Q. Is it a match you thought on merit you should have won?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I think it was a very close match, and I think we both were playing very well today. It was a good fight.
Actually, I feel very satisfied the way I was playing today. The only regret I have, maybe I should take a little bit more risk on match point, should go down the line.
But overall it was a good match.
Q. Do you think this is the best match ever you have played on grass?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, definitely, I think that was the best match on grass court. And that was the best match we ever played against each other. It was a real fight from the beginning till the end. You know, I just feel like, you know, finally I played some good tennis here.
Just, you know, was not easy to fight against her. She’s a great champion. She was, you know, serving very well today. You know, I wasn’t sure if it’s Serena or Andy Roddick on the other side, 125 all the time. You know, it was a huge percentage of the first serve.
You know, even with that I was able to break her a couple of times and I was in the lead in the third set. Like I said, she’s a fighter. Me, too. So was a good match.
Q. Talk about the last two games. At that time did you still believe you could win?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I really wanted to play against her, and I wanted to play some good tennis here. So I was thinking very positively the whole match. I was fighting for every point. I was able to break her a couple of times.
And, yes, I did believe in myself. So it was a good fight.
Q. I don’t know if you discussed the match point, but were you thinking about going down the line on the passing shot?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, I’m disappointed with the shot because I’m very surprised I didn’t go down the line. Because, I mean, passing shot, this is my favorite shot to make. And, I mean, maybe it was too quick, so I didn’t see she was moving to cover cross?court, you know.
She was very close to the net. I mean, down the line or even lob would work. But, I mean, it’s a game, you know. It was too quick.
Q. Apart from match point, there were two breakpoints where Hawk?Eye was that far away. Do you believe if either of those calls had gone in your favor you would be sitting here now in the final?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, sometimes I wish there is no challenge, especially when you see that close (laughter).
What can I say? Sometimes you feel little bit lucky.
Q. Did you sense she was tiring in the second portion of the third set?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I think physically she was ready to play. And it’s a big difference the way she was moving in French Open and here. She moves much better now. So I think physically she was pretty strong today.
Q. You talk about Serena being a great fighter. Out there what is the key thing that you sense? How does that translate in a point?to?point, moment?to?moment situation?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I mean, it was a very close match the way we were playing. Like fighting for every point, you know, even with a break down, we were very aggressive. We were trying to, you know, go for the winner, create something on the court.
There was no ups and downs. It was very solid game from the beginning. Was quite hot out there. Still, in this condition, we were trying to, you know, play some good tennis, you know, some good level of tennis.
Q. Do you feel an intensity from Serena that you just don’t feel from other top players?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I think all the top?10 players are very tight to play. You know, that’s the big difference between top 10 and the other players. It’s not about serve or forehand and backhand, it’s about, you know, winning spirit.
And she has a great fighting spirit. I think I also have. So, you know, I did expect a tough match, and it was a tough match.
Q. How is your spirit after two successive semifinals and losing to a Williams sister, getting so close?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: It’s still here (smiling). I think, you know, last year I was a little bit more nervous than today, and I couldn’t really play my game against Venus. I did fight in the second set. It was a close, 7?6.
But today from the beginning I was very positive. I mean, I knew exactly what to expect from her. We played lots of matches before, so I was ready to play. I was ready to fight.
And, like I said, overall it was a good match.
Q. Even more then the fact that you were more prepared and better prepared, as you said, does it not hurt even more?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think it’s good that I was able to play a very good tennis today. For sure I feel disappointing because it was a very close match. But I think the way I was playing is more important than result.
Q. Does it make you feel that you can win this title, or does it make you fear that may have been your best chance?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don’t think that it was my best chance. I don’t think it was the last chance. I don’t think about, you know, that I would never have this chance again. So I’m not thinking about my chances. I was thinking about the game and how to play against her.
You know, you cannot think about final before playing semis.
