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September 2, 2011

Vera Zvonareva


V. ZVONAREVA/A. Medina Garrigues
6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you assess the way you feel you played today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I feel like, you know, I was playing some good tennis, and then there were a few moments where I felt like I disappeared, you know.
There were couple times, couple downs throughout the match. That's something I'm not really happy about, but, you know, overall it showed when I needed I came up with some good tennis and good shots.
That's something that I need to focus on, especially, you know, if I want to win my next match. But, you know, part of the game, I guess. That's something I will, yeah, I will need to improve really like to stay focused from the first ball to the last one.

Q. You were saying the other day how it always takes a little bit of adjusting when you first come to a tournament and getting a feel for the surface and everything. You said at the beginning of the second match you were starting to get into your comfort zone more. Did you progress towards that point where you feel like you're playing your top?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think if we take all those down moments away, I think I was able to raise the level of my game a little bit more today.
But I think my focus and concentration in the second match overall was a little bit better; today maybe not so good. But, you know, it's okay. It's something that hopefully will come together in the next match.

Q. When you got down a break there in the second set, is that a place where you were able to tell yourself to focus better at that point? Did you feel you stepped it up?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think I stepped up a little bit at that moment, and I think it's something that comes naturally from me. You know, I feel like when there are those tight moments - first of all, I'm enjoying playing tough matches - but then those tough moments, I really feel like that's where I'm able to produce my best tennis. That's where I'm able to really stay focused.
It's something that, you know, comes naturally. I'm really happy about it, and, yeah, it helps me a lot to win a lot of matches.

Q. How much do you get out of the opportunity, I guess, if you will, in early matches to be able to maybe lose your game a little bit and then to dig and to find it? Because you can't really get away with that when you start to get deeper into the tournament.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, definitely. Once you go deeper and deeper, you want that very good level and you want to improve every day.
Yeah, but I think that also, you know, sometimes in the early stages you're still getting used to the conditions and maybe trying few things, trying this and that, and then you have a little bit more unforced errors.
It's something maybe you're doing some things that are unusual for your game, and that also, you know, can affect the focus maybe a little bit.
So I think that's part of the game, and I think that's something normal to see, especially during those, you know, first matches.
But really I hope that for the next one I can really, you know, step up and play better than the previous ones.

Q. That could be against Sabine. I don't know the score right now.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I actually don't know who I'm playing next.

Q. If it were to be Sabine...

Q. Yeah.
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't look at the draw, so I don't know. Yeah, she's a tough opponent, definitely. I played her twice this year, always very tough matches. It's going to be tough challenge. I'm excited about it. I like those tough challenges.
We will see. I don't know. They haven't finished the match yet I guess, so we will see. That's something I will start thinking about tomorrow.
At the moment, I'm just, you know, still thinking maybe about my match today. I will try to recover, just take it easy, and then we'll see tomorrow.

Q. Which are the favorites to win the tournament, in your opinion?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I think the whole draw is very tough. Anyone can win, you know.
You know, when I go into the tournament I always believe in myself, and my main goal is to win any tournament I'm at. The rest of the girls, I think they are very good players. You know, there is such tough competition right now. Anyone out there who is going to be able to produce the best tennis, you know, this week next week will be winner.

Q. You had success here and you've gotten close to winning a Grand Slam, obviously. What do you think you need to make that final step?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, I think the consistency. The consistency of the level of my game should always be there. I think I'm quite consistent, but maybe, you know, a little bit less those roller coaster matches and take a little bit more opportunities, you know, be a little bit more aggressive with the returns, serve, come in a little bit more.
Just maybe mixing my game up a little bit more. Not always using all the shots that I have in my game, because I believe I have all kinds of shots and sometimes I'm just not using the whole arsenal. That's something I will need to learn a little bit more.

Q. What adjustments do you have to make from playing the first match on Ashe versus if you were scheduled for a night match?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I don't know. I played so many matches throughout my career. I played at 11:00, I played at 10:00, I played 10:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m.
I think you know yourself and you try to make your own schedule the best, in the best way that it suits you. Some players like to come early if they play night matches play on that court and then come back later. Some players, you know, don't come in the morning. They will just try to come right before the match.
If you have to play early, obviously you have to go to bed a little bit earlier so you get enough sleep so you can feel fresh during the match.
You know, it's something that you know about yourself, and you just try to adjust to make some adjustments. Depends on when you're scheduled.

Q. Which do you prefer?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Um, I don't know. Really. Doesn't really matter to me which match to play. I can play at 11:00 or I can play at 8:00 p.m. Doesn't really matter. As long as I play good tennis and I win, I'm fine with that.

Q. You're first among the top seeds to move into the fourth round and also No. 2 in the world, but yet you seem to be flying under the radar in terms of people talking about the US Open, potential winners being Serena perhaps Maria Sharapova, or sometimes even Wozniacki. How do you feel about this position perhaps being viewed as an underdog?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I don't really care about that. I don't care about what people say and what's going on around.
When I'm in the tournament, all I think about and all I care about is how to prepare myself the best I can for the next match. That's all.
Those players that you named, I think they deserve that attention. They are Grand Slam winners. They are great players of all times. So I think it's normal. If I win a Grand Slam or many Grand Slams one day, maybe, yeah, people will talk about me the same way.
But as of the moment, you know, yeah, I don't think about it much. I'm thinking about what can I do so I can perform a little bit better in the next one. That's it.

Q. I'm sure you don't wish any ill health on anybody, but when it happens and a player like Venus Williams drops out and she would have been in your path, does a part of you feel like a door has opened, you know, to clear you through to at least the semis?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, you know, I never look at the draw. I know every opponent is tough. You cannot underestimate anyone. I wish Venus, you know, the fastest recovery possible. I think she's a great champion.
You know, I think it's great for tennis if she's healthy and she's playing, no matter if I have to play her or I don't have to play her. I think I want all the players to participate in the Grand Slams. That's what creates a great competition.
For me, if I want to go all the way, I have to beat anyone on my way. So it doesn't really matter, because, you know, there are so many tough opponents right now.
You cannot just talk about Venus right now or Serena. There is Maria, there is Caroline, there is, I don't know, Francesca, there is, I don't know, so many. Just name them.
I wish all of them to be playing. That creates a great competition, and in the end, whoever is going to win is going to be champion. I think that's great to see.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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