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March 11, 2005

Elena Dementieva



Q. What did you think of your level today?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think the first set was quite good. I could play much better in the second. But, you know, for the first round, I think it was okay.

Q. You were going for the kick serve on the second serve a lot today. Seemed to work a good amount.

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I was in trouble with my serve a couple times, but I didn't change the motion. I was trying to do the thing I was practicing. I think I did it quite well.

Q. Have you said to yourself, "This year, this tournament, I'm going to commit to it, and if I double-fault, that's okay"?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes. Because that's the way I can change something, you know. I'm just thinking that even if I'm going to lose this point, this game, I'm going to serve this way. Finally I will find my rhythm and my serve will be much better.

Q. Have you changed the motion at all in the serve?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No. I just -- I think that's just the rhythm of my serve, you know, the rhythm and the toss. But nothing -- I didn't change something important, you know. My serve was okay, just some little thing I needed to adjust.

Q. Are you hesitating more before you start the motion?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes. I'm trying to be like I need couple seconds to concentrate and find the rhythm that I want to go for it, and that's it.

Q. The French Open is coming up. Going back to last year, can you talk about how important that breakthrough was for Russian tennis, particularly to have a winner from Russia?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I think that was the biggest moment for our country, you know, when two girls reach the final, and one definitely won. So that was a huge moment. Especially for me, I was dreaming all my life about French Open. That's the favorite Grand Slam for me to win. So I was very exciting about it. You know, I think this experience will help me for the next French Open. You know, that's the goal for the year, to win a Grand Slam.

Q. Do you feel like you and Anastasia really opened the door for other Russians that won after that, Maria and Svetlana?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think that they found their confidence. They also were practicing hard. They deserved such a results from the last year. But I think it was like a very push-up moment for all Russian.

Q. Have you set any goals for yourself this year, especially now that your serve is working a lot better?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't set some big goals for myself because all I want, you know, just to increase the level of my game, working on my game. I don't set any goals to win tournaments because every time you go, you're hoping for the best. I'm just trying to get a better serve. I know that really can help me to win a big title.

Q. You say the other Russian women, they feel confidence. Do you still have confidence you want to gain? Do you want to become more confident? I suppose you do.

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I never lost my confidence.

Q. What is going to be the biggest challenge for you going back to Roland Garros, you and Anastasia?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think this would be quite difficult, you know, because with all these memories from the last year, with all the excitement of the final. But, you know, this is my favorite tournament to play. I will take a good break to prepare myself for the French Open, and I hope to play my best tennis there.

Q. Have you talked to Anastasia about going back there in the last few months?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, we didn't talk French Open. It's a long way before. There are some big tournaments before we have to play.

Q. How well do you think you served today? How would you judge how you served today?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: My serve is good. I don't try to serve better than someone else, you know. I'm trying to win the match. That's the goal. I don't think that Andy Roddick won everything because of his serve. He can be in trouble even with his best serve on the tour. So I don't think that's the main point of the game. But, of course, I'm trying to, you know, improve my serve because the thing really can help me in my game.

Q. Why did you decide to do this tsunami relief thing?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, I'm very glad to participate in this kind of thing, to raise some money for the tsunami disaster thing. I just think that it's very important for people who lost almost everything in their life know that, you know, people around the world think about them. You know, it's really touched our hearts. We just try to help any ways we can.

End of FastScripts….

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