Anna Kournikova 2000 Chase Championships 1st-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2000 Chase Championships at Madison Square Garden, New York, on Tuesday, November 14, 2000
Anna Kournikova defeated Jennifer Capriati, 6-4, 6-4

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q. You finally won one in Madison Square Garden; does it feel good?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I've won matches here before.

Q. But singles here in the CHAMPIONSHIP?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, yeah. Well, of course it feels great. This year I am seeded in the top eight. I don't get to play the top eight right away, so that feels good. I'm just really happy with the way I played, and I definitely was going into that match with a lot of confidence. I've beaten her before. I know exactly how to play her. And I knew that she is right now not in her best shape and that I am playing well. So I was pretty confident before the match.

Q. Is there anything special about playing in Madison Square Garden? Do you feel any special aura?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, it is definitely different from the courts we play everywhere else. But it feels great. It feels just fantastic. It has a great atmosphere. There was a lot of people today, so that also makes it better. Yeah, it just feels good playing here.

Q. Do you feel similar to her in a way because of your guys?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. I think we have completely different pasts.

Q. You say you were happy with your game tonight, yet you seem to be very disappointed about your forehand in the first set.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I wasn't really disappointed just particularly about my forehand. I maybe wasn't happy with an easy mistake that I made. Sometimes maybe I overjudged the ball a bit and went for too much or too little, and that's the only reason why I was unhappy. I was trying to pump myself up and just try to figure out what I made wrong and do it right the next time.

Q. You seemed to take over the match almost when the ball almost hit you. What were you thinking when that ball like -- because you glared at her?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I didn't see it. I just looked at the referee because the referee was saying something, because I was with my back turned to her. I didn't really notice it. I just felt it going by.

Q. Do you think that you have what it takes to win a major?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I'm going to wait and see what happens right now. I'm just going to take and one match at a time and that's it.

Q. Your former coach says that in certain moments of the game you played too risky, dangerous balls; do you agree and do you care at all about those comments?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: There's a lot of people saying a lot of different stuff. If I were to be caring about what people say, I think that I would have no thoughts of my own and that would be very difficult to keep up with everybody, what they are saying. So I'm only concentrating on what I am doing. I have great people around me. As far as the game, I think that Jennifer is playing really risky, and still, she is playing good. I think that it is just the way you play. It is people's character and it is a person's style of game and you can't change it. Somebody plays defensive like Amanda Coetzer and somebody hits the ball like let's say Jennifer or Frazier, so you can't really change completely the game. You just cannot adjust a little bit. And that's my game. I'm aggressive. That's the way it goes. Since I was five years old, I was hitting the ball hard.

Q. There seems to be some mixed feelings about the tournament going to Germany next year. On one hand it, reduces travel and the stress on the players. On the other hand, there's a lot of affection for finishing off the season here in New York; so there are certain mixed feelings. What are your feelings on the move to Germany?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, in general, I mean, you know, the only thing that I am glad about is that the season finishes two weeks earlier. That's a good thing for players, I think with so many injuries this year. That's a good thing. And also, like you mentioned, the time difference and everything is pretty difficult: Coming back from Germany, going and playing at Philadelphia, it's pretty difficult. But we've gotten used to it over the years, and I guess it was okay, but there's not much that we can do. Of course, we had meetings about it and everything, but that's the way it goes. We'll just have to, you know, play there and that's it.

Q. Richard Williams was talking this week about players like yourself and Venus and Serena who are very popular and should be getting appearance money, TV money, things like that; what is your thoughts on that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I haven't really heard exactly what he said. I have just only today heard from some other players what he said. But, you know, first of all, everybody has the right for their own opinion. It doesn't really bother me a lot what he says. But, you know, of course there is players that do attract more attention than the others. There's a few players that do attract attention. But still, it's just too difficult to say, because, you know, I really have not a lot of opinion on that, because right now there is nothing we can do. And the Tour is the Tour. We all belong to the Tour. So we're just going to have to wait and see what he's going to do next.

Q. If he gets his way, will you consider doing similar demands?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Oh, he won't. (Laughs). No.

Q. Can you talk about some of your favorite Internet sites? You must be around the globe a lot, you must be relatively Internet savvy?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I just check the news and, you know, just follow the sports in the U.S., the news all the time, and that's it. Nothing else, really. I don't have too much time for that.

Q. What do you think about your next match with Conchita?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, we've played each other a few times and I have beaten her, I think, once, so I pretty much know how to play her. In fact, we just played doubles against each other last week, but it is definitely not her favorite surface, which makes me feel a bit good and confident. But she's definitely a tough player for me. I'm going to have to be really ready and just be focused on every point, because she really mixes it up a lot. She has a lot of topspin, a lot of slice, and she really, really, like I said, makes you move. You have to really be always on your toes, on your feet to be ready for, you know, whatever is coming. So, it is going to be a very tough match.

Q. Does it bother you that you've never won a tournament yet?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. Like I always said, ranking is much more important to me and I think that I am playing really, really well right now. And it will come. I've been really close a few times.

Q. Would you be interested in coming back here next year for an exhibition at the Garden?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: It's too far to say.

Q. What are some of the things you look forward to doing here while you're in New York?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Playing. What do you think I'm here for? Playing, of course.

Q. But New York has so many things to do besides playing?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, what are you here to do? You are here to write. Why are you here in Madison Square Garden? Because you are here to write. Same thing for me. I have to get ready. I have to practice. You know, I played this morning. I had lunch. I went to sleep. I played again here. And then I had to get ready for my match. And then I'm going to have a massage, go to bed, have room service, sleep and then wake up tomorrow practice and play my doubles match, and the same and the same, every day.

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