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August 27, 2008

Elena Dementieva


E. DEMENTIEVA/P. Parmentier
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I want to tell you that you have a huge number of fans in China, and they really love you, you know, especially you're winning the special gold medal in Beijing Olympic Games. But the question is, you could meet Na Li in the fourth round if you both win the next match. That could be a huge, tough battle for both of you. How do you think of her as a player?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I was very impressed the way she was playing in Beijing, you know, and especially after a long break. I know she was injured, and it was very tough for her to come back.
But the way she was playing in Beijing was unbelievable, because she beat so many great players, like Svetlana. The quality of the tennis that she was able to produce was unbelievably amazing.
So, well, but there is one more match to play, you know, before, and just want to focus on my next round. But for sure, you know, if I have to face her it's going to be tough match.

Q. After winning the single match in Beijing Olympics, do you think you are now into another level to be a great player? And also, Russia, how do they react for your winning as the gold medallist in the Olympic Games? That's the first time for women tennis to win a gold medal, you know.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I mean, we had a very nice, you know, celebration in Beijing, and with Russian Olympic team. Also a very nice reception back home in Moscow. Not only my result, but Dinara and Vera, all three of us. We were invited to our president, you know in a few -- next week.
Yeah, people are very happy for us. We had a lot of support back at home, and just was very special moment for all of us.

Q. You said the other day you watched the closing ceremonies on Sunday night, and you felt in a way that your mind and your heart were still in Beijing. That that was a challenge, that you have to turn your focus now and focus on the Grand Slam and that you clearly have come out with two, especially today, two very strong outings. I mean, do you feel right now that Beijing's fully behind you and you're locked and focused on this event?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, it will never be behind me. I mean, it's in my heart, and I will never forget this moment. But I have to refocus, and I have to do everything that's possible to play my best here, because it's a Grand Slam. It's the last Grand Slam of the year, and I want to do well here.
So it was really difficult in the beginning, you know, especially my first match, because we didn't have enough time, you know, for the adjustment.
But right now I feel better, and hopefully I will be better my next round.

Q. Do you feel great about the way you played today?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I think this girl, the French girl, I think maybe she was not playing at her best. Maybe she was a little bit nervous. But it was quite difficult because of the wind, you know, and the sun.
So, yeah, I'm satisfied I was able to finish in two sets.

Q. What do you know about your next opponent?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I never play against her actually. I don't know much about her. I know she's a good player. She play a lot of good groundstrokes, you know, very flat, so she likes to attack the ball. We'll see. I've never played her before.

Q. How do you feel about the way you're serving now? I notice that occasionally you'll have a game where you'll throw in maybe two double faults, but you seem to have an amazing ability to bounce back mentally from that.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I've been working a lot, you know, on my serve, and I'm still working. I can feel some improvement, but, I mean, it's not perfect yet, and I continue to work on this.

Q. As a high-profile member of the WTA, I was just curious what you thought about what Ashley Harkleroad did to pose in Playboy. Is that something good for sport, entertainment? Has there been any talk or discussion between the WTA members?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't know what to say. I have no comment on this.

Q. Back to your serve, if you do struggle on your serve, what do you focus on to get yourself back mentally into it and not to let it affect you?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I always used to say myself, you know, it's not about the serve. It's not about one particular shot. I don't want to make it perfectly, you know. It's a game.
You have to find a way to make it better, to find a way to win, and this is all about. So for me, you know, the most important is to stay positive and to go through some difficult moments in the match and be able to win when you're tired, when something gone wrong.
This is the most valuable, I think, in a good player.

Q. Talking about the WTA, people would say there's a time and place for everything. Serena said it was not time for the Serbians. Do you think that it's time for a Russian or an American again or, like, it's a battle for everyone to compete for No. 1?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, we're going to see a lot of fight and battle between all of the top 10 players, because, I mean, we stay all very close in the No. 1 position.
Everyone wants to reach the top of the game, so it's quite open for a lot of players for the moment. But I think it's very interesting for the sport, because we're going to see a lot of competition, a lot of tough matches because of this, and extra motivation for all of us. This is good.

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