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2010 Medibank International (Sydney): loss to Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) in second round

12th January, 2010

Moderator: Questions, please.

Q: Not the easiest start at that time year for you.

Svetlana: (Laughter.) Yeah, very hot start of the year. Well, I'm used to it. I'm always not play good here. Only once I played final here with Justine. But, you know, it's first week. Sometimes you have to accept not to play good, and I didn't play well. I think Dominika played really well today, and I didn't do things what I had to do, and it's well-deserved loss.

Q: You kind of half expected this week not to play your best?

Svetlana: Well, you cannot ask yourself to play best every week, but definitely I go in the match and I want to win. I play to win. But the game didn't go my way.

Q: What is it you need to improve in practice to be ready for the Australian Open?

Svetlana: Well, I been practicing unbelievable well. I played well in the matches, but I still didn't manage to get it in the game. I guess to play more sets with girls and adjust to the courts more. I guess it's gonna be different courts. Surface is a little bit different in Australian Open. Just to play more sets.

Q: Not only yourself, but a number of seeded players have gone out here early in the week. Is it enough preparation for a Grand Slam tournament?

Svetlana: I mean, I know the other girls -- maybe Jelena did not play past week. I don't know if she played. Caroline, she played exhibitions. But all these like exhibitions -- I checked all possibilities, because I wanted to play first week. I wanted to play Hong Kong, but it's cold there and hard to play. Very hard change the climate. Then Hopman Cup, it's indoors, also change. Then the tournaments, I could not play because I did not complete my schedule for last year. I missed one tournament because of the injury, and WTA didn't allowed me to play first week of the year. So of my possibilities, this is only one to do. It was not definitely not enough matches, because I didn't play for one month and a half. The rhythm, it's not easy to find. This is why I guess everybody is a bit shaken in the matches.

Q: Was it better for a Grand Slam champion like yourself, you've been there and done it, you can probably come in off a little bit less preparation and sort of find your rhythm at the Open rather than some of young are players?

Svetlana: Well, I think it's not about how much you achieved, also depends a lot because you have more experience. But it depends on how you adjust. Some people, they don't need to play a lot. I think I need to play not a little bit and not a lot, but I need some matches. I don't like to come to Grand Slams in my best shape. This is what I hate. Because you think you're playing great and you're confident, and then you're like not expected and matches get complicated and you get frustrated, and this doesn't work for me. I like more to get shape during the tournament, but also I need to be prepared for first rounds as well.

Q: Svetlana, you don't think this is a setback for your Australian Open campaign; is that what you're saying?

Svetlana: No. I believe I can do both ways. If I would play better, I will bring more confidence. I would not get in my best shape in first week of the year. It's impossible almost. To play good here it would be nice. But if I didn't, I mean, it's not so bad thing. Something what I gonna worry too, too much. You know, definitely I'm very worried about match today, and I have to improve and practice a lot before Australian Open. But that's not the worse thing in the world.

Q: You were saying that you perhaps considered playing Brisbane and Auckland but the WTA...

Svetlana: Yeah, yeah. Well, I was asking so much Stacey. I was asking, Please, let me play. Please let me play. Look, it's the rules of the tournament. I committed to the rules and I was not -- I think they've change these rules, or they were supposed to change for this year. But because I didn't go to L.A. last year, I was injured and couldn't play so many tournaments before the Open, I couldn't manage to go. So only one tournament I missed, and I couldn't play.

Q: Can you understand an organization not letting one of their top players, a Grand Slam champion, play an event?

Svetlana: Yeah, I know. I was talking to tournament directors as well. They like me to come. I said, I really want to come play, but this is the rule.

Q: You've won the Grand Slam on clay and hardcourts. Australian Open should really suit you. What in the past has been the problems being able to produce your best in Melbourne?

Svetlana: If I would say last year, I think I was prepared well. I had unbelievable match with Serena. I mean, and it's still frustrating to think about it when they close that roof and I was 5-4 up and I was serving. It was exactly the same scenario in French Open, but I could change the rhythm. I was break down in the third in the French Open, and I could manage to win that match. It was very similar scenario, but she was better in the third set. But I think the closed roof suits her game much more than mine, so I was a little bit unlucky with that one. Still, I think I had good chances last year. Other years, I lose just stupid matches.

Q: Do you think that experience in Australia last year actually helped you to cope with that situation at the French Open better?

Svetlana: Not really. It was more difficult actually, because knowing that I been set up and serving for the match also in Australia and French Open, and I lost my opportunity and I was break down again in the third again. In Australia she killed me in the third set. I was really shaky in the third in the French Open, but I really believed I could do it and I played well. It was the most important and difficult match of the French Open for me.

Q: Do you feel this is the best you've gone into an Australian Open with all your experiences behind you? Do you think you're ready rake that step up now?

Svetlana: This is what I say. Like I'm not coming in the best shape. Like I'm -- no, not best shape. I'm in good shape, but I'm not coming with many matches to play for Melbourne. It's gonna depend how I develop during the tournament. If I can manage to construct every match well, I may have a good chance.

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