Interview with Vera after the match against Kim Clijsters
in the 2002 US OPEN.
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. When the year is finished and you look back at the French Open and
US Open, although you didn't go all the way, you had two very good matches
against two quality players. Will you see it that way, too?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think so. Because in the beginning of the year,
I didn't really think I could play a game with them. Maybe I play Serena,
and I had like three sets. Today, Kim was Top 10 player.
Yeah, I think so.
Q. You looked in deep trouble in the third set, but
you didn't give up. You came back after a bad start in the third set.
Is that just your normal fighting out there?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah. But, I mean, she started to play pretty good like
third set. She started to hit well. I don't know, I didn't know what to
But then I said, "I should play my game. Maybe I can do better."
Q. Do you think that you let frustrations get to you?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I don't know. I wasn't so confident after the second
set 'cause I hit like some easy mistakes over there. I don't know, maybe
that's why I start really good.
Myself, it was really windy. I just tried to like hit the serve and it
was always hell because it's not possible to.
Then I just -- when it was changeover, I just thought, "Okay, I have
to play with more speed."
Q. At the changeovers you put your face in the towel.
Is that something you always do or you were just doing because you were
angry or frustrated?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, always (smiling).
Q. You won the first set by getting to a dropshot,
but you had some trouble with other dropshots. Do you feel as though you
can get quicker coming to the net?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah. But I just didn't wait a lot of dropshots because
it's like hard court, and not a lot of players hit dropshots especially
when I -- well, she hits hard, then I go back, back. When she hits dropshot,
it's just like it was good points for her.
Q. What are the elements of your game that you want
to make better between now and the end of the year?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Maybe like my serve. Because it's like when I started
to play, it was good. Barely lose a game. But second set wasn't so good.
Then I should go to the net more.
Q. Can you maybe put more variety into your ground
strokes? Is that something your coach wants to do, not just hit 1,000
miles an hour on every ball.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah. Probably it's -- I like to play with like variety,
ground strokes. But it's pretty tough when you play against Kim or, for
example, Venus, because they hit so hard. It's really tough.
Also it's not easy to do on the hard court because here is like fast courts.
And like we should hit the ball, too. Because it's like if you try to
play with variety, it's -- usually it goes short, then...
Q. You don't hit very many short balls.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah. Yeah, because I told myself I just have to hit over
there. Because if I will play short, she will kill me.
Q. When you got to 4-4 in the second set, were you
thinking, "I've got this, I can win this one"?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No. I just said, "Okay, this point. This one. Next."
I didn't think this. You can't say like that, "Okay, I got this match."
Even when you have like 6-0, 5-0 (inaudible).
Q. Where do you play next?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I play Brazil.
Q. One of the challengers?
VERA ZVONAREVA: (Inaudible) No, it's Tier II.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Then Kremlin Cup.
Q. I would like to know about the other Russian players.
They are doing very well at this tournament. Why is that?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Maybe because is just a lot of Russians. Everybody wants
to be like better than others. Maybe that's why.
Q. Do you practice with them a lot?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Like we practice during the tournaments, but not like
we don't have a special place to practice together. But in the tournaments
we try to practice.
Q. Can you tell us about yourself. How did you come
VERA ZVONAREVA: Just my mother, she let me go to the tennis club in Moscow.
I started at six in a group of kids. That's how I started to play.
(Note: this is a partial transcript)
Taken from the USOPEN website.
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