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August 31, 2011

Vera Zvonareva


V. ZVONAREVA/K. Bondarenko
7-5, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The first one might have been a bit easy, but this one was a little testier out there today. Talk about that.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Definitely. It was a good test for me. You know, I know Kateryna for a long time and I knew she was a dangerous player, so I expected a very tough match. And it was.
I think I didn't play my best tennis, but I managed to go, to get through this one. I gave myself another chance to go out there and next time and try to do a little bit better.

Q. Are you pleased with the way you played today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I wouldn't say I'm pleased with the quality of tennis I showed, but I'm pleased the way I handled the match. It wasn't easy for me out there and she's a tricky player. I was trying to find my ways. You know, I had the lead in the second set and she was able to turn it around. I think she just went for her shots.
You know, it was difficult for me in the second set, but I started well the third set and then I was able to, you know, to play some good rallies when I needed it in the tight moments.
Still, I'm not happy about that I gave her chances in the second set, that I gave her chances to get back into the match. You know, still I was leading in the third set, and again I gave her chances a little bit.
But overall, I'm happy. You know, I was trying to get adjusted to the conditions and the court. You know, on one side you play against the wind; on the other side you play with the wind.
The center court is definitely different from the courts that we practice on. So overall, I think it was good for me to be out there today and to get through this match.

Q. Can you talk about the challenges of the next match coming up? Medina Garrigues is you're going to be playing.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think she won already today. She's very dangerous player, you know, tough opponent. I haven't give given it a thought yet, but definitely going to be a tough one.
I don't recall playing her in a long time. Last time we played I think it was maybe four years ago, and I think it was red clay. So it's going to be a new day. I will think about it, but definitely it's going to be a tough one.

Q. First set you won all 14 points at the net, but you seemed to like abandon that strategy. You run out of gas?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, I think, yeah, I should have taken more risk in second and third set, but I felt like I was a little bit off my rhythm.
You know, with the wind I could have gone to net a bit more, and against the wind maybe I, you know, should have tried. Sometimes I felt like I was trying at the wrong times. She would give me deep ball, and I tried to attack it, come into the net, and she would hit a good passing shot.
And the next time I have a shorter ball and I don't use that opportunity. I just felt like, you know, was a bit wrong timing. So I was going to the net but at the wrong times. Then when I needed to go to the net I wasn't using it.
So it was just, yeah, mistiming. That's something that I need to work on a little bit more.

Q. When you have a match like this where you don't play your best, do you just look at it and say, Well, I advanced to the next round; I'll worry about it later? Does it kind of bother you that here's a Grand Slam, you made the finals a year ago, and you didn't play very well today?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Well, if I look back, you know, I always don't play my best tennis in the first or second round. Never happened. And the same was last year. I'm not worried about it.
Most important is to get through those matches. These kind of matches, they give you confidence that you advance, so now you have another chance.
You know, I try to handle the situation the way it is on the court, and I don't play my best tennis every week. It's not like this. But still, I managed, you know, to win couple of tournaments this year without playing my best tennis.
You know, you have to handle the situation. You're in this moment. That's what it is. You are facing those challenges and I'm just dealing with them. I don't care about the rest, you know.
And once I walk off the court and I start thinking afterwards, later, tomorrow about my next match, I will think about it, but at those moments if I give myself space to think about overall game, well, I will not win that match.

Q. You said on Monday that, you know, the first-round match is always a period of adjustment, getting a feeling for the court and the atmosphere and the tournament itself. Where in a Grand Slam fortnight do you generally find that you really hit your stride?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Hard to say, but usually I'm there by the fourth round. That's where I really pick it up. In any tournament, like starting the quarterfinals, that's where I feel like I'm really picking up the level of my game.

Q. Is there a difference for you between matches in the morning and the evening, maybe with the crowd or something like that?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Not really. You know, I think I'm quite experienced and quite mature already. I played a lot of morning, a lot of night session matches, so it doesn't really matter to me at the moment.
The most important is to try to stay focused on that match, and that's it.

Q. Why do you think you get off to these slow starts in the Grand Slams, first couple rounds?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think, you know, I'm all-around-the-court player and I can do a lot of things, but it takes time for me to get adjusted to new surface, new conditions. It's always been like this. I can play very well on any surface, but I just need some time.
And I think that's why also, you know, it takes for me couple of two, three matches to really get to that level where I want to be.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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