I’m becoming a big Svetlana Kuznetsova fan. I was glad to see her come through in three sets today over Agnieszka “Baby Hingis” Radwanska in the Rd. of 16 at Roland Garros. It’s not only her big game that’s entertaining – her press conferences deserve their own highlight reels.
Today she rambled on about texting with Serena, pulling for Federer and being friends with everyone on tour.
Besides Venus, I think Sveta is the only woman on tour who would say anything like this:
Q. Can you just talk about the challenge that Serena presents to you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: It’s great. I have fun, you know. I maybe don’t have great record to play Serena, but I really enjoy playing her. It’s always fun. It’s always we have very tough matches, and I’m looking forward to play her.
Serena will be her next opponent after destroying Aleksandra Wozniak today.
On being friends with the intimidating Ms. Williams:
Q. You get along with Serena pretty well off court, don’t you? Some other players find her intimidating. Can you just talk about your relationship with her and why you don’t find her to be a person to be feared.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, first of all, I respect her a lot. She achieved unbelievable effort in tennis, you know. Every player dreams to achieve what she did in tennis. I respect her for her achievements.
Outside of the courts, she has great personality. We text on BlackBerry. Definitely in these tournaments we talk less, but we listen kind of similar music. We have similar interests. We laugh a lot, you know.
I don’t know, maybe before when I was coming to the tour, you know, they were ‑ her and her sister, Venus ‑ they were kind of intimidating.
But lately, you know, we’re in kind of the same ‑‑ I mean, top 5, top 10, we don’t intimidate each other, you know, because we face each other every week.
So it’s not really ‑‑ we’re like friends, but in the court, it’s business, you know. It’s two different things.
On her favorites – Roger Federer, circus performers, balding Russians:
Q. We came into this tournament sort of saying, Well, we don’t know who’s going to win on the woman’s side. On the men’s side it’s pretty clear. Now Rafa is out, Novak is out, Roger is down two sets. What are your thoughts on what’s going on?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I’m terrible with predicting something, because in another press conference ask me who gonna win, and I said, Djokovic in good shape. He loses. They said, Do you think somebody can beat Rafa? I say, I doubt. But Rafa looks like machine, and only who I want to win, it’s Roger against Rafa, and then Rafa loses. Now I would say Roger, but Roger is two sets down, so it’s very difficult situation.
Definitely I still hope Roger can do it, you know. I still would love to see him win it. I still believe he can win today’s match, even though it doesn’t ‑‑ the conditions are extremely hard to play.
There is definitely French guys doing great, you know. Gäel is doing great. I’m also good friends with him, so I wish him definitely good luck. With his knees, it was tough for him. Hopefully he can make it through.
And Andy is starting to play better on clay, so it’s also getting interesting. Tsonga is always interesting to watch. He’s unbelievable athlete with what he does on the court. Gaël and he, it’s unbelievable. It’s like a circus to watch, you know.
Q. So you’re not pulling for Davydenko?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Oh, he’s good friend of mine, also. (laughter.)
Isn’t it nice to hear a player be open, honest and friendly? Good luck, Sveta! Something tells me you’re not in for a friendly match against your buddy Serena.