September 11, 2020
New York, New York, USA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Laura, talk through the match. Your opponents were very complimentary of your aggressive play early. It seemed to set the tone.
LAURA SIEGEMUND: Yeah, I mean, I think they are really tough doubles to beat. In this tournament we had a lot of what I would call more like singles players that play great doubles, but they play more of a single's style, whereas these two are completely different. That was for us tough to have that change. We tried to prepare really well for us.
Yeah, I was really happy that I got out of there - I don't know how you say in English - the start blocks so good. It's always good to have a good start. It does set you up for the rest of the match. Of course, you have to, like, stay consistent.
Q. Vera, what is it like getting back into the winner's circle in New York, a tournament that's always meant a lot to you? What has this two weeks been like for you?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I guess special two weeks for me because I've been away from the tour for a long time. I haven't played a lot of back-to-back matches, I would say, at the same tournament.
Yeah, I think it's always special to be a winner at the end of the week, at the end of two weeks especially, a Grand Slam. It never gets boring, I will tell you that for sure.
I think one of the most important things that I was enjoying my time on the court with Laura, she made me feel good on the court. She was very supportive. I think that helped us a lot to get through some tough matches.
Q. What do you think was the key in terms of not just chemistry but X's and O's between the tennis court lines? What makes your games work well together as a doubles team?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, it's tough to say. I think you've seen a lot today. Laura, she started greatly. She was everywhere on the court. I was just trying to complement her style. I was trying to give her chances to do what she's doing really great.
She was very fast crossing at the net, finishing the rallies at the net. I was able to set her up maybe a little bit better from the back. I was using my lobs. I was trying to do something maybe to take our opponents' strength away. I was able to I think produce some good shots, was trying to keep up with Laura (laughter).
Q. Laura, at the beginning of the match you were impressive, flying everywhere around the net. I've seen you play much more singles than doubles, so I didn't realize how capable you were. What was your energy and mindset? You seemed so driven, aggressive, more so than usual.
LAURA SIEGEMUND: Yeah, I think it was not maybe on the huge stages like this week, but I can play some really good doubles. To be able to do that, I need the right partner, how Vera said, that sets me up from behind. I can only do those kind of things.
People keep telling me I was flying all over the court. I don't know. I have to look at it (smiling). I feel I was doing my job and going by my instincts.
As Vera said, it's very true, I can only do that if there are certain opportunities for me, if that's prepared for me. That's what she did the whole time we were playing here really well.
I think we are not easy to read. Our styles are adjustable. We are a good combination. We can make our strengths work really well against different opponents. I think that was what was key this week. Particularly today of course I needed that backup from behind, yeah.
Q. Vera, what kept you committed to want to play after everything that's gone on in the last 10 year, since your last Grand Slam final? What made you always want to keep going? Hasn't always been easy.
VERA ZVONAREVA: It is never easy for anyone. But I think these moments like today, memories of these moments, they kind of keep you going. It's special. It's something that you worked so hard for. Then you're able to lift that trophy.
I think, yeah, this is one of the biggest reasons to continue playing.
Q. Obviously you're one of the mothers doing well at this tournament. Seems like it's a story at this tournament. Do you think someone is watching back home and proud of their mom today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, for sure. Well, my daughter was watching a little bit, but she gets bored after, like, maybe 30 seconds of watching me (smiling). For sure, my husband was following the scores. For sure, yeah, he was very happy. They called me.
Well, my daughter, of course, she does not understand because it was my birthday few days ago. When my husband told her, okay, say congratulations to mommy.
She said, Mommy, happy birthday.
I was like, It was five days ago, but it's okay, I'll take it. I'll still take it.
She has no idea what's happening. But it's great to have that support behind. It's great that my family supports it. Without them, I would not be able to continue my career. I guess my husband, he understands. He believes that I can still be very good. I'm grateful for that. That's why I can continue with my journey.
Q. Do you have plans to play the French Open together?
VERA ZVONAREVA: We do.
LAURA SIEGEMUND: Uh-huh.
Q. I'm assuming this is a sign-in deadline team pairing. What is it like to have this late choice and have it be so great?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think that's how it happens all the time. It's just how it happens. I guess we both believe that we can do well together. I think that was one of the main keys.
LAURA SIEGEMUND: Yeah, I think there are two considerations. Either they're well - how do you say - doubles teams that play for a long time together that really know each other. I don't know how to say that in English. We say inside and outside in German. Or the other dangerous version is us, a pair that is, like, not expecting much, but kind of dangerous together.
I mean, it's not a random choice that we play with each other because we both feel like we can complement each other's game. That's the most important thing.
Then something that turns out during the journey through the two weeks is that you really, like, in our case, I really realized her game style is complementing me. But the communication has to be really on spot, the way you prepare for a match, how you do tactics, all that, it just fit really well. That's something you realize that down the road. It's additionally on top of how the game suits.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I really just wanted to add something.
We had a very slow start. In the first match. In the first match it was very difficult. We were careful. We didn't know how it's going to go. We didn't get a chance to practice together, prepare for doubles, because we're both involved in singles. This is always the main focus.
Then we passed the second round. I felt like the third match we really started communicating well, we really started to understand each other. Yeah, it just got better and better from there on.
LAURA SIEGEMUND: Agreed.
Q. You asked the chair umpire for permission to hug each other. What was that moment like?
VERA ZVONAREVA: It's special to win a Grand Slam. I guess it was important to do that.
LAURA SIEGEMUND: Yeah, I felt already the rounds before, I'm like very emotional usually at the end of a match. I'm, like, screaming and jumping. I want to hug my partner, I have this urge. That was always kind of awkward to stay away from each other, do that pretty cold racquet move.
Today I was like, What the heck. But I asked permission at least (laughter).
Q. Laura, you dedicated this title to your aunt. Tell us a little bit more about her, what her name was.
LAURA SIEGEMUND: It's the twin sister of my mother. She had cancer. It was two weeks ago, now almost three weeks ago, that she passed away. Today was her funeral, so my parents came from that to watch the match. They missed the first couple games because of that funeral.
It was a lot of things in my head. That's never nice. It's always hard. I mean, she's 65. That was no age. My cousin is my age. I cannot imagine what's going on in her right now.
I tried to be as supportive as I could. Some things are more important than your career. When it comes to family, and you cannot be there in the last moments of someone, be at a funeral, that's hard.
I feel this is one of the biggest sacrifices we have to make because I don't want to just leave the tournament and say, I'm going home because this is more important. It's my job to be here. It's on the road. It was really hard. That was something in my head. You're functioning, you do your job, we did it well, but it was something in my mind.
I really wanted to say some words because she always watched me. She always wrote me super nice text messages. She would have texted me something for sure now. I just feel like I know she's watching and I wanted to say something. Also for my family and for my cousin also.
Q. What is her name?
LAURA SIEGEMUND: Helga.
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