Five thoughts from … Svetlana Kuznetsova

The Russian champion is back in the Sydney semifinals for the first time since 2008, and was in a bubbly mood as she chatted to the press.

14 January 2016
By apiainternational.com.au

On winning her hometown title …

“Moscow (I got) my confidence in the end of (2015), so probably that’s why also an easier start this year. I still remember the feeling playing good and comfortable against players on the court. To explain something why, it’s really hard. First of all, I didn’t want to play Moscow. I was in China three, four weeks. I was just like, Oh my God. I can’t wait until this season will be over. But then I came back home and I was like, Okay, it’s one of my favourite events. I would like to play it. Last moment I decide, Okay, I’ll play. Then when I get win and win and win, and when you win, and then they offer me to go to Zhuhai to play. I was like, Okay, I’ll go to Zhuhai. So in end of year I was just going with the flow. Whatever wind was blowing I was going.”

On preparing for 2016 …

“Off-season I just decided that I have to start really slow and really not push for a lot, because that’s what I been struggling a lot. I try to train too much and go for a lot. And here me and (coach) Carlos (Cuadrado), we decide that, look, we just take it easy, do a plan. I couldn’t find a fitness coach like last moment so I said, Okay, I going to do preparation by myself. I mean, we just sat down. I told my views on the pre-season to Carlos and he said his, and he supported me all the way. So I really appreciate him for his support. We just worked easily, quietly, and just taking care. Again, I push it too much in the third week. Still I was trying to keep it slow.”

On her coaching set up …

“(I have) Carlos, Hernan Gumy, and Anastasia Myskina. Three (coaches). They all work separate. I cannot afford three coaches at the same time. I can’t afford even two at the same time (smiling). I divide my coaches – and they are happy with that, of course – by the zones. Like Hernan does States, all States swings. Anastasia does Moscow and all around Moscow, like Doha, Dubai as well. And Carlos does the rest.”

On Simona Halep …

“She’s No. 2 in the world, I believe. I practice with her. I mean, she’s extremely tough. She doesn’t out of power you, but then she’s really smart player. She takes all advantages on the court and reads the game well … I believe she started to be more consistent. I think she has like many issues like health issues, because I was supposed to practice with her in Dubai and she got sick. Then sometimes she get injury to something. But when she plays well, she always goes deep in the tournament. She’s really consistent player for me. I think she improved in that a lot. I believe that first year when she played really well, next year she had a really low start, low playing. I don’t remember her rankings and stuff like this, but I think she just got much more consistent.

On returning to Australia …

“I was going to Australia, coming here, and I was like, Oh, it’s great, one more year. Great pre-season. I don’t like to set goals, but so far to be in semifinals (in Sydney) the second tournament of the year is great. Especially for me that I am slow starter until I get so many matches under my belt. So I am just feel happy I can play, and to do well is nice.”

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