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Anna Kournikova Interview: 1999 Chase 1st-Round: QuickSports

  Anna Kournikova 1999 Chase Championships 1st-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )

1999 Chase Championships at Madison Square Garden, New York, on Monday, November 15, 1999
Mary Pierce defeated Anna Kournikova, 6-7(3), 7-6(5), 6-0

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q. What happened in the third set?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that I still don't have too much match play -- I don't have too many matches under my belt. I play only six matches or something coming in here. And it's always tough to come back after an injury indoors. She had a pretty good season indoors and she won some tournaments, and I think I just have to, you know, get back my focus, trying to concentrate, and it's a long time not playing, you know, for three months. I think that was the problem because I didn't have any problems with playing or anything. Just mentally, just kind of left the court.

Q. At 4-1 in the second, you seemed to be in control of the match. What happened --?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think 5-2 I was still in control.

Q. What made the difference?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Like I said, I haven't played too many matches. She had obviously a good season indoors. Just, you know, I have to get mentally back into match playing. I have to get back, you know, in playing the matches really try to finish it off. I think that was the problem.

Q. The last two years, obviously, you've had injuries that ruled you out of Wimbledon and the stress fracture that ruled you out of the US Open. Do you feel that next year you'll feel pressure to prove there's substance behind your image to win your first title and so on?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't think I have to prove anything. Two years in a row I'm in the Top 16 players. It's not bad. I'm just going out there trying to play. Next year, I'm going to start in Australia and I'm going to be very strong.

Q. You said it's a hard to come back indoors. Why is indoors harder to come back on?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Because everything is much faster. You get much more rhythm playing outdoors. Here you don't have much rhythm, mistake, winner and if you don't have your reaction, coordination, the timing, it's just much more difficult to get it indoors.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Definitely, you try to go on and keep on going like this. But it was tough.

Q. In any case, you had 5-3 and your serve --?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: That's right. I had to put in more first serves. She returned well that game. It was just, you know, a very unlucky game for me, I guess. I was too defensive.

Q. Were you disappointed with the play way you played the third set?


Q. Well, you only won like five points in the whole set. Do you think that you may have been feeling really down after losing that second set?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, like I said already, it was completely mental. It had nothing to do with the physical part. My shots were great on the first, second, whatever. Everything was good. I was feeling the ball. Mentally, I just couldn't get, you know, over that -- just I need some more matches. That's the end of the story.

Q. What would matches give you, would it give you the confidence if it wasn't physical?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, you know, like you write every day, you know what you're writing. If you're following the story, you know what's going on with the story. If you jump in the story, you don't know what's going on; so you don't know what to write. You have to go and do research. Same thing here, you have to practice and the way to practice is to play matches, you have to play matches.

Q. Do you always feel like you're meeting somebody for the first time in a way, switching surfaces, you don't always have a rerun necessarily of the last time you played?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Definitely. Every match is different. You can't just say last time I beat this person or last time I lost to this person. Every match is new, and anything can happen.

Q. You were dominating her in the second set. Do you think you did something technically wrong? What was missing?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Like I said again, I think it was the mental part. I think that I didn't play enough matches, and that's the problem.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Definitely. He's helped me a lot to come back, and it was good and we're going to work hard, and like I said, next year, I'll be strong.

Q. Can you explain why you won't play the doubles with Martina at the beginning of next year?


Q. Yes.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think it's normal for tennis players to try and play with different partners, and there is nothing personal or whatever. You just try to work out your schedule and everything. That's it.

Q. Was it a split --?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: It's a not like a split, you always make it like it's a split and we're the worst enemies. Like I said, all players try to do what's the best for them and we just figure out we're going to do something else and that's it.

Q. You played an excellent tiebreaker,7-3. You mentioned the other day that you were eighty percent with your leg, you made a lot of forehand errors early and then it came around better. I was at a press conference and you mentioned that you were eighty percent recovered from your foot injury?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: What's the question?

Q. The question is you made a lot of errors on your forehand, early, was that due to your injury? And later on you played well off your forehand. Did it loosen up?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't understand. I made my mistakes when?

Q. You made a lot of mistakes on your forehand early in the match?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: When? I don't know, I won the set. I was up 5-2. I don't see any problems, like I said, with my shots, actual shots or anything on the court. I just think that I wasn't there mentally. You know, I should have focused more or tried to stay, you know, play the same game that I was playing when I was winning, and that's it. That's what happened.

Q. You played an excellent match.


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