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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITA├║


March 28, 2016


Svetlana Kuznetsova


Miami, Florida

S. KUZNETSOVA/S. Williams

6-7, 6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What were your thoughts after you lost that tight first set?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I didn't have -- I mean, I knew I had opportunities, and my goal was to keep a good level whole match and play good. I just knew I will hang in there and keep playing my game. It was giving me good points and giving me results.

Q. Did you notice that she was hitting more unforced errors, and how do you focus when someone starts to spray more shots?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, the thing is it's really hot out there. It's not really easy, you know. I was trying to take longer time in between the points, and I notice that she was kind of (indiscernible) up.

So it was like a bit weird, but, you know, I was hang in there. I was trying to bring as more balls back as I could.

Yeah, it's her game. She goes for her shots. I don't go for one, two shots. My game is to make rallies. Each one of us was doing whatever you are our game was, you know.

Some days she makes more winners; some days you should make her move more so she doesn't do it. I think I did quite well what I had to.

Q. The last time you beat her was French Open 2009. Does this now mean you have a shot at the title here? How do you feel about your chances?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I mean, it's too early to say. You know, I have so many people saying congratulations I feel like I won the title already. Not real.

Now these days the tennis is extremely tough and each opponent is really difficult to play. I'm just focusing for tomorrow's match. I don't have too much time to rest.

Really looking forward to give my best another day tomorrow.

Q. You served awfully well today. Have you been serving this well recently?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I was not, but I knew I had to go for my serves. I think I barely did double fault. I knew I had to go aggressive. If I would give some easy second serves I would get my ass kicked, you know, out there.

Yeah, I'm really good with my serve. I'm not sure if I served that well, but it was good.

Q. We saw what Serena went through last year, a lot of drama and all this, and people thought she would start all over again this year and perhaps be dominant. She hasn't won a title. She seems to be struggling. What's your opinion about this?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, you say drama when somebody, No. 1, which is probably one of the greatest in the history of athletes didn't win four slams. This is drama. For me this would be miracle of the year. For us it's drama that she didn't win the fourth Grand Slam of the year.

She struggled a little bit probably because she lost Australian Open, but, I mean, she is still No. 1 and she still plays great. I don't see much to be depressed about.

Q. She had a lot of winners and 13 aces today, but she also had over 50 unforced errors. Did that surprise you at all? Did you think she was maybe a little bit off her game?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, going into today's match I knew she is not on her top game, but neither was I. I didn't feel good. I knew I was hang in there and I will fight for each ball.

It's her game, as I said, mentioned earlier. She goes for her shots, and I have to move her as more I can and make her do more unforced errors. This is my goal, how I have to win, because I'm not going to overhit her or do more winners than Serena, or do more aces. This is not my game.

If I put myself and Serena on the paper, that's what I fight for: for her to make unforced errors, to bring more returns back, to serve better, and I think it worked really well for me today.

Q. One follow up: I know she said the conditions didn't really bother her. She's played here a lot. What did you make of the conditions out there? It was quite hot.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, it's quite hot. For me it's really hot for practice. I'm so lazy on the practice court. As long as I go to play the match I don't think about the heat. It doesn't bother me. I felt great.

Q. You were toe to toe with her that first set, long first set. A lot of good points and she played a very good tiebreaker. What's your mindset at that point? Obviously big uphill battle for you from there.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, she served quite well the tiebreaker. I had that point to go up a break and I missed unforced error from the middle of the court, my forehand. I knew I have to still hang in there and still will make her move and make my serves and go for my shots.

So I kept doing it. I just hang in there. If she would be so good, you know, able to ace me every time and make me so many winners that I don't get to the ball, then too good. I was just trying to be better than I can.

Q. Maybe you could talk just briefly about the state of women's tennis right now. Seems like when Serena doesn't dominate it's really anyone's game. There is a lot of opportunity for players to emerge and move up, but they don't seem to be able to stay in that -- there is a lot of movement up and down the top players. Why do you think that is?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't think it's because of the level of the players. I mean, the top players. I just think that overall the level is quite equal of other players.

You know, like some players out of like top 30, they can beat anybody on good day. The thing is they cannot keep playing this good game. You can see some surprise wins in first two rounds. Everybody plays good now and goes for their shots and everybody is really strong.

Not everybody can keep doing this during the whole tournament. I think this is a bit frustrating. But overall, I think every round is extremely tough now.

I think will level of tennis is increased now, so it's difficult.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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