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March 16, 2003

Svetlana Kuznetsova


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Hi, congratulations.


Q. How did you team up?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: How we get together?

Q. Yeah, exactly.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I played her last year with Aranxta doubles, and we did quite good. We beat one match Serena and Martina in Japan. After Aranxta retired, I didn't have a partner. I was looking for someone. Emilio, he came to me and said Martina called and she was looking to play with me doubles and she was asking to try it. We get together to play Gold Coast, our first tournament, we were trying and we won. We keep playing and playing. We are here.

Q. What's it like to play with Martina?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You can see that we have a lot of fun on the court. I mean, is great. I like it very much.

Q. You don't feel any pressure because you're younger?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I don't. Why I have to feel it?

Q. I don't think you should. I think you more than held up your end of the bargain?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, do I look like with pressure?

Q. You look like you're smiling a lot.


THE MODERATOR: She says you look like no pressure.


Q. What can you learn from someone like Martina? Can you learn things?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Of course, of course. I can learn, I have to learn and I do learn. She shows me a lot of things. She explains me what I think, what she thinks about my game, what we can get better, and we try the most important to play doubles is to be a team. We are doing this better and better every tournament, every game.

Q. You were very, very young when she was at her peak or even towards the end. Do you remember watching her very much?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I didn't watch much of tennis when I was young because all my family, we are cycling. They did bicycle. My father put me to play tennis. I didn't really want to, firstly. I didn't want -- I didn't see much tennis, but I respect people who did very good in tennis, and I like to get something good from them. I saw some matches, of course I did. But I was like not fond of tennis so much.

Q. Could you just talk a little about the match. You guys fought off a couple of breaks basically and were down 5-1 in that first tiebreaker, you came back. Just talk generally about that.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, like it was important moments in the match. I mean, they were in both tiebreaks, they were up like 5-1 and 6-4 they have, or 6-3. We keep playing, and they would get nervous maybe to miss some balls, we would just keep playing, don't stop. We were little bit like in the first set, if we had won that, but we were little bit unlucky that we lost in 6-5, that ball, in the second set. But third set shows who played better today, and we won. I think so, we played much better.

Q. How impressed are you and how amazing is it that a woman who is 46 years old is that good?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, sometimes I just think about this and I don't realize that. I understand that I just don't know what to say because sometimes I just practice with players who has like 26 years old, 29, and you hit and they don't run to the side if I hit to them. I mean, I was like, "Okay." I was saying, "Why you don't run or whatever," she's like, "I'm too old or whatever." And I was like, "And Martina what?" She's, like, she was 20 years older than me and she does it. I mean, it's amazing.

Q. How old is your mother?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Good question, like 50. My father is 60.

Q. Your mother is in her 50s?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, 52. I have older brother than me 12 years.

Q. Do you think -- does it seem that women retire from this game younger than the men do usually?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, I think so, yeah. Because womens, they have like strength from 15 years old, 17 - in some cases 15, but normally like 17 - till like 26, they can play really good in singles like. The mens, still 35 and they still can play singles because they maybe have great serve or whatever, and they still can hold, you know. Yeah, the womens, they retire much earlier than the mens.

Q. You just mentioned that you played with playing partners that are 20 years younger, they don't run like Martina does. It didn't look like she was tired at all in that third set. Did her energy seem the same?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I was a little afraid, I was like, "Come on, come on." I was more tired than she is. I think we are both, we wanted to win this match so much. And we were thinking before to play them, like when we just get together, we play two, three tournaments, good. We saw we have good results. For us it was very interesting, how is this to play against them. I mean, they're No. 1 in the doubles now. Like so what's our level, you know? How we playing together?

Q. So it must be pretty high then?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. Well, they played good. But, I mean, we won. We're happy with that.

Q. Do you find it easier to play somebody that's a team that plays doubles like they do than a team like Venus and Serena in Australia, when it's a totally different kind of game?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It's like so different game because that girls, you can show you can do some like whatever, kick serve or just sometimes you can play little bit softer, sometimes harder. With Serena, Venus, you don't have any chances, you have to do what you can. I mean, they don't give you to play. They just hit so strong that you have to do what you can, not to do something different. It's much different.

Q. Can you talk about when you won the last title. It was a record for Martina, the excitement around it?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Which one, about Dubai?

Q. Any of them.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Whom did we play in the final?


SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It was the match against Black-Likhovtseva. It was very tough match. For us it was semifinals we played Vento-Widjaja and we lost against them the week before. They were playing very good and they have good game to play against us, I think so. They have so good strokes, useful to play against us, and was very difficult. That match, it was very important for us to win. It was 6-4, 4-all and it starts rain. So we stopped and we did maybe so good like a team. We were helping each other. When we came to court, we won that match after. But we were down like 6-4 rand 4-all. We felt stronger, stronger. Next match we played very good because we were better like a team I think so. And we played good tennis and we won the match. Black-Likhovtseva, they are very good doubles partner. I mean, they are also three in the world. I can't say who is better, Ruano Pascual or Black- Likhovtseva, they are all in the top, you know, and they all have to play good.

Q. I was really asking you about the excitement of winning, because clearly you're a wonderful doubles team.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, yeah. That's why I'm talking, we are good team and we can win, you know. It's not important to be like good player - one good player, one other good player. Maybe we can't get together. But when you are a team, doesn't matter who's good, who's bad. I don't say whether someone is good or bad. But we get like a team, and we can win. When you win, you get happiness, no?

THE MODERATOR: I think she's also asking, after you won that title, how Martina, people treated her, because for her that was a record. Was there any big ceremony other than just that you won a title?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: We won the title, that's all. We went to celebrate it once, but it wasn't really -- not big party, we just went out or had dinner. Martina, she was really very happy about it. People, I think then they start just to think about what she did in her life. They can't believe. I mean, it's amazing. When you play on the court and they saying like she had won like 167 titles, 167 titles. You just can't believe. You can't like -- I played one year and I won like two, three, four, whatever, five titles. She had like so many. I mean, just people can't believe it. If she won one more, they say it's unbelievable. That's all, you just can't believe or whatever, it's amazing.

Q. She's very intense, isn't she? If you guys lose, she gets very upset?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: In the match it happens to everyone. If you play good, no one get upset, I mean... No, I mean, if you play bad, you get upset, you're losing. But if you play good and other playing better, what you can do? I mean, you just have to keep concentrate to playing better, that's all. To play, keep playing the same game. And if I get upset or she get upset, my thing is I have to help her, and her thing is she has to help me. That's what we are for, we are a team. We have to get together.

Q. What do you do to help her when she's upset? Do you tell her a joke, do you say, "Come on?"

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I mean, when your friend upset, what do you do (laughing)?

Q. I'm not a good doubles player like you.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm not saying about doubles. But normally in the life, if your friend is upset, you tell about what he's upset and you try to get him to do better, that's all. I can't say her a joke about the ball, about the bird that is flying, you know. I can't tell her that joke. But we are playing. Just come on, nothing happens. I mean, everyone can play bad, and everyone can play good. We are here together to get us better. To get playing better, that's all, I think so.

End of FastScripts….

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