Anna Kournikova 2001 Australian Open 1st-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

Anna Kournikova defeated Daniela Hantuchova, 6-2, 7-5


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Anna, please.

Q. David (INAUDIBLE) from England. What did you make of your first game out there?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that for a first match of the first Grand Slam of the year I played very well, especially in the first set. I didn't make too many mistakes. I wasn't nervous, I was just pretty confident in the first set and playing really good. Then the second set, I think that I relaxed a little bit and just kind of after I won that set pretty easy, just kind of, you know, relaxed and started to make a bit more mistakes. She, I think, started to feel confident and start to -- started to play a good game. I was too defensive. But then I found my rhythm again and played well again.

Q. Were you pleased the way you fought back into the second set?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, definitely. I think, you know, it was really good for me to fight and that I didn't give away the second set, that even after 4-1 I came back and I won the set. I think it was really important for me.

Q. Do you find sometimes these early games, if you're not playing the big seeds, the big names, they can be a lot harder than some think?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, I've never seen this girl play before. Most of the time it's difficult to judge how the player is going to play so you have to really be focused on your game and you have to be really ready for anything. Sometimes with this kind of player you never know what's coming. Either it's going to be a winner, either it's going to be a bad mistake so you always have to be ready and concentrated.

Q. Any nerves before the first ball was hit?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. I was excited to play the first Grand Slam.

Q. Chris with Associated Press. A question unrelated to your match. There's been talk for a while of introducing an oversized tennis ball to matches, maybe to slow down, make the rallies longer. Do you have any thoughts on that? Is that something that the women's game needs?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I haven't heard anything about that really, but I think that, you know, our game is great right now and why make the changes while everything is great? So that's my point.

Q. Is yellow your new favorite color?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I like it, yeah. I think that -- I have a lot of favorite colors.

Q. Can I just ask you about Jelena Dokic playing this afternoon. Do you have any comment at all about the pressure she's playing under and the change of nationality playing here at the tournament?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I don't know first of all if it's true or not. I don't know if it's official or anything, the newspapers can speculate all they want.

Q. On the website it's officially changed.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: It is? Well, you know, first of all she's from there, so I guess it's okay. But on the other hand, she grew up here so, you know, she -- everybody thinks of her as Australian. So I think it's very difficult to -- there's always two sides to the story and, you know, everybody's going to pull their side to one side and the other people to the other. I mean, it's just tough on her I think right now. I think that the only person that's -- that has a lot of pressure right now is her. So she's just going to have to try to concentrate and play.

Q. BBC Radio, how do you compare this Grand Slam with all the others? Is it -- because there was a huge crowd out there watching you today. Do you like playing in front of the Australians?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Oh, yeah, definitely. Australians, especially here and in Sydney is just amazing. They are really, you know, I don't think anywhere, maybe a few other tournaments, they do the waves and everything. So I think that here, they're much more into it and just more exciting.

Q. You had a roll in designing your outfit today. Is that a new career hobby of yours?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I've always liked fashion, and I've always been artistic, so just maybe --.

Q. Did you say that you'd been -- you had a hand in designing your outfit? I missed that in the beginning.


Q. How did that come about?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I have a great relationship with adidas, and they've always asked my opinion and listened to me and we've always worked very close together in the past and now, so that's how it came about.

Q. And the choice of color is yours?


Q. Is this the first time you've worn this outfit?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, these colors, yes. But I've worn the style before.

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