home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 31, 2016

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Miami, Florida

S. KUZNETSOVA/T. Bacsinszky

7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was working well for you out there today? Just seemed like I observed forehand, backhand, lobs, dropshots, kind of everything. What did you feel was working for you today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: The fighting spirit, I would say. I didn't feel like I was hitting good forehand or good backhand. It was quite all right and I was just hanging in there, playing long rallies, trying to do what I do best against her weaker spots, go to her weaker end, and just keep up; try to serve better.

It was really difficult with wind conditions, because the side where you go with the wind you had sun straight in your eyes. It was a little bit complicated to serve. Other side you don't have the sun but you have the wind again. So it was not that easy conditions, but I was just trying to stay there.

Q. Talk about this couple weeks for you. You said before sometimes the early rounds are very difficult these days to get past, but once you get past that it seems like you've been playing better and better each match.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: My coach laughs about it. He said, you don't have the medium term. You don't go like middle, stable. You go very bad or very good. So I don't know if it's true. I always said so I feel so much better when I have two matches under my belt, two, three matches. Then I start to play better and get into the rhythm of the matches.

Nowtimeadays [sic] the level is really good of the girls. Everybody can beat anybody almost. But there is difference of girls who can constantly win matches and those who can beat anybody but then next day they lose.

I want to be different one. I want to win more matches. So when I get matches, I get going, I feel much better.

Q. I don't mean to look too far ahead, but can you talk about making it to the final. You did beat Serena this tournament. You will be top 15; could be top 10 with a victory. What has this tournament meant so far?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, you know, there is different opinions. I don't look up to that. I just take match by match and I just go, It's one more match. I'll play with another amazing opponent. I had great wins this week, but one match, it's a lot. It's almost like everything. It's great, you know.

I start really well playing in Sydney, and then Australian Open didn't happen to me to play good there. But I still felt I was in good level. Then I kind of mess up with Fed Cup and all that results. It was not good for me.

I didn't feel going in that good shape going to the U.S. swing. I was not feeling confident at all. After I had a loss in Indian Wells I tried to work a lot and training every morning a lot just to get confidence back, get my fitness.

I'm doing better. I'm appreciate, I am blessed I have my body to play so many years and to win against good players, top players. It's great when things come together. Either way, it's not the end of the world, but it's a great week. I'm really pleased and happy the way I fight through all these tournaments and weeks and players.

Q. So much has been made lately of the question about prize money and equality among men and women. Between the top players and the lower ranked. You've been at the very top and you've been ranked lower. Where do you feel the division -- does the entire tour rely on the top five, ten players, or should everybody be able to make a living at this, even if you're 150 in the world or 200 or 300?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, about the prize money, I was thinking a lot about it. Even you didn't ask that question I want to make sure I say this, my opinion about it. I found very good topic about it. I found very good goal, that, yeah, the men say like we shouldn't get the same prize money.

My thing is like the guys that travel on the road, right? They say they give more than we do, but they can have kids. They can have a family, right? We cannot have. I play since I am 14; since 16 I am professional. I was on the road. I was playing eight months a year every year. I didn't have anything. I gave up everything: Friends, home.

I think we do deserve. We give more than 100%. We give our life, private life. I think we own that.

About earnings, I think it should be different. I think like top players for sure, Maria, Serena, the people know them. They're more promoted than other players and they win more, which is fair.

But I think the tour should promote a little bit more. I think tour is working on that, promoting other players who are top 10. But you cannot expect somebody who's not doing good to earn a lot of money or good money, you know?

I think what you deserve, you earn. I think tennis is really fair game, because if you work hard you get this payback, you know? If you compete well, you get your payback. Some players, they just don't do so much, you know?

I've been low in rankings and I earn less. Then you say, Okay, so do I want a coach? Do I want a physio private with me? Fitness coach? The more you put into that money is like investment into yourself.

Some players, they don't do that. So if I risk and they don't, I deserve is more, right? I deserve better result. I deserve better physically so you win more matches. So it's difficult balance to find, because all crew, what we have around, it's extremely expensive. This is true.

The coaches, the physio, I think it's a bit overrated in the tennis because top players, they do earn a lot of money. So I've been in the top and people like my coach, any physio, anybody, they take me, Oh, she's Kuznetsova. He's not looking that I'm 30 in the world and not earning what I earn in top 10. But he would charge me that because my name is, you know.

So that is what I found in my other years when I was like 30, 40, or whatever. It's a bit long, but...