Q. Is it any consolation that you’ve taken part in one of the great Wimbledon semifinals, longest ladies semifinals, or is your heart breaking inside?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I mean, what can I say? It was a close match, you know. I feel disappointing, but I’m glad that I was playing some good tennis on Centre Court.
Q. You cracked the serve pretty well today. You must have been pleased with that aspect of your performance.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, I think it was a big difference to play with this kind of serve. I think the percentage of the first serve was quite good today. She was in trouble sometimes. She couldn’t really return as well as she does usually.
So, yeah, it was a different game because of the serve, as well.
Q. Could you tell us a little bit about how you rehabilitated the serve.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: It’s a long process. I cannot tell in a few words right now (smiling).
Q. Who did you primarily work with?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I work with my mom.
Q. I know you’ve played her a lot and you know her game well. Did she amaze you at times today, how well she served on big points?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, the way she was serving the whole tournament is pretty impressive. And I think when she’s getting ready for Wimbledon, she’s always work a lot on her serve, you know, because this is a big advantage in her game.
So I did expect some good serve from her. The only thing, you know, I regret that maybe I should take a risk sometimes when it was a breakpoint, you know, should take a guess and try to, you know, make a few steps to the forehand or backhand.
But, you know, it was pretty fast, you know. Was pretty difficult to react, even with the slice. Sometimes I couldn’t do this.
Q. If there was one thing you could go back and change in today’s semi, what would that one thing be?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don’t like to go back, you know. But, just like I said, I should go down the line on the match point.
Q. The crowd was so much behind you. At match point in the game when it was 4?5, it was almost as though Andy Murray was out there. Were you conscious of that?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: It was very nice to play with this kind of support. You know, I did enjoy a lot this atmosphere, and I could feel the support from the crowd. It was a great experience for me.
Q. What are we to make of this? Serena Williams wasn’t playing her best tennis, which is what you said in the opening question, but yet she won. Is Serena Williams beatable when she advances to this stage in these championships? Do you believe she is?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I didn’t say she was not playing at her best. I think she played very well today. I think it’s quite difficult to play against her on grass because of her serve and because of the groundstroke that she has.
But, well, there is no one unbeatable. And I think if you play very aggressive, if you play ?? you know, believe in your heart you can do it, because today was a very close match.
Q. Do you think the media sometimes doesn’t give enough respect to the rest of the tour, apart from the Williams sisters?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don’t feel this way, no.
Q. Do you have a sense you get a different Serena at the slams than you get at other events, that she’s a different player four times a year?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, I think so. I think that it’s two completely different players when she’s playing, you know, Grand Slams or she’s playing other tournaments.
For sure there is a big, you know, preparation time for her and Venus when it comes to the Grand Slam. They’re always, you know, ready to play at their best when it’s coming to the Grand Slam, always playing very solid tennis.
I mean, the way they fight on the court, it’s very impressive. Definitely for them Grand Slam is the biggest goals in their season.
Q. She seems to like playing against you. She likes the level of rallies and balls and everything.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I hope not (smiling).
Q. Do you enjoy playing against her? Do you enjoy that kind of challenge? Is that why you come out to the courts and play?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, for sure. It was a great match because, you know, I was very satisfied to win all these matches in two sets to come to the semifinal. But I really want to have some fight on the court, and I really enjoy this kind of match when you have to push yourself very hard and trying to play an extra ball, an extra point.
So this is the real game, and this is what I like about tennis. So to play against best players in the world, this is what makes it so interesting for me.
Q. You spoke beautifully the other day on how people are surprised you work to improve your game. Is this kind of moment why you work? Do you still, in your heart, feel you can win a slam in addition to the gold medal?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I think only by playing these kind of matches you can improve, you know, because this is the players that I want to beat, to win a Grand Slam. And, you know, you have this experience playing very close match against Serena, I think it’s very positive.
So I’m gonna watch this match again. I’m gonna take some positive, you know, things from it and go forward.