06-Sep-2011 US Open 4th RD Interview
Q. Congratulations. What was working well for you out there today?
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Well, first of all, I tried to be excessive aggressive. I tried not to let her play her game, because she's very smart and she makes me run a lot. She puts a lot of spin, so, you know, as soon as I slowed down my rhythm, my power, she's just there and she controlled the point.
Q. You said when you lost the first set you thought that it would be a sign of what happened in the French Open. Could you talk a little bit about that.
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Well, definitely I was a bit nervous at the start. After I got a little bit angry because I had some chances, and I was just -- like I felt like I wasn't playing good enough, you know. After I got angry, especially with my serve; it wasn't going well. Then I thought, Okay, the match in three sets. If I lose the first set nothing gonna happen. I'm gonna continue fighting. Then and it was a bit kinda easier mental of me, because, you know, I was set and 4-1 up in the French and I lost. She's always coming back, so I thought maybe I try to do the same thing here.
Q. So how nervous were you closing the match out?
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: I wasn't really that nervous, to be honest. I was more nervous at the start, I think. Well, it's a normal thing when you start a match you're a little bit nervous. You just have to start the match to find your rhythm, to find exactly what you have to do, and that's it. At the end, I was just fighting every point, and, you know, I just try to keep playing aggressive, keep playing my game. That's it. Then I thought -- I wasn't really thinking about the result then.
Q. So on the changeovers when it got towards the end of the third set, were you thinking about Roland Garros at all and were you able to keep your mind off of that?
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: No, not really. I don't think so. I try not to think that much during the match, to be honest. Just try to focus on what I have to do and keep calm. I need to have clear tactical thinks, also. Just, that's it: go out there and move and fight.
Q. When you the missed backhand volley on your first match point, what kind of thoughts went through your mind? How did you manage to pull yourself together?
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: I just get angry with myself always. And I was like, Oh, my God, how can you miss this one? She's also out there fighting and she makes me miss sometimes, as well. She gets these unbelievable shots from the angles because she's moving so well. She's such a great fighter. So sometimes I have to realize that it's not only my fault missing the balls. She makes me miss, as well. I thought, Okay, I should have been more focused, you know, to finish the points, because sometimes I do everything and then I just kinda relax and you always think that she's not gonna get it. But I have to realize and I have to always keep it in my head that she's gonna get every ball. So I wasn't really -- right then, especially when you have match points, you kind of relax and you want your opponent to miss.
Q. At any point in this year have you gotten impatient with your results and said, My game is already here; I should be doing better; when am I gonna have my major, major breakthrough?
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Yeah, of course I was thinking about it. I lost so many close matches this year against Azarenka in Miami, Indian Wells against Peer, or against Francesca in French Open. Many, many matches like this. It's always disappointing when you lose close. You think like everything was there but just at the end maybe you always think about yourself you didn't do something. Maybe I was too nervous or I wasn't focused enough. So I just tried to blame myself a little bit, kind of. But it made me stronger, I think. And also, I never try to find excuse when I lose. So I always blame myself. I never say, like, Okay, it was my coach's fault or it was windy today. I'm tough with myself, and I think it makes me improve.
Q. How different did you feel in the third set today as compared to that third set against her in the French Open?
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: It was a bit easier here. Actually much easier because it was a different situation. There I was set and 4-1 up. I lost the second set, so she fought very emotionally. She kind of found courage, and she was just so emotional fight, and then everything was going well for her. I was a little bit disappointed and I was really negative and tired, disappointed. So I just couldn't play my game. That's why I was 5 1 down in the third very fast and easy. This time I won the second set, so it was the same for me. Emotionally I felt better and I felt like I could win the third set.
Q. Your first serve got a lot better after that first set. How did that change points once you started getting that first serve in a lot more?
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: I just relaxed and I was mentally calm. Also I thought, Okay, I need to serve better, especially against her, and I need to put some pressure. I just tried to go for it. I tried to go for power. If it works, perfect; if not, then not my day.
Q. Does it matter to you to be the top Russian player, or is that a secondary goal and your main goal is to be, I don't know, top 5, win a Grand Slam? Talk about where that falls and your goals.
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Well, I want to be the best in the world, so if I start being the best in Russia, which is also very good. Then also it motivates me a lot that there are so many good Russian girls on tour. I'm not the first one yet. So it motivates me a lot also to be better. Of course if I'm gonna be the best in Russia it would be great, but it's not my first goal. But to be the best is my goal.
Q. Can you just talk about Serena? Obviously Francesca is a great player, but Serena is a big step up on hard courts in the U.S., I would think, huh?
ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: I don't know what to say much about her. She's just awesome and a great athlete and she's showing so good tennis so far. So I don't know what to say really. I'm just gonna go out there and -- I'm gonna say that I don't want to go out there and enjoy just being on the center court playing against Serena. I would like to do well, try to fight, and with my effort I try to beat her, you know. But of course I respect her a lot, as well. She's just great.