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September 13, 2010
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
2-6, 6-4, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you two just talk about winning back-to-back Grand Slam doubles titles? What's the feeling like right now, both of you?
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: It's strange. I don't feel like we won, because today was such a short day. We played only a couple of games, and it just didn't feel like -- we had long practice warmup before the match, and so we went warm on the court already, but still, it was so short. It's like it was strange.
Q. Can you talk about your doubles success this year? It's kind of -- I mean, it seems like a little bit out of nowhere. Are you committed to becoming a really good doubles player?
VANIA KING: Well, I think I was always a good doubles player. Doubles always came easier for me, even before I was playing with Slava. I was always top 30, but I never had the success that I did obviously with Slava. I don't think we expected it as well, because usually great pairs pair together for a long time to know each other, and they really get a feel for each other and become a true team.
We had that from the beginning. I mean, we bonded together so well and we're also good friends, which helped.
Yeah, like she said, it's strange. It feels -- I mean, it's amazing. I actually didn't feel so stressed, because we kind of went through it before at Wimbledon. At Wimbledon I was really stressed.
Today, I mean -- I was really stressed, because I didn't want to lose my serve. You know, I didn't want to be like the factor to lose the match. I know my serve is not like a rocket, so I was really hoping that we'd pull that game out. Then once we did that, you know, we were back even again.
But when we won, I was -- I was shocked, you know. It was strange.
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: I think we saved one match point.
VANIA KING: And I played the forehand down the line.
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: Thank you, Vania.
VANIA KING: I just went in the match and really, really focused on that match, because we only played like two, three games. I think we both really pumped it up from the first point, and we fought hard and we tried to be really aggressive from the first point.
But once we won, I think we were both like so shocked. We both didn't expect it.
Q. Did you guys try to argue the finish last night? Did you want to try to finish last night?
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: Yeah, we were talking about it, because it was a lot of issues about hotels and flights and we were trying to finish, because it was just a couple games. We thought maybe the rain would stop and it just a short period of time to finish.
But then we talked to the tournament director, and he said, No, they already announce the match has been --
VANIA KING: Team and the crew.
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: -- canceled and they moved it to tomorrow. They said like everyone to go home and come back tomorrow.
So we had like no chance to play yesterday, because they just told us it had been canceled and we play at 3:00.
Maybe it's a good thing.
VANIA KING: Yeah, it's a good thing. Turned out to be a very good thing. (Laughter.)
Q. Did they tell you immediately when you left the court they said...
VANIA KING: No, no. Around 6:00 they just came in and said, You're canceled. You're playing at 3:00, walk on at 2:55. So we were a little bit dumb-struck.
Q. Sports can be sometimes a very cruel affair, rankings, variety, success, not success. You mentioned on court how a couple years ago a lot of people didn't believe -- you didn't know whether you wanted to go on.
VANIA KING: Yeah.
Q. Just talk about a moment from that turnaround and now you have two Slam trophies.
VANIA KING: I never thought it would happen so fast. Two years ago, like at the end of 2008 I started training in Florida with my current coach, my current coaches, and I started really training hard for tennis, trying to put in the commitment.
Slowly, slowly, I mean, I felt the improvement coming from 2009 and this year. But it was so slow. No one could see it except me.
I mean, it's a process. It's a long process, especially coming from where I was. I wasn't sure if I wanted to play anymore. I didn't want to play at one point. Um, so I didn't expect it to come so fast, because I thought maybe it would be next year or the year after that I would maybe reach my peak or maybe after that. But I'll take it.
Q. What was the point when you didn't want to play? Can you describe that?
VANIA KING: After I turned pro, I stopped working with my dad and I finished the year at my highest, top 50. And then it was the next year when I actually started -- I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, and I think that other people thought that I should do better than I did that year, to be more than top 50.
I thought that I should be better than that, and I just put way too much pressure on myself, and I saw like all my friends, they went to uni and having fun, and I was, you know, traveling and not happy and losing. It wasn't fun at the time. But I rededicated myself, thanks to my family, my team.
I'm really glad now that I did choose to play tennis, because it is a great life. I couldn't see it then. But I guess it's growing older.
Q. Is it possible to be a top 15, 20 singles player and win doubles titles? Is it possible to be both, or will you have to make up your mind to concentrate?
VANIA KING: Yeah, for sure. I'm still young. I can do both. I can do anything. (Smiling.)
Q. For you two, to win this at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, a gal from the same high school as you, what does that mean to you?
VANIA KING: Well, Billie Jean came to our finals at Wimbledon, and she sent me congrats. It was amazing to see her there, because I think I've said that when I was five, I went to -- there's a club in Long Beach that's named after her, and she came to open the club. I was there when I was five. We have a picture with her.
But, I mean, it's so much more than that because when I was five, I mean, she was already past her career. But she's done so much for the sport, and I just -- I mean, it's kind of unfair to her, I think, that people compare me to her, but I hope that I can do a fraction of what she's done for women's tennis and women's sport.
