INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
March 10, 2001
E. DEMENTIEVA/K. Brandi
Q. You played so well here last year. Do you think it might have been that event last year that more or less propelled you into prominence?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, I'm exciting to be here this year, after same as last year. You know, last year I won three match before I played in this court. It's a progress today I play my first match on center. I love this court. I think it was not so bad for the first match.
Q. When you came here last year, you didn't have a traveling coach, I think you said; you didn't have a boyfriend. What else didn't you have here? You didn't have a ranking anywhere near what you have now. This year, do you have a traveling coach, boyfriend?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I have my mom with me. That's all I need.
Q. Tell us a little about today's match. It seemed to go pretty easy for you. Were you surprised at how easy it was?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I'm a little surprised. It was easy. I played her before on hard court. I beat her I believe 6-4, 6-3, something like that. I knew how to play against her. I think I played well.
Q. At the US Open, you said you'd been coached a bit by Marat's mother, is that true?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: When I start to play tennis, she was my first coach for three or four years.
Q. And you haven't worked with her since?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Since that time, yeah.
Q. Is your mother doing the actual coaching or is she just a travel companion?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I have a coach in Moscow. I'm always travel with my mom.
Q. For working on your game, you go back to Moscow to get the coaching?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: After each tournament, or few tournaments, I'm always come back to Moscow, right.
Q. Do you have a goal for this year? Do you expect to be in the Top 10? Are you looking for No. 1 already?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I'm looking for No. 1, of course. You know, I'm just try to play better and better, to improve my game. That's all I want.
Q. Were you prepared for the attention you received after reaching the semifinals at The Open last year?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, you know, it was a little bit tough in the beginning, too much pressure for me. After the Olympic Games, I felt very good.
Q. Do you like being in the spotlight?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I don't like, but I have to. It's a part of my game, my job.
Q. Are you the kind of player that pays a lot of attention to your draw? If you would examine where you are now in this tournament, you would appear to be favorably positioned. It wouldn't seem that your next couple opponents are all that strong. How do you feel about that?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I know that I play my next match against Anne Kremer. She's a very good player. I think it's going to be a very hard match for me. But I feel very good now. You know, I'm sure I can beat her.
Q. After that you might be playing that other girl from Russia. Have you had a history of playing against Krasnoroutskaya? You're older than she is.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I'm older three years. No, we didn't play. I think she has to beat Petrova, first of all.
Q. Do you think Petrova is going to win?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: It's tough to say. When you play against someone from your country, it's something more than just a game, some other emotion. We'll see. I don't know.
Q. Are most of the Russian girls pretty friendly to each other and do they support each other?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, except one player, yeah.
Q. Why is that?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't know. Ask her.
Q. The Spanish players have done that for a long time. They go out together. Are the Russian girls doing the same thing?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes.
Q. Do you go out?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, because there are just few of us, five or six players. We always travel together. Of course, we can help sometimes each other, which is good. I think it's good we can play all together. I mean, there is a lot of place for each of us if we will play well.
Q. Do you exchange information? If you're going to play somebody else, do the other Russian girls tell you to look for this, look for that?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, of course. Not only with Russian players, but with other players. Of course, yeah.
Q. Why are we seeing so many good young Russian women players all of a sudden?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, I don't know. Always played well under 14, 16, 18, when we were juniors. We had a lot of young players. Yeah, only few years ago we start to play professional. You can see like seven or eight of us play WTA Tour. I think, of course, Kournikova and I think my example was good - I don't know how to say - was good example for other players. Like me, Myskina, Petrova, we practice together. Everyone thinking, "If I can do this, so she can do the same thing."
Q. Is it safe to say that Kournikova doing well spurred you to try harder? Did you feel you were as good as Kournikova when you started early?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I didn't understand.
Q. Anna has been in the news. You are more recent in the spotlight.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: But she start earlier.
Q. Seeing her do well, did that spur you to think you could do just as well?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I don't think so, because when she played professional tournaments, we were playing under 16 or 18. We didn't know that we can play professional, too. We didn't think about it. It was just -- I don't know. Of course, we practice every day. It was professional. But it was hard to believe for us that we could play at the same level, I think so.
Q. A lot of people say that the Russian players are very good with their feet, they move well. Kafelnikov is a leading example. Do you use him as a model? Do you think the skill of the Russians with their feet is in any way responsible for their success?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think all the Russian players work a lot with their fitness coaches. My father was outlet, the parents of Petrova, they are sportsmen. Myskina, we just spoke yesterday about it. All our parents are friends. Our coaches are very fit. Maybe that's why. We practice every day with a fitness coach after each practice. Maybe that's why.
Q. What do you do with a fitness coach?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Have some fun.
Q. You say you practice with a fitness coach. How do you practice fitness?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I go to the gym, do some exercise.