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January 11, 2011

Vera Zvonareva


F. PENNETTA/V. Zvonareva
7-5, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel about the way you played today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, definitely I'm not too happy about the level of my game. But I think overall I tried to put all those things that we were working in the off-season, put them together.
There were some good points, good shots, and there were some bad points and bad shots. I think overall the consistency wasn't there, but I tried to, you know, keep doing what I had to do.
Unfortunately, today it was not good enough. But I could see that there were moments, you know, where I was thinking too much about technical stuff, sometimes too much about tactical stuff, and I was not able to find that good balance between, you know, maybe playing technically good and tactically good.
That imbalance gave me a lot of inconsistency. And against such a good player like Flavia, it is very difficult to win a match in this situation. But I think I can only take positive out of it, because now I really know what I have to improve for Australian Open. I have few days ahead of me, and that's what I'm going to work on.
Hopefully I can put it all together for my first match in Melbourne.

Q. Will it affect your preparation that you won't have any more proper matches between now and Melbourne?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, I think I will get the chance to play some more points and practice sets against other girls before I start in Melbourne. That should be enough. I'm pretty confident about that.
I came here from Hong Kong, and I didn't really get the chance to really play points and some practice sets, so of course I had to try to find my rhythm in the match. Different conditions from what I've been training in and what I played in Hong Kong. The courts are different, balls are different, windy.
So taking all this in consideration, it was very difficult for me to produce very good tennis today. But I tried my best, and I definitely can see some moments where I can improve. That's why I'm pretty confident and positive that next few days, if I train well and if I play those practice sets, I will be able to put it together. Then I can really raise the level of my game for Australian Open.

Q. I guess you had only one day in between your arrival from Hong Kong and your match now.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yes. Obviously, yeah, I arrived and then I had one good practice day, which, you know, is okay. We do it. It's part of the game and we do it quite a lot.
But still, I felt like conditions are really, really different here, so I really had to -- struggled with finding my rhythm in the match today. You know, it's acceptable. It was my first match, and I had a very tough opponent in the first round.
I still got the chances. I'm not really happy about that I haven't used them, but it is something that I will try to do better next time.

Q. You mentioned about thinking too much about the tactics and technical aspects. Is there a point at which your game, you release all that and sort of play very naturally? Is that when you play your best tennis?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think when I play naturally I play my best tennis. At the moment, it was not naturally. I was thinking too long and making sometimes wrong decisions. I was wondering, Why I'm making this decision now? The ball is just in the middle of the court. You have open court. Just go for your shot.
I was hesitating and thinking, Should I go crosscourt or down the line? It is probably because I have all those options, because I can play, you know, different game based on what I want to can do tactically, or depends on who's on the other side of the net.
It is a good thing to have, but sometimes it can play bad with myself because I have all the options and shots. Sometimes I do some things which is unpredictable even for myself.
When I'm able to put that really together and when I'm really just playing my game and not thinking too much, just comes naturally, that's obviously where I'm playing my best tennis.

Q. Does your loss of today mean that a victory over the No. 1 in the world, 6-0, 6-1 in Hong Kong actually means nothing?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, I think the win against No. 1 in the world always means something. Flavia is a very tough opponent. If you beat someone who's ranked No. 1 in the world and lose to someone like Flavia, well, it happens. I think it is part of the game. There are different opponents, and you have to adjust your game. I think I did really well in Hong Kong. Like I said, I was able to really find my rhythm.
Coming here, different conditions, different style of play, managing all this I was not as sharp today. I still wanted to work on few things. Some things that we're working on in the off-season, I was able to execute them well in Hong Kong and not able to execute them well here.
Which is acceptable, because once you try to improve something you will face some ups and downs. You cannot just go all the time up. So I accepted that there will be some ups and downs before it starts working on the consistent basis. That's what I will try to look for and try to be more consistent.

Q. How much belief has making the US Open and Wimbledon final give you heading into this year?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I always believe in myself that I can be up there. I always try to look forward. I made the final of Wimbledon and I made the final of US Open. That's great. Great experience. I think I'm much more mature and I know myself better because of that.
But it is something in the past. I'm trying to look forward and improve myself because if I don't, others will.
So I have to look forward. It is a new year and new challenge. I'm looking forward to it. I know what I need to work on, and I'm going to try my best at it.

Q. Now you have a couple of days extra to adapt to the conditions. Is it kind of a bonus?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I hope. (Smiling.) I hope. I'm trying to take positive out of Sydney. If I had won this match I would have had another one, and it is a positive thing.
Since I lost the match, I try to learn from it. I take it as a positive. Now I have few days before Melbourne really to practice, and I know what I need to practice. I know that I will need to play few practice sets probably to get my rhythm.
Yeah, so, you know, I will think it's a positive thing as well.

End of FastScripts

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