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January 24, 2010

Nadia Petrova


N. PETROVA/S. Kuznetsova
6-3, 3-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you see Kim Clijsters's comments after the match and do you feel she didn't give you enough credit that you deserved?
NADIA PETROVA: Honestly, I wasn't really paying much of attention. I thought to myself after that win that I have to stay focused for the next one. I didn't really go through the newspapers. Didn't really bothered by that.
But, uhm, what I must say, yes, it was a very good match from my side, and it would be really nice to get a good feedback from the person that I defeated.

Q. Did you play at that level again today, do you think?
NADIA PETROVA: Today was similar. I felt like, you know, my motivation, my concentration was on the same level. But today there were a little more unforced errors than against Kim. But I fought hard. I chased every single ball possible. You know, I end up winning it.

Q. You've had a lot of trouble against Svetlana over the last few years. Did you do something differently today?
NADIA PETROVA: Uhm, differently today? Well, instead of giving opportunity for her to put pressure on me and dictating the game, you know, I took everything in my hands. This time, you know, I felt also much fitter. I knew it doesn't really matter how long the match would go for, I still had a lot of energy.
I'm sure sometimes I even surprised her, you know, how well I was chasing the balls.

Q. Svetlana says this is the best she's seen you play in a couple of years. Do you agree?
NADIA PETROVA: Uhm, I think she might have been right. It's not only that I'm playing well, but I think it's just the whole composure on the court, it's like one complete player, yes.

Q. Where is that composure coming from?
NADIA PETROVA: Good question (smiling).
I think it has a lot to do with my pre-season. I had six weeks of hard work. I really took my fitness to another level, especially because of last season has been difficult with the injury. So that was my main focus.
I guess, you know, going out there for each single match, I know what I've done. I know how much, like, gas I have in my tank, so I know that I can really push and dig really deep.

Q. You've beaten one Belgian already. You're going to play another one. Who do you expect to show up on the other side of the net on Tuesday?
NADIA PETROVA: That's not my concern right now (laughter). Doesn't really matter. As long as I'm in the happy state of mind and I'm performing like I've done the last couple of matches, I honestly don't care.

Q. Can you speak about both of them? If you play against Henin, what are you going to do differently than in Brisbane?
NADIA PETROVA: Definitely I'm going to take charge more in the rallies. Really got to be more focused on my serves, really work hard on the returning games. It's gonna be my main concern to break her and hold my serve.
If I'll be playing Wickmayer, it's going to be our first meeting, so it's always quite exciting for me 'cause, you know, I like to discover new players. I like to find the right, maybe, tactics as long as the match is going on.
You know, it doesn't really matter. I'm just happy to be in the quarters. I'm enjoying the way I'm playing right now. I'm looking forward to whoever it is on the other side.

Q. Is there a particular competition among the Russian women?
NADIA PETROVA: There's a lot of us obviously. We all fighting to be a part of the Olympic team. For example, two years ago I was, like, just outside of top 10, and I didn't even make it to Beijing because was like five other Russians in top 10. That's kind of a bit frustrating.
Yeah, of course, you know, every one of us wants to be the No. 1 in our country. Everyone wants to be the No. 1 representing in the Fed Cup. There is a lot of competition between us.

Q. Why are there so many good players?
NADIA PETROVA: I don't know. Big country (laughter).

Q. Do you feel like you've left some things on the table in your career that you want to achieve?
NADIA PETROVA: That's why, you know, I'm still here. That's why I'm working hard and digging deep, because I know there's still a lot to accomplish. There's still a lot to let out. That's what I'm really looking for. Like I'm looking for different little kind of like, you know, I know there's a lot left, and I'm just trying to discover those things, you know.
I really want to finally be a complete player. I want to quit tennis knowing that, you know, I've done everything possible, I developed as much as I could, and I gave hundred percent of it.

Q. Talking about your composure before, you said you had done a lot of fitness work before this tournament. What happens in the match? Is there something different you're saying to yourself in the match than before to keep yourself calm?
NADIA PETROVA: Well, first of all, it's just a game. You know, it's not the end of the world if you lose a match, because life goes on. There's so many beautiful and wonderful things you can do besides that.
I've learned to deal with the losses and I've learned to keep the motivation always up. Yeah, maybe right now because of that, you know, I feel a little bit more relaxed. I'm not as stressed if I make a silly mistake or something doesn't go my way because, you know, I still can make the best out of this day. Not necessary that it's going to be on the tennis court.

Q. So did you put too much pressure on yourself in the past then?
NADIA PETROVA: Yeah, well, I've always been a perfectionist. You know, it's not an easy thing because you always want to do everything perfect. You always ask a lot from yourself.
But at the other hand, it's also a good quality because it always makes me develop. It always drives me, you know, to become a better player.

Q. I know you've had some very good results before, but did you expect coming into the season that you could come to Melbourne and beat Kim and Svetlana the way you did?
NADIA PETROVA: Well, that's hard to actually answer that question right now because, you know, I didn't have a good beginning of the year. Lost two first rounds, got a little bit down about it. But I know I always did well at the Grand Slams and I knew I really had to focus one match at a time.
And when I played Kim, before going on court, I said, It's all or nothing, I gotta to give everything. I did. Same thing happened today. Just if I can really continue doing this, I can get even further.

Q. If you meet Justine, will that match have a special taste for you?
NADIA PETROVA: Oh, yeah, definitely. You know, I've played her recently already twice, so I really know what she's playing. I know what to expect. I know what kind of balls going to be coming at me. So it's all fresh in the memory, so it's going to be maybe even easier maybe for me to play her because it's like it's so fresh in my mind.

Q. What do you think of her return?
NADIA PETROVA: What I think? I mean, it's obviously great for the tour to have her back because she was too young to retire, and she retired being No. 1. There were a lot of questions, Why did that happen? But obviously, you know, after a couple years, she realized that there's still a lot of undone business, maybe, and she really misses to be back on the tour.
You know, it's great to see, like, Kim and Justine are coming back.

Q. You're not surprised that Justine came back, are you? Did you sort of expect it at some point?
NADIA PETROVA: Yeah, I'm not surprised at all because, you know, as I say, again, she just retired way too young, way too young.

Q. When she retired, did you think she was going to take some time off, but since she's a big competitor, she'll be back?
NADIA PETROVA: Yes, yes, she's a big competitor. She's done a lot. She achieved a lot. But I'm sure, you know, she still has this kind of dream come true to win Wimbledon. That's also main reason also she came back. She changed the game because of that, as well.

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