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June 22, 2016

Elena Vesnina

Eastbourne, England

E. VESNINA/M. Brengle

7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be in the quarterfinals again here?
ELENA VESNINA: It feels great. I always like to play here in Eastbourne since I came here first time. I was like, Wow, it's really good grass here. A little bit tough conditions with the wind, but I just starting feeling well here from first time I came here.

Of course I have good memories when I came in 2013 when I won the title. It was a big thing for me, especially this tournament. You can see how many legends were winning this tournament. We have some pictures in the player lounge, and you can see Martina Navratilova, Davenport, like really big, big players winning here. Of course it gives you confidence.

Q. When you think back to 2013 when you won and the conditions that you had to play practically through clouds --
ELENA VESNINA: Yeah, wind.

Q. Right. What is it about here that challenges you? How does that prepare you for Wimbledon?
ELENA VESNINA: I mean, you have to be ready for these conditions, because playing for so many years on the tour, we always have sun, rain, almost snow sometimes in Europe, you know, beginning of the spring. Then you can play when it's really dark. So we have to prepare ourself. Of course it's not easy, and mentally you have to be ready for that.

As the woman, you know, we are always complaining about everything, you know. So it's normal. (Laughter.)

It's normal for us, but you just have to go there and just do what you can do, you know, and just fight and win the point. It's good that we have this on-court coaching. Somebody can come and you can speak with the person, with your coach, with your dad or, I don't know, with your boyfriend, whoever is coming on the court. You can just tell them how frustrating is everything around you. So we have this on-court coaching.

Q. Just so you can moan at someone?
ELENA VESNINA: Exactly. Yeah, yeah, like all woman does. (Laughter.)

Q. Do you think the fact that you're used to the conditions here, do you think that helps you against players who perhaps aren't?
ELENA VESNINA: Yes, I think that -- I mean, I don't like to play with the wind, with a strong wind. Nobody likes. But I think I can adjust my game for this kind of conditions pretty quickly.

Like basic thing that I really like to play on grass. My game suit the surface pretty good. So I think this mentally it's also helping me a lot. I know that I'm really -- it's really tough to beat me on the grass, and I know that in wind sometimes it really can help you. So you have to think about that all the time when you go on court and try to, you know, convince wind to help you more than your opponent. Yeah.

Q. And you have had three tiebreaks now that you have won in the last two matches.

Q. What's the secret?
ELENA VESNINA: I was just feeling like I feel like I'm a Karlovic on the court. I don't have any aces but -- or Isner. I'm just winning tiebreaks.

Q. Elena Isner?
ELENA VESNINA: Don't say that. I'm married. I have another name. (Laughter.)

Yeah, I think that's important to win the big points on the tiebreak, to be consistent, to be confident. I think that's all combined together. That's why I'm winning these tiebreakers.

Q. Speaking of grass, you played against Brengle in the French Open, pretty slow play because of the conditions. Then you come here, totally different. So it doesn't make that much difference when you walk on court? You know you have beat her three weeks ago, but...
ELENA VESNINA: That's true. You know what? I found it to play against Madison you're rallying with her on any surfaces. You have long rallies with lots of long points on any surfaces.

So even we played in Paris with heavy balls, it was raining, I think, raining the whole day so the clay was really slow and we were having like really long games. Even it was two sets, we played almost two hours' match.

And same today. We were rallying. We were really playing some long points, some long games. It was a bit different conditions compared to all the week. It was sunny today, humid, and quite hot. So your body sometimes respond not really quick for this changes. You need some time to adjust.

And when you play such long rallies, you know, I was feeling a little bit like that I have, I need some more time to breathe. Because with all this running all over, forward, back, dropshots, lobs, you know, it's not easy.

So I'm really happy today that I won in two sets. And Madison is really tough opponent on any surfaces. Yeah, on the grass I think she's more dangerous than on any other surfaces.

Q. Would you say she's probably going to be quite a dangerous floater in the draw?
ELENA VESNINA: She is very dangerous. She's an unseeded player. I think all seeded player playing against her have to be aware. She understand how to play on grass. She's using the pace really good. She's moving well.

You know, it's like she's getting everything back with the lower sliced ball, so it's not easy on the grass against her.

Q. And you beat her, so (indiscernible).
ELENA VESNINA: Yeah, I hope so.

Q. How strange is it to hear Mrs. Vesnina when they call out the scores?
ELENA VESNINA: I'm getting used to that more. I actually like how it sounds. Because in Paris, the umpire, she asks me, it was Eva, she ask me, Do you want to be called mademoiselle or madame?

