Pro Tennis Internet Network

Elena Dementieva Third Round Press Conference

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

March 14, 2010

E. DEMETIEVA/K. Flipkens

6-4, 6-2

An interview with:

ELENA DEMENTIEVA

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How are you feeling after your win today?  Seemed like it was fairly straightforward.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Yeah, I just feel like I really need to practice some more.  You know, it was probably not the best match, but sometimes happens.  You have to go through a difficult day like that, and, you know, just move forward.

Q.  If I read the stats right, you're 5 0 against Rezai.  Does that give you a lot more confidence with a record like that?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, for sure it helps when you have played her before and have good statistics, but I think every match is different.
Well, she's someone who is very aggressive on the baseline, you know.  She has a great forehand and backhand.  It was never easy to play against her, so I expect a tough match.
I think she's in good shape beating Francesca today, so it's a tough one.  Yeah.

Q.  Did you hurt something?  Did you have a pain, an injury?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  No.

Q.  No?  Because I see something in the middle of the second set, you were...
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  No, no, I don't have injury.  No, no.

Q.  Tough Australian.  Obviously not the best, but some good wins this year.  Could you assess your year so far?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  I had some good moments.  I was very happy with the way I was playing in Sydney.  That probably was the best tournament to win for me, the way I was playing all week.
It was a tough draw in Australia, I'm sure for both of us, but it was very interesting to play against Justine one more time, you know, especially after she's coming back.  I think overall it was a good match, you know, good experience for me.
So, yeah, I mean, after Justine came back on the tour, you have to expect to play her in early rounds.  You have to be ready for this.  So it's really tough.

Q.  How would you rank Justine's game?  It was a tough match?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, that was very impressive, the way she was playing her first tournament in two years in Hobart and the way she was playing in Melbourne, as well.  It didn't take a long time for her to find her game and to be so aggressive on the court.
I think she was moving very well.  You know, her forehand improved a lot.  When I play against her in Melbourne, I didn't feel like it was two years out of competition.  That's how well she was playing there.  Yeah.

Q.  I'd like to ask a different question.  I'd ask you to step back.  You've been on the tour for many, many years, done many of these press conferences and so forth.  My question is:  What kind of job do you think the media does?  Do you think we do a good job in telling your story, or maybe not so good?  What are your thoughts on the job that the media does?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  (laughter.)
What a question.  I've never thought    you know, I've never thought about anything like that, so I don't know what to say.

Q.  Well, just take a moment.  Do you think the media does a good job getting the story of tennis out, or not so good?  Does it twist things and not get the story right?  What are your feelings?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, by saying media, I mean, it's hard to    it's like a bunch of you.  It's a lot of people.  Some people know more about tennis; some people don't.
So I think someone does a better job; someone don't.

Q.  Put a different way, do you think sometimes the media was a little unfair about the problems you had with the serve?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Oh, no, no.  I agree, you know, it was a big problem.  I mean, it was a very big problem in my game.  Maybe it was tough to face it every time you lost, but I mean, it was there, you know.  It was not like I was coming to the press conference saying, no, I have a perfect serve.  What are you talking about?
No, I agree.  Well, when you have something bad you have to face it, otherwise you will never improve it.  So, no.  No, I don't think that    it was emotional sometimes, but, yeah, I think you guys, you were right.

Q.  Are you proud the way you've faced your problem and tried to deal with it?  Is that something that gives you pride in your own life?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, I mean, I think I've done a lot of things to be proud of.  My serve is something that I was working a lot, you know, and I think every single player has something in the game that is not so perfect, you know, even the No. 1, like I'm thinking about Steffi Graf playing, you know, and the slice and her backhand, you know.
I mean, everyone has something to deal with, and for me that was serve.  So it took me a long time, but I feel like I was able to improve it, and I keep working in it.

Q.  I was talking to Sveta and Jankovic the last couple of days about being a veteran, and year after year, trying to keep motivated week after week and how hard it can be sometimes.  Do you find it difficult?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  No, not for me.

Q.  Well, they do.  So what's the special thing that you do to make sure that you don't get down on yourself and that you can be excited every new tournament?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  I am exciting every week, every match.  That's why I'm keep playing, you know.
Maybe because comparing to Svetlana I never win a Grand Slam, so...  Well, for sure I have motivation and I have some goals in my career, and this is what keeps me going.  This is why my motivation was never a question for me.

Q.  Do you have to push yourself to go to practice more, or will you wake up during the day and say, Yeah, I really want to go practice another two hours today?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, listen, I'm sure everyone does some, you know, some days that you don't want to go anywhere.  You just want to stay in the bed, right?
Well, I love to practice.  I love to play.  I love to compete.  I realize that I'm really lucky to do what I like in my life and it's become my job.  I'm pretty happy what I'm doing, and I know it's a very short period of time.  I better enjoy it.
I just don't want to get any negative thoughts.  I just want to enjoy every single moment.  I'm sure the life will be boring without tennis for me.

