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October 24, 2016

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Kallang, Singapore

S. KUZNETSOVA/A. Radwanska

7-5, 1-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on a very great match. Can you explain what happened with the hair? We've never really quite ever seen that. I don't know if you do that frequently, but...
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I mean, I was just posting the video on Instagram saying, Sometimes you got to cut your hair not by bad hair dressers in not best moments, you know.

It was bothering me a lot. I was trying to put it behind my headband, but my hair is very thick and heavy.

In the end, when I was hitting the forehands every time I would hit a good shot and I was coming, it would hit my eye every time and I had struggle.

I thought, Okay, what's more important now, my hair which I can let grow or the match? I thought, Okay, I got to go for it right now, and that's it.

I was not thinking too much though. I was just trying to get the best of me, and what bothers me to take out.

Q. So will you have to have it recut tomorrow or you'll just live it with it?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. When I did it, when I was stepping on the court walking towards other side I was almost crying because, Oh, my hair.

So I don't know. I think I'm just going to leave it like that so a far. We'll see what's in there because I still didn't check it.

Q. Can you talk through your emotions throughout that match? Seemed like there was a lot going on. Just maybe in your head or what you were going through, can you talk us through that?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, I tried to behave and act like I'm professional athlete, professional player. I mean, sometimes it's not easy, you know. Sometimes you're kind of pulling through, you know, saying, Okay, I put aside that I'm tired, I out aside emotions, the jet lag, whatever, you know.

I didn't want to think about it. I was trying to think we're even. We came here both to fight and let's play the match. Put all things aside.

At some moments I was like -- when I get the warning I was like, Come on. I'm trying so hard. Then I just let it go because I was like, Come on. Just impossible right now. Maybe at some stage it help me, but it's where it is. I did it as I felt. I was trying as much, as hard as I can to fight and just be there.

Q. You've now won I think 13 against Aga. What is it about your game that just frustrates her so, do you think?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, I don't know. I know that I won last two matches in last month against Aga being match point down both matches, so it's very hard to say. I don't know.

I mean, I'm just trying my best when I play her. She's really tough. She's 3 or 4 in the world, so, I mean, you better maybe ask her about it. I don't know. I mean, we always have tough matches, but I guess somebody win and sometimes it's more times for me.

I don't know. I think we always have great matches and both have chances.

Q. Where do you learn toughness from? Does toughness come only from playing over the years and playing so many matches, or does toughness come from where you grew up? Your mother was a great cyclist. Cycling is an incredibly painful sport full of repetitions. Do you learn toughness from there as well, from what learn and hear and see in your childhood?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I guess. First of all, it's what you have inside of you, you know. Something comes from the heart. I always work very much and a lot, and then being on the court I knew I have to stay tough. You always have a chance to come back and be there, you know.

For example, Championships, it's only for the best players. To be the best, you got to do the best you can and to fight every time. Sometimes it's not happening and sometimes you get crushed down.

Many times when I was young they were saying nothing going to come out. I didn't have that much will. I'm not saying I was always wanting to play tennis. Up to 14 years old I was like, Whatever. My mom wanted me to play so I said, Okay, I'll play some.

When I go to Spain when I was 14I was like, My parents put so much into the tennis and I wanted to give it back to them because I appreciate everything what they done.

I thought, Okay, I got to prove that they believe in me, and all the people who were saying that they were wrong, I just want to do it for my parents.

Then I just fell in love with tennis after like 15 years old and I want to practice and play and I loved it. Sometimes I had some lows in my career and I was not tough because, I don't know, my mind was not there, the right place.

But as I got straight, everything, and matured, I know I just going to be out there and fight for every ball. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.

Q. When you arrived yesterday were you confident you had this kind of match in you? How much do you have left, do you think, for the rest of the week?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I didn't put one of these questions in my head. I was just, Okay, I got to let it go a little bit, relax, not think so much about the match.

Because before the final in Kremlin Cup they told me, You know, the draw came out. If you win, you want to know?

I said, Look, let me win. Let me take match by the time. When I was flying to Singapore I didn't want to know who I'm playing. I was like, Okay, just let me get there. Just come slowly.

When I saw the court it was totally different than Kremlin Cup. Just go out there and try my best. I'm already here.

