Vera Zvonareva: We are already accustomed to restrictions

Tennis

Russian tennis player Vera Zvonareva commented on the victory at the start of the tournament in St. Petersburg.

– What are your impressions of today’s match?
– Physically, I felt good, but I understood that I needed to play more aggressively. As a result, I did not keep the balance between aggression and patience a little and began to rush, and because of this, my legs got up a little. Now I understand that I had to continue to work every rally until the end and wait for the moment to attack. It has to do with attention and tactical decisions. As a result, my legs stopped, and I made more mistakes than in the first set. It’s good that in the end I was able to return to the game.

– Was your opponent able to surprise you with something?
– I have known Arina for many years, we even played at Roland Garros a few months ago. I don’t think she surprised me with anything: I knew that the match would be difficult and that she would use cut punches – she could do this effectively on the grass or here when the rebound is not high enough. I was ready for a long match.

– Why did you stop monitoring your net? Are you thinking about ranking?
– I haven’t looked at the grid for a long time, because I don’t need to have unnecessary information in my head. I have a certain rival, and I tune in only to him, and unnecessary thoughts are not needed. I like this approach. When I finish the match and relieve tension, I am ready to move on to the next opponent.

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I don’t bother about the rating and points, it doesn’t matter to me, and the position in the rating doesn’t interest me much. Well, except for the moments with getting to major tournaments. I want to improve the position, but now it is extremely difficult to do this, because the rating is frozen. I missed most of 2019 due to injury, and now it’s difficult to climb, because even if I score points, I don’t climb, because no one has them on. Perhaps this will change after Miami. I know that I can play against the best tennis players – no matter where they are.

– How do the restrictions associated with the pandemic affect you?
– I think that we are already used to restrictions. It is important to accept the realities in which we live. I’m just glad that tournaments continue to be held, that we have the opportunity to play. Yes, not always with the audience, but there is something to prepare for.

I believe that soon we will be able to return to normal – docky – life, but I try not to think about what will happen in the future. I just train and prepare for what we have now.

– You will play together with Elena Vesnina.
– I would love to play with Lena, because many years have passed since we played in pairs, and we had excellent results: the Wimbledon final and, it seems, the US Open quarterfinals. These are great memories. She has very steep results in a pair, she played well her pair career. We had a mutual understanding, which is great. I hope that we can establish a joint game.

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We had a little time to chat, but we sometimes correspond. If she needs advice on motherhood, I can give it to her. But I know that Lena is well prepared for everything. We have topics that we always discuss, but they are different.

– Do you remember how you brought the decisive point in the Fed Cup match in France?
– Memories are fresh enough. I’m not particularly active on Instagram, but it was Instagram that recently reminded me: ITF recalled old matches and showed several draws from that meeting. It was interesting to see, exciting.

It is always a great honor for me to play for the country – it does not matter whether it is a single or a couple. I am very pleased when I can play in a pair in a Russian, because then we understand that we are playing not only for ourselves, but also for the country.

– Would you like to comment on matches more often?
– If you invite, with pleasure. I don’t have enough time at home for tennis and TV. But when I came to the studio, it was a good time, because I had the opportunity to watch matches and share my impressions.

– Can we say that thanks to this you returned to the court?
– You know, commenting is easier than playing. I cannot say that thanks to the commenting on matches, I decided to return to tennis. When you watch on TV, you do not feel the speed and rotation of the ball, and in tournaments the sensations are completely different. I wondered how much I could play the tennis that I played in my best years.

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– Will you focus on singles or couples this year?
– I have not thought about this topic. Health allows, so I will play alone and as a couple.

– What do you think about the match with Fiona Ferro?
– Fiona is a great player and she has improved in recent years. I watched her matches, and I think we will have long draws. She hits powerfully and turns the ball great, so I need to move well and keep a balance between attack and patience. This will be an interesting challenge.

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