INTERVIEW

Interview with Zvonareva after the match in which Vera lost to S. Williams during the 2002 Roland Garros

S. WILLIAMS/V. Zvonareva 4-6, 6-0, 6-1

Q. How tired were you at the end?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah (smiling).

Q. Were you cramping?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, a little bit. Because, I don't know, maybe I had a very tough match yesterday. And today three sets, so...

Q. No fear out there of Serena. You came out to hit for the lines and try to hit winners today, no?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I just try to do all my best and I try to win, but...I was really tired. Then she started to play really good second set - much better than she played first. And she didn't miss a lot the second set and the third set, and it was really tough.

Q. When you won the first set and you went to the changeover chair to sit down and reflect on what you had just done, what did you think?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I just think that I have to play my game, because yesterday I was leading 6-2 and 5-0 and I lost the second set. So one set is not much. Even if I lead like 6-2, 5-0 and 40-15, it's not much yet.

Q. I saw you yesterday when you got furious against the world, against your racquet, you remember?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yes.

Q. You wanted to smash it. Watching you now, you look very peaceful, like you are a sweet person. Who is the real one between the two?

VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, because when I go to the court, I try to fight and I try to win. So I play, like, it's sport. But I don't know. Because I was throwing the racquet yesterday because I was like thinking I was making the mistake from her. And I was sad to myself because I didn't win point after I was leading 5-0, I was just...And today, I didn't make mistake from her. I just played my game, and that's why I won. So...

Q. Where are you training?

VERA ZVONAREVA: In Moscow.

Q. And your coach is?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Kashevarova.

Q. How do you write it? Because I didn't get the name perfectly.

VERA ZVONAREVA: K-a-s-h-e-v-a-r-o-v-a. And Julia.

THE MODERATOR: Julian.

Q. She was a tennis player before?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yep.

Q. You've won two consecutive Orange Bowls. Is that right?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah.

Q. Both in the 18s?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, 18s. Two years, 18s, and one year I was in the final Under-16.

Q. But last year and the year before when you won the Orange Bowl, both 18s?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah.

Q. And you beat?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Kuznetsova.

Q. In the final. And Bartoli in the...

VERA ZVONAREVA: No. Kuznetsova beat Bartoli, I beat Bastrikova (phonetic spelling) in the semifinal, another Russian girl.

Q. How did you come to tennis: By chance or just family?

VERA ZVONAREVA: No, just my mother let me play tennis.

Q. She wanted you to play tennis?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, she just ask me if you like to go to play tennis in the group of children in Moscow and after school, when I was like 7 or 8. And I like to play, so...

Q. Your strokes are technically beautiful. Who's responsible for that?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I was working with my first coach, Krioutchkova, for like long time. K-r-i-o-u-t-c-h-k-o-v-a. And the first name is Ekaterina.

Q. You hit very flat, not too much topspin, no slice. Is that your style of game?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know. It's different opponents, different game.

Q. Today you just wanted to hit as hard as you could most of the time?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I tried. Because if I play short balls, she hits -- she wins all points, so...

Q. What was your impression of Serena Williams? I mean, because before you are used to playing juniors. What is the difference between a top player like her and the juniors you've always played against?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Maybe she has a really good serve. I mean, juniors not -- not all juniors serve good serve. And she can win point when it's deciding point. She hits strong and she plays in. But juniors, they miss more balls.

Q. Does she scare you when she grunts on the court?

VERA ZVONAREVA: No, no, she doesn't.

Q. You are very brave.

VERA ZVONAREVA: (Smiling).

Q. Your mother was a Bronze medalist in the Olympic Games. What was her last name?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Bykova (phonetic spelling).

Q. What role was she playing? She was a defendant?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Center defendant, grass hockey.

Q. And your father is an athlete?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, he was doing a little bit of ice hockey.

Q. And the name?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Igor.

Q. What did you think of south Florida when you were there those last two times?

VERA ZVONAREVA: About south Florida?

Q. Did it look like a good place to train?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, but sometimes it's really hot.

Q. And it's true that you live part of the year in America and part in Russia or not? Or your father is in America, your mother is in Russia? Someone told me something like this.

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, but I just play a lot of tournaments, but I don't live in the United States. I just practice in Moscow or somewhere if I have possibilities between tournaments. But I just play tournaments in United States, or I practice between the tournaments and then I go to Europe. I play tournaments in Europe, and I practice in Europe between the tournaments.

Q. What was your junior result at Wimbledon last year?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I didn't play Wimbledon last year.

Q. Had you ever played Wimbledon?

VERA ZVONAREVA: No, I didn't.

Q. Have you ever played on grass?

VERA ZVONAREVA: No, I didn't.

Q. Will you play this year?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah.

Q. Qualify?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah.

Q. Did you play the US Open juniors?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah. I lost second round last year.

Q. We have a lot of good Russian players. Why is that?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Because I think it's more tennis club in Russia now, and I think it's one of the most popular sports in Russia.

Q. They don't have very many English players in Britain. Do you think they ought to give one of those wildcards to you in to the main draw?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know (smiling).

Q. Maybe you should ask.

VERA ZVONAREVA: (Smiling).

Q. What are your goals this year in general? I mean, what do you expect from your tennis? Do you dream about becoming No. 1 in the world?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I dream to be in Top 10 in the world, but it's really tough and I still have a lot of work because I need to improve more shots and a lot of different in my game.

Q. What do you think is your weakness right now?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Weakness, like...?

Q. Weak points of your game. Like a volley or, you know...

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I have to improve my serve because sometimes I have a good serve but sometimes not really good. And maybe I need to play some more volleys, but I didn't do a lot of volleys today.

Q. And were you helped by the Russian federation? Or your parents, they have enough money to afford to go around when you were younger? How did you manage to travel?

VERA ZVONAREVA: When I was younger, I was practicing with my coach and she help me.

Q. She paid?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yep.

Q. So she invested her money on you? Now you have to give something back to her or not?

VERA ZVONAREVA: She had a lot of players. And it was a club, you know. Bovina started the same club. Yeah, so, we're traveling like a big team together.

Q. Who else was there? You, Bovina, how many girls?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I know it was a lot, but they finish to play there. But it was really like 15 players, some guys and girls.

Q. Is it the same club of Marat Safin or Kafelnikov?

VERA ZVONAREVA: No, no.

Q. Or any of those?

VERA ZVONAREVA: No, no.

Q. Different one?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah.

Q. What is the name of the club?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Chaika.

Q. Do you have a hero, a tennis hero, that you look up to?

VERA ZVONAREVA: I really like Kafelnikov, how he's playing.

Q. Kafelnikov?

VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah.

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