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March 18, 2008

Svetlana Kuznetsova


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about the match today? It seemed pretty routine for you today?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, much better. I think he was just more focused when the second set started. I didn't let what happened in the other match happen, and this is it. Just being much more consistent.

Q. You feel like you're in you're stride right now?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, definitely I'm getting better. I need matches, so it's important to me to keep playing matches.
I have very tough match tomorrow, which I'm hungry for. I play Radwanska. I lost to her in Australian Open, so I would love to get this back.

Q. So a revenge match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I hope so. I'll do my best. It's going to be a very difficult match, but I'm looking forward to it a lot.

Q. Where are you hanging mostly when you're not travel in? Are you in Spain? Are you in Russia?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I try to go back as much as I can to Moscow, and then Monte-Carlo.

Q. When did you change your residence to Monte-Carlo?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: In June last year. June, July. Summer is much better in Monte-Carlo than in Spain, but I also have to come to Spain to train.

Q. Do you live near any other tennis players in Monte-Carlo?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know exactly. I been there a few times and I seen only tennis players on the courts and stuff. But I know like so many of them that live there.
I don't know exactly the map, I just know where my apartment is and a few other hotels and a few supermarkets and that's it, and few tennis clubs. So I need to get better in that.

Q. Did you run into the other players like grocery shopping things like that?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, not yet, because I'm hanging on the beach most of the time, and players are work.

Q. Can you just talk about the Australian Open match against her.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, it was pretty destructive match. I didn't play well at all. I had so many opportunities and I didn't use any of them.
I played my -- not good game, I would say so, and she played too well. It was the roof closed, and I was not kind of there mentally, you know. I didn't get that point. It was the Grand Slam. It was so many things which maybe distracted me.
So now I'm different mood and I'm playing different. I know it was Grand Slam, so it was very disappointing loss for me. It was also pretty much pressure also going there. And, yeah, that's it.

Q. Do you handle the pressure now better than you used to?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Some days. (Laughter). It's never like every day is perfect, you know. I try. I go out there. Every day it's a new day, so every day you need to face the same thing. One day you do it better and one day you do it worse and one day you do it perfect and one day it's not coming.

Q. Are there more good than bad days than there used to be?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, so far, if you watch my results this year, there is some that is very good and some that is pretty disgusting. So it's half and half.

Q. There are so many good Russian players. Do you have any idea who will be on the Olympic team at this point? Probably you and Maria and Chakvetadke.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: And I would say Dementieva. I think so.

Q. Where is the Olympics as a priority for you? For some players it's different. Obviously Andy is not playing.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: For me it's very important. It's like a Grand Slam or even maybe more important than.

Q. Really?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, for sure. My family is all cyclists. In Russia, for Russian people, it's so big. It's huge.

Q. So if you could have a Wimbledon title or the Olympic gold medal...
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Olympic gold medal.

Q. No question?

Q. Wow. What about the French?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It would come very close, you know. I hope I don't need to choose this one.

Q. The French?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't know. I hope I don't have to choose this one, but...

Q. But it's that important to you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, if I have one Grand Slam and I would have one Olympic medal it would be good. I have chances to win next year, you know? There is no Olympics.

Q. But it is tough. It ends right before the US Open, and that's...
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I'm strong. I train hard, so I think I should be fine.

Q. Maybe you should enter in cycling in the Olympics?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don't like it. It's so boring.

Q. Do you say that in front of your parents?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah. They're fine. That's my opinion, you know. I'm a ball player, I'm not cycling.

Q. Will they go to the Olympics, do you think, your parents?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, I don't think so. My dad if he gets a team, but I don't think he gets a team.

Q. Do your parents travel with you at all? I don't think I've ever seen them.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, they're not. My dad has never saw me play, you know. You would not believe that one.

Q. In your life?

Q. In your life he's seen you play.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, he see me play on TV every time I play. He never saw me play live on the tournament. You say you never saw him, so he never been there. He saw me play when I was like 14 in St. Petersburg when I play championship of the city.
He wanted to come like in 2005, 2004 in Kremlin Cup in Moscow. I'm like, Dad, you know, I play tennis already since I been seven. I was like nineteen. Twelve years, thirteen years. I'm fine. Just don't bother.
My mom, she was traveling with me when I was younger. But for me, it's tough, because I see people, players with parents around, and it's huge support to you, but then in the same time the parents, what they care for you, it's more than enough.
You know, they do it with so much heart and sometimes they don't -- I'm not saying about my parents, but they don't see this limit.

Q. So it's not healthy.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yes. For me it's not healthy. Everybody has their own routine and people, the parents, most of the parents go like, Oh, what this one is doing and this one is doing. I want you to be --
Sometimes I feel it's negative vibe coming from parents because they're overwhelm people. They don't want only to do -- the daughter to do well or the son to do well, they want others to do not so good.
So this is not healthy. You know, you need to concentrate on yourself, and that's it. Sometimes it's just difficult.

Q. But your mother has never come when, like when you're in the French Open final or the US Open final?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. US Open, no. But why? You know, it's a bit -- this is a bit comes to superstitious for me, because if you have the same team, why you need somebody else? If you go with this team to the final, why do I need...

Q. Right. I won't come sit in your box if you're winning, Sveta. I promise you.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No, you can see different people in my box. I'm not superstitious person. For me, I am winning. It's not the some grip or shower or towel or the line win it, you know? This is me.
If I do something, I like the routine. So if I don't string two racquets I string three, I'm not going to...

Q. But your mother doesn't say, Oh, I'd like to see you play in a tournament?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: She gets so nervous. She gets so nervous, my mom. Like sometimes I remember I was playing and she would start jumping up and down and I would like miss easy ball and go like that.
For me it's like the worst. Like my box, I'm so mad I missed, and my mom goes, (gasping.) I'm going, Oh, my God. Like you know I feel it, the support of them so much because they care so much.

Q. Right. But just to be clear, your father and your mother have never come to watch a professional match?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: My father. My father. My mother, yes, she been traveling with me. She was traveling with me maybe until age seventeen. And from seventeen until twenty, nineteen and a half, she was living with me all the time.

Q. But your father is too nervous, or he's not interested or you don't want him there?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Like there was one time -- first of all, he's very busy. He is obsessed about his team all his life. Like, I mean, obsessed in a good way. He's too professional. He needs to control everybody, how they train, how they do.
And then he has his own schedule. He's building track in St., Petersburg, and then he has to control his team. I've always been on my own with my mom. My dad always called my mom every day and check how much I was training. He was still there, you know. He a not there, but he's there.

Q. Right.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: After this day that he said, I'm coming, I'm like, Oh, no. That's fine.

Q. That was the Kremlin Cup?

Q. In what year?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: 2005 maybe, or 2004 maybe. Probably 2004.

Q. You're not saying that he's banned from watching you play professionally?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No. He's not banned. Once he come, and since that time we didn't discuss that topic at all.

Q. Do you care about the dancing thing that Monica Seles is doing tonight, Dancing with the Stars?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Yeah, she is doing? I will try to watch it. What time is it?

Q. I think 8:00.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I think that would be fun to watch. I think Alicia Molik did it one year. I didn't watch it. She promised to give me a video, but she never did, so... I would love to watch it.

Q. Did she do bad and that's why she didn't give you the video?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: She was a bit shy. But I said look, all of Australia saw you doing that, so why you don't want me to see that?

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