THE ERICSSON OPEN
March 28, 2001
E. DEMENTIEVA/L. Davenport
Q. At what stage did you realize what was going on with her?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I didn't know anything and I didn't see her during the day today, so -- and I didn't see the match against Sandrine before, but my mom said it was a good game and she just moved very well so I didn't know anything about it.
Q. How about your game? How well do you feel about your game as compared to the best you have played when you played the final in New York and are you better now?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I feel better now, but I didn't play my best tennis today. It was tough conditions, very windy and I don't like to play at night. But it was good enough for today.
Q. How big an accomplishment was it for you to break into the Top-10 last month? Did that give you a lot of satisfaction?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, I didn't think about the ranking because when I came to Indian Wells I had so many points to defend and my mom tells me never think about points, just play your game, play the best you can, that is all. So I was very surprised when you told me about I am No. 9 so I am happy.
THE MODERATOR: No. 8.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No. 8, I am happy.
Q. Lindsay just said you have improved a great deal since when she started playing you. What do you think your areas of great improvement have been?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I play with a lot of confidence now and my serve is a little better. I try to go to the net but just sometimes. I have played so many matches with Lindsay, I believe 7 or 6, so we know each other very well. I have been waiting for this match for a long time because last time I beat her, but I never beat her in outdoors, so -- so I am a little upset, you know, about this match today.
Q. Have you played Jennifer before?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, never. It is going to be our first match.
Q. Jennifer says that you guys practiced together?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about what you know about her game just from hitting with her?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Practicing and match is two different things. I love to practice with her. We have always very good practice and we will see how it is going to be the match tomorrow.
Q. You mentioned Indian Wells. Would it give you particular satisfaction to be able to play Venus in the final?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Where?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: She is not in the final.
Q. I know she is not. But would you like to meet her in the final?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: If I can beat Jennifer I don't care who I am going to play against in the final.
Q. In that match -- you said that in the match you played against Venus you said that you could tell she was hurt. Could you explain what you meant by that comment?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, just -- but, you never know but it looked like she had some problem with her foot, but I am not sure.
Q. Then you made the comment about well, Richard Williams will decide who is going to win. What did you mean by that? Do you think?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I was kidding.
Q. You were kidding?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yep.
Q. Did you think it would become such an important joke?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I didn't think.
Q. Now that you are in the Top-10 do you think of any level that you think you can reach? Do you have a goal?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I want to win the tournament this year and I won before. I hope it is going to be a good year for me because I feel very -- a little better than last year. Like I said, my serve is better and I don't have a lot of points to defend on clay courts. It is going to be good chance for me to get better.
Q. Anna Kournikova is obviously out with an injury but she is such a large figure in tennis. Have you learned anything from her career either what to do, whatnot to do, have you seen any lessons from her career in what she has done?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, a few things. I really love to watch her game. It is always very interesting. And she has very good, very nice technique and it is nice to watch. But I don't think I can learn something from her.
Q. How did you feel out there today and when you -- when a person goes down with an injury does it take away from any of your wins? Maybe you were feeling good and you wanted to keep playing?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I feel happy because I am in semis because of the point and everything, but, you know, just some kind of happy because I really love the game and it was very interesting, like I said I was waiting for this match. But I think it is not the nicest way to win.
Q. You seem to play well at the biggest tournaments, Indian Wells, here, US Open, Olympics, Chase, you don't seem to be afraid by those big tournaments?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah because you know it is pretty easy for me to play against Lindsay in semis. I have nothing to lose and I don't feel any pressure on me. It is very tough for me to play in Moscow when I play Kremlin Cup. It is very difficult, but here just go on the court and play my best game.
Q. You had such a good year last year. Do you feel maybe this year you won't be able to sneak up on anybody, people know who you are and they will get all pumped up?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, people know who I am and it is going to be tough for me because they are ready. Last year when I do to the court they didn't know how to play against me. Now it is going to be tough.
Q. How have you adjusted?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I improved my game. I learned something -- some new things, so, I don't know.
Q. Did Venus or Serena or anyone from the Williams camp say anything to you about the comment you made in Indian Wells? Did they say anything to you at all?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No. They don't talk to me.
Q. As a top player you spent so much time in America, in the United States. What is the one thing that you like, the very best about America and what is the one thing that you like the least?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't know. I didn't think about it.
Q. Can I ask you tomorrow?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Okay.