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August 30, 2002

Elena Bovina


Q. Congratulations on the win.

ELENA BOVINA: Thank you.

Q. You seemed to go out real strong, great first set, and Stephanie obviously took the second set and got back in the match a little bit on the third. Can you talk us through, specifically, the second set?

ELENA BOVINA: Yeah, I mean, I think it was -- you know, the first set with all of the rain delay was, you know, tough to always go in and out of the game because you're kind of, you know, already concentrated in and then you have to stop and start all over again. So it was tough, but I hung in there. I just played steady, and you know, she was making a lot of mistakes. Then, you know, I think I had a match. I mean it, was 5-3 and I was serving for the match. Suddenly, I just stopped playing. I was playing aggressive and going for my shots, and then all of a sudden, it was 5-3 and there was like one more game left. I really wanted to win that match. And so, I kind of got confused, what to do, and started rushing and making mistakes. She's the type of player that you have to beat. She was really steady and just giving me another shot to hit and I was missing it. All of a sudden, I lost my game. Then until 3-Love in the third, I had no clue what I was doing out there on the court. I just told myself to calm down and think, you know, what am I doing here, what I have to do, how I have to play, to beat her. I was just, you know, not relaxed and then I started going for my shots again, because otherwise, then I was going to lose anyway. So I figured, you know, what the hell, I'm just going to go for it. (Laughter). Definitely, it worked.

Q. Is that how you were able to refocus, by slowing it down?

ELENA BOVINA: I just relaxed a little bit. I was very tense and I was just like thinking too much about winning that much, and it's not the best thing to think about during a match. You really have to play your game, enjoy the court, the crowd. I really was too focused on winning. And then 3-Love, I just said, you know, just relax and play your game and you'll see how it goes. At least you gave it a shot.

Q. What did Joe tell you before the match, how to play this?

ELENA BOVINA: Well, all he tells me is to play my game. Of course, he just told me a little bit about her, about what she likes to do, what she doesn't like to do, and what should I expect from her, but not more than that. Most important is for me to play my game, to do what I've been working than. Then that's actually what I stopped doing at 5-3. I stopped doing that. I stopped playing my game and I started losing right away. So, I just had to go back to my game at 3-Love, and I did it, and I'm happy that I pulled through this one.

Q. You're in the second week of the Grand Slam for the first time. Is there a different emotional feeling than there is on the first day of the Slam?

ELENA BOVINA: Definitely. You know, I had a tough first match. You know, it's just these kind of matches, you have to go through, and, of course, it's different from playing first round, and now I'm deeper in the tournament and it's more interesting, it's more fun. You know, you get to play to a good player, a really good player. You get to try your shots, what you've been working on, and, of course, it's much more interesting to play fourth, fifth round than the first one.

Q. Is there a sense of, when you first come into the tournament, the first round and you win the one round, maybe two rounds, now you're in the second week, is it easy to tell yourself, "I belong here, I should be here"?

ELENA BOVINA: Well, it's not like you tell yourself, "I belong here," or not. It's just basically for me, every match is important. It doesn't really matter for me the first round or the fifth round. It feels better. It feels like, you know, you play, you play with the seeded players and, yeah, exactly you feel like you belong here, you play Capriati and Williams' sisters and Davenport and feel good about it.

Q. Now in the next round you have Francesca Schiavone. Have you ever played against her and what do you think about her?

ELENA BOVINA: Yeah, I played her. Actually, I didn't know that I was going to play her. She's a really good player. She's the type of player that she's not going to give it to you, anything. If you've got to win against her, you've got to do everything. You've got to beat her. You don't get from her a lot of cheap points, and she moves great and she fights. She's a great fighter. You know, I really respect her as a player. It's going to be a tough one.

Q. How many times have you played with her?

ELENA BOVINA: I think we played two times, yes. I won both of the times, and it was -- both of the times it was, you know, good matches.

Q. Did you watch Safina's match?

ELENA BOVINA: I saw it a little bit. I mean, I think she's going to be a great player, but right now, against Serena, it's tough. It's tough to play her.

Q. Is she nervous?

ELENA BOVINA: I don't know. You should ask her. Well, she probably was a little bitter nervous, but she had nothing to lose. She played against the No. 1 player in the world. There is not much to be nervous about.

Q. Does it matter to you how the Russian girls do or are you just here for yourself?

ELENA BOVINA: Well, right now, I don't really follow the other players. I just know my opponent, that's all, and I don't really follow the other Russian girls. But I'm really happy for Myskina and Kuznetsova and other girls. It's good for Russian tennis that they are doing so good.

Q. In the second week of a Grand Slam, people are going to be concentrating more on like who are these people, flushing out the personalities of the players left. Do you feel comfortable with that, with people asking but more than just your tennis, like what kind of techno music do you like?

ELENA BOVINA: Yes, it's nice. Definitely, if you play deeper in the week, it's less and less girls, and everybody wants to know about their interests, what they like in life, as a normal person. I think it's normal.

Q. There's some women who really balk at those questions; they don't think that people have a right to know, like, who they are dating or things like that.

ELENA BOVINA: Well, some girls don't like that, but I'm totally fine with that. I have nothing to hide from anybody.

Q. What was your goal coming into the Open?

ELENA BOVINA: My main goal was to try everything that I've been working for the last three months, and I've been doing it pretty good, I think. I didn't have a particular goal like to win matches. Of course, I wanted to do it, you know, the best I could. But the main thing was just to try things that I've been working on.

Q. Do you feel like you're further than you thought you would be before the tournament started?

ELENA BOVINA: To tell the truth, I wasn't thinking about how far I was going to go. Of course, in my head, the further away I can go is I can go to the finals. It's every player keeps that in mind that there's like seven matches out there that they can play. Everybody has a chance. It's not like if you are 100 in the world, you can't win two matches; you have to lose first round or second round. No, everybody has a chance. It's just how you use that opportunity.

Q. There's a channel starting up, the Tennis Channel, which is going to be all tennis all the time and they are going to have a segment where they take people into the lives of players. If they were to follow you around, where would you take them, like what kind of places would you take them to show them you?

ELENA BOVINA: I would go to probably Japanese restaurant for sushi, movies. You know, it's tough because tennis players, they don't have that much time, much free time to do. When you do have time, you do as a normal person, you go shopping and you go to the movies and you go out and you eat in the restaurants. Some people like go out, night life, they like to go out to the clubs or something. You know, you can do that once in awhile. It's just like everybody else. But most of our time we spend on the tennis courts.

Q. Is there a club you would take them to, do you like to go clubbing, listen to techno music?

ELENA BOVINA: Oh, sure, sure. Definitely. But it's just you've got to pick the right time because after one night, for two days, you are out of -- you're sleeping.

Q. Are you still residing in Moscow?

ELENA BOVINA: In Moscow, yeah.

Q. Trained two years at Bollettieri?

ELENA BOVINA: I used to.

Q. And you didn't have a match point in the second set, did you?


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