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Elena Dementieva Fourth Round Press Conference

Indian Wells, CA, USA

March 16, 2010

6-3, 6-3
An interview with:

 THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

 Q.  Just assess your level of play.  You seem to be moving pretty well through the draw.
 ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  You know, I think today was pretty comfortable game for me because she was playing like I expected her to play, you know.  She was very aggressive, hitting some flat balls, and it was easy to get to the rhythm.
 We played lots of times before and I knew what to expect from her, so it was not a big problem today.

 Q.  So do you feel like you were playing at a pretty high level?
 ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  I feel like I did improve a little bit since my first match here, and, you know, just looking forward to improve some more for the next round against Agnieszka.

 Q.  Do you feel like you need to play very well to win matches, or just B level, 80%?
 ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, it depends.  Depends who you play.  Sometimes even you have to play your best in your second round, like in Australia Open, or sometimes you just can improve match after match and get to the semis, you know, with feeling 100%, you know, and playing your best.
 So sometimes, you know, it takes longer time.  Sometimes you're ready from the beginning.  So every week is different, yeah.

Q.  What do you think about your opponent's game today?
 ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, I think she was playing pretty much the same game as, you know, we played before.  She likes to hit hard, and I know when she's losing she's trying to take lots of risk and just go for the winners.
 So I was just patient when she was that aggressive from the baseline.  You know, she's a hard hitter, but, you know, I was trying to get her to the long rallies to make the mistakes, and that's what she did.

 Q.  So completely different match, the next one, huh?
 ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Yeah, it's going to be completely different match.  I feel like it's on my game, you know.  I need really to create something.  I need to go for the winner.  It's not like I'm going on the court and I'm patient, because there's nothing to waiting for.
 She doesn't make any mistakes.  She moves well.  It's going to be up to me, if I will be able to step forward, take advantage of the short ball, and be aggressive the whole match.

 Q.  Is she hard to read, her game?
 ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, I think she has a very smart game, you know.  She's using her strengths and she sees the courts very well; she moves you.  It's a very smart game.  Well, it's never easy to play against her.

 Q.  You and Caroline Wozniacki are the highest seeds left in the tournament.  Do you think maybe some of the expectations for the players that are coming back, Kim and Justine maybe Maria, although her situation is different because she's coming back from an injury are too high because they had some quick early success?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Oh, well, I don't think there is    I mean, it's always will be an expectation for those kind of players.  But I think this week I think they just face a very good opponent in the early rounds.  It was not easy to pass through these matches.
 But the way they were playing, like I didn't see Maria, but Justine and Kim, it looks like they're in great shape, you know, so I'm sure they do well next week in Miami.
 But just like I was talking yesterday, it's very competitive out there, and you have to be ready, you know, from the beginning to play well.  You know, you have to be focused, so there is no easy, you know, matches.  You have to be ready.

 Q.  But we should expect some ups and downs from those players that are coming back like that, no?
 ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, I think they're pretty consistent, Justine and Kim.  For sure it's not easy to coming back after two years.  But the way they, you know, started to play their first tournament was very impressive.  And, well, just one tournament here doesn't, you know, make a big difference for them.

 Q.  Do you think Wozniacki is for sure a top 5 player if she stays healthy, staying in the top 5 the next five years or so?  Talk to me about her game and what she needs to do to get just a little bit better.
 ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, I think she's a very good baseline player.  You know, she can very quickly go from offense to defense.  You know, she moves well.  She is very patient on the court, and, you know, she has a smart game, you know.
 It's pretty similar to Agnieszka, maybe a little bit more powerful.  The only thing I think she can improve is her serve, especially the second serve.  She has a pretty solid game, and she was consistent the last season; she had some good results.  Looks like she is improving year by year.

 Q.  Can you win just by playing smart, or do you need to have big weapons, too?
 ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Depends who you play.  Sometimes you have to be patient.  But when it comes to the top 3, you need to really have some big weapons to win tournaments, to win a Grand Slam.
 Because if you play two weeks Indian Wells and Miami, or when it comes to the Grand Slam, if you play aggressive, you just save some energy for the next round and can go through, you know, the whole tournament; otherwise with the long rallies, with such a physical game, you're just going to be dead for the semifinals.
 It's much better for sure to have some huge forehand or backhand or something like that.       

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