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February 21, 2011

Francesca Schiavone


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel being back in Doha?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: It's a very good feeling, because when I start, when I arrive, I start to feel all the emotion, so some memories. I came here in November with all my family and my friends, so I remember the smile, I remember all the fight that I put in the court.
So good memories. Ready to prepare new history.

Q. Are you in good shape for this tournament?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I'm not great, I think, but that's not means that I'm not ready.
I think tennis, as much as you play in the place, as much as you play matches, better you play, or -- I mean, I'm speaking about me. So I think I need to play more matches in Dubai. I lost soon, so I need to feel the tension, the tactics, to be aggressive more and more. I like to play much more matches.

Q. This tournament hasn't happened for a couple of years.

Q. How much do you think the game has changed? Do you think anything from 2008 is completely different from now, the quality of the players, the style of the game?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I think there are many things change. First of all, a lot of players now can win a tournament like this. A lot -- I mean, of course, not all, but from the first in the world to the 20; 20, 25 in the world, you can find really good players.
I was 17 when I won Roland Garros, so that's mean that everyone have much better tennis, and we have the top player have to really pay attention every point and every match. That's first of all.
Second, I think the players always going much more inside the court, physically stronger. The player hit the ball and are much more on the court with foot. Before was a little bit more in the defense. Now is who take the chance before will go to win the match.

Q. What you were saying about, you know, 20, 25 players, you know, can win a tournament, do you think it's sort of a good and bad at the same time? Because that's great for people that can win those tournaments, but you maybe have fewer rivalries because there are so many people playing different people. You don't maybe have eight finals a year, which is one player v. one player or Serena v. Sharapova, whoever v. whoever. Do you think maybe the game misses a little bit the rivalry?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I think the base is going to grow up every year. Every year if you want to play tennis, you have to increase your play 10, 15%. That's I think the way that the world is going.
You have to be great physically, mentally ready, you have to play now three hours against a great player. So everything is going to be much more in quality, quality.
So you can arrive in final and say, How is it possible that she arrive in final? And then you play and you say, This is good. So there is not just -- I think the market now is, marketing is going to be much more open, I think. I don't know you, but you are asking me about me.

Q. You talked about Roland Garros. You are in Doha. What about the tournament? Do you feel it's same organization? What you can say about Roland Garros and Doha here, what happen here?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I think every tournament have different characteristic. Here you can't find maybe history like in Europe, but you can see something new that Europe we can't have.
So it's a good mix. The organization is very good. You have a lot of space, a lot of people that want to work and improve this tournament.
That's, I think, one of the best steps for you that you are here and you work -- not you, maybe, but for this tournament. There is a space to keep going, to be bigger and bigger, but...

Q. You don't feel a big difference between Europe and here?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I think Europe have a little bit more experience. The history is -- I mean about tennis.
I think in 10 years this tournament will be one of the best. More experience can make better things.

Q. How have you improved?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: What I improved? I think a little bit everything on everywhere. Physically I'm stronger than before. Now I attack much more so I play counterattack. I don't know if it exists in -- yeah. In the volley I am much more stable, and I can really feel a good feeling. Serving, yeah. I can't be two meters, but I'm improving, anyway.

Q. What's more important for you, enjoy or win?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I can't win if I don't enjoy. Enjoy for me is to feel scared or to feel bad in some moment, but to stay there, and I know that every points or in every moments I can feel better and better and play my game. To play my game is the best present that I can receive every day.

Q. A lot of players are youngsters. You're older. How do you play against them?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: They don't have experience. Maybe I use my experience. They can see in a different way the play, for example. I have million, million balls already here and here. They have a thousand.
So can be good or can be tougher. Is a mix that we have just to live and to play.

Q. Is there a special reason that you play so big match with Kuznetsova two times? It is a question of personality or game or something like that?
FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE: I think we know each other very well, and my play can let her play good, and her play can let me play good.
So in Dubai we played a tough match but good, anyway. I was not so happy, because not to win or to lose, because I didn't play so good, I think.
But it's always great to have opportunity to play with good player.

End of FastScripts

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