Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Do you ever total up how many matches you play in one year, singles and doubles?
ELENA VESNINA: No, not really. Do you know?
Q. No, I don’t.
ELENA VESNINA: I’m pretty sure a lot because I’m playing maybe 25, 27 tournaments per year, singles and doubles most of them.
Q. It’s a lot of matches.
ELENA VESNINA: A lot of matches, yeah. Especially for consistent through every year. Sometimes you’re getting tired, you know, after that.
Q. You’ve had some good success in the last year, Indian Wells, all the doubles titles…
ELENA VESNINA: Yes.
Q. It’s going well for you.
ELENA VESNINA: Thank you, yeah.
Q. Do you feel fatigue, tired?
ELENA VESNINA: You know, sometimes yes. You do feel tired after traveling. Sometimes you need just a little bit more time to recover. I’m one of those players who needs a bit more time to be fresher.
When you finishing a tournament late because of the doubles, you have only one day to recover, to get used to the conditions. Sometimes it’s not easy. You have to push yourself.
Q. Did you ask why you had to start first thing Monday?
ELENA VESNINA: That’s what it is. It’s the scheduling. It’s the TV request probably.
I asked for the late start, but obviously I was already on the schedule. I was already on the list who is supposed to play on Monday. I was one of those matches who played on center court.
I mean, it’s okay. 2:00, it’s not really early. It’s great to be back, play on center court. Always great atmosphere. You know a lot of people watching you, supporting you. You just push yourself.
You have to go through that. I had some tough moments on the court today. I was not really positive, to be honest. Thanks to my team who were supporting me, give me a good kick. Have to smile sometimes.
Q. You’ve been here many times. What have you most enjoyed seeing away from the courts in Dubai?
ELENA VESNINA: You know what, I saw yesterday on the TV the camel races. I felt bad for the animals, first of all. But I really want to see the horse riding. I heard that it’s really big here. It’s one of the best horses in the world.
Q. Massive stadium.
ELENA VESNINA: Massive stadium, yes. Actually, that’s one of my dreams, to visit the horse riding, horse racing, to see the atmosphere, the people around. I think it’s something incredible.
I mean, I saw Burj. What’s the building?
Q. Burj Khalifa.
ELENA VESNINA: Yes, it’s amazing.
Every year we’re going with my family, my mom coming every year to Dubai, with my dad. We’re going to have a dinner somewhere in the center of the city, with the fountains. Always enjoying. Easygoing in evening, I would say, without much sight-seeing, just enjoying our company.
Q. Is Dmitry Tursunov your official coach now?
ELENA VESNINA: Yes.
Q. How long has that been?
ELENA VESNINA: We started in December last year, so for three months, yeah.
Q. He’s quit playing now?
ELENA VESNINA: Most likely yes. He didn’t officially announce that. He’s officially a player, ATP player.
Q. How did that come about? He was a top player in his time.
ELENA VESNINA: Yeah, he’s a great player. He has an amazing career. This maybe time of the year, the age pushing him a little bit, the injuries, had a lot of injuries in the past.
I just saw him couple of times in Moscow. I ask him if he’s interested, you know, to travel with me sometimes.
He’s like, Yeah, let me think, because I’m not sure.
Then he got back to me with an answer that he’s really ready to travel with me on some tournaments. We did the scheduling. He came to the pre-season. That’s how it started.
My ex-coach, Andrei Chesnokov, he couldn’t travel with me, has a family, a lot of kids. Six kids total, yeah, two dogs, five cats, parrot (laughter). He has a big, big family.
I mean, he could travel with me, but only on really small amount of tournaments. Only like Dubai, French Open, not many. I need someone who would be with me all the time, who can see my game, see what’s happening with me on the tour.
Q. Dmitry is going to the States with you?
ELENA VESNINA: Yes.
Q. He was quite a fiery player in his day.
ELENA VESNINA: Really?
Q. What does he bring to your game?
ELENA VESNINA: First of all, it’s not easy, because he was just a player. He just finished. Woman’s tennis is a bit different thing. He’s trying to adjust the men’s game to the women’s. He’s telling me we’re playing too flat, first of all. He’s like, You have to play higher from the net, above the net. Like stay positive through the whole match. That’s what he’s telling me. Believe in yourself from the beginning to the end that you can do it. Don’t show me you’re, like, down, you don’t want to fight. Show me all the time your positive emotions. Just some little things on the technique that he think I need to change.
We just did some adjustment at the end of the season. It needs some time. I’m still kind of adjusting. It’s not easy to put something you work on in practice into the match. I just need a little bit more time.
Q. Your thoughts on the next match?
ELENA VESNINA: Jelena Ostapenko, very talented player, young star, won a Grand Slam already, has a lot of good wins under her belt. She’s a top-10 player. Obviously, yeah, she’s having a great season.
I’m looking forward to play her. We played I think couple of years ago on clay, so it was different. It was kind of few years ago. I just going to focus on my game. I’ll try to find my good game here. I need some time to adjust to the conditions in Dubai, to feel the ball.
Yeah, we’ll see. It’s going to be interesting match. We both play an aggressive tennis. It’s going to be a lot of winners, a lot of errors, big serves. We will see. It’s going to be good match, I think.