Indian Wells: Press Conference after defeating Sharapova

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Vera, please.

- Very good come-back there. What was the dynamics as you saw it?
- You know, I just -- I was concentrating on every point, trying to get the rhythm, trying to get my game together and I was just fighting for every point, and I think that's why I was able to turn it around.

- You seemed to take a lot of momentum from your discussion with your coach. Did you win seven games in a row or something after seeing your coach?
- I'm not sure right now, but -- well, the coaches can come out only between the sets, so that's when he came out. I wasn't really counting how many I won or lost.

- But was that a factor for you? Did it make a difference, your discussion.
- I think the coach can help on court or something, but I had some opinions and they were pretty much the same. So it's really great when you have someone who understands and give you advice and just give you support. I think it was really important, that moment, for me. But there is not much disagreement between us. You know, on what I have to do, so I just -- I knew what I had to do, and he just gave me extra support to, you know, keep going.

- Are you comfortable sharing what that was?
- Sorry?

- Are you comfortable sharing what you discussed?
- You know, we don't really -- it wasn't like about something, like, a game play on something. It was just more to concentrate on myself. And he just told me to go for my shots, like, because sometimes I had a doubt, maybe I shouldn't do, maybe I should change. He told me just go for it, you know, your game is great and you have the shots, so I just have to do it. I think that was the most important thing at that moment.

- What was going through your mind when she was serving for the match?
- You know, I didn't really pay attention to the score that much. I was -- I was just trying to, you know, fight for every point and trying to find my game, find my shots, till the last point is played.

- Could you just on talk of what you were saying about coaching, could you compare the difference in how it feels to be out there on your own compared to being able to have a coach come out?
- I think for me, it doesn't really do a huge difference, you know, 'cause I think I can figure it out pretty good on my own. But I played only two or three matches where my coach was able to come on court, so it's too early to say about is there a big difference. I don't have that much experience in it. But, for sure, just like support. It's great to have a coach. I think it would be too much to -- if coach would be able to come out every change-over. Still tennis is an individual sport. But between the sets, if you can get that extra support, it definitely can take your game to the next level.

- What's your coach's name?
- Sam Sumyk. He's French.

- How long has he been your coach?
- I started working with Sam in the beginning of the last year, so it's been a little bit over a year.

- What is the best quality that he has brought to you?
- I think just to be able to fight for every point. I don't pay attention to anything, even if I have a bad day and something is not working, still be able to get the best tennis out of myself even on a bad day. So I think it's great.

- Can you talk about what this win means for your year, obviously to beat the defending champion at such an important tournament.
- You know, I haven't really thought about it this way 'cause I played Maria a few times, and we always had tough matches. And obviously, she's a great player, she's a great fighter, and, well, she's No. 1 in the world. I mean, it's just great to be able to play any player out of, you know, top 10. But to be -- if I think about it right now, she's No. 1. To beat a player No. 1 in the world, it's just great for anybody's career. When I would look back at it, I would say, yeah, I was pretty good in tennis. I beat a No. 1 player in the world. So I don't know. It's just great for my experience.

- When you do look back your tennis career years from now, what would you like to see?
- That I was able to get out of myself as much as I could. Like, I would love to see myself as -- that I did everything I could to be the best player I can. That's the most important thing. And, you know, because I don't set the goals or something, it's not -- it's a little bit different right now. I've been in top 10 before, you know, and I've been injured after it. It was a hard time, but for myself, I just trying to look back and say, Well, I enjoyed my match and I did everything I could. That's all I can ask of myself.

- Have you looked forward to the next match or did you just, you know, not anticipating? How do you feel about the next match up with Na Li?
- Na Li is a great player and I played her before, and I think I lost to her last year. Well, she's really upcoming player. She's really tough to play. So I'll just have -- you know, I just have to do my best. I just have to concentrate and fight, and then we'll see what's gonna happen.

- Are you going to have a slightly different strategy against her?
- Well, against every player, you have a different strategy. There is not all the same player on the tour. Everyone is individual and everyone is playing different games, so, of course, I haven't really thought about it yet, but certainly you have to come out and play differently every match.

- What is the strategy against Maria?
- I'll keep it secret while it's working (laughter). No, but the most important thing for me was today to concentrate on my game, don't pay attention to what's going on and, you know, to go for my shots.

- How many times did you play Sharapova in the past and what did you change in your game? What works in your favor today?
- Well, I've beaten Maria in the past, as well, so we always had tough matches. You know, I think every day is different and every day you have to fight. And all players are really good right now on the tour, and it's just depends who is able -- who will be able to get the best out of that particular day.

- How much has Sam helped you control your emotions on the court, or has it been a combination of that and your own maturity?
- I don't know. I don't really think about it. It's great to have Sam by the side and tell me if I make -- Hey, calm down, you're not playing that bad, or it's just couple shots, don't worry. It's great. I think it helps. But also I'm a little bit different player. I'm more mature. Yeah, I think it's just a combination of everything.

- So much of the tour is here in the -- or a good chunk of the tour is here in the United States. What do you think the most wonderful thing is about the United States and what do you like the least?
- I don't know. It's a tough question. I like the food more in Europe, so I don't know. And, well, there are so many different tournaments, you know. Some you like more, some you don't like. But as a tennis player, we don't see that much around. We see courts and the hotels. So it's tough to compare. It's pretty much the same everywhere. But I don't know. It's just different.

- And the best hotels on the entire tour are in what city?
- Moscow, because it's home for me.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks.


Indian Wells, March 13, 2007

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