Australian Open Interview: Svetlana Kuznetsova

An interview with Svetlana Kuznetsova after losing to Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 1-6, 16-14 in the longest (4 hours 44 minutes) grand slam women’s singles match ever played. Kuznetsova had energy to tweet about it: “hey guys thank u for watching and all the support!i m still able to type u a message and to take positive out of this match today! yeah it hurts but ….what eva doesent kill you….. will do better for u))))”.
Q. Did you try to beat the record of Mahut and Isner?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I tried, but apparently didn’t work. She finish it earlier than I thought.

Q. What do you remember of the six match points that you had? Did you think some of them you could have made it?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I don’t remember any. I mean, I think she played good on match points. I don’t think I had easy ball any time, she was serving it all the time. It’s hard to say. The match could go either way so many times. I mean, I think it just was really a day of Francesca. We both fighted so hard the whole match, and the important moments she just played better.

But statistically I also felt like I was better player on the court. I played better. Just very disappointing. Sometimes I guess it happens in tennis like it happened today, that key points, she just won it. Or maybe I went for too much or sometimes I didn’t go. It’s hard to say exactly what happened.

Maybe in few days I would watch the video and understand more about it. It’s too hard to talk about it right now.

Q. Do you think you could watch the video, 4 hours and 44 minutes?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I guess I will watch a little bit the end. I mean, the first set, I don’t know. If you would watch the first set, I think she played very uncomfortable and I was doing something wrong tactically. The second set I played better tactically and I won it. In the third set, if I would break her in few moments, I felt if I would finish it there the match would go much faster.

When we were equal, I was match points up. But I maybe didn’t do enough or she played pretty well, made some winners and she went for it. I mean, it’s very hard to say something straight after the match. I just feel very empty. I don’t know what to say.

Q. Is it the most hard match in your career?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: The longest for sure. And I think the match where I had the most possibilities to win and I just didn’t close it.

Q. Do you remember other matches of yours where you had six match points and you lost?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Actually I’m happy my memory is not that good. I don’t remember. My memory is pretty bad. Few times I just in few days I will just forget. Well, this match I won’t forget for pretty long.

Just frustrating because I felt like it was my match to play. I was playing better and dictating and I was doing stuff. But she was playing smart. I give her credit for playing great.

Q. You both won Roland Garros. What about to be strong, so hard rallies, is it possible to say about it a little?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: But it has nothing to do with Australia. It was French Open. It was in the past. I could feel that she’s definitely confidence, and definitely this confidence brought her French Open last year.

For me, I’m trying to come back. I think I’m doing it and feeling pretty confident and playing the right game at the moment. Yeah, definitely I didn’t use some chances. I will think the game over and over again.

But for me, I’m coming back. How did you say, what doesn’t kill you make you stronger. I’m still alive and sitting here. I was moving good and serving better in the end. Definitely I cannot be very upset and bring myself down. I will stay strong and take positive things out of match because there is some definitely good things I’ve done today. Definitely some things wrong.

But just I see the way just to move forward and improve.

Q. There was a crucial point where she could have won the point and ran into the net and you won the point. Were you confident after that? That seemed to give you a bit of a roll.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Which point are you talking about? At some stage I was like, what’s the score? Who’s serving? I was like, what’s going on anyway here?

I had no clue sometimes. It was so hard to count. I was like, who is up? She? Me? It’s really hard to say which point you’re talking about right now. We had some good points at the net.

Q. You say the other day that you were going to fight like animals, and you did.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I thought you would tell me I did not, but…

Q. No. Did you say anything to Francesca at the end or she say something to you or you’re in the talking for a while or going out to dinner?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Definitely I will talk to her. We’re still good, but it was court. Then it’s off the court. I mean, definitely we said something to each other, but I was so frustrated. I have no idea what was spoken.

Q. What is your balance of the tournament at the end? You were not playing well last year. Today you lost, but you played a great match. The last ten games were fantastic considering the situation, the condition, the shape and everything else.

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Out of trip to Australia I can take only positive things. I been working November, December very well on my fitness condition, everything. I feel fit, I feel playing better.

It doesn’t come to you, you know. I’m religious person and I believe in God. If he makes me go through this, I will go through this and keep my head high and work even harder. I’m proud of the work I’ve done.

I had all matches which I lost, but I just didn’t close them. In Auckland I was 4 2 up against Peng in the third set. In Sydney I was 6 3, 5 3 up against Li Na. Here I had match points. I didn’t close them but I’m there. It already makes me think positive. Last year I didn’t win one top 10 player. I beat Stosur, Justine, which for me was a little bit headache to play her. For me, it’s points to work harder and go forward.

Q. Do you think today you played better or worse than against Justine?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: So different player. It’s hard to say. It was definitely hard. After you play Justine you have so many emotions to close it. First set I was a little bit frustrated because games of these players so different. Justine was hitting a lot and here the ball comes with spin, with slice, with this, with this.

But I knew it’s going to be so. But last year I didn’t play any matches on the high level for me, few matches. I felt in some moments that I needed matches, and also today. In some moments to close it you need matches and opportunities. One day I will make it. I’m very confident about it, and I will close it.

Q. This might make you feel better. You’ve earned over 15 million dollars in your career and Francesca has earned only 7. Have you ever done anything with your 15 million?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: What’s happened with you guys? I see Roger’s interview. You guys ask him what he does with his money. We sleep, put under my couch and I sleep on it every day I think. I have 17 or I don’t know how many, 15 million.

You just have to realize when everybody comes to me and says, Oh, you have 17 million. I’m like, Where are they? I don’t see any. I’m same human as you are and we’re all humans. I honestly don’t know.

It’s exactly what people think. We’re super rich and something like that. I’m talking now for myself. Looking at the total amount of money you earn in career, they think you have 15 million. You don’t realize how much we spend for the team. You don’t realize how much we pay for traveling, for hotels, for preparations.

You don’t realize with coaches, we pay them. It’s pretty high charges. Higher you are, more you spend for your team. It’s really a lot expenses. I’m not going to do a computer math here for you; I’m not good at it. But I like to count still.

But there’s lots of expenses and also we do taxes and few things that people don’t realize. We’re not like soccer players who just travel for travelling expenses. The team pays. We pay everything. I pay everything by myself. No federation, nobody helps me. Definitely to go up somebody puts money into you. My parents. Some people have been helped by sponsors.

Definitely have to do a lot of expenses. It’s not like I have under my couch 17 million. You can come and check though.

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