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October 23, 2016

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Kallang, Singapore

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Svetlana.

Q. Congratulations. Can you just give us your traveling itinerary, what time you left Moscow, what time you got here, and that sort of thing?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Like the commentary right now. I don't remember. About 9:30 p.m. maybe. Yeah, the flight was schedule at 9:00 and was a bit delay; 9:30 we left Moscow and, today we came midday, something like that.

I just came to see you guys. Was hoping we have a good chat, so...

Q. Do you have a secret cure for jet lag?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I try not to think about it. I came to Moscow from Tianjin and I went straight to practice; here, the same thing. I think my body don't know what's going on already.

So I just go with the flow, whatever it comes.

Q. How do you feel physically? Capable of making a push this week?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. I don't think that I cannot. I feel very positive. I feel good. I feel happy. I don't have another choice. I will go out there and try to do my best.

Q. When you won in Moscow, how quickly did it hit you what that meant, that you would be going to Singapore?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: This question was all day long in the press conference, so I knew that it's coming. But I was trying to put it aside and just try to think match by match.

I was really tense in Moscow, not because of Singapore, but just because I love to play there and it's sometimes not easy to deal with all the pressure. Match by match I was getting better and better.

Yeah, and then when I won, I thought, It's cool. I don't have to go to Zhuhai and I play here. No, I mean, it's just too long season. That's it. I don't mind. I love how they organize everything.

Q. It's been since 2009 that you've been at the Championships. Talk a little bit about the return. Also, we think you've been here forever to us, but you're only 31, which is kind of young when you think about Serena or Venus.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, my fans count that yesterday it was my 600 victory on the WTA Tour, so it's a lot of matches during many years. Not been in top 10 for while, since 2009, so this year went quite well for me. I'm really pleased with that.

Yeah, I really forgot the feeling of Championships. I didn't expect to be here. It's like bonus for me for doing great season. I'm just happy and just looking forward to play here.

Q. Given how little time there was between Moscow and getting to Singapore and as the one who was most affected, do you think we should try and re-look at the qualifying process and maybe leave a little bit of time between the last tournament and Singapore?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I think I'm a little bit in disadvantage next to other players who been here for while. Maybe the schedule could be worked on a little bit more just to have more time. So after the last tournament, whatever they decide, the points work to qualify, maybe we need some days, you know, because it's really not that easy to do that.

Q. You said in Moscow you had to think match by match. I think everybody will be coming up with Singapore questions and how it's affecting you. How do you put everything aside and, as you said, think about match by match.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, when I was younger it was very difficult for me. I would see all picture in one postcard. Now I'm like, Okay, it doesn't matter if I don't make it. For me it was already huge to defend my title in Moscow. I thought it was huge deal, you know. I thought, I want it, but I got to take step by step, because all matches I was not playing at my best. I had to fight my way through and spend all my energy and focus on playing match by match.

That helped me a lot.

Q. Just a question on your travel. Was it a direct flight from Moscow, or you had to make a stop?

Q. So how do you feel about being here when Konta, Johanna, has been here all week practicing and she was there at the draw all dressed up? Do you feel a bit sorry for her?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, very much. Very much I feel sorry for Johanna. It's horrible. It's very strange. It's never happened to me in my life. When I was playing, definitely I was not thinking you know of somebody who I can kind of take out. It's very weird.

But I guess she was going to play more events before Singapore, and I don't know if she was injured or she decided not to play. I went to play Moscow because I thought, Okay, it's not only because of Singapore, just because I wanted to play Moscow. I felt good after Tianjin. I felt fine. I thought, Why not. I got the wildcard and I played.

Then everything came out like that. I'm really sorry in front of Joanna, because, I mean, it's really very strange situation. I mean, this is the rules what we have and what it makes. I think maybe we can work on it so somebody cannot depend on this.

Like should be very weird, I guess, to sit and wait if somebody lose or wins. It's really weird.

Q. Have you started thinking about the match against Aga? You had a really great one a few weeks ago in Wuhan.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. I just want to go practice a little bit. No, I didn't. I have still time. I been thinking about tennis all day long last four weeks, so I want to just few hours of rest.

Q. Give us an idea physically how does the body feel when you get on court? You just jumped off a plane; a bit of jet lag; just won a tournament. Must be a strange sensation physically to go through, no?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Think my body already adjusted to that, because from Tianjin played three sets. I lost to Risk in semifinals three sets. The same night I jump on the plane and come to Moscow and start to practice straightaway then I played in two days.

Then the same thing happened here. During the tournament I felt a bit fatigued because I been playing long matches, but on the final I was already better. Today I have a day off. It's already like a miracle for me already that I have day off.

I'm just looking for tomorrow. I don't know. When I go on the court I try not to think about my fatigue and I believe I can put it aside.

Q. You haven't played in this event since 2009. Are you a better player now than back then?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm more mature for sure. I'm more experienced. It's really hard to compare the level, because they ask me a lot of time like, What's your level comparing to when you were No. 2 in the world? I'm like, I don't know, because it's not like I jump 177 and now I jump 178. It's very hard to compare.

But I believe in the tennis increase the level a lot. Now all the players player so much better. You don't get easy matches in any tournament. Like even top 50 can beat top 10 player.

So in order to get back again to top 10, I should be very consistent and much better than before like past years. I cannot compare me back then, but I think I'm much stronger mentally and more consistent.

Q. You are the only Russian girl in the WTA final this year.

Q. In singles, yes. Do you miss the time of glory of Russian women's tennis? You always have a lot of girls in the WTA Finals singles. Thank you.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, we had great times. I remember in one Olympics when Dementieva won we were four players from top 10 in Olympics. The girls Zvonareva was top 12 and she couldn't get to Olympic team. I mean, it was amazing times.

I think Maria will get back soon, and I hope players will improve, young players. But definitely those times were amazing. I miss them, yeah.

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