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April 25, 2010

Elena Dementieva


7-6, 0-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. Unusual match, 10 consecutive breaks of serve, 6-0, you come back to win. How would you categorize it so up and down?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think this match was probably the most important match of the semifinal. I think we were both playing with a lot of pressure today.
I was not able to win a single, only one serve, in the first set. I think Melanie was very aggressive with the return and she was putting a lot of pressure on my second serve and playing really aggressively on my serve.
I think, you know, I was playing maybe not at my best, but I was fighting. We had such a good fight in the first set. So when I won the tiebreak, I just feel like I was a little bit tired, and I just lost my concentration, had a very slow start in the second set.
I think she was going more into the shots and, you know, playing very aggressively. I just lost it so quickly, I couldn't change the way I was playing.
I was really upset with the second set. But the captain was trying to support me, saying, You just have to have a good start in the third set to go in the lead and you will feel the game again. So that's what I was trying to do.

Q. Did you get to a point in the second set where you thought, I'm not going to worry about this set and look forward to the next set? I don't want to say you necessarily gave it away, but...
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think after 3-Love, I was kind of start to think about third set. It doesn't mean that I was losing it, but I was just trying to get into the rhythm of the game, you know, just try to stay focused, stay positive, even that I was losing like six games in a row. I was just trying to save some energy for a good start of the third set.

Q. I know it's most frustrating not to be able to hold serve, but do you draw strength from being able to play so well on the opponent's service games? Is it a balance between irritation at not being able to hold and pride at being able to break?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, today I don't feel like my serve wasn't there. I feel like Melanie was really, you know, on fire on the returns. I mean, she didn't miss a lot. You know, she was going for the shots. I was trying to mix it up a lot on my first serve because every time I was going flat, she was coming with a better return.
It was very difficult to serve against her today. I was trying to think every time where should I go because she was so into the ball. I think she had an excellent return the whole game. So that's why, you know, I couldn't win a single serve at the beginning of the match, because of how aggressive she was on my serve.

Q. Can you ever recall a match with 10 straight service breaks?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Q. Really?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah. It doesn't bother me at all.

Q. I think you showed your experience in the third set. You were serving 4-2, she had a breakpoint. You saved that. You came to the net a few times. Talk about how you sort of seized the moment.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think it comes with experience. You just have to feel when is a good moment to go to the net, when is a good moment to change the game. Especially playing against Melanie, who is very consistent, very solid on the baseline, sometimes you just have to take a risk and go to the net or go for the dropshots even if she's going to take it.
You have to change something in the game because she feels very comfortable running from one corner to another corner. It's very difficult to stay the whole time like that against her.
So I think it was a good move for me to take a risk, move forward and finish the ball at the net. I feel like that's the way I should play from the beginning. That's the way I have to play against her.

Q. Dinara apparently is going to be playing in Stuttgart this week. Have you been in touch with her? It sounds like she's very eager to get back.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I talked to her just last week. I was asking her if she's going to come to play Stuttgart. She was like, Yeah, I'm getting ready, I'm going to come there.
I just feel sorry for her that she was injured from Australia. She couldn't play any single tournament. But what an effort last year, holding the No. 1 position for such a long time, playing with so much pressure because of you guys, you know, talking that she's the No. 1 without winning Grand Slam. I think it was tough on her.
I think she's a great player. She improve her game so much. She was able to win so many tournaments, especially on the clay courts. I realized how difficult was physically to stay four weeks in a row winning Rome, Madrid and then final in Paris.
Probably just was, you know, overplay for her and she was not able to get ready for the new season, starting with an injury, her back injury. I'm just happy that she's coming back.

End of FastScripts

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