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April 23, 2010

Elena Dementieva

Alla Kudryavtseva

Ekaterina Makarova

Shamil Tarpischev


TIM CURRY: Questions for the team.

Q. Shamil, talk about the order of the draw and also what keys to this event you think will be needed in order to win and what you know about the Americans.
SHAMIL TARPISCHEV: (Through translation.) Well, I know the procedure of the drawing, but I think that we don't know what the results will be. They will be unpredictable maybe because of the nature of cataclysms.

Q. Welcome. I wanted each of you to tell us how you got here, because I think that might be one of the hardest parts of this competition, your travel story on how you got to the United States.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, my story probably is the most interesting. (Laughing.) I was driving for two hours from Atlanta, so it wasn't too bad.
But I'm sure that Shamil will tell you that it was really difficult to get here because of the situation with Iceland.
SHAMIL TARPISCHEV: (Through translation.) I'm flying since Sunday and I arrived on Wednesday. I originally was scheduled to fly with Lufthansa that through Europe, but couldn't do that so we had to reschedule with Aeroflot through New York.
So we flew to New York first and then from New York to Birmingham and arrived on Wednesday late evening, so, in fact, we only had one full day here yesterday. That's all.
ALLA KUDRYAVTSEVA: Well, I also didn't have much problem getting here because I was in the States. I actually think that's one of the reasons I got selected. It is really hard, you know, it is a tough situation with the flights and all of it.
We have a considerably smaller time this time, as you see, only three players. Also, you know, the rest of the team -- usually we have two massage therapists and a couple of personal coaches and a fitness trainer. This time we came a couple people short because of the conditions. I mean -- you know, what I mean.
So, yeah, I didn't have a bad flight at all. I came from Florida, three hours with the changes. Here I am. I was late for my flight, but that's my own fault, right?
TIM CURRY: Katarina.
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Yeah, I was also playing tournaments in the U.S., so I flew from Charleston and here I am. I didn't fly from Moscow, so that was good.

Q. Elena, could you talk about your doubles experience. Liezel talked about that she didn't think you played doubles. She wasn't sure you were gonna play Sunday.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't remember my doubles experience. What was the last time I played doubles? I don't remember. Well, but I used to play doubles, and I won couple tournaments. I played with lots of different players.
Well, I think I'm a very experienced player. If my team will need me to play in the doubles match, I'm sure I will do so.
But I think Ekatarina and Alla, they play doubles almost every single tournament and they're pretty successful in doubles. So I don't think it's gonna be problem for us.
But we realize that Liezel is, you know, No. 1 player in doubles, and it's gonna be a tough challenge for us.

Q. So Shamil, if it does go to the doubles match and it deciding the event, does Elena play, or are you, as Liezel perhaps suggested, sort of faking them out?
SHAMIL TARPISCHEV: (Through translation.) We already had a situation once on Fed Cup in France with the French team. We had 2-2, and we put the pair, Dementieva and Safina, and then they have never played together before and they won.
So you never know. Even if there is difference in the level of players you could have a great result. You could win if you find some reserves in you. It could happen.

Q. Elena, you've spoken before about the significance of the Olympic medal that you won and how, in some ways, that was more important and recognized in Russia than a Grand Slam even would be. But how is a Fed Cup victory recognized? Is that something that also people will walk up on the street and congratulate you for? You have three of them, I think, in the last ten years. Rate that in terms of its importance in Russia.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think Fed Cup is very special event. It's a very special way you represent your country for all of us, every single player. I'm really honored to be part of the team and represent my country in the Fed Cup.
Well, I think people love team competition. They feel more involved in this kind of competition. They like to be very supportive no matter if they are here with us or -- you know, they gonna cheer for us from back home in Russia. That's what makes this event very special.
Yeah, it is very popular in Russia because of the results that we had in the past years. We were able to won this title for a couple of times. It's become a really big and important event in Russia.

Q. Alla, playing the opening match against Melanie - you guys played at the Australian Open - how would you assess how your games match up?
ALLA KUDRYAVTSEVA: Well, you know, team competition is very different from individual matches, so I'm looking forward to it. I don't know. I've never played in a Fed Cup tie, so I'm really excited.
Melanie is a great player. She improves every week and she has a big heart. I know she'll be playing well for her country. So, you know, looking forward to the challenge.
TIM CURRY: Any further questions? All right. Thank you.

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