Q. When you just said overrated, what aspect were you meaning?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: About what exactly? I was lost in it as well.

Q. You just used the world "overrated."
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, overrated like if you are massager of top 10 and if you are massager of top 50, he would charge double or triple. In tennis, I try to take my staff from other sports because it's just crazy money.

If it you would count -- nobody ever counts what expenses players pay. You can afford only team like good fitness coach and god physio and pay a few, traveling, rooms. It will cost you a lot. You can only be top 10 to pay that.

You have to understand I'm investment and it's huge pressure. After you do not do so well you cannot cover your own team. They ask you a lot of money. A lot of money, I think.

Q. (No microphone -- question regarding advantage of top players to hire physios, et cetera.)
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, this is the thing. Not 150, but then 150, everybody be 150. Other people are better. Some players, I remember Anna Chakvetadze ask me like, Svetlana, where do you need a coach? She would not hire a physio or fitness coach because she thinks it's waste of money.

I see it as my investment. Everybody has choices and opinions. Yeah.

Q. Getting back to the year so far for you and knocking on the door again for top 10 for the first time in six years, years, did you expect to get to that stage at this point? What can you set now or do you set any more goals for yourself?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think couple years I was just done with the goals, you know? I just don't want to have any. My main goal is just to keep improving. My main goal now actually is to come to play tournaments being ready. I knew good few weeks practicing then I'm ready to play.

Now when you compete you got to be at the top level. That's the only goal I have. I didn't think if I get to top 10 or not. When I go and I see the rankings I am confident in myself I can beat these players and players from top 10. I can beat basically most of the top players. Actually any player.

For this I got to be consist over all the year and to perform when I am at my best. Because I came to tournaments because it's mandatory, because I had to go. I thought I want to go. Then you're not ready. So I want to be 100% to play at my best. Then I can have a good chances to be higher in the ranking.

I go for quality not quantity.

Q. Talking about the next match with Kerber and Azarenka, top two players of the year so far, really, what do you make of them, Kerber being able to win the Australian Open beating Serena and Vika has only lost one match this year? Can you give me your thoughts on both of their seasons so far?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, it's crazy. It's great. You know, I think Angelique, when she won Australian Open she had so much pressure. It's been a bit hard for her to deal with it because it's lots of expectations.

Once you're there you have to learn how to deal with it. It's experience. That's what it's called. She's in great form. She's playing great.

Vika, she is doing amazing. She is extremely prepared. Playing really confident taking all her chances. It's extremely tough for both opponents.

Q. Just to be clear, you say that women give more than men in the tour. So you're conclusion is that in order to that, both must win the same? What is your conclusion?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, but I try to show you that they say -- many guys say we got to earn more than women. We're not taking their money. We just want to earn the same.

I'm just saying in some part we give more than they do. Yeah, they play more matches. They are physically stronger, which men are, which is normal.

But we give up much more personal space being on the tour, not being able to have normal, decent family. That's why we're equal. I think it's fair. That's it.

Q. (Question regarding women playing three out of five sets. )
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't think it makes sense. You will see us struggle, cramping, squeezing, and yelling, and it's going to look weird. I think three sets is more than good.

I think for guys it's okay to play three sets. I don't mind if they play three sets, best of three. So, I mean, they're physically stronger. This is nature. I cannot be strong as some man. That is normal. It's up to them.

It's like you cannot expect me to live in the way that Rafa lives. It's the same thing.

Q. 2006 here. What do you remember about those two weeks?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I remember I beat Hingis from match point down. That's for sure. I don't remember maybe second or third round. I beat Amélie and final Maria. I think I had a great week. I was really playing good tennis.

Q. All the men seem to have no idea how to beat Djokovic. You watch him. Do you see any ideas or ways to solve the almost impossible puzzle about how to beat Djokovic?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I been watching yesterday the match of Berdych. For example, Berdych, he was close for me. Last night he was really close some moments, but he had so much pressure in his head to play unbelievable.

They have to play close on the limits, because Novak is every match, he plays just good enough to beat. His level is extremely high every match. What other players, they struggle with their level. When they come to play Djokovic they have so much pressure and so much in the head that it's Novak and he plays good that they struggle.

I think before Rafa was the same when guy come on the court and see Rafa. They're scared. They know they're going to lose. They have no chance. Now they have it with Novak. It's mental, but Novak is extremely fit and plays really well.

I don't see how to beat him from my side, but I'm a girl. I play different sport probably, different game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297