I didn't find any difference. I was like, Mademoiselle sounds better. She's like, But you're married. You have to be madame. I'm like, No, I like mademoiselle more. Can I be mademoiselle?

Then my husband was there. He was like, It's interesting. They call you mademoiselle in doubles but in mixed you're madame.

I'm like, I don't know what's going on here. Honestly, I don't know. So here every time the umpire, Do you want to be called by Mrs.? I'm like, Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Now I'm good.

Q. You might be playing Pliskova in the next round. A very different match. How would you approach that?
ELENA VESNINA: Very difficult match. Big server, lots of aces, flat game. It's going to be very difficult match. Of course I have to serve well. I have to hold my serve pretty comfortable, and so I can give her some troubles on her serve because it's, to be honest, it's really difficult to play someone like Pliskova on the grass, against any Pliskova sisters on the grass.

Yeah, I'm really looking forward for this match. I like to play in Eastbourne. I'm really enjoying my time here. Let's see how it goes tomorrow.

Q. This time of year we have a lot of big sporting events taking place, not just in tennis.
ELENA VESNINA: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Q. It's an Olympics year, as well. If you weren't a tennis player, what sport do you think you could be really competitive in?
ELENA VESNINA: Oh, in school I was playing volleyball. I like that sport a lot. My mom was track and field. She was running. Not on the high level, but she was still...

Q. Short distance or --
ELENA VESNINA: Short distances. Sprinting. I think I did it when I was small, but I found it so difficult. I think that's the most difficult sport from all other sports.

Yeah, I would think maybe -- I mean, track and field and volleyball. Let's say like this.

Q. Track and field this year wouldn't be a good one.
ELENA VESNINA: Oh, yeah, that's a bad actually topic now. Yeah, very unlikely. Yeah, that's so sad, to be honest.

I don't think it was the right decision to take all the athletes from Olympics. Because for them it's something that they are dreaming all their life, they are practicing for years to get there and to get any medal they can, and it's really -- I feel sad. So sorry.

Q. As for you, what does it mean to go to the Olympics?
ELENA VESNINA: For me it means a lot, also. Since I was a kid I was always watching Olympic Games and I always dreaming to win the gold medal for my country.

I have been already in Beijing and London, and I feel this Olympic spirit. I know how much it means for a lot of athletes. And for me, as well, it's just one of the biggest, biggest tournament in my life.

I'm really hoping that we can do well there.

Q. Dementieva actually said if you have an Olympic medal as a tennis player, people pay more attention to that than maybe if you win a slam.
ELENA VESNINA: For sure, in Russia. In Russia it's more. A gold Olympic champion, it sounds more solid, you know, for people.

A lot of people, they are watching tennis, they know Wimbledon. Everybody knows Wimbledon. But not many people -- I'm talking about people who's not following sports, let's say, like just reading sometimes news in the newspapers. They know Wimbledon and that's it. They don't know any other slams. And they know Olympic Games.

So of course for us, for tennis players, the Grand Slam is the most important tournament. To win the Grand Slam, that's the dream of your life and everybody working for it, everybody dreaming about it. Me too. But Olympic Games, it's totally different competition. You're playing not for yourself. You're playing for your country, you're playing for your family, for your nation. It just brings you goosebumps.

I think it's also because all countries together, I like the spirit of the Olympic Games because everybody is competitive and everybody supporting each other. Other sports they come and support other athletes. It's just amazing.

Q. What do Russians think you do for the other 50-odd weeks of the year if they only know Wimbledon?
ELENA VESNINA: Of course they know the French Open, Roland Garros, US Open, like the press people, journalists and everybody, they know that. But random people outside, they think that, yeah, there is a Wimbledon and that's it.

Q. On the Olympic theme, how sad are you about what's been going on obviously with the Russian track and field situation?
ELENA VESNINA: Yeah, I already said it. I was really sad to hear that. I'm really hoping that clear athletes, they can go and compete there, because they really deserve to be there.

Without Russia and the track and field, I don't think it's going to be the same because Russia is one of the strongest teams in track and field competition. I don't think it's going to be the same.

I think a lot of athletes, they understand that from other countries and it's very sad. As I said, I hope that somebody can go, you know, they will allow to some athletes, you know, to go and compete, still compete.

Q. Do you think it might escalate potentially for other sports, Russia pulling out of the Olympics ?
ELENA VESNINA: No, I don't think so. I don't think it's gonna happen.

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