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October 28, 2016

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Kallang, Singapore

G. MUGURUZA/S. Kuznetsova

3-6, 6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did it come down to fatigue for you today in the second and third set?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, first set I played really great. I didn't expect to play so good. And then couple games just didn't go my way. I think was many games deuce, advantage, deuce, advantage; just went a little bit more Garbine's way.

Q. You've obviously been fighting with fatigue and pain as you said at the press conferences. How tough it is maybe today when you know that - it's an important match because every match counts - but you're already through. In the back of your mind are you maybe saying, Okay, I can probably give up a little bit?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, it's not the best thing to know overall. And, yeah, I mean, I've done the most important job in the past matches. Definitely you don't want to lose the match. You try to fight.

Sometimes the lack of energy just won't let you do that.

Q. Just generally speaking, what are your energy levels? You have to come back tomorrow for the semifinals. How are you feeling?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, I also want to give credit to Garbine because I think she played way better in the second and third set.

My level, I mean, I don't feel exhausted like that or something. But of course to push yourself to the limit you got to really go hard. I just want to do it tomorrow, try to do my best.

Q. She seemed to be quite emotional on court in her speech. When you look back at her year and winning her first slam, thinking back to when you won yours, can you describe how she feels with the pressure of trying to live up to her result?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. In a kind of way, yes. For me it was 19. It was way long ago.

Then I was just -- in some way I do understand, but then I also think you got lots of confidence of winning, so couple tournament you still can go with your confidence.

I guess maybe it was too much pressure, and, yeah, she struggles a little bit. She'll be all right. She just need to figure out few things for herself.

Q. You're one of the three finalist here who have won a Grand Slam; 5 out of 8 haven't. What do you think is the most important step to take to move up that level, to win the slam?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, just to win seven matches in a row. That's what it takes. Many players have been No. 1 and never won slam. Some players never been No. 1 and won slam.

It's different. You cannot choose. Each situations, they choose it for you. You just work hard and one day you try to do it, and that's it.

It's no like secret to win or to get No. 1. You just fight whatever it is comes to you.

Q. You'll have Domi in the semifinal and you'll be in the knock-out round, like you probably would prefer to be as most of the round robin. What do you remember from that match in Wuhan? What made a difference then and what changes might you make going into tomorrow?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, it's a little bit different surface, different balls, and the court tomorrow.

I do remember quite a bit of that match. I know I will try to do the changes what I think didn't work for me in that match. Of course obviously I'm not going to tell it now. (Laughter.)

Q. Almost every player that's been up there and talking to us has been very complimentary about your effort here this week in Singapore and obviously last week in Moscow. I am wondering if you guys have had conversations with the other girls back there where they've been kind of patting you on the back and saying, Great job?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Garbine was very nice today at the net. She said very nice things which I respect her a lot for that. Then other girls, I feel like they say congratulations, good job, for effort. Yeah, I appreciate that a lot.

The sacrifice you make overall, I mean, I appreciate more myself. I value better myself. I know I'm more confident and stronger. Physically I get much better by playing matches. It's not really my choice to play three-setter all the time.

Yeah, I just feel pleased that I can last so long.

Q. Question about respect. In that locker room, how do players earn like the locker room's respect? We talk about slams, winning titles, being nice. I don't know. As a player, how does a player earn your respect?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, for everybody it's different. I see my way very clearly for myself. You know, for every player -- first of all, you got to behave on the court. There is huge respect when you are like fair, fair game. Some players, they don't do that.

One of the best history players for me, they don't have my respect of behaving because they start to know you on the court to do some ugly things, you know, and some things which are not correct. Like doing things on mistakes and stuff like that and just trying to mess up not by tennis; for me you got to win by tennis.

On the court, as they say, everything goes, and they don't judge the champions. Then you just don't talk bad behind somebody, which many players they do like to talk.

Sometimes you can be angry and sometimes you can say things. Okay. And sometimes when you are wrong you got to have balls to go to tell the person, I was wrong and I'm sorry, or whatever it is.

Not many people I see doing that. Things like that people value. Over the years when you have respect from players, you can see that.

Q. Just jumping in off that, having the respect for players, do you feel like there can be an evolution where a player can do some of the things that you described that don't like and maybe change? You have to notice the change as they grow up, or are the first impressions sort of harder to shake?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Of course. I mean, the road and the circuit is so long. You come when you're 16; you can be so dumb. You can change of course because you learn. The life on the road, on the tennis court, it's make you learn a lot.

You have huge revelation like a layer, like a person on the tour. You can see sometimes the lessons are cruel. They're very tough on you. You maybe so good first one, two years and you can put your nose high, and in couple years you understand you get beaten every single week. The you realize.

It's not only depending on your results. We're all humans and got to have the respect. I think when I was 19, 20, whatever, we had much different respect for older players. I don't think young players, they do that respect right now. Maybe it helps them to play against players who achieved a lot because they're not kind of impressed or respect.

In some way maybe it helps, but in the end of the road you got to value and appreciate the effort somebody done in their career, I think.

Q. You spoke of playing three sets just now. So far all your matches have been three-setters. Last month Steve Simon talked about changing the format to shorten matches. Do you think that's a change that's necessary?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I think no. I think before doing some serious changes we got to think and make other like smaller events to try this format.

It's very dangerous to make such a huge change for me in the tennis. I think it's a bit risky. So I don't know. I feel good playing three sets. You can see my record, so probably not.

But, I don't know. I mean, you got to really think about it. It's very serious decision from him.

Q. Rafa and Roger recently said the tennis has been a large part of their life, but there is a lot more things in life. Not just sports. You've been playing tennis for really long time. What does tennis mean to you at stage?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: What a thoughtful press conference today. (Laughter.)

I totally agree that tennis is not main thing in life, but I believe that every professional athlete it's a priority.

So I think it's very important to know that tennis will end one day. It's not everything to win everything or not to win.

So happiness, it's to do good your job, to love your job. For me it's happiness already. Then to have healthy people around me, close friends, family, and just be healthy, happy.

Whatever makes you happy. To have balance inside of you. To have some harmony. Not to be jealous. Don't be negative. Don't feel negative things inside of you. I think this is really happiness. Definitely love and be loved it's very important.

Yes, tennis is my priority right now, but I know it's not end of my life to lose or to win. Like I like to think that even if I win it doesn't matter everything is great. If I lose doesn't mean that everything is bad. Just to be balanced I think is very important.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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