Dementieva interview after the match against Suarez Navarro


Q. It looked an easy win. But really, how tough was it?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, it was very tough to play because of the weather condition. Also, I mean, she is very strong physically, you know, very fit player. Playing for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect from her.

No, I mean, maybe it looked easy. But I think for such a score like 6‑2, 6‑2, we’re playing one and a half hour, which is a pretty long match.

Q. They’re closing the roof now. Do you think they should have closed it before your match?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, for sure. I’m really surprised, you know, ’cause when you see the forecast, like it’s going to be 41 today, 43 tomorrow, the hottest week in a month, why not to close the roof? Not only for the players, but for the spectators, as well.

Q. Is that the hottest you’ve ever played in?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I had some pretty hot days in Sydney playing last week, you know, last tournament.

But, I mean, I think if you have a roof, why not use it?

Q. Did anyone give you any explanation why it wasn’t being closed?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Actually, I didn’t want to go any discussion or arguing before the match. I was trying to get ready and focus. I mean, but, uhm, yeah, I don’t know why.

Q. Do you or any of the other players you know understand the heat policy here, how it works?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, it looks like nobody really knows how it works here. I think when it’s 40 and over you have to close the roof.

But saying that in our match was like 39 and a half, well, I don’t know, when you’re on the court it feels like 45 inside in the center court.

I don’t really know how it works here.

Q. You have to back up again tomorrow in a semifinal. How much impact will this have on you?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, it’s gonna be tough, you know, for the bottom half of the draw because we don’t have a day off before the semifinal match, which is tough.

I really need this day off in the beginning of the week, when I came from Sydney. I feel okay playing tomorrow.

Q. Is it fair you had to play your whole match in the sun and the match going on now played only one set in the sun?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: What can we do? It’s the weather condition. You know, me and Suarez Navarro, we are in the same condition playing out there in the heat. If they’re gonna close the roof, I feel good for the spectators.

Q. Does it give an advantage to whoever wins today’s match heading into the next?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I think, you know, it was pretty hot playing the first set for both of them. Now they have to wait until they close the roof. Obviously it’s gonna be a tough match.

So, no, I think we’re in the same condition here.

Q. While it’s difficult conditions, does it make you feel good that you’ve shown your hard work and physical condition has coped with these difficult weather conditions?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think you can get ‑‑ you know, you can work so hard trying to get ready for the weather condition, but when you have to face 40 or 41, there is no way you can get used to it.

The best way is to play as quick as possible and just get away from the court. I mean, there is no way to adjust with the heat here.

Q. Do you find yourself going for bigger shots to shorten rallies because of the conditions?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, yeah. Because of the weather condition, but also because I knew she’s a very solid baseline player, you know, who’s quick and hits lots of points back to me. And, you know, she runs very well, staying like two meters behind the baseline.

So the plan was just, you know, step into the court, just trying to be aggressive and make winners.

Q. Last year’s champion isn’t here, but we’re looking at a possibility of an all‑Russian semifinals. Your thoughts on that?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I mean, it’s unbelievable. Looking at the draw, I mean, all of the Russian girls playing very solid for the moment. But I couldn’t imagine if Svetlana win this match, it’s gonna be four of us playing in the semis. This is unbelievable.

Q. If Serena wins, can you just talk about how you turn that rivalry around? You’ve beaten her three times in a row. Is it your better play, or have you found something in her game that works for you now?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, look, every time it’s different, especially against Serena. You don’t know what to expect from her. All the matches that we play, all the last three matches, was completely different games.

I think she likes to play here. She won this title. She feels pretty comfortable playing, you know, in this surface. I think it’s going to be tough match. It’s always good to have, you know, a positive results. But it’s all new.

Q. You had your visor on and she didn’t have a hat of any kind. Were you a bit surprised?


Q. Yes.

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I think it’s just habit. If you don’t used to playing in the weather, then it’s hard to play with.

Q. Could you have played today without your visor?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don’t think so.

Q. A bit of sun strike in your eyes a few times. The sun on the court, was that an issue today?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Actually, the sun was pretty strong. You know, I was ‑‑ usually when you’re playing at 11:00 it’s not that strong. But today it was, you know, a very dangerous sun and very strong.

It was very hard to serve on one side. So instead of just going for the good serve, you’re just trying to put the ball into the service. And, you know, just to put it in somehow, because you couldn’t see the ball.

Q. Were the moths an issue for you?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Oh, I mean, it was hot for everyone, you know (laughter). They were like ready to die; not to survive a day like that.

Q. The men have been complaining about having to play very late matches this week, and suggesting with the equal pay the women should play every second night after the men. How do you feel about that?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Every second night after the men?

Q. The men said maybe every second night the men should play before the women in the night sessions.

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Who said that?

Q. A few of them have said that. Roger. Andy Roddick. Novak. Baghdatis.

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, it’s nice to hear that they still think about us, you know. That’s nice (smiling).

Q. Have you talked to your mum since the match finished?


Q. How is she?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: She’s very happy for me. It’s just nice to hear from her straight after the match.

Q. Is she well?


Q. Any indication she might come out now?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don’t think so, no.

Q. Was she able to watch?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, she did watch.

Q. Did she have any comments?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: She liked the way I played. She didn’t like my serve today, but she was happy for me, you know.

Q. Does she get as nervous at home on television as she does when she’s siting in the stands?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think when she’s watching the TV, you can hear so much critics from her ‑ even more when she’s watching live. It’s just more emotional. She’s just trying to support. She’s just like a fan in the crowd.

But when you’re home, you’re watching on TV, you can see all these mistakes coming from me.

Q. Do you expect she’ll be back on the tour with you soon?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I hope so. I don’t really know, yeah.

Q. You said she wasn’t happy with your serve. How did you assess your own serve today?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, once again, I mean, sometimes it’s really hard to serve, you know, because of the sun. So instead of just going for the really, you know, good first serve, you’re just trying to put just lots of spin, you know, just trying to put it somehow.

But I think today was not the best day of my service. I was serving okay this week, yeah.

Q. How much of playing Serena is a mental battle versus a physical and technical one?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: It’s always a mental battle, no matter if you’re playing Serena or Svetlana or someone else. It’s always mental. Maybe it looks like a physical game, but it’s all in the head.

Q. We now know the No. 1 ranking is going to change hands after this tournament. Is that something on your mind that would make winning the title a bit more special?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, for sure. For sure. I mean, everyone is thinking about the possibility of reaching No. 1 position. That’s, like I said, an extra motivation for all of us.

Yeah, that’s why I guess we’re all trying very hard to win this one.

012809 wednesday /info-photo via Australian Open / Getty Images


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