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March 11, 2002

Anna Smashnova


MODERATOR: Questions for Anna.

Q. I think on your previous appearances at this site, you won a total of one match. What's been responsible for your resurgence?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: I think I've started this year very, very well, from the beginning. Just everything is coming in together. And I think the difference is that I'm playing for myself this year, much more than I did any other year. Everything I'm doing, I'm doing only for myself, so that makes a big difference.

Q. Who were you doing it before?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: I wasn't doing it for somebody, but I wasn't -- like I was always thinking what the people will think, what the coach will think, what this person will think. Now I don't think anything. I just playing for myself. If I win, I'm very happy. If I lose, never mind. But it's all for me, whatever happens.

Q. Was the name really Smashnova in Russia?


Q. Your name is very interesting. It seems to suggest that you are a tremendously hard-hitter, that you smash everything. Is that really how you play?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: I don't smash everything, no.

Q. You are more of a finesse player, aren't you?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: I stay on the baseline, I run everything down, I try to attack when I get a ball that I can really attack. I don't just go for shots when I'm not sure. So my game not really serve and volley, it's just staying back and winning with my heart.

Q. Is that why your opponent today came to the net 36 times, because you were at the baseline?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: I think it's part of her game, as well, to come in. She has a very big serve, big forehand, she comes in. That's part of her game, coming into the net.

Q. Yesterday, I believe you were down 6-1, 3-1. You were very close to leaving the tournament.


Q. How did you turn that match around?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: I just stay until the very end in that match. The girl played really, really well in the beginning. It's not that I was doing something wrong. I mean, she was playing very well. But I wasn't getting up. I just stay in there, hang in there, till the very end.

Q. Our understanding is that you served two years in the Israeli Army.


Q. What was your assignment?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: Well, in the beginning was the basic training, which everybody has to do for one month. After that, I was doing all kind of things because I couldn't really do something very good like other people could because I wanted to play tennis. But at the same time I couldn't play full-time tennis because I had to go to the Army. I was neither there nor here. I couldn't be something really important because I couldn't take a course that would give me some kind of good job, because I wanted to play tennis.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about what's going on there, how hard it is, thinking about your family?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: I don't really talk about politics. I don't involve this.

Q. Is your family in Israel?


Q. Do you call them every day?


Q. Make sure they're okay?


Q. Isn't it difficult not to worry about your friends and family in Israel?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: I mean, I'm worried. It's not that I'm not worried. I'm worried, definitely.

Q. You just don't want to talk about it?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: I just don't talk about politics. For sure I'm worried, but I'm not "worried" worried.

Q. Your match today, you lost the first set. Did you make some adjustments after that to win the second and third sets?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: The first set was very close already, so I could have actually gone 5-All. I had one breakpoint at 5-4. It was very tough, the first set. Just kept on playing in the second. Second could have gone either way, as well. I won the set, but there was a few turning points there.

Q. Third set you win 6-1.

ANNA SMASHNOVA: Yeah, she didn't play too well in the third set.

Q. Have you played Gagliardi before?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: Yes, many times. I think we're about even now, maybe 2-All, something like that.

Q. Any tactics you can share with us of what you plan to do?

ANNA SMASHNOVA: Just have to stick with my game. I just have to worry about my game, that's all.

End of FastScripts….

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