Anna Kournikova 2000 Australian Open 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2000 Australian Open at Melbourne, Australia, on January 19, 2000
Anna Kournikova defeated Natasha Zvereva, 6-1, 6-4

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q. Was that easier perhaps than you expected?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, well, I knew it was going to be a tough match. I mean, she's a great player, she has so much experience, great hands and everything, but, I mean, she plays a little bit slow, so I knew that I had to attack and hit a bit fast so she wouldn't have time. But I didn't think it was going to be that easy in the first set.

Q. How did you find the courts, the conditions?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it was hard for me to see something in these two matches because we barely had any points. I mean, they were really fast. But in practice, yeah, I can see the difference, definitely, it's faster.

Q. Do you think it will suit you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: So far it is great, yeah. Well, I think that I play good on fast courts, you know, because my favourite is grass courts, so there's nothing faster than that except indoors. So I like it a lot, yeah.

Q. How much attention do you pay to the fact that - I mean, you've had quite a bit of success, yet in four years on the tour you haven't gotten a tournament title, although you've been close a few times. Do you think that's important to you or --

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think there's a lot of people who haven't won a tournament and they play good, but I think there's time for everybody. It's going to come, going to work and I'm just thinking about the next match I'm playing, but, yeah, definitely I have it in my mind.

Q. You do agree that it's more noticeable for you because you're much more popular than a lot of the girls and haven't got a - you've gained popularity but haven't had that success yet? A. Well, what's the question?

Q. Do you see yourself as very popular outside of the fact you don't have a title. You've been able to get past that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I have very good results. I'm number 12 in the world and it's not because of nothing.

Q. Were you disappointed that what you've achieved in doubles has been so overlooked?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, not really because my main goal for me is singles. But, you know, I think that tennis doesn't really pay - or other people, like you guys, don't really pay attention to doubles, but, you know, singles is the main thing why we're here.

Q. You blew a kiss to somebody in the crowd. Anybody special or a friend?


Q. Yeah, at the end of the match?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. Somebody special, but not here, not in the crowd.

Q. I heard that you have five bodyguards. I don't know if that is the right information. Are they following you wherever you go?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, that's not true, completely not true. I have no bodyguards.

Q. Where is this someone special?


Q. Yeah, or who?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: On the other side of the ocean.

Q. Can you tell us who it is?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. Q. Has your new coach changed your preparation for here in terms of more off court work or in any way like that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, not much. I mean, not really. Just been more, you know, focussing on my fitness and doing a lot of the - lot of the work-out stuff and just mainly bringing my game together to be more consistent and, you know, be more patient on the court and to be more consistent player, you need, you know, to be in good condition, in good shape, so that's what we've been working on.

Q. We probably all felt for you last year with your service problems, but this year it seems really terrific. What got you to this point with your serve?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that before those problems that I had, when I served, my serve was really fine always. I just don't know how it happened, you know, it was just kind of strange time, but I know a lot of the players went through it. So I was just happy that it's over and I don't really want to think about it.

Q. It was a mental thing more than you practising?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, it was more mental thing than technical. I'm still doing the same motion.

Q. When did it disappear? Was it the next tournament?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: It didn't really disappear. I had to serve and serve and serve. But, yeah, I think next - like last year in Tokyo, I got to the quarter finals. I think I was serving pretty well.

Q. Yesterday Jelena Dokic said that she was getting bad draws from tennis officials, suggesting they were trying to sabotage her career. What do you think of that? Is this young player reacting with difficulty to a lot of pressure or expectation?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, well, I think that - yeah, I think she's just, you know, under a lot of pressure and she's just trying to find, you know, something outside of the court probably. But definitely it's hard for her. I know, I've been there. I was 16 and I had to, you know, talk to all you guys, but for me was easier. I don't know why, but it was easier. But I think that with the draws, it's really a bit strange because we all know the players, that it's never happened. One of us is always there when they make the draw. I've done it sometimes even, you know, and you always see when the name comes out, it's not like it's something made up like she's saying, but I just think, you know, she'll learn. She's just - it's obviously very tough when you lose in your own country in the first round and everybody has expectations of you being the one here. I think that if she would lose at the French Open or somewhere, it wouldn't be that tough.

Q. Were you surprised the way she criticised her opponent after the match?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, I think it wasn't really, you know, like sportsmanship. I mean, we're all players and if that girl, you know, is playing in a Grand Slam tournament, she's just not out of nowhere and really she has really great hands and she played I think a good match, but you have to always say that if you lost, the opponent play well. He must be playing well, otherwise you would win. But it's just because she probably doesn't have too much experience.

Q. What made you decide to play doubles with Barbara Schett?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, just at the end of every year, players talk and they sort of, you know, decide to play with each other. We just decided to try. We've always been friends, so.

Q. Where did you talk about it?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Usually players talk about this at the US Open because that's the last big tournament where everybody is. Q. You also socialise?


Q. What are you doing together?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, she's one of the nicest players on the tour. She's very nice and just had dinner yesterday together, downstairs in the hotel. But just nothing, normal things. Go to dinner or talk about something in the locker room.Q. I've heard that many players are saying that this year the court is much faster and big servers will have a chance to win this tournament. Do you agree with that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, not necessarily. I mean, a lot of the big - a lot of the big servers like - you know, they kind of serve hard, but then they struggle to keep the ball in the point. You know, like Sanchez, Stevenson, for example, she has a great serve, but she already lost, but there's a lot of players like that, you know. I think the player that will win is the one who will have the whole court game because on these courts you really have to have everything. It's not just something. These courts are in the middle of very fast and something pretty slow, because when you slice or something, the ball really stays up and it's not fast. It's just stops. So I think the player who has more whole court game will win.

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