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August 26, 2004

Elena Bovina


THE MODERATOR: First question for Elena.

Q. What is it like for you to reach the semifinals of a tournament in singles for the first time this year?

ELENA BOVINA: I think it's very nice to go that far in the draw. But to tell you the truth, I am not concerned about if I'm in quarterfinals or semifinals. Is more important for me to kind of, uhm, do the things that, you know, I need to do on the court that I've been practicing and I've been talking about with my coach. To me, at this point, is more important that I do it on the court than the result, you know. I think that if I do all the things that we are working on right, the result just comes along with it.

Q. What was the best part of your game today? I can't say it was relatively easy, but she had a tough time out there with you.

ELENA BOVINA: Yes. You know, it was difficult because kind of both of us, we couldn't find the rhythm at the beginning especially. And I think I adjusted a little bit faster than she did. And also it's difficult because we've never played against each other. It's kind of like you don't know what to expect. To tell you the truth, I never even seen her played a match, because I didn't see her matches here. You know, she's not doing so great at all the tournaments. She has an amazing week this week. You know, I knew that I had to be very focused and strong mentally. Maybe I didn't have to play a hundred percent on my tennis today, but just had to play solid game against her today. That's what I did.

Q. How surprised were you? When you looked at the draw, probably in the back of your mind you thought, "If I get through to the quarters, I'll probably play Sharapova." Instead you're playing someone you never saw play before. How much of a surprise was that for you?

ELENA BOVINA: You know, to tell you the truth, it wasn't that big a surprise to me because obviously, you know, maybe Maria didn't have a lot of confidence coming into this tournament because she only played like two or three matches this fall on hard courts because she had all the first rounds bye. In San Diego she only played one match. She only won one match. Montreal, the same thing. So she didn't have a lot of matches actually if you look at it. Maybe she didn't have that much confidence coming in here. You know, I think she has a lot of pressure on her right now. All the people are talking about her. If you have a bad day, I mean, everybody have a bad day, you can't play perfect every day tennis. So it's very difficult, you know. Sometimes you have difficult moments like that. She's a human being also. You know, I wasn't that surprised that she lost. Especially I've heard that Mashona played unbelievable tennis against her, too.

Q. Mashona said you had a really good backhand today. Is that something you've been working on specifically? Do you think you had a really good backhand today?

ELENA BOVINA: No, I think my backhand is more of a natural shot. It's been always there. It's been my, you know, solid, solid shot that, you know, I hit well no matter what. Yeah, I really like -- maybe I should think about working on my backhand a little bit more, maybe develop it even more than, you know, it is.

Q. When you face somebody you haven't played before, do you kind of just try to focus more on your game rather than a specific strategy against the opponent?

ELENA BOVINA: Yeah. Well, you always have to kind of be more focused on your game no matter against who you play, if you play against your opponent already or it's the first time. But, you know, I knew that from her match against Sharapova, I knew a few things that I had to kind of change and adjust to play against her, to beat her. So I did those small adjustments. You know, I was focused on my game.

Q. You were having a lot of success when you came into the net today. Was that something you were making a conscious effort to try and do?

ELENA BOVINA: Not really, but I think I should. I think I'm not really doing it enough still, and I should do it more. I should, you know, come in a lot more than I do now and put pressure on girls. But, yeah, when I do go to the net, I feel pretty comfortable there. You know, I feel like I can almost get every ball. But it's kind of -- I'm just looking at if I have a short ball, I do come in. I don't think about, "I have to come in, I have to come in." It's not something that's in my head all the time. It just comes when it's there.

Q. When you were up 5-2 in the second set, knowing kind of that it took you a while to get in the rhythm, she took that medical time-out, were you afraid that was going to change the momentum?

ELENA BOVINA: No, because I already felt that I was already settled down. I felt like I was in control pretty much. You know, I didn't really care if she took a medical time-out. I mean, if she was hurt, that what she had to do. I took it, you know, pretty calm and just maybe relaxed a few extra minutes, just finished the last game strong.

Q. Would you like to play Dementieva next? Is there a familiarity with her game?

ELENA BOVINA: Yeah, I played against her a few times. I haven't played against Jankovic. But at this point I don't really care against who I play. I don't have a preference because, as I said, I'm just going to go out and do what I have to do, not focus so much on my opponent.

End of FastScripts….

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