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June 24, 2009

Gisela Dulko


G. DULKO/M. Sharapova
6-2, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Gisela Dulko. First question, please.

Q. You held your nerve very well to close out that match, didn't you?
GISELA DULKO: Yes. I was very nervous in the end. The last game was forever for me. But, you know, I'm feel it was very important to finish in that moment. Because at 5-All, you know, third set and with her serve again, it was everything starting again, and I didn't want that to happen.
So I was very relieved after that game.

Q. Did you think with the lack of matches she played this was a good opportunity for you?
GISELA DULKO: Well, obviously, yes. She's, you know, coming back from big injury and is one of the, I don't know, second, third tournament she played after.

Q. Fourth.
GISELA DULKO: Fourth. Well, yes, of course is better to play with her now than in the past or maybe in the future. You know, it was a good moment.
But, anyway, she's very tough opponent, especially here on grass. You know, her ball is coming really fast, and she hit very, very big groundstrokes.

Q. You were a very popular winner with the crowd. To what extent do you think Maria's grunting or shrieking turned the crowd in your favor?
GISELA DULKO: No, I think, you know, it was my first time on the Centre Court. Maybe the people didn't know me till today. And, well, I think I start the match really well, and maybe the people get into that and they like it.
I don't think because of Maria. I think they just like the way I start to play and the way I was in the court. They were a big support after.

Q. When the game got so tense at the end, it was a terrific game at the end, did the decibels seem to go up?

Q. The sound of the grunting from Maria, the shouting. As a spectator, I was more conscious of it. What about you? Did it begin to get on your nerves a little bit?
GISELA DULKO: No. To be honest, I was so focused on the match. I was trying to play my best tennis. It was a big game for me. I didn't really.

Q. It didn't bother you at all?
GISELA DULKO: No, not at all, no.

Q. You played her before her injury, obviously. Did you notice much difference in her service particularly today from how it was before?
GISELA DULKO: Uhm, no, not really. I think today she served very well. She did some double-faults. But, as well, I did. She was going for the second serve, that's why she make the mistake.
But I think she's serving well, yeah.

Q. Is this the finest win of your career? You beat Navratilova here a few years ago. Is this win even better?
GISELA DULKO: Well, I think, yes, is the win of my career because it was first time on Centre Court. And for me to play here on Wimbledon, I think it's the best tournament with more tradition. It's great to play on Centre Court. And to beat Maria, a great player, and past champion, as well.

Q. What happened in the second set? You were a set and 3-Love up. Suddenly she came back and won six games in a row. What happened there to you?
GISELA DULKO: I think -- well, 3-Love, she hold serve. Then 3-1, I didn't play a good game there. All the match I was going forward, and this game, I don't know, maybe I get a little bit nervous. The match was close. I went back a little bit.
You know, she's a great fighter also. You know, she was there. And I give her a little bit of opportunity to come back, and she did it.

Q. Can you take us through your thoughts during what wound up being the last game of the match, five match points. Was it tough to close it out for you?
GISELA DULKO: Yes, was tough. Was big game. Like I said, she's a fighter and she was there till the end. You know, she didn't give any free points. She's fighting all the time.
So I was feeling that. And I knew it was a big, big game. I had a big pressure to hold my serve. But, yes, at the end I was trying to relax and enjoy the moment, yeah.

Q. Maria had a distinctive new jacket, military style jacket. What do you think of that? What do you think of Maria's fashion generally?
GISELA DULKO: I think it's very pretty.

Q. Maria has a lot of fans, not just because she's a great tennis player, but because she's very attractive and she does a lot of modeling. A few people have noticed you're not so bad looking yourself. How do you feel about being a pin up?
GISELA DULKO: Thank you.

Q. Would that be welcome attention, queen of SW19? Would that be welcome, that attention? Our publication is making you the new pin up of Wimbledon. Would that be a welcome attention for you?
GISELA DULKO: Yeah, it's always nice. I always said, I'm not only a tennis player, I'm a woman. I didn't understand the question very well. Sorry, my English is not very good.

Q. (Question translated into Spanish.)
GISELA DULKO: Oh, that would be nice. It would be nice.

Q. She got a time violation near the end there. Did that annoy you, the fact she was trying to take her time?
GISELA DULKO: No, not really because that took me by surprise that they did the, how do you call, the warning, because I didn't notice that she was taking time. Like I said, I was thinking of me and very focused in the match.

Q. What is your football team in Argentina?
GISELA DULKO: Football? Boca and Tigre.

Q. Do you have a boyfriend?
GISELA DULKO: We talking about tennis here. Not personal, no. I'm not gonna talk about that.

Q. I think since Sabatini, Argentina is more famous for men's players. Is there pressure on you to sort of advance the women's game in Argentina?
GISELA DULKO: No, it's not a pressure. I would like more womans, you know, in the draw here in Wimbledon.

Q. Why do you think there's a difference between the two?
GISELA DULKO: Well, I don't know. It's always been like this. It's always more mens than womans. But I don't know. Fortunately we have very good male players that they are doing great right now.
For sure I'm very proud to be the No. 1 of Argentina, but I really would like more players from the girls.

Q. Did the warmth of the crowd surprise you, the support of the crowd?
GISELA DULKO: Yes, really, because I felt, you know, they were with me, I don't know, since I think after the first set. I start to feel they were with me all the time and not with her, you know. It was very surprising and very nice. I was feeling great.

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