Q. When you grew up, did you play at the King club or elsewhere?
VANIA KING: Actually, I played next door at the high school.
Q. You hit two beautiful lobs, the 5-6 game and then match point. That's hard because you're ripping the ball, and all of a sudden to hit a touch shot like that, is that a natural shot for you? Do you hit that a lot? What were you thinking in that situation? It was a perfect shot.
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: Yeah, I'm just, like I feel it very good, and I use it a lot in the doubles. I mean, I like...
VANIA KING: She's very talented. She can do anything.
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: I feel, yeah, just like touch for the lob, I use it a lot since I start to play doubles. In the juniors, even, I hit it, like I was playing it very good.
But this match point, I was like thinking, if I keep playing, playing to them, I was playing, playing, Maybe I should do lob. I did the lob, I was like, Maybe I shouldn't do this. But then I made it, because she was like almost hit it, but she missed it a little bit, and then she couldn't get it. I was like, Okay. So it work out.
Q. Are you guys committed to next year? Do you know if you're playing together?
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: We didn't talk about it.
VANIA KING: Are we?
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: I think so.
VANIA KING: I think we are for the rest of our lives now.
Q. How much conversation or how long was the last 24 hours? How much conversation texting did you all do back and forth when you were in limbo between yesterday and finishing the match today?
VANIA KING: Well, yesterday was her birthday, so once we finished the match, we weren't sure if we were going to go back on or not, but we waited a few hours. And then we decided -- there was a cake ready for her, so we decided to bring out the cake and light the candles.
So we celebrated her birthday a little bit in the WTA office upstairs. Then when they canceled us, we went to dinner, and we were just focusing on her birthday. It's pretty special for her, for her birthday. And then today, yeah, we decided to make a long warmup. We don't really talk that much about tennis off the court. Our coaches like to do that.
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: Even like yesterday on the court, the changeover, we didn't talk much about -- sometimes we were even talking about something else. It just like we were just natural. But we go, when we play point, we focus 100%, but between you don't have to focus 100%. You just enjoy it. Then the point, and you focus. That's why maybe like we had fun and also success on the court.
Q. Athletes often know when instantly when they've hit a winner. On that wonderful offensive lob, match point, what went through your minds when you knew that was a winner and Nadia couldn't get it?
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: For me, it was like slow motion. It's like in the movie. It's unreal. But for me it was like this. I saw the ball was so slow. Vania was on the left, I was just waiting, and I saw Nadia was trying to get it. Then I was like -- then she didn't get it. People start to scream, and I was like -- I didn't feel like we won. It was so strange.
VANIA KING: I did. Because I saw it, and then we were just playing and playing and then just putting the ball back in. Then I hit one, but then after that she played like 10 balls in a row. It was like, Okay. Hit a winner, please hit a winner, please hit a winner, please hit a winner, please miss, please miss.
Then she hit the lob, and I was like, Oh, my God, it's deep. So if it goes in, we win. If it doesn't, we lose the point. Then it's the next point. I was like, Go in, go in, go in, go in.
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: They didn't call anything. I turned to Vania, and Vania jumped. I was like so happy.
Q. What does it say about doubles? Like the two most exciting matches I saw were the Bryan brothers' final and your final. They were the two best matches in the tournament. What's that say about doubles? People can see this more often, turn people on to it.
VANIA KING: Doubles is -- it's a team sport, you know. It's not like singles where sometimes it's just power. I mean, I think especially in the woman's tennis there is a lot of finesse, a lot of touch.
We try to play with combination. I don't think we play like a typical team, and I think it kind of throws off our opponents. I think that people can see us playing and kind of aspire to that, you know, because it's more about strategy where you place yourself, what shots to pick.
You don't have to be like 6'4", 200 pounds and bash the ball. In doubles it's a lot of creativity.
Q. Are you superstitious person or not? Do you believe in certain things that you are trying to avoid? For example, when you wake up today, do you know which leg you step first on the floor?
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: No, I'm not like this.
VANIA KING: Really? People are like that?
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: Yeah, some of them. Sometimes I have it, but mostly on singles because you're alone on the court, you are like inside yourself and only talking to yourself.
So you're like, for the concentration, it's happen because of the focus. Like sometimes like I don't step on the lines but when -- in the doubles you are with a partner, so you don't have this -- not pressure, but this, like, focus. Because you always talk between the points.
Q. I ask this question, because before the match I approached and asked for the ticket. You gave me a ticket. I wished you good luck. I brought you good luck, so you know who to give a ticket next time. Vania, a friend of mine asked me to give you this question: Are you going to change your last name after this tournament?
VANIA KING: Change it to?
Q. Last name.
VANIA KING: What?
Q. Are you going to keep your name or change last name?
VANIA KING: Why?
Q. Because he thought maybe you could change it from King to Queen, US Open.
YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA: (Smiling.)
End of FastScripts