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June 23, 2004

Anastasia Myskina


THE MODERATOR: Anastasia Myskina, Ladies and Gentlemen. Questions, please.

Q. You look amused.

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: No. Just really bored right now. But it's going better, and I hope the matches going to start at 4:30 so we going to get some action today.

Q. Is there a weight of expectation coming into a Grand Slam, having been the previous winner of the Grand Slam? Do you feel that?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: You know, it's really in the past and I try to focus on the present. It's a Wimbledon, it's a different, it's a grass. And all remember who won last year here, it's Serena. I mean, I don't really feel a star or it's something really different, myself. Just really focused on the game.

Q. But more will be expected of you because more people know you now.

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: But definitely that happen. It's become a little bit more popular here, even in England. I mean, it's really nice. I'll do my best here, as well.

Q. But when you see yourself, your new position, do you think you are the No. 2 in this tournament, you are the winner of Roland Garros, you are the first of seconds, not Belgians, not Williams. What's about your idea about yourself in women's tennis?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Oh, you know, I feel great. I was working really hard to be No. 2 seeded right now, and be No. 3 in the world right now. What I can say just, you know, the Williams sister, they missed a lot of tournaments because they injured. They come back, and maybe I was a little bit lucky. That's why I'm No. 3 right now. But, you know, it's a hard work before. And that's kind of paid off, you know, that I won a Grand Slam title and I have one. So I just feel really great. Now I hope it's change about the Russians girls. Everybody say that they are coming, but finally we're here and we can prove that we can win, as well.

Q. Is the biggest surprise for you to have won Roland Garros or to be No. 2 seeded on grass in Wimbledon?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: I know for sure more surprised to win a Grand Slam because it's a Grand Slam. It's the biggest tournament in the world. It's the hardest one. And what about the Wimbledon? I never lose the first round here before. Always played third, fourth round. So I was pretty confidence in grass every year. I just feeling really great and confidence here, as well.

Q. Can you talk about what's happened to you since you won in Paris?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: That's magazine happen to me (holding up magazine with her on the cover). Something new for you guys (laughter). Just a lot of photo shootings, magazines, newspapers. That's pretty much it. I hope I'm not change as a person. Want to be the same. But that's it. And my ranking, of course, changed.

Q. Has it been enjoyable or a bit too much sometimes?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: What do you mean?

Q. The photo shoots, the attention.

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: It's a lot more right now, for sure. And it's really nice. But how you can forgot that you're a tennis player? First you have to play and then everything else.

Q. Have you been able to practice as often as you'd like, given your commitments?


Q. Last couple weeks.

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: After Roland Garros I have one week off because so much things to do, and the tennis kind of was in the second place. Not the best thing, but it's happen. But now practicing really hard.

Q. The clothes that you're planning to wear for your match today, have you put them on at all today or have you not bothered?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: You know, I've been canceled today, so I have a day off today, as well, because I've been practicing really hard last week.

Q. Are you recognized going around the streets or into the restaurants? Do people recognize you in London?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: In London, the taxi driver recognized me once, so that was really nice. But for sure in Russia, more popular than here. I mean, compared to Tim Henman, I'm nobody, for sure.

Q. In Moscow, do people come up to you in the street?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Yes, right now. Yes, it is.

Q. Some years ago Richard Krajicek said something very bad about the women's tennis from that place. He said women are big and fat and things like that. You show that the situation is completely changed. Which do you think will be the next generation, which will be the next tennis player?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Oh, it's going to be even more beautiful, for sure. There are girls are coming. We strong. We look -- I mean, I hope we look good on the court. That's what we try to do, because I think for crowd it's better when the girls look good. And the tennis improve a lot. It's faster, stronger right now. Just hope everything going to be much better in the future.

Q. Do you think in your case, in the Russian case, is because you have the first choice in sports? Before the first choice was the team sports and things like this? Which is the reason why?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: What do you mean?

Q. Better athletes?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: I think right now in Russia, I mean, yeah, we're losing in some soccer, hockey games, we're not winning. But in other sports like athletics or tennis or something else, we on top, and it's really good for everybody. And just think that's the way we work for that, and we want to improve our life and we want to improve just everything. You know, we want to improve the people start thinking about Russia much better. Like before, everybody think it's only white bear walking in the street or something else. But now want to prove it's a completely different country. It's a nice country.

Q. Now that you've won a Grand Slam, do you think you have more responsibility, people listen more carefully, take notice of what you say?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Oh, definitely. I mean, especially I think back home, I have to think twice before I'm going to say something because it's going to be in the papers. Everything what I do right now, I'll have to take more careful, I think.