Q. Do you always have scissors in your tennis bag?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I knew it. I ask the umpire to bring large scissors because I knew by small I won't cut my hair. I was like just cutting I was like, I cannot cut it because it's so thick and wet.

I was like -- I don't even now how much I cut there.

Q. Agnieszka said that she made huge mistakes in decisive moments in the match. For you, the most important moments and the key to winning this match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I been doing also lot of mistakes. Many things what I normally do didn't work for me today. I didn't feel my best tennis, but I hang in there.

Tennis, it's like chess a little bit. It's really hard to say, but even when she had match point I thought I have to stay there. You know, make uncomfortable to her.

It's really hard it analyze the match right now, but I was serving important games and I did double faults which I didn't have to do. I mean, it was even in the end of the match I was not playing my best. I think she didn't play her best either.

Somebody had to win it.

Q. At this stage of your career, you're older, you've probably gone through everything that tennis has to throw at player, but over the course of the last few weeks have you learned something about kind of what you're capable have? To be able to go into Kremlin Cup knowing you have to win it, winning it, hopping on a plane, and then pulling this off? Is this surprising to you or are you learning something?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I wish I could do it earlier in my career, to believe more in myself. That probably what I've learned more, you know. Just taking it step by step everything. That's how it worked for me.

Q. Just back to your background a little bit, why are you the only person in the family not into cycling?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It was like the most probably asked question I got. Every time I tried to find the answers to this question, but I answer it one way but I think my dad has different opinion about it.

I forgot what he thinks, but I believe that he had women's and men's cycling team and my mom was part of it. Then when they got married and she quit he decided just simpler to get guys team. He was against communication, love stories between men and women, so it was only men.

No, it's for real. Like when I was young, I remember I was growing up and it was my childhood: Only men's team. I was hanging out with boys. It helped me a lot because I saw athletes.

Now the kids grow up, they can go out, do this. It's hard to explain to your child why he has to practice all the time, not having parties, holidays, this.

I didn't have this option. I saw everybody working hard. And then my father said, Okay, it's many tennis courts around here so you do something else.

He didn't want to open the women's team so the guys get distracted and the girls as well. So, yeah, probably that is my opinion about it.

Q. I'm sure you been asked this question before, but can you tell me the tattoo about the pain, when you got it done and why you got that particular one?

Q. Pain, that one.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, tattoos is really personal thing. This tattoo I didn't think too much about that and I did it really quick. I think I would erase that tattoo. I think it's real meaningful and it's good meaning, you know, that pain doesn't kill me, I kill the pain.

Because I think we can be much stronger that our weaknesses is, you know. When you have pain you can overcome any pain you have. I think in life you can be much stronger than you think. The same as here. I came here, I was tired and jet lagged, but I didn't want to think about it. I can be stronger.

Q. When you saved match point, did you think, Oh, it's a déjà vu from Wuhan?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. Actually I didn't remember Wuhan match point before the coach just said me after the match. I didn't remember I had match point in Wuhan. I was jug thinking, I'm still there. I can maybe it. I don't want to go out even I'm tired. I still want to hang in there.

Q. You're one of the more experienced players on the tour, and this year at the WTA Finals four players who are 25 and below. Do you think that says something about the changing landscape of women's tennis?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. It's hard to tell. I know that Serena and other girls who are mature play good. It's much harder for younger players to get in now and to hang in there. Experience is playing part of the role in there now. It's very important to know the right moments and right strategy.

Q. You said you came here from Moscow and the court plays very different. Is it part of the experience you're talking about that you could adjust so quick? She obviously had been practicing a lot more than you on this court.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I was thinking about it. You know, I was in Tianjin and Aga was in Tianjin. We both played. Like I lost in the semis and stay up to Sunday.

Aga, I believe she played two matches Wednesday and Thursday and then she pull out and said, Oh, I will go -- I had a chat with her and she said, I'll go directly to Singapore and just get used to the balls, to the court, and just rest couple days.

And during this time I went to Moscow and play whole event and come here. That's totally different. I thought the court here plays much better for Aga because the ball doesn't bounce that well.

But, still, you know, I felt I'm confidence. I had to think about some advantages to my side and just play there. Of course I'm experience because I didn't have to be frustrated that is so many disadvantages. Just to play there. That's it.

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