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Elena Vesnina - first round

Monday 25 June 2012

E. VESNINA/V. Williams

6 1, 6 3

Q. Would you describe your thoughts about today's match against Venus Williams.
ELENA VESNINA: Well, I think that's the biggest win in my career. Beat Venus in Wimbledon is just something amazing.
Actually, I really wanted to play against her 'cause I have so much respect to both Serena and Venus. It's always really tough to play against them. They're great champions.
Today I was just enjoying my time on that court. I was really believing in my win today, that I could really win that match, and I think that really helped me today.

Q. You mentioned you've always thought highly of Venus and Serena. What was the atmosphere like on the court, and what were you thinking about Venus as you were playing against her?
ELENA VESNINA: I know that she didn't have that much matches under her belt, you know, before that, so I thought that I have a little bit of advantage of that. I played two tournaments on grass. Like I know what to do already on the grass. For her, it was her first match.
I know it's going to be very important to start playing very good from the beginning. Of course I was scared. Not scared, but I was like aware of her serve. But I think she didn't serve that well today.
I mean, first serves especially. Especially in the first set, she was missing a lot of first serves and then double faults sometimes, so I think that gave me some confidence also in the return.
I knew that she's a little bit struggling with her serve, she's not that confident, and it was just question that I have to take my chance when I have it.

Q. Is it hard to block out all the titles she's won here when you're playing someone like that on the court?
ELENA VESNINA: You know, you never actually thinking about that on the court when you're playing against some players. It's just a player. You know that I have respect to Venus. I know she's a great champion. She won here a few times.
This match for me was just a question how to play against that player. Just the player. There was no titles, no like, I don't know, nothing, so many wins under her belt.
For me it was just important to play my game and believe till the end.
I played against Serena a few times already. I played doubles both against them. I mean, I know. It's not a new thing for me to go and play against them.

Q. Have you been able in the past, when you played top players like Serena, to block it out, not think about that?
ELENA VESNINA: Not always. It depends. It has to be the mood maybe. Has to be some confidence inside of you. It has to be also some luck because it depends if both of them playing their best tennis. Obviously not that many players have chances against them, especially on grass.
But if at the first matches you can take your chances and you can go forward, you can be aggressive, then it will be a different story.

Q. Venus gave you much credit for playing a great match. How did you feel her energy level was?
ELENA VESNINA: Thank you. That's really nice to hear from Venus.
As I said, I think she was not really at the beginning into the match. She was not confident. She didn't have lot of matches, and that's very important, especially in Grand Slams. When you have some matches before, it's going to help you.
Maybe for Venus it was a little bit tough to start the match. I was playing well. I mean, I can admit it that I was serving well, I was aggressive, and I was hitting some good shots. Maybe that's why she was feeling a little bit like not comfortable on the court.
The score was going really fast, so for her it was a matter to try to go back on court and try to bring it back. I don't know. Maybe for her it was not one of her best days, but for me it was one of the best days.

Q. What is your favorite surfaces?
ELENA VESNINA: Grass is one of that favorite surface, for sure.

Q. How often in singles matches do you serve and volley?
ELENA VESNINA: Not often. Honestly, I'm just doing that on grass.

Q. How often on grass do you do it?
ELENA VESNINA: Quite often. I played my first tournament in Birmingham. The courts were not really good there, and so I was like, I have to try serve and volley because it's really tough with the bad bounces. I have to try and go, and I tried there like few times. It was going well.
My first coach he died Yutkin, he was always telling me, Why you girls don't serve and volley on the grass? I don't understand that. You have to try that, because you have a good serve; you have a volley. You just have to be brave. You have to be aggressive. Don't be scared, because it's going to put so much pressure on the girls. So I always knew that it's going to help.
Today I cannot say it was working that well, but on 15 30 at 5 3, it was a great volley, I think.

Q. It's Wimbledon, first round. You seem so confident. Where do you draw this confidence? Because you like grass?
ELENA VESNINA: Yes, obviously I really like and I'm really enjoying playing on grass. I'm not 18 years old. I played a lot of Wimbledon. Maybe not that much like Williams or other great players. So I know what to expect here.
For me, I'm always enjoying my time here. I like the atmosphere here. I like courts. I like everything about London, honestly. It's one of my favorite cities.
For me it was just a matter of you have to try. These matches you have to try and you have to give your best. I think if I wouldn't win that game on 5 3, it could easily be three sets and then you never know what it's going to be in the third set.
So it was very important for me to win that game at 5 3, which I am very pleased to have won.

Q. How would you describe the challenge you have now for your next match?
ELENA VESNINA: I'm playing Agnieszka Radwanska. Yeah, it's going to be a tough match. Agnieszka, she is No. 3 in the world right now and having the best season of her career. I have nothing to lose on this match.
I know her game. I think she knows my games, too, because we played few times before. I think it has to be a good tactic plan for the match against Aggie because she's very smart player. I think on the grass it's a matter of the serve, so it's going to be important to serve well with her and be aggressive. That's the way how you have to play on grass.

Q. What carries over from your success today for that next match?
ELENA VESNINA: It's going to bring me some confidence in the next match definitely, some positive things. But anyway, it's going to be each match. I have to forget that match that I played today and have to be I think ready for another match, because it's going to be totally different game even with the game.
I mean, the way how Agnieszka playing, it's not usual way of tennis. She playing with you like cat with the mouse a little bit. She has these kind of feelings, so I have to be ready and very aggressive and use my serve a lot.

Q. Do you have any particular memory of Venus playing here that you watched?
ELENA VESNINA: Venus? I remember I was watching her match. She beat Davenport in the final. It was really long match and I was playing I think 25,000 in Italy qualifying or something on clay. They were showing the final on TV. It was really long match. I remember I was watching that.
For me was something that, Oh, my God, there's two players. They're like legends, and it's the final of Wimbledon. I'm dreaming that one day I'm going to be there and play there.
I remember that match when she won it. She played really well. I think it was one of the best matches I ever watched in the final, the Wimbledon match.

Q. Did today's match go according to your plan or did you change your plan?
ELENA VESNINA: You know, when the score was 5 Love, I didn't plan that, honestly. 5 Love, it was like, Whoa, it's great, but I didn't actually I don't like to win sets. I think all of the players, they don't like to win the first set 6 Love.
After that, you're losing one game and you're feeling, Oh, my God. That's disaster. I lost one game. I was playing so well and I missed some balls.
For me of course 5 1 was great. I'm leading, putting pressure on her. It was a matter of winning most important games in the match.

Q. What does Venus Williams mean to you and to the sport?
ELENA VESNINA: I think she's one of the greatest athletes, first of all, in the whole sport. And she's a great champion. She won Wimbledon so many times. Like on the court, you can see that she has really great attitude on the court.
Even now, I mean, she's not in the top 10, but you can still feel she will get few more matches and she can be back again. Williams sisters, they have this power. They have this ability to come back from nowhere. They know how to do that. They know how to play Grand Slams. They know how to win Grand Slams. I think that's the most important thing from them.

Q. You expect to see her thriving again?
ELENA VESNINA: If she would get a few more matches, get some wins, then it will be totally different story. It's always like that with the tennis players. If you're losing, losing, and losing, you don't have confidence, then it's really tough for you.
But then as soon as you have a game, for example, you know that you can play really well and that you can win the Grand Slam. She was winning that before, so for her it's not something new.
It's matter just to win a few matches, to beat some players, and then she can easily be back because she know what to do. She's a great champion.

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