, I was winning. When I was stopping myself from moving, that's when I was losing.

Q: Dinara mentioned yesterday that you were playing doubles - this was kind of a last minute thing. I know you decided to do it on the practice court - what made you decide to do that in this tournament?

Svetlana: I wanted to play doubles and looked for someone to play doubles with. Dinara doesn't usually play very often - we both wanted to start. I was looking for people that play doubles more often, then I was practicing with Dinara and I thought why wouldn't I ask her? We played doubles before and we had fun. We had the court from 10:30-11:30, and the sign up was closing at 12:00. So maybe, 11:15, I go, Dinara you want to play doubles, and she checked with her coach and she said yeah let's play, and that was it.


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