Q.  So a short period of time for you would be what, three more years?  Maybe five?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  (laughter.)  Well, gosh, I don't know.

Q.  You've been playing regularly now since 1999, eh?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  You keep reminding me.

Q.  You're the one that said short period of time, not me.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, I'm talking about life in general, you know.  Sport is just, yeah, it's a very small part of it.  And the most exciting.

Q.  What do you like best about being in America, about American culture?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, for me it's a bit difficult, because I think mentally we are very different people.  But I think American people are very friendly.  There's something that maybe we Russian people have to learn, you know.
Americans are very open, easygoing, and trying to enjoy really every day, you know, every moment of their life.
You know, Russian people, we're more negative.  We're always trying, you know, to survive, to go through some difficulties.  You know, it's two different worlds for me.
But the more I'm playing the more I enjoy being here, and I have found some friends in America, you know.  I have some places I really like to come back, and it's a big part of my life now.

Q.  And you had that wonderful win in Beijing at the Olympics.  Did that affect in any way how you watched the Vancouver Olympics?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Yeah.  You know, I was    this morning I talked to my mom, and she said she doesn't like to watch other people, you know, achieve something, doing something, you know, playing Olympic Games, because she likes when she does something well.
But for me it's different.  When I watch Olympic Games, for sure I support Russian athletes.  But when it comes to the gold medal, I'm so happy for every person that's winning gold medal, winning any medal there, because it's very emotional for me.  I almost cry when I watch, you know.
I was in Malaysia, and I had my alarm on 5:00 a.m. every morning.  I didn't sleep the whole week.  I was watching the Olympic Games live on TV.
So don't put me in the morning.  I just want to play night session, because I really need to see it.

Q.  Do you recall one win that particularly touched you, like the skiing?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  It didn't happen.  Ice hockey.  It didn't happen.  (Laughter.)

Q.  That's because you have personal involvement in ice hockey?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, I mean, Canada was way too good.  Ice hockey, figure skating.  I mean, lots of great moments, so...

Q.  Are you going to play Fed Cup against the U.S.?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  I don't think so, but    I don't think so.  Not this year.

Q.  Because you don't want to have to play Miami and then go to Europe and then come all the way back?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  I mean, from the beginning, I didn't plan to go Charleston, so I will probably just come back to Europe after Miami.  It will be difficult to come back again to the United States.
There are a lot of Russian players who's gonna be in Charleston, like Alisa, Vera, Svetlana maybe.  So, yeah, we don't have problems with players.

Q.  Svetlana said she's not going to play.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, maybe because she needs to defend her title in Stuttgart.  It's, you know, like    it's pretty, you know, close with Stuttgart.  So I don't know who's going to play.

Q.  Do you like Pavlyuchenkova's game very much?  Do you think she's got top 10 potential, or is she still immature?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, she has a very powerful baseline game.  Her serve is huge, and I played her a couple of times.  It was a difficult match to win.
So I think she's    um, you know, physically, she, you know, looks pretty good.  But I think she's young.  Maybe she needs more experience, but she had some great moments.  She just won a tournament in Monterrey, so it looks like she's improving her game a lot.  Probably one of the most talented Russian players for the moment.

Q.  How do you deal with the situation, the obvious one, that you haven't won a Major yet?  Is that something that is driving you and is fierce, or is it something you're just calm about and you would like to achieve?  Can you just describe your inner feelings about that?  Because you've had such an incredible career, including the gold.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, this is definitely the biggest motivation, the biggest goal left in my career, and it just really keeps me going, keeps me practicing hard, improving my game.
I'm really waiting for these Majors now, you know.  It's like I'm really getting ready for the French Open, and I just want to do well there because this is my favorite one.
Yeah, I'm trying hard, you know.  We'll see.  It's pretty challenging, pretty competitive this year.  But just, yeah, I'm looking forward to this.

Q.  And they're all four different.  Where do you think your best chance is?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  French Open.

Q.  What do you think Serena's chances are or anyone's chances are for winning a calendar year Grand Slam?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Wow.  (laughter.)
I think she was pretty close last year, no?  I mean, she could win French Open.  She was pretty close with Svetlana in the semifinal.  I'm not sure about Wimbledon.

Q.  I think it was a quarterfinal.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, yeah.
Well, it's tough, you know.  This year it's really    I think because of Justine and Kim on the tour, so it's going to be very tough to do it.  It's very competitive, so I don't know.  I mean, I'm not so good with the giving you any...

Q.  The odds?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Yeah.

Q.  But it's not likely?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA:  Well, okay.  Thank you.  

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