Anna Kournikova 1999 Australian Open 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1999 Australian Open at Melbourne, Australia, on January 20, 1999
Anna Kournikova defeated Miho Saeki, 1-6, 6-4, 10-8

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q. Anna, are you glad it's over?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, definitely. I got my suntan. You know, my nose is burned but, I think, yeah, it was a good fight, and I'm glad it's over.

Q. Do you like these kind of matches?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I like any matches as long as I win them.

Q. Anna, at times it seemed you dug holes for yourself and then enjoyed climbing out of them. Is that the way you see it, or - - -

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, no, not really. I think I would be, you know, more happy if I would win easier of course. I mean happier, you know, physical way and every way. But I'm very pleased that I fought. I was fighting a lot, and I think that she, Miho played unbelievably. She played really well, and I didn't expect that from her, and you know, I had to get used to it, and I came through.

Q. I suppose - did you expect to make 31 double faults in the match?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that has been happening for a while, so I am kind of used to that. But I'm really frustrated with it, just like I think everybody who is watching. You know, in practice I feel fine; I serve normal, and there's no sign of double faults, which is - it's just when I come to the line, when I play, there's something happening, so I'm just going to have to get over it and, you know, try to fight through, just like I did today and, you know, today was already feeling better than the day before, so it's getting better.

Q. Have you resigned yourself to it happening for the rest of this tournament?


Q. Have you resigned to it happening for the rest of this tournament?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Look, I - you mean I got used to it?

Q. Yes, and working around it?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, I'm trying to, because if I get upset, you know, it's going to be even worse. So I'm just trying to, you know, not be frustrated, and not to focus on it too much, and just to work through it.

Q. What do you say to yourself when you are out there doing that? Can you laugh at it almost?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes, like I said, if I get upset I don't think it's going to get better. So I just try to, you know, go through it, and, just, because, like I said, in practice I serve fine, and I practice and I'm happy with my serve, and then just something happens.

Q. What do you think happens? Is it tight, do you get tired, or what happens?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it has been bothering since, you know, end of last year, and to tell the truth I don't know.

Q. Anna, why did you change your racquet after you hit an Ace?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Because I broke a string.

Q. Have you ever talked to a sports psychologist about this or - -

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I don't - why should I?

Q. If it's part mental more than mechanical?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I didn't think about that.

Q. Was there ever a period in your - do you feel free on court?


Q. To play well?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes, I think that I should be even more relaxed. When I relax I play much better. Of course I get tight sometimes just like any other players, you know, important points, and - but I noticed that you know when I relax I just go for it, I play much better.

Q. Anna, does your arm freeze up when you are going into your service motion? Is your right arm freezing, getting stiff?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Freezing - well, I hope it will be unfreezing soon. Defrosting.

Q. What I mean is, stiff, so you don't feel like you can relax?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, no, no, it's not that at all. It's just - I don't know. Help me.

Q. Are you very nervous when you are tossing the ball?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. No, I have no more answers for that.

Q. Was there ever a period in your junior career when you experienced anything like this?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, like I said, never happened to me before, never. I never serve more than 4 double faults in a match before.

Q. What does Martina Hingis say to you about this? She played doubles with you. Did she give you any tips about anything to change?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, we were not talking about separate shots, we were talking the whole game and, like I said before, I think that the serve is just like a separate shot, just like missing a forehand.

Q. But did she give you any advice about your serve? You do it also in doubles, or just in singles?


Q. The double faults.


Q. Because it could be psychological?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Can we talk about something nice?

Q. You must have been happy with crowd today?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Happy - what?

Q. Did you like the way some of the crowd dressed up for you today?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well - dressed up?

Q. Yes, wearing dresses and plaits and - -

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Oh, I didn't see that. Do you have a replay?

Q. But they were certainly well behind you though, weren't they?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes. Well, I'm really grateful and really happy that they were behind me, and I think that they, you know, enjoyed the good match, hopefully.

Q. It's not distracting at all, Anna?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it can be, but I tried to say, you know, not to worry about it and just to focus, and this is - I just try to say that's the way it should be, because if I'll be saying, "Oh my God", you know, I'll be more nervous.

Q. Anna, 5-0 in the final set and then 5-All, when did it happen last time to you?


Q. How is your leg? Can we touch on that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I was getting cramps a little bit in my legs again, and just like she was, I think. So we were both very relaxed and very, not saying a lot afterwards in the locker room.

Q. There was nothing more than that, Anna, no injury?


Q. You looked like you were holding your hip at one time. It was just cramps?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, it was just cramp. No, I have no injury, that's been the whole problem. I feel great physically and I just hope my serve will come back and I start playing well.

Q. What has Pavel Slozil told you after the match, apart from congratulating you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, like I said, we've been working really hard, about, you know, my serve, and in practise it goes fine but in the match it's only me who is making the mistake, which, I have to try - he has been helping me, you know, and of course he is saying all the right things. I just have to put them into, you know, I have to do them.

Q. Do you feel a lot more pressure in your return games as, you know, now you have to win quite many of them to stay in there?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I feel perfectly free in the return games.

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