Q. Have you had any bad experiences because of that?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: No. I don't remember that.

Q. Four British girls reached the second round for the first time in 15 years. What can they learn from the Russian players, why you flourished so much?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: First of all, you have a great tennis players. I think Elena Baltacha, I think she's a great girl. I think she has a good future. She was sick, I know. She have a problem with the health. But she's coming back. Just want to wish them good luck. And they have to work hard, and even harder to be on Top 10, like top players. Think we have future with these girls who playing right now.

Q. Which sort of a connection and relations is between America and yourself?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Between me and America? Used to practice there a little bit with Robert Lansdorp. That's it. No connection really.

Q. What would you have done with your life if you hadn't been a tennis player?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: I would be the person who can help people any ways, like with food, with money, just with something, you know.

Q. Social worker?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Yes, kind of that.

Q. Did you talk with Dementieva after that final? What do you say to her?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: I said that it's going to be another Grand Slam finals, I hope. It's going to be another French Open final for her, I hope, as well, and she's going to win. I know how she was upset because it was really a real final that both of us can win. I just wish that next year she can win.

Q. Have you set any goals for this year, Wimbledon?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: My goals, it's to play my best. I hope quarterfinal, semifinal, that would be great. Just really want to do my best here.

Q. Following on from the social work idea, if you're in a position to be able to help people in some way or another. Would you have any plans for doing that?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Yeah, I'll try to do right now at home, back home, I'll try to help kids with the money, as well, with clothes or food. I'll do what I can. But, you know, I'm not real often at home. My mom try to help as well for my name.

Q. You're talking about orphanages? How do you help the kids with clothes?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Just the houses for the homeless, the kids without the parents, we help with money, improve their life because they're really poor kids.

Q. How we can understand these words you say, how we can cope with the two personality you can show? One is on court a fighter, and this wonderful word you say about social situation, and Dementieva, words you say after the final, nice words. Are there two Myskina?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: On the court, it's different story. You're different. You're not different person, it's just a different world. I mean, you have to fight because you want to win. You don't want to be a loser. You know, one thing follow another. Because if I can win, I can help the people, because then they know my name. Let's put it I have money to help them. So I have to fight for that, as well. So I fight on the court, and then I'm really quiet, but try to be nice person off the court.

Q. Have you met Boris Yeltsin?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Yes. He's like a grandpa for us because he really big fan of the tennis, Russian tennis.

Q. Was he upset yesterday?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Yesterday I saw him before Marat match. Before he was really happy. But I didn't see him after. I think he was really upset.

Q. Did you go back to Moscow after Paris?


Q. What was the reaction? What happened?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Everybody was so happy for me. A lot of people called me to congratulate me. Was an awesome week for me. Was no tennis, so was a great week.

Q. What did you do that week?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Photo shooting. You missed my magazine. Photo shooting, press conference as well. So lot of media.

Q. Parties, TV?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Oh, no, no, no. I'm quiet girl, like I said. I try spend lot of time with my family, friends at home. Not in nightclubs.

Q. Do you know much about your opponent in the second round, Kapros?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Yes, she's a good girl. She's a great player because she beat couple Russian girls in the past, a couple months ago, Petrova especially in Indian Wells, I remember that. She dangerous on the grass. I think she played third round here last year or something. She's real dangerous on grass.

Q. Is there any particular aspect of her game you're worried about?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Yeah. Groundstroke, it's pretty flat. You know, it's dangerous because you don't really know where she's going to play. But if I will play my best, I think it's going to be good.

Q. Did you hear from President Putin at all?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Yes. He wished us good luck before final, and after he flew from small city in France to Paris to met me, Elena, congratulate us, both of us.

Q. In Paris?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: In Paris, yes. In airport we met him. Was like 10 minutes' conversation, about great job that we did for Russia.

Q. Does he play, do you know?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: He play tennis?

Q. Do you know if he plays?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: No, I don't think so. He said the tennis is dangerous sport.

Q. Dangerous?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Yes. I don't know. It is dangerous. Slippery on the grass, so you can fall.

Q. What was your first contact with a grass court?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: First contact? When I think I was a little kid, I walk on the grass. That's my first contact with the grass. If you mean on tennis court, that was in Birmingham couple of years ago. I was in the final.

Q. So it was okay?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: It was perfect.

Q. And you don't mind it?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: No, not at all.

Q. Will we see you serve and volley at all?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Especially for you, I'll do my next match (smiling).

Q. What's your favorite surface?

ANASTASIA MYSKINA: Can say clay. You know, I always keep saying different things. But like you're professional tennis, you have to play everywhere, so I don't have really favorite.

End of FastScripts….

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