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August 5, 2011

Vera Zvonareva


6-3, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Good match. Seemed like you wore her down at the end. You moved her around pretty well and were able to take the match. Talk about your feelings overall.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I agree with you on everything (laughter).
Well, that was a long match and it was a tough challenge. I think the first set she was having a little bit more unforced errors, taking a lot of risk. Then the second set we started having longer rallies. Yeah, we both were trying to hold our serves. I was able to come up with some good shots and good serves when I needed.
Still feel a little bit inconsistent. There were moments when I could have been a little bit more aggressive, where I could have put a little bit more first serves in. But overall I think I improve my game compared to even the first match and the second match.
So I think I'm doing pretty good, and that's what I want to see in the next match. I want to see a little bit more improvement and to be a little bit more consistent.

Q. Seemed like you were very composed in the third set. Did you think to yourself, I'm older, have more experience, I've beaten her a couple times, in the end I'll have more mental strength?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I was not thinking about all those things. I was trying to be in the moment, trying to keep my focus, trying to fight for every single point.
Yeah, in the end it was very important just to keep that focus, to keep that concentration. You know, even though I had couple mistakes, I was trying to just think about what do I have to do in the next point in order to win it.
When you play against tough opponents like Sabine, every single point is important. I was just trying to think on, yeah, no matter what happen before, I was trying to think about, Okay, I have the next one, try to keep fighting and fighting.
I'm really happy the way I've done it today.

Q. You saved three breakpoints in the third set. How important was that mentally to save those breakpoints and then break her?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think it was one of the most important moments in the match because you never want to go down a break in such a tight match and against a good server like Sabine. But you never know what's going to happen after.
But I'm real happy the way I was able to hold that. I came up with good serves. And after that I didn't lose the concentration in the next game. I was able to break her right away. I think that was a bit of, you know, a key moment right there.

Q. When you come back after the break from Wimbledon every year, what are you looking at for yourself?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Just looking to get used to the hard courts, to get comfortable with my movement, to adjust my game a little bit because the ball bounces a bit different on the hard courts compared to the grass courts. It's a bit higher, so you need to put a little bit more attention on the ball, play a little bit longer rallies. Yeah, you just look to get comfortable playing on the hard courts, especially the first couple tournaments.

Q. What are you seeing from yourself this week? What's making you happy and is there anything you're disappointed in so far?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I'm happy I'm playing, you know, I can play. I'm not injured. I'm happy on the court. That's the most important thing.
I'm happy that I'm working and improving every day. I feel like, you know, I started the tournament, I was a little bit slow, a little bit more inconsistent, wasn't playing maybe the best game for this particular surface, for these particular conditions. I feel like I'm improving every day. That's what makes me happy. That's how I want to see it.

Q. We're discussing this match as if it were just another match. I thought it was a remarkable match, tremendous play by both players. Don't you think that's what it was, an exceptional women's tennis match?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, that was a very good match, you're right. But, you know, we play those tough matches right now every tournament. Every tournament is getting tougher and tougher. You always have tough opponents on your way.
But definitely it is one of those matches that are, like you said, remarkable. Yeah, and last time I played against Sabine, we played a very, very tough match as well. So it is never easy against her.
But I'm really happy I was able to play this kind of match today and that I was able to win this one.

Q. You've had a great season so far. What would cap it off?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. You know, I'm enjoying the moment and I just want to do well every single match. I want to get hundred percent in every single match. And as long as I do it, I will be happy with my season.

Q. Did you notice players noticing the way Serena won last week? Is there a buzz about how she's playing?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I think Serena's a great player. I was not surprised that she was able to win the tournament last week because she's a great competitor. Serena, even if she puts her racquet away for a long time, I know she's capable of those comebacks. That's what makes her great.
Yeah, I think everyone knows the way she can play and everyone expects her to play well. She's going to be very tough competitor.
But I think a lot of players are raising the level of their games. Right now, even if Serena is winning matches, it's never easy for her. She has to battle every single match. That's what makes I think the woman's tennis exciting right now because you never know who is going to win.

Q. The seeding at the US Open could be interesting because her ranking is so low. Would it be tough to play her early if you were seeded high?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, definitely she's a great player. I think she deserves the seeding position. But, you know, she will need some time to get that ranking back. She's not the only player who has to do it. There are a lot of players that went through it after injuries, and a lot of players had to gain those points in order to be seeded.
It is always difficult when you have to face such a tough opponent. But it's tennis. It's the game. It happens. It is part of our job. No matter who is going to play her, it's going to be a good match. That's what you're looking when you play big events like that. You want to have those good matches.

Q. Would you want to play her in the first week? Would that be hard to do?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, if I'm coming into the tournament, I want to win it. If I want to win it, I will face tough opponents. And I doesn't matter what round I face them, first round or semifinal, second or third. It doesn't matter. If you want to win it, you have to play them. Doesn't really matter when I face such a tough opponent.
I think I'm excited about the challenge, and I will go into the match and I will try to play my best. I know if I play my best, I can beat anyone.

Q. You don't fist pump that much, get that excited when you win points, and you play a lot of players who do that. Do you ever feel like, I'm going to start doing that, yell 'c'mon', or do you say, That's not me?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Everyone is doing whatever will help them to do their job the best they can. You know, me myself, I just try to focus on the points. If I feel like I need those emotions, I will pump the fist, I will break the racquet, whatever. But if I feel like I don't need it, I don't need it.
I'm just trying to be myself on the court. I'm trying to be in the moment. I try to feel. I think I know myself well. If I need to get a bit more emotional, I will get a bit more emotional. If I need to stay a little bit more calm and focused, I will try to stay calm and focused.
I think that's something that you learn about yourself. That's something that comes with playing a lot of matches. Obviously, I have this experience and I know what I need in each moment.

Q. Which coach is here with you?
VERA ZVONAREVA: It's Alexey with me here. Also Karen is helping me.

Q. (No microphone.)
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, he's not here. He's not traveling that much. We did some work after Wimbledon, so maybe he will join us later in like New York or something.

Q. Alexey is the one that is going to travel with you?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yes, he will be through the whole tournament.

Q. Do they talk, the two of them?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, they discuss some things. You know, everyone's got a few little things that they can advise. At the end of the day it's my choice, what do I choose, the way I want to work.
But obviously when we were back in Moscow after Wimbledon, they both were with me on the court. They both give the best effort. That's how I like to work. I think it's great when you have different opinions, and then you can make better choices, what suits you the best because you get different advices and it's always nice.

Q. Sounds like you're the boss.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, you know, you have to be. Tennis is an individual sport. Once you step out there on the court, you have to make decisions. You have to go for your shots. You're the player. Nobody's going to take a racquet for me and nobody is going to play at that moment.
At the end of the day I'm the one who has to come up there to the line and decide where I'm going to serve to my opponent and how I want to play my next point. I think that's how it should be.

Q. Pink your favorite color?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. It's sort of nice. I have few favorite colors. But today is pink.

Q. Can you talk about the challenges each of your possible semifinal opponents.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think Shuai Peng or Ana Ivanovic is going to be tough players. They're both powerful, aggressive players. We will see. It's too early for me to think about it yet. But I will take a look a little bit at that match.
But no matter what, it's going to be a tough challenge because you don't have easy opponents anymore, especially in the semifinal of such a big event.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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