March 13, 2005
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA, E. LINETSKAYA/A. Mauresmo
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How are you feeling right now?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: I'm feeling happy and confident in myself.
Q. What do you think got you through this match today?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, because I did everything to win, because I was doing my best. I was trying to win every point, just struggling, fighting there. And I believed in myself.
Q. How hard was it to serve and to play in that wind with the sand going around?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: First set was pretty tough. That's probably why I lost. I couldn't pick up my game, you know. Was pretty tough to feel the wind and everything. But then I was coping pretty good with it.
Q. You lost to her in Australia. What did you tell yourself today before the match to get yourself in your mind to a place where maybe you could win?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, I didn't care that much about that I lost to her in Australia. I was just going to play a match, another match. Doesn't matter who's on the other side. I just told myself, "Let's try a revenge."
Q. Do you consider yourself a good wind player? Do you think you're good in the wind?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, I can't say that I'm perfect in the wind. With the wind, it's always tough to play. But I cope with it.
Q. What made you decide to go to the net on match point?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, I don't know. Maybe somewhere under my mind I remember how she missed her match point, and I wanted to hit the winner. I wanted to show I can do that (smiling).
Q. Is this the biggest win you've ever had in your career?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Yes. By now, yes.
Q. Did you have to fight your nerves toward the end the match or were you feeling calm?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: I can't say that I was very calm. But I wasn't nervous very much. I was very concentrated. I didn't let myself thinking about nervous.
Q. You write poetry. Are you going to write anything about this victory?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, I've never wrote anything about tennis yet. So maybe I'll do it. I'll see.
Q. You've had very good results since the beginning of this year. Was it something you did in the off-season? Is it because you're just getting older?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: I think I've improved my level of the game little bit. I have a very good coach now, George Akopian. So I've been working with him for one year already. People around me were confident in me, so I began being confident in myself, as well. I was just -- I didn't really realize that I was doing great or not great. I was just going and playing, just having fun down there.
Q. We don't a lot about you. Can you tell us about your background, how you started playing tennis, where.
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Yeah, sure. I started in Moscow when I was six years old. My mom was the one who introduced me to tennis. But she never played herself. She just dreamed about being the tennis player, and she decided to make her dream in me. So I went with her to the wall of the school building. That's where I first took my racquet, a big racquet which was bigger than me. Well, I was hitting the ball. Some of the balls were going into the trash bin, which was on the back. It was funny. And the old ladies are like, "What are you doing with the school building?" That's how I played tennis.
Q. Keep going.
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Then we just decided to give it a try. You know, my parents, they put me to the tennis school, like to the coach. Then I was practicing down there. I'm just getting better, better, better, playing some tournaments. That was just like in a row going, playing.
Q. Was your father an athlete at all? Anybody in your family?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Yeah, my dad, he was Karate and he has a black belt. All my family, they love sports, but they're not that much into it themselves, except my dad.
Q. A lot of your country-women have come up and made a name for themselves. Did you figure you were just waiting for your time to break through? Did it motivate you at all?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: A little. I was happy for all of our girls, and it's feeling really nice, like all Russian players are coming there, and it's so many of them. I was thinking, "Why can I not make the same? If everybody's there, I will be there else."
Q. What does this win mean for you?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: It's just another step in the tournament. It's getting in the last 16. I think so.
Q. Does it prove you can now play with the big players?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, yeah, I can say it proved it. But for me I was already sure that I can play because I beat Zvonareva. I played with Amelie in Australia, and I was feeling that I can win, you know. It's just lack of experience.
Q. Do you have sisters or brothers playing?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: No. I'm the only child.
Q. Talk to us about your poetry.
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, I love writing poems and like stories. Kind of artistic personality or something, I don't know. When I have spare time, I love going to the nature, looking around, and then writing poems about that. Well, I started writing my first poems when I was 12. But those ones were not that good. Then at the age of 13, 14, they were already pretty good in Russian. Then I started writing in English, and it was like that. But in English, I'm not that good.
Q. Your favorite place to go in nature?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Forest near my house.
Q. Your bio says you like Tolstoy and apple juice.
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Right.
Q. Have you had any apple juice around here?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: That's a big problem. Everywhere I go in US, they don't have apple juice. I'm getting mad. Except the supermarket. Like all the restaurants. "Do you have apple juice?" "No, only orange and cranberry." But cranberry is not bad. It's okay. I'm getting used to it.
