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August 11, 2008

Jie Zheng


J. ZHENG/A. Szavay
4-6, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your first game in the Olympics lasted almost 2 hours and 50 minutes. Do you think the Olympic Games are really difficult?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) Well, I think all the people coming to the Olympics are very strong players. And my opponent today is actually No. 14 in the ranking. And she won the title last year in India.
I actually beat her in Wimbledon in the grass court this year, but here we play the hard court, which is really different. In the first set, I think I had some chances to beat her, but actually I had a misjudgment at 4-4. But I would like to say that I thank you for all your support.

Q. In the final set, were you still very confident you were going to win?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) Well, I think in the final set, it's kind of a test of physical strength. At that time actually I was thinking about the last Olympics where I actually lost at 6-8. I told myself that I wouldn't repeat that mistake again.

Q. This is the longest match in the Olympic Games. The impact on your future games in the doubles and singles, how are you going to relax yourself?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) I think the weather conditions today are rather good, so it wouldn't be a problem. After Wimbledon, we actually took one month for physical training, so I got lots of physical strength. I actually relaxed myself before I came into the press conference. I'm going to do more exercise tonight so I can recover myself. I hope that I can have good results tomorrow.

Q. Did you also change your tactics today in the last game?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) I think I also changed some of my tactics in response to my opponent because she's very strong in her backhand and service, but not really good at the forehand. Therefore, I took the opportunities of her forehand and put her on the run.

Q. I think this is more than just a game, more a mental game, because your opponent used a lot of tactics, such as dropshots, et cetera. How did you change your tactics in response to this?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) Actually I believe it's also more than a physical game, but a mental game. Before I came to play this game, I actually determined what kind of tactics I would like to take to this opponent. In the court, I actually just encouraged myself and had faith in myself.
I would also like to thank all the supporters, especially those from my hometown Sichuan, and they are speaking local dialect to cheer me up. Thank you so much.

Q. I want to know if your first match in the Olympics in Beijing was more pressure than usual and how the crowd affected you?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) Well, I think the Olympics now is held in Beijing and I have so many supporters here that make me so motivated, and they've given me a lot of mental support, particularly in today's match, a very close match. So it's very helpful for me at important points.

Q. What kind of changes have you witnessed in tennis in this four years? What kind of feelings do you have?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) I was actually talking to my coach just now. Actually four years ago our goal was to win the first round. This year is actually the first time we win the first round of the Olympics.
I think it's really significant for us because we have witness the evolution. Particularly, not many people came to see the tennis four years ago, but now I saw so many people and supporters here. That's very significant.

Q. Did your match encourage the Sichuan people?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) I think the Sichuan people have always been very courageous. Today I saw many people from my hometown cheering for me. That is very good feelings for me because I feel that I am playing at home and people even use their local dialect to encourage me. Most of the time we spend our tournaments abroad, and we don't have that kind of experience.

End of FastScripts

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