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INTERNAZIONALI BNL D'ITALIA


May 16, 2017


Svetlana Kuznetsova


Rome, Italy

S. KUZNETSOVA/K. Siniakova

6-1, 7-6

(Transcribed via audio.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just talk about the match. How did it feel to be out there? Were you happy with your game today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I mean, actually I expected much worse in the start, because like on the practice courts I was not getting too much, like with the court, I think the quality of the courts that you practice is really different and it's quite bad. Also, that court has lots of holes and can (indiscernible) to many injuries.

So I didn't know how to approach the match. I started well. I was feeling like in total control and it was too good to be true.

Then I start to rush things and started to play fast, and it was very wrong for me. Then I found myself 4-5 and she was serving. So Carlos came out and tried to help me, and he did great job.

I did good, too. So I listened to him. I close out the set, but still was a bit risky and I hope to improve next game.

Q. (Question about Maria Sharapova and French Open.) Were you surprised by that and your reaction?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Of course, who cares about my next-round opponent, right? It's only about Maria again. (Laughter.)

Don't worry. I understand you guys.

No, first of all, it's not my decision, and it's not to me to criticize or to support the French Open. I'm too small for too big decision like that.

I understand disappointment of Maria. I mean, other tournaments did give her wildcard and this is one piece falling off. Probably she was doing all these things during these tournament.

Yeah, I mean, it's really tough thing, and I think Maria, she already finish her penalty. How you say? Yeah, she served it. You know, so once again, I wish it could be over and we can move on and can go and follow the way, you know.

I hope she can focus on things and try to get back. And she will be back again. She's playing great.

This kind of weird situation where she's on the move. And for French Open, I understand they are going to still sell a lot, but Maria, she will go on top again. She will be top 10. I don't know. It's not for me to say how good she will be later, but she will be there. Just kind of a stick-in-the-wheel kind of thing.

But I see some points, why they don't want to do it, but I also said for Maria that she want play, you know, because she's already here. She's doing great. It's again not to me to criticize or to support, but it's really difficult situation.

Q. (Question about wildcard and Italian Federation.)
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, Francesca, she's great player, great person. Very entertaining player. Is great friend of mine over the years. We have had some amazing battles.

Again, I don't know why exactly they didn't give a wildcard, and I cannot say, Oh, it's bad or it's good. But definitely she's missing here.

But for Italian people, Francesca, for sure, she probably, what she say is last year that she plays. I hope she changes her mind, because I think crowd and fans are (indiscernible). Not only in Italy they miss her and they love her. So it's really sad she's not here.

Q. (Question about last ten years of career.)
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I can make a book. It's not gonna be enough.

Many things change. Ten years. I'm 31 and I was 21. So can you imagine? Just let your imagination work on that.

Q. Which are the things you are very happy about in tennis?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: That I'm much wiser than before. You see? He said we are going to get to my second-round match. Just make sure you guys know why you came.

Q. (Question about victories last year and this year.)
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm top-10 player. I'm doing great. I have beaten many good players. And I'm back in top 10. So I'm definitely somewhere rising again and looking forward just to play and to improve.

Q. What's your goal in Rome? I mean, with the French Open right around the corner and buildups and leadups and talk about all this in terms of these tournaments, but what's the goal here? Matches, wins, quality of play? Don't be injured?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Don't get injured, every week goal. Don't get injured is the first place.

But I'm happy I'm doing pretty well, so I'm not thinking about injuries that much. Look, the thing is like I plan my year over the time, like you lost before (indiscernible). I won titles from No. 2 where I am at now.

My year looks like -- it's many tournaments. My year is very long. Important to come to the finish line of the year and to be kind of on the top, and it's every week. You see every week, every tournament I try to do my best.

And as many more matches I can win, the higher I can be my rankings at the end of the year. What counts is the end.

In one week you cannot do well, it happens. But level in tennis now is extremely high, and each tournament, each player is really tough. There is no easy matches anymore.

So I try my best week by week by week. When I get tired I go home and recharge my body, to train. And I go back. It doesn't matter what week. Definitely I'm choosing the bigger events and going back to play better in the slams. This is a priority. But overall, I just try to (indiscernible). This is one more week I try to do my best.

Q. (Question about Carlos coaching on the court.)
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, you know, on the slams, I don't have him and I don't think about it. Just like that. I don't make such a big deal if he comes or not, but he definitely makes such an impact on my game if he comes down. I just take it as it is, because it's easier.

Today he wanted to come, and I was 4-3 from 4-1 and I was so pissed, and I understand I couldn't listen to him. And I didn't want to have some conversation, GarbiƱe-type, you see, so I think maybe like next changeover, because I won't listen.

But I was wrong. I think I should have left him there. I have to observe him as much as I can when he comes down. And he knows me so well. But it's not that difficult to put it to the next game, because I know exactly what he says, and I knew exactly what he gonna say, but I still needed to...

Q. What is it about being Russian that impacts you as a tennis player? Do you know what I mean?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Look, it's simple but it's not simple to put it in short answer. I always try but it's always difficult.

You see, I didn't (indiscernible) for many years, and every time I ask my agent, Why don't I get contracts, why don't I have normal paychecks? Because you're Russian.

So the answer always is because you're Russian, is because we don't have market. We don't take Maria because Maria isn't part of this scenario.

So in Russia, we learn the rough way, I will put it that way. We go through difficult situation. We never get things easy. We don't get good contracts. We don't get good sponsorships.

But you learn hard way enough to know how much it worth. So that's what's in Russian.

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