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November 8, 2008

Vera Zvonareva


V. ZVONAREVA/E. Dementieva
7-6, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Vera, please.

Q. So, first big final. How does it feel?
VERA ZVONAREVA: What do you mean, the big one? I've been in quite a few finals this year.

Q. No, but Grand Slams, Championships, they are the big ones, so... You don't consider it as a big one, this one?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, for sure it's a big one. But I thought I played earlier this year in Doha was a big one, too. Charleston was a big one, too, I thought. But for sure it's something special.
You know, tomorrow is, yeah, I think it's going to be a special day. It's going to be a tough one. You know, I've been playing against Top 10 players every day here, and I was able to, you know, to win all my matches. And tomorrow I'm just looking forward to it.
I think it's very exciting to be here at the Championships, and to be able to play on the last day. Yeah, I'm going to try my best tomorrow.

Q. If someone had told you before the tournament starts that you would go for the final winning all matches, what would you have said?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. I would say I would be happy to do so. I think every player here, every player who comes to the tournament, they want to win it otherwise no reasons to come. I think I'm not an exception. We're all trying our best to get there, and, well, we'll see what's going to happen tomorrow.

Q. Can you sum up the match tonight?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, the match was very, very tough. I have always -- I had always had tough matches against Elena. I think she's a great fighter, so I knew I had to try to fight like every point.
You have to do it every match. But with her, I think you have to try to keep your concentration throughout the whole match. It's very difficult, because she always -- she never gives you easy points. So it's always difficult. Sometimes you have lack of concentration a little bit for a couple of points, then you get back.
But I think I did a very good job about it. Yeah, I had some games not so good. Maybe other games were very good little bit of ups and downs. But, overall, I was able to manage, you know, myself and my game pretty good.

Q. A lot of people probably wouldn't have expected you to get this far. I'm just wondering did you arrive here with a lot of confidence, or has that sort of grown as each match has gone on?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think every single tournament it's always tough for me to start the tournament. You know, first, second match. Sometimes, yeah, it's just me, it's like that. You know, I may not be able to play -- I may play very ugly tennis in the first match and second match maybe. And sometimes the third match I feel like I'm a totally different player. It just happens to me like that.
But here, I knew I had to start to play good every single match, because, well, if you don't, there is no chance.
So I didn't have any expectations, you know. I was just coming here. I felt confident about myself, but -- well, of course I didn't know what was going to happen. I'm really happy about the way I did so far.

Q. Maybe that should be your approach now for every tournament?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I'm approaching every tournament like I have to concentrate on my first match. That's very important for me. Well, that's how I do it.
I think by now I know better that I won't be able to play my best tennis in the first match, and that's how I accept it now. I still try my best, and try to go through as far as I can.

Q. Obviously, you're here to win and getting to the finals is a great success. But I'm guessing this is going to be the biggest payday for you by far. There is a lot of money at this tournament. Do you not think about that a little bit?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Not really. You know, I enjoy working. I'm enjoying playing. I like to challenge myself. I try to do my best on the court every time. I try to produce, you know, the tennis level of the game that I know I can play it, and I'm not really thinking about the prize money or something else.
Because I always try to be good at anything I do, that's just the way I am. If I know I'm not good at it, I better not to touch it, or I will try to make it perfect. That's what I'm trying the same to do in tennis.

Q. Can I just ask what you think about on-court coaching? Next year when it's introduced?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, it's interesting. I think I have two opinions about that. On one hand, tennis is an individual game, and your work with a coach should stay between player and a coach. Then when you go on court, you do the way -- well, you're playing. You know, it's like chess. You're playing. You do it. Then you discuss with the coach afterwards what can you improve and what you did well, what you did bad.
But on the other hand, I don't know. It's interesting as well if, actually, advice can change something in the game. But still, I think it's still the player who has to still has to do it on the court.
If it's interesting for the fans, it's interesting for the game, I think it's not bad. But if it's not very interesting for the fans, I don't think there is reasons to keep it.

Q. Do you think you'll be using it?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. We'll see. I have used it in the past, yeah. It's good, but the only thing is not every single player has a coach on the tour, so it's a little bit, I think, unfair to some players who have a coach and some players who don't.

Q. Talking about coach, tell us something, is this superstition or something else. But your coach sometimes is in the box next to the court, and sometimes he's not. He's hiding somewhere. So why is that?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Ask him (laughing). You know, I know he's there for me. I know he's there to help me no matter what. He supports me all the time. So that's what it is.
But there is nothing he can do about when I'm on the court. When I'm on the court, I'm on my own. I'm playing the game. And all the work stays after the match or before the match. But during the match, it's me who is out there and who is going to play. So, whatever makes him feel the best.

Q. It doesn't bother you. It doesn't bother you to see him in the box, and then all of a sudden he's not there anymore?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Oh, you know, but what can he do? Even if he sits right there or he sits 10 meters away, there is nothing he can do. I have to manage myself. I have to play the game.
Maybe next year when he can come on the court, then it will make the difference. But so far it is the player's job to play the match.

Q. Tomorrow in the final, it's a very, very big day for you, big occasion, plenty at stake. If we can possibly go into the future, could you possibly give us an insight into what might be going through your mind if the game is going well for you or if it's not going too well for you equally?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, if it's going well, it's going well, everything is perfect. If it's not going well, I'll probably be like any other player, maybe upset, disappointed. You know, the way maybe I played, maybe. Because I always know I can play very good tennis, but it's not always you can produce it on the court.
First of all, you have tough opponents on the other side who is trying as hard as they can not to -- so you don't play your best tennis. And also there are different days.
Well, we'll see what's going to happen tomorrow, but I'm definitely going to try my best. And, yeah, I'm going to be trying, and I think I will try to enjoy the moment. That's going to be the most important part. Even if things are not going well or if things are going to go well, I'm going to take an opportunity and enjoy the day.
It's not every day you can play in the finals of the Championships. So no matter what, I think I'm going to -- well, it's the last match of the season. It is. I have to give it 100%, and well, over 100% tomorrow, and then we'll see what's going to happen.

Q. Moving aside from today's game, you were at the UNESCO launch the other day. The tournament here and your representation on behalf of the players, what sorts of impact do you think these tournaments have on wider issues in this area?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think it's great to have a women's event here because maybe we bring something different to women in this part of the world. I think as the players, we travel so much, we see so many different cultures, different people, and I think it's great to have different cultures and different religions and different people because that's what makes the world, the world.
But I also feel like if there are some girls out there and guys out there and they want to do something like play tennis, they should have an opportunity. It's great. It's great for everybody, because tennis has given me so many opportunities in my life. I wish every single, you know, girl had a chance to do it.
It's great that we can have this event here as long as people can enjoy it here and as long as we don't bother anybody. But I think we have a great crowd here, and it's nice.

Q. Could we possibly see it sometime in the future which we have done in football, with the David Beckham Academy, academies being set up here by players?

Q. As in football, where we've had David Beckham setting up his own football academy, could we possibly long-term see players setting up an academy here?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think it's a great, great idea. I think there are more people getting interested in tennis. It would be nice if -- I think it's very interesting for the kids as well, to have choices and to be involved in something. They have somebody like David Beckham here, it makes young kids do something -- well, do something interesting. It will give them definitely more opportunities in their lives.
And if we have some players who can eventually have some academies and have some is impact on how some kids here, it would be great.

End of FastScripts

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