Don't mistake that New York Yankees cap on Svetlana Kuznetsova as an expression of fandom for the hometown team _ or even baseball.
"I like the hats," the former champion and fourth-seeded woman at the U.S. Open said somewhat guardedly Tuesday after her straight-set, first-round victory over Kara Zakopalova.
The gray and black checked hat with a black interlocking "N" and "Y" is one of numerous licensed fashion caps sold but not worn by the Yankees _ whose official hat is their traditional navy blue with a white interlocking NY.
"I've been once to a Blue Jays-Yankees game here in 2005," the 22-year-old Russian explained.
"I don't know the rules of baseball, more or less. I know they hit like this," she said, gesturing like a batter. "And if you hit it far, you got to go run. Then another one catches."
At least she likes New York.
"It's just the best. I love to be here," said Kuznetsova, who won the U.S. Open title in 2004. "It's so cool. I love the city. I would love to do some photo shoot or something here just on the streets because I think it's so special. I just love being her. It's so crazy."
The attitude is not shared by all, including top-seeded Justine Henin, who has said that the U.S. Open is probably her least favorite of the Grand Slams.
"I'm different than Justine," Kuznetsova said. "Yesterday I came out on the court to practice ... and looked to me a bit of a zoo because everybody was yelling. From New Haven, I was like 'Oh, that's too loud.' But in a couple days you just get used to it and it's just a great environment."