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September 6, 2010

Vera Zvonareva


V. ZVONAREVA/A. Petkovic
6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said that the wind was a problem. Was the temperature also an issue for you?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, the temperature is not an issue. And the wind, it wasn't an issue. It's just something that the conditions are like that. We had to deal with the wind.
You play with the wind on one side and you play against the wind on the other side. So you have to adapt. You have to change your strokes a little bit every two games. But that's something, you know, all the players have to deal with.

Q. You said on TV there's so many players that can win the tournament. Do you really believe that or do you think there's three or four strong favorites?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, obviously, you always, like -- I couldn't name one, two, or three girls. If you ask me, I will name, I don't know -- yeah, a lot of players. I really believe that.
I think right at the moment it's very competitive and it's very hard for everyone. There are unpredictable results, what they will call unpredictable, every day.
So I think that's what makes, yeah, the game interesting at the moment.

Q. But if it's unpredictable, are you surprised you've reached the quarterfinals?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, should I be surprised (laughter)?
No, I think, you know, I always believe in myself and I always believe if I can produce a good tennis, I can beat anyone. I know that it's not easy out there, even though it may look that the match today was easy. But it was not easy out there at all. I think I just was a little bit more experienced player tonight. I started off well. I made it very difficult for her.
But, you know, game-wise, it is never easy out there.

Q. What about Kaia Kanepi? What will you have to do?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. I think I never faced Kaia, actually. I remember her since juniors. We grew up together playing junior tournaments. But I also know that she's doing really good.
She reached quarterfinals of two Grand Slams this year. So that says a lot. Her game, you know, is very solid.
I haven't gotten the chance to think about it at all, and I never played her before. I'm still thinking about my match tonight, still, all that.
You know, I will take my time and I will think about it later. But at the moment, all I can say, it's going to be very tough challenge for me. I'm expecting a very tough match.

Q. If I recall correctly, a tough injury in Charleston, a run at Wimbledon, then here. Are you thrilled by this? Are you a little surprised by it? Is it the result of a lot of hard work?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. I'm just happy. You know, I'm happy that I played my first Grand Slam final this year. But I did something in the past. It's not something I'm trying to think about at all.
I'm happy that I made it to the quarterfinals today. Here it's going to be my first US Open quarterfinal.
But that's it. You know, I'm not thrilled or surprised or anything. I believe in myself and I'm happy that things are working out for me at the moment.

Q. At what point can you, as a player that's been around for a while, sense that a young player with potential, like Wozniacki, can actually come to a Grand Slam, not get nervous and beat a player like Sharapova? Sometimes young players play a veteran player and they can't handle it emotionally.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I think Caroline is doing a very good job. She's very tough mentally. And I think it was a great experience for her to go through all this when she was a junior player. She played a lot of junior competitions and she was one of the best ones, and she had to handle those situations all the time: to go on the court, defend herself, go through all these junior competitions. So they make you stronger.
When she came on the tour, she was already prepared. And I think she's doing a very, very good job because her game improved a lot. She got a lot of experience from the finals here last year. She beat a lot of, you know, top players in her career already.
So, uhm, you know, I think she deserve to win. You know, Maria is still a great player. You never know what's gonna happen next time. But, you know, today, I don't know, Caroline was just better.

Q. A lot of tennis, many people say, is about belief, inner feeling. Can you imagine yourself lifting the trophy a week from Saturday as the winner?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I'm taking it one match at a time. Like I said, I always believe in myself and I always believe I can win any tournament I'm coming to. Doesn't matter which one it is.
There is no reasons for me to come to the tournaments if I don't believe I can win it. That's the only reason I'm coming to play it.
So, you know, but I also know that it's not gonna happen every time. I'm not going to win the tournament every time, because it's just too difficult, 'cause everyone is working very hard. You know, I'm just thinking about my next match. Right now I'm still enjoying my win today. But tomorrow I will think about my match and I will take it one point at a time. I'm not going to look far ahead of me.

Q. Has your schoolwork in any way helped you as a tennis player?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, both -- I think it goes both ways. It helps. Of course, it helps to take your head away from tennis and experience different things, learn different things, enjoy doing something else besides tennis, because studies is something that I loved since a kid.
I used to love to go to school. Most kids hate it. You know, I loved it. I loved my school.
But also I'm a little bit disappointed because you need to put time into it. You need to put time into studies. With me playing tennis, you know, at that level it is very difficult. Right now I started school when I was injured, so I had a lot of time. But right now it is very difficult.
If I'm doing something, I want to do it hundred percent. So when I just go there and just try to do my exams, just answer those questions, I always want to learn a little bit more. But I really don't get the chance on the tour.
So on one hand it helps me, you know, to take my head away. On the other hand, it could be a little bit too many things to do in the same time.

Q. Are your studies on hold now?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Actually, September 1st was the first day back to school, and I missed it (smiling). But it started already. So my friends attended some classes already, but without me.

Q. Can you do any of that online, or is it all in person?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Uhm, well, online, not really. Exams you cannot do online. You have to go and find a teacher and you have to do your exams in person. But you can study. I'll always get a lot of e-mails with what was happening. Also there are websites that are given that you can do your own research and study on your own. Then you'll just have to attend and do your exams.

Q. The courses you're taking?
VERA ZVONAREVA: It's diplomatic academy of the ministry of foreign affairs. It's the faculty of international economic relations. There are a lot of different courses, yeah. But it's pretty much international economic relations.

Q. Which ones are you taking now?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, international economic relations is general. In this, we have finances, world trade organization. We have also history of diplomacy, because it's a diplomatic school. There are a lot of different ones, and they change every half year.

Q. You said after Wimbledon that you felt like you rushed too much mentally in the final. Is that something you're going to try to be careful about here, not to rush through your games?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think that's something I already -- that's an experience that I took from Wimbledon. That's something I put in the back of my head. That's something I will carry on with me. So I'm not really thinking about it at the moment, you know, because I'm not looking back. It's something that I know I shouldn't do. Yeah, I'm just gonna go and take it one match at a time and that's it.
All those experiences that I've had in the past, they are there. I know them. So if I'm in the same situation again, hopefully I can find words to myself, saying, Hey, you've been in that same situation, try to change it up at the moment, don't make the same mistake.

Q. How do you prepare each match and with who?
VERA ZVONAREVA: With my coach. You know, we just talk a little bit about the match. He warms me up before the matches. That's it.

Q. No tactical?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, of course we talk about tactics. We talk about opponents. We talk about what should I do with my game to try to beat my opponent. We try to focus on that in my prematch warmups.
Before each opponent, we do different type of warmup, depending on what I want to do in the match. That's it.

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