On the windy conditions:
…a bit strange but I like that challenge and when the wind does in the middle of the point and I said “Whoa – who is in control here.”
On her comeback:
I wasn’t ready but I needed to get points for the Olympics I probably would have come out before Wimbledon or after…… but I didn’t have choice.
I do know how to play tennis but everything else. Everything else is like a wildcard – I am a wildcard now. (Laughter)
Q: You and your sister are loved by the Rome public. So do you
feel this tournament in any particular way.
Venus Williams: Really – is that so.. I like that and indeed I need some love and I need some help for these matches and so if I get some love here then good.
Q: So was that you throwing in your hat to Serena for the doubles at the French.
Venus Williams: I wasn’t thinking of it. I feel that I can probably do it if I can get the feel right. I mean., I have been holding her back on her destiny for her doubles title. I feel like I can probably do it. I can try but I want to be smart and qualify for the Olympics …. Yeah, I just have to win a match. Thank you.
Q: How do you feel 10 days before the Roland Garros?
WILLIAMS: Is it only 10 days? I’m getting nervous. I feel good and I have had a lot of practice on clay and today I was running so much and I was ready to play and feeling good. I wasn’t tired at all. I feel good.
Q: What so you think about your music on internet and the buzz(?).
Do you think this will be your future?
WILLIAMS: I love tennis and will always love that.
Q: How do you feel about playing at the French Open with Venus
WILLIAMS: Hey – is that who I have to play with. …. Laughter…..
On being Nadal’s favorite time of the season:
Rafael Nadal: I started clay well in Monte Carlo and Barcelona without losing a set and it’s great to win two tournaments – without losing a set and you have to be playing well to do that and then I played bad in Madrid and so I am here on clay and I am solid and well and I played a good match yesterday and today. I always say I go week by week and I always say I arrive to Roland Garros at my best and don’t take this tournament to prepare me for the rest … I take this tournaments like a very important tournament each one and I try my best in every match to have the best I can. Roland Garros is in two weeks and I am now here in Rome and that is the most important thing for me and last week I was in Madrid where the conditions didn’t help.
Q: Novak will go to the French Open and will have the chance to have four Grand Slam titles. You had this chance at the Australian Open last year. Did you feel the pressure – with everyone talking?
Rafael Nadal: I don’t feel that. I arrived at the beginning of the season playing fantastic but I got sick in Doha and I recover but then I got injury in the quarterfinals in the 3rd game of the match but I don’t feel pressure –normal game to play your best and that is not pressure. That is enough pressure.
Q: Can you tell us if you speak Italian now after being with Piatti.
Gasquet: I don’t speak Italian – but I am with 1 year with him. I can’t but Piatti- he has lived in Monte Carlo for 20 years and he doesn’t speak French.
Q: And the match?
Gasquet: It was a big match and I was a little disappointed for losing the first set- one hour 20 minutes tiring for me and very tough but then I started to play well and I broke him in the first game of the second set and I started to feel comfortable with my serve. Then I won the second set and it was another match and I won two sets.
Similar to the other night. Long match and sore back towards the end but I was expecting that coming to the tournament and I didn’t take a break but training and playing a lot but the muscles are more tired and fatigued.
About the back injury:
I don’t want to go into detail here about it and the treatment but been there for a while, since December and so …. You wait for the right moment and then there is the French Open and then Wimbledon and then the US Open coming up and there is not much time for rest – anything goes – whatever and not is the best time to do it and now or never and so when the French Open comes up I will be in peak condition.
To be honest when you lose matches your confidence drops and when you win your confidence grows and that is the only possibility … it is good some extra days break and I was planning on going to Paris straight away and start to practice as the Grand Slam start in 9 days and so I was to make sure I get practicing and getting into the gym and the first days there you are not doing too much, just getting into shape and understanding the conditions.
Sometimes things get better when you play on them or you have an extended break but when you identify the problem when you identify the problems then experience helps you. I have had 3 long matches and one was 2 hrs 40 and today’s was a good test and I did relatively well.
Q: Can you tell us something about the Fed Cup final against Serbia. I think you have an negative score against Ivanovic 3 or 4 year ago?
Kvitova: I remember that (Jankovic) is a former number one and wants to beback in the top 10. and Both players are players are playing well right now but we are playing at home and so I think we will have the crowds with us and we will have more support and especially for the final. It will be nice to win and yes, it will be tough but we’ll see.
Q: Can you tell us something about the conditions out there and if it is good preparation for the French Open?
Kvitova: I think that on Monday it was bad but today and yesterday it wasn’t too bad . sometimes the wind comes and sometimes it doesn’t but its not too bad. I think on court it is the same for both players.
I think that this tournament and also the other games in Strasburg and Brussels will be good preparation for the Roland Garros.
It was a very strange match it was difficult to play with that wind. But the conditions were the same for both us, he just handled it better at the start. I was playing far too defensively and passively and he was controlling everything. He was the better player for a set and a half.
On receiving a warning form the chair umpire for banging his racquet on the court:
It’s not the first time and I don’t think it will be the last time, I’m a player with a lot of emotion. I hope kids didn’t see it. But then it changed the match, … the momentum swung to my side.
Mentality is what is needed and especially when you are playing against a player who prefer this surface and has already won two tournaments on this surface this year already and he plays with confidence and so when I stepped into the court today he took his chances and then I go into the rhythm and I starter to play better than the beginning of the game.
It’s frustrating the conditions like this but you just try to keep focused and yes, my emotions are important all through the math and so I have been like that for many years but I just keep positive in my head and pull the momentum to my side and that I show I got on the winning board.
I am not worried — I think I played well and the 2 matches that I played in the tournament in different conditions – at night and day and I found my way to win against a good opponent who plays well on this surface and this is encouraging for the next challenge.
Q: Nadal and Federer in the past years have been sort of drivers. What about yourself and popularity outside the tennis court. They are important for the work of other people who know nothing about tennis. Will it take time – is it a goal?
First of all I respect them as tennis rivals and good examples of champions and they have done a lot for many generations of new generations. They have done a lot to raise awareness and I joined this a couple of years ago with Murray also and we are experiencing a good time now but I am not thinking about popularity and I am here to enjoy what I do and win as many matches as I can and if I can be an example to kids and up and coming talent – especially with my Foundation to let kids realize their dreams .. I was in their position and it’s nice to see that.