Anna Kournikova 2001 Australian Open 4th-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

Anna Kournikova defeated Barbara Rittner, 6-3, 6-1


MODERATOR: First question for Anna, please.

Q. First time you've reached a quarter final of a Grand Slam since '97. How do you feel about that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I'm definitely really happy with the result, and it's great to be playing so well in a Grand Slam again.

Q. Your serve improved towards the end. It was a little shaky early on. How did you see it?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think I didn't start off too well. You know, we hadn't played each other in a long time. Barbara kind of is the player that mixes it up a lot. She plays really slow. I had to get used to her game. She gives no rhythm. Plus, I made a lot of mistakes. After that, I think after 3-all, I got used to it and I started to play just really well.

Q. Can you beat Davenport if you served like you did today?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that I didn't serve first of all too bad. I still have my stomach problem, so that gives me a little discomfort. But I think, you know, in the second set I served really well. And, you know, me and Lindsay, we had some tough matches. I have a good record against her. I've beaten her a few times. So, you know, I'm not playing my best for sure right now but I will go out there and try to play and fight as much as I can and, you know, we'll see what happens. Sometimes it's a good day; sometimes it's a bad day. So hopefully I'll have a good day.

Q. Sandy Harwitt, United States. Davenport has a 5-3 lead on you.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: United States what?

Q. Well, I'm a free-lancer. I'm working for the Australian Open website here. I'm just telling you my country. You won the last match, you guys played in San Diego. How much momentum does that give you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it definitely feels good to say that, but, you know, it's been a while ago. It's been almost six months I think, or something like that, five months. And we're definitely playing different right now. I think that I played really well in the summer, so that was probably the difference. But, you know, it's the beginning of the year. I don't think anybody is playing their best tennis, so like I said, I'm just gonna try to go out there and have a good day.

Q. Just taking you back to sort of -- does it seem like a long time ago, Wimbledon '97 when you last got to this stage of a tournament, and has it sort of been frustrating having to wait so long to reach this point? I think you've made the fourth round eight times, seven or eight times and not sort of been able to get beyond it.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, it feels like yesterday actually. I remember everything as yesterday. Time flies, huh. You know, every time I got to the fourth round of a Grand Slam, you know, I wasn't really seeded or I was seeded but I always played in the fourth round, you know, higher-ranked players. I lost to Lindsay here before, Mary and Martina and so I've always kind of lost to the players that were, you know, either winners or, you know, got far. So this time I had a little bit of luck also. I played in the fourth round an unseeded player. So actually it feels just great to be back and playing well in a Grand Slam.

Q. Lindsay said before when she has vacation time she's always glad to get home, but by around one month she's ready to go back on the Tour and stuff, playing again. She kind of misses it and is anxious. How do you feel? Is there a period of time where you're ready to go back to tennis, or do you like your vacation time?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, of course I like my vacation time. Definitely I miss tennis when I'm not playing. For example, when I had my stress fracture injury, I wasn't playing for three months. I was real excited to be back playing and I couldn't wait just to start playing. It's our life. We're so used to it. I think it's just difficult right away, you know, do something else. So I really miss it, and every time that I have an injury, I'm hoping to get back as soon as possible.

Q. Has your stay in Melbourne been a bit dull without Mark Philippoussis playing?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I'm playing great. It's been a good stay.

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