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January 24, 2010

Maria Kirilenko


5-4 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Not the way you wanted to win, but you'll take it?
MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, I mean, of course I feel very bad. I think to get injury is the worse thing that you can get on the tournament.
Yeah, I mean, and then I saw that something happened, but I couldn't understand what's really. Then she told me that the spine, something happened with the spine. She had it before already so...
Yeah, I'm feeling bad for Dinara really.

Q. Did you feel like before it happened you had gotten yourself into the match?
MARIA KIRILENKO: Well, I think, you know, she start very well and she didn't miss any ball. For me, was little bit difficult, as well, because I was waiting. And, of course, she was waiting all day today in the club, almost nine hours. For me was little bit difficult to adapt to the night, you know, to make a serve because the sky is dark, you know.
And then I tried to make a long rallies. And then I start to play much better. I move her a lot today actually. Maybe that was a problem with her back after.

Q. Did you notice she was struggling at all before she actually came up to the net and pulled out?
MARIA KIRILENKO: I don't remember. I think the score was 2-1. I don't remember. We had a long game. 3-2, we had a long game. Then I remember that during this game she came -- she went to the chair umpire and asked something. And I understand that maybe it was a physio, you know.
Yeah, but anyway, she was fighting. She said few times, C'mon. Then the physio came and she didn't take a break. I didn't understand like what's happening.
Yeah, then I saw she's serving like very soft. Then she said something not really good, and yeah.

Q. First time in a Grand Slam quarterfinal. That's a big opportunity for you.
MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, I mean, of course it's nice. I'm first time actually in the quarterfinal. Yeah, I'm happy about it. But I prefer, you know, to win and get -- like to win all match and get to the quarterfinal than to win like this.

Q. But it's been sort of a long process for you to get to that point.
MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, but anyway I feel I'm playing good. Even tonight I played quite good. I was moving not bad. Yeah, actually I'm happy with my game.

Q. You've played Jie Zheng five times. What do you expect from her?
MARIA KIRILENKO: Last time I played her exhibition in Kuala Lumpur. It was such a long game, 7-5 in the third. After this exhibition, we were laughing because we were so tight. Normally in the tournament, you get so tight, not in exhibition.
Yeah, I expecting to get very tough match. I saw her match today. She is like, well, you know, not miss any ball. You need to beat her. She's a very good player, you know. It's going to be tough for me, for sure.

Q. How are you feeling physically? You had some bandages.
MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, I have some little problem. But it's okay. I'm fighting. Doesn't matter for me. Even if it's painful something, I just keep going.

Q. Last year wasn't your best year. What is the reason now you have the success you're having?
MARIA KIRILENKO: Last year when I start to play, I had such a big pain in my knee. I played the first set. I mean, I finished the matches, but it was such a big pain. The second set for me was difficult to move. I didn't make any fitness at all because was so much pain.
I played only tennis, played only from the middle. Then when I had a match, it was difficult for me actually because physically I was not strong at all.
But after, yeah, Wimbledon, my knee gets better. I start to make a special treatment. Now I can make, you know, the fitness full and practice full. Now I feel that I'm physically ready to play. And that's helped me a lot.

Q. I believe it's your birthday in an hour.

Q. What are you going to do?
MARIA KIRILENKO: I mean, I don't know. When I was a kid, I had a dream, you know, to be in a Grand Slam main draw in Australia when I have a birthday. I think my dream comes true.

Q. Do you get to have champagne or do you not have that because you're still in the tournament?
MARIA KIRILENKO: No, I don't want to get drunk before my next match (laughter). It's going to be difficult for me to play then. But, yeah, maybe after when I finish with my tournament I will celebrate with the girls from the locker room, with all my friends.

Q. Can you afford to get excited and happy at this point or do you have to focus and be very serious?
MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, I can say only that I'm focused, you know, and I'm still in the tournament. Yeah, I'm just need to be ready for my next match because the tournament not finished. Yeah, I need to keep going.

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