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2000 CHASE CHAMPIONSHIPS OF SANEX WTA TOUR
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

November 17, 2000

ELENA DEMENTIEVA/ K. Clijsters
6-4, 2-6, 6-4

Q. How did you feel about your game today?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think I play not so good, but it was enough for a win today, and I was a little bit tired after Lindsay's match. I think it was a good game, and very tough to play, especially in the first set.

 

Q. Did you feel as though you had something to prove after the Davenport victory, more expectation and pressure on you?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No. You know, I feel like after I beat Davenport and now Kim, I feel like nobody can beat me. But I think Monica will change the situation tomorrow.

 

Q. Why do you feel that?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't know, because I mean, she's a great player. I don't know, I was learning how to play tennis by watching her matches with Steffi Graf. It's very, you know, it is very interesting for me to play against her.

 

Q. Was there any particular match with Steffi that you remember the most of Monica's?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Not really, but I saw so many finals.

 

Q. Was Monica your hero, then, as opposed to -- did you prefer Monica to Steffi Graf?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: To play.

 

Q. As a child, growing up?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Monica, yes.

 

Q. When you were down, you had two games there in the third set: You had her Love-40 and you lost it, you had her 40-love, and you lost it, and you were suddenly behind 4-2. How did you maintain or regain your poise?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, it was tough to come back in the third set after 4-2 down. But, I think she was nervous a little bit. Maybe she started to feel that she can beat me or she can win now, and she did some mistakes. So, that's why.

 

Q. Did you keep thinking that you were going to win from 2-4 down?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, I did.

 

Q. Did you feel tired?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes.

 

Q. During the match?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, I feel tired. But not physically. I mean, I lost a lot of energy, a lot of power with Davenport. So I was, like, not angry enough for this match.

 

Q. You didn't run at four drop shots at all in one period of time?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: But her drop shot is just unbelievable. I didn't try at all to move.

 

Q. How will you prepare for tomorrow? Will you be able to get your energy back and your power, in time?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't know, I will try.

 

Q. Did you know that Monica was sitting in the front row watching the match?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I didn't see her.

 

Q. You didn't see her; didn't know that she was there?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I didn't see her.

 

Q. From all of those matches that you watched between Monica and Steffi, what was the most important thing that you learned?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I learned that you have never give up, and, you know, sometimes, when it is tough for you, you just try to hit more faster than you did before.

 

Q. You said when you were young, you went to the Spartak Club in Moscow, when you were seven years old and you were taking the game up, and they said your movement perhaps wasn't good enough?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: In the beginning, yeah. Some coaches said, yeah, it is.

 

Q. How did that make you feel?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I was very little girl. I didn't understand what do they mean.

 

Q. Do you know how you're going to play against Monica tomorrow?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, I know how to play against her, but, you know, it's easy to know. It's tough to do it on the court.

 

Q. What is it that you're going to do?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, it's my secret.

 

Q. Kim Clijsters told us one of your biggest strengths was how well you move on the court. Against Monica, how much of an advantage do you think that might be?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Against Monica, I have to move very well, because she has a great cross-court, great cross-court short shots. But, I don't know how well I can move tomorrow.

 

Q. How good do you think Kim is?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Kim, I think she is a great player, and I think she can be Top-5 easily, very easily. I don't think that she can be No. 1 because she's too pretty for being No. 1. But I think she has a lot of power, and she has a lot of talent.

 

Q. Her game is too pretty or she's too pretty?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I mean she is too, pretty, for -- to be playing tennis, be focused on tennis.

 

Q. What about yourself?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: (Smiles.)

 

Q. Well, if she can be Top-5, what can you be?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't know, I am happy to be 16 like I am now.

 

Q. Do you think you'll be happy to be 16 in a year's time?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: In the future?

 

Q. In a year or two years?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, it's tough to say. I want to be No. 1 in the future. But one never knows.

 

Q. How much have you changed since the US Open, you personally?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Like a person -- I think I didn't change.

 

Q. Are you sure?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, I'm sure. Do you think I'm changed?

 

Q. Are you ready to deal with the fame and the fortune that comes with this game?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I am not confident.

 

Q. The attention that you will receive, are you able to deal where that, mentally?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I don't like this. You know, it is a lot of pressure. I don't like it.

 

Q. Give us a sense back home in Russia, where Anna is probably very well known, and you are now coming up. How are your people back home, do they compare you two, or are you two individuals, because you live in Moscow and she lives in Florida?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes. I mean, there is nothing between us, because she lives here.

 

Q. If you had a choice, if you won in the semis, would you rather play Martina?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: If I won tomorrow, it really didn't matter for me against who I will play.

 

Q. Can you imagine an all-Russian final?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: For the fifth place, I think.