Q. It seemed like you were running out of energy towards the end. Did you feel like you were getting a little tired?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: You know, I was so much into the match that I didn't feel tired myself. Maybe I was. I was probably. Now I'm starting to feel it. But there I didn't.
Q. How do you think you'll celebrate this?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, I'll go to sleep early. Will wake up, like around 9, 10, eat something, go to the practice, get ready for tomorrow match. That's how I will celebrate.
Q. No time?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Sure. After the tournament, if I win, then probably I will.
Q. Which of the other younger Russian players are your friends?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, I'm pretty good with everybody. I don't know if you know the names. I'm pretty good friends with Lepchenko, Varvara, Lioudmila Skavronskaia, Marta Domohowski, but she is not Russian. Anastasia Yakimova.
Q. Who of the better Russian players did you play a lot? Did you play Kirilenko a lot?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: When we were small, I played Douchevina 33 times or 34 times, I don't know. Every tournament.
Q. What's your record against Douchevina?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: I think now she's leading three times because last three times she won. But that was three years ago. Maybe now I can.
Q. It's great between all of you, the competition?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Yeah. When we were small girls, we were always fighting with each other. We weren't friendly. I don't know why. Maybe because it was very hard in Russia to get, to achieve something. Nobody help. So we were always trying to beat each other. But now it's like everything settled down and we are pretty much happy for each other.
Q. When you were hitting on that wall, if someone came out and said, "Don't worry, you'll win a big match in a big stadium in California," what would you say to that?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, if he will come, I would say, "Yeah, definitely I will." Nobody came, by the way. But I was getting fun myself down there. I didn't really need anybody. It was so interesting for me. I loved tennis.
Q. How old are you?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: 18.
Q. How did you link up with your coach?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Like I changed the coach last year, probably same time as now, just a year ago. I was practicing indoor in Moscow, and he was practicing like a hitting partner with some other girls. And I asked him if he can like be my hitting partner for a few times, and he did that. Then he gave me few smart advices. I liked them. We were like pretty much like together at that time. Like when I was in Moscow, I was coming to hit with him. Then I decided to give a try, like to take him with me on a tournament to see how it goes. Because he was like an ex-player by himself. I thought maybe he can help me with the tournament things and with everything. It was very good. The more we were together, the more we were feeling like a good team. With my father also, we were very good relations for all three of us.
Q. So your forehand and backhand look very good. The second serve is probably not what you want it to be.
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Yeah, right.
Q. Is that the stroke you have to work the most on improving?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Yeah. I think so. Like if to say like what I really have to work on, probably my second serve have to be worked. I mean, it's not bad. I can serve good and I'm serving good. Sometimes, you know, I'm just losing the feeling of it. It's not like every match it's like that. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse. It just has to be more practice, that's all, I think.
Q. Do your parents travel with you?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: My father is with me.
Q. Where did you learn English?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: When I was young, I had a teacher. Then just speaking with people, traveling. You have to speak English if you want to survive.
Q. What does your father do for a job?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: He is a doctor of science, like in physics and mathematics. Now he is not doing like the thing that he was - how to say - graduated in, made his work and everything. But now he's more with me, like everything for me.
Q. Is this your first time in California?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: No. I've been here last year for Stanford, LA tournaments.
Q. If your father is in physics and mathematics, how did you develop poetry? Is that your mother's side?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: My mom is an artist by education. She's drawing and everything. But nobody in my family write poetry, just only me.
Q. Do you think it's pretty unusual that your father into physics and mathematics and has a black belt?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Well, why not? I know he likes it. I loves sport, but he loves also thinking. He is very intellectual person. He is like a kind of a sportsman who likes to study, so.
Q. Is your father originally from Moscow or eastern Russia?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: He's from Odessa, Ukraine. But he moved to study in university in Moscow, then he settled down in Moscow with my mom.
Q. And your mother?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Moscow.
Q. Have you got a passion for Ferraris? What is your hat?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: That's my coach thing. He loves Ferrari. He loves all these kind of things. I don't know. I don't really like to watch, you know, Ferrari and other car things, rallies. But I like the clothes they make.
Q. They're not sponsoring you?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: No.
Q. You're giving them free advertisement now.
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: (Removing her hat.) (Smiling).
Q. Is this the biggest press conference you've ever had?
EVGENIA LINETSKAYA: Probably, yes. Well, I give few, but they were not that many people.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.