2000 U.S. Open
Flushing Meadows, New York
September 8, 2000
L. DAVENPORT/E. Dementieva
Q. It wasn't until 2-5 in the second set that you really started playing well. What happened?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I start very bad, very slowly. I did a lot of mistakes. You know, when the score was 5-2, I just start to play more focused, you know. Maybe I understand that I'm already lost, and then I start to play. But in the second set, I had the feeling like I play against Lindsay and a few referees because there were so many referee's mistakes. Of course, I couldn't say I lost because there were so many referee's mistakes, it was because I play not very well. I'm just upset about the last ball. Yeah, I thought it's going to be out, but it was good.
Q. Talk about the last three points of the tiebreaker. Two service returns you had on the backhand you hit well out. Were you a little bit nervous then?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, you know. I started to be nervous in the tiebreak. When you have a feeling that you can take the second serve, I start to nervous a little bit. I did this stupid mistakes, yeah.
Q. By that time, when you got to the tiebreaker, because you had gotten I think four straight games, then she held serve, did you feel like you were really in the match then?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I start to play more focus, more concentrate. I actually find my game. But it was so late, I think.
Q. Did you feel that you could win at that stage?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: The second set, yes. I don't know about the third one, but the second, yes.
Q. There were some apparent bad calls on the baseline. The crowd really vocally objected to balls that seemed long. At that point you seemed to turn your game around. The crowd really got behind you. Did you feel that?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I think so. But, you know, frustrated about referee's mistake. I play against Lindsay here. She's American. It's always like that. I didn't lost because there was so many referee's mistakes.
Q. Do you think experience had anything to do with it, being your first Grand Slam semifinal, coming out slowly, a matter of some jitters?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, I think it was a great experience for me to be in the semis. Anyway, I'm happy to be here. It was very good tournament for me.
Q. How well did she play in the first set? She didn't miss too much.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, she play very well. She served very well.
Q. Is your serve, you think, the part of your game that you're really going to have to improve consistently?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, I need to work on my serve because my second serve was like I think my grandmother can do it better.
Q. How old is your grandmother?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't tell you (laughter).
Q. You said that you thought that the referee might favor Lindsay because she's American. Did you feel that way?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Not really. You know, sometimes it happen. One ball, I think when I hit it, I think it's going to be out, but she said it's good.
Q. Where do you train?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I practice in Moscow.
Q. Aside from reaching the semifinals of The Open, what was the best thing about playing The Open this year for you?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, I'm very happy to beat Conchita Martinez in this tournament because I really want to do it. You know, it's very difficult for me to play against her. It's really not my game. I'm very happy to did it.
Q. Do you ever think about training in the United States, not as a permanent resident, but because the weather is better year-round?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, I love Moscow. I have born there. This is my country, my city. I prefer to stay there. I can't say that I love USA. Maybe for vacation it's good, but for life, I prefer to stay in Moscow.
Q. After you lost, you looked like you were really surprised. Did you think, "The match is over"? Did you think, "I still want this to go on"?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, but I had the feeling I'm going to win the second one.
Q. The way Lindsay is playing, do you think she can win the championship?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, I think that Martina is going to win this tournament. I think she play much better.
Q. When do you think you're going to win this tournament?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: When? I hope next year.
Q. After Lindsay failed to convert her four match points at 5-2 in the second set, your game looked like it got very free. Did you get tight again in the tiebreak?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah. You know, when she had the four match points and then she lost, I saw that she was like -- she was already in final, and she has to play again. I saw that she start to nervous, and she did a lot of mistakes in these few games. I just start to play more relax. I didn't so many mistakes like I did in the first set.
Q. Any last-minute endorsements? Anyone approach you last night or this morning?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yes, yes.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I can't tell you right now.
Q. Why do you think Martina will win this tournament?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I think she's in very good condition now physically and mentally. I don't know. I think she's one of the players who can play any surface, anytime, anywhere. Some play good on hard court, some on the clay. But she's play very well everywhere. That's why I think she's going to win this tournament.
Q. In the tiebreaker twice I believe Lindsay kicked high serves to your backhand. You floated them long. Was that something she bothered you with the whole match?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: You know, I had some problem with this shot. It was good for her to serve for this backhand.
Q. Was there anything different about those serves you had trouble returning?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: I don't have actually trouble with my return. But she served very well, like a man. It's very difficult to see the ball. You must be very focused on the return.
Q. Does her height allow her to really kick the ball up really high on her kick serve?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: But I think she always serve like this. My brother can't serve like she. Maybe that's why I wasn't ready for this serve.
Q. Years from now what do you think will be the one thing you'll remember from your trip to New York this year?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Like I said, it's a good experience for me. These great results I will never forget. Now I little bit upset because I was close in the second set. But in a few days, I will happy. It was a good tournament for me.