Anna Kournikova 2000 Family Circle Cup 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2000 Family Circle Cup at Hilton Head, South Carolina, on April 18, 2000
Anna Kournikova defeated Tara Snyder, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
Anna's rank: 14th   Anna's seed: 6th

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q: Anna, you made a lot of errors the first set, then things seemed to turn around for you a bit.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah. Like I said on the court, I think it was a very strange match. She goes for it, it's either in or out, so there's no in between, and it was kind of difficult to get a rhythm, and you know, I wasn't expecting. Sometimes the easy balls she completely missed and the difficult ones she was missing, so I always had to be ready, and in the second and third set I got the momentum and I was figuring out how to play against her because I've never played her before.

Q: On your serve in particular early in the match, she was hitting some winners off your serve.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah. Like I said, that's her game. She goes for it and she tries to hit every ball and it's either in or out and in the end she started to make mistakes because you can't play consistently two sets hitting winners. She would be number one.

Q: With your success here last year, do you feel a little more confident coming into this year's tournament?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, for sure, I have good memories here and I hope that I do well again here.

Q: You didn't have too much trouble against her serve the last two sets. She didn't hold service once in the last two sets. She really had a hard time serving, seemed to, the last two sets.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah. What's the question?

Q: Can you comment on that? Did you do something differently against her serve?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. I think it was just very inconsistent.

Q: Anna, you've played fairly consistently like a top ten player for the past couple years. What do you think the difference is right now between the way you're playing and the way a top three or four player is playing?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that a lot has to do with the confidence and mentally and just kind of feel that you're a level above all the people behind you, so I would say top five, and you know, they have a lot of experience in the big matches.

Q: So you don't feel it's necessarily shots that you need to develop or improve?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. I think it's just the whole thing. It's just a little bit different level, higher level, and all of us that are below that we're trying to get there, and like I said, they have a lot of experience playing in the big matches, semis, finals, Grand Slams, so they have a lot more experience and they're calm at the right moments, so they just have more experience playing in important matches.

Q: Anna, was there a point in the match, maybe the second set, where you felt you were taking over and control and it was your match to lose?


Q: I mean you were in control.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah. When I was up 2-1 in the second set and I broke, I think it started to be 3-1, I felt like I was in control of that set definitely.

Q: So many top stars missing from this event, do you feel it's right for the taking for you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I can't worry about the others. You have to worry about your game. You have to play everybody from No. 1 to 100 and nobody is going to give it to you. You have to win.

Q: Going into last year's match, finals against Hingis, remembering how you felt when you went into that match, if you got to the finals this year, do you feel like you would be a more formidable opponent, you'd have a better shot at winning this year?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: It's a long way to go. I have to first play some good players, and my next match is going to be probably tough, obviously tough, so I wouldn't want to say, but yeah, I have more experience since last year.

Q: Anna, when you first joined the tour, unlike most players, a lot of people knew who you were right away because Nick Bolletieri promoted you as being that next great star and you've, I guess, been very famous from the start. What has that been like? Has that been a burden for you because people might expect you to do more earlier on or people ask you questions about not having won a title. Is that fair to get that kind of response or does that bother you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it wasn't like that. I couldn't change it then and I can't change it now. So I can't really answer that. I have nothing really to say about it because maybe it's fair, maybe it's not. Anyways, I couldn't change it, so it's just the way it is.

Q: Tara Snyder made you lose a good many ad points. Was she playing those especially good or were you in trouble or what? When you'd get down 40-0, you won the thing beautifully, but when you were ad, you kept getting back to deuce, ad, back to deuce.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't think that was the case.

Q: Yes, it was.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't think that was the case. I think maybe it was a couple times.

Q: Did she appear to get tired at some point?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think she just got pretty frustrated, and in the end she just kind of started to go for it even more and it was either in or out and mostly it was out. She was hitting the balls from behind the baseline without setting up the point.

Q: The last game, especially and I think in the last point she looked like she was just sort of just packed it in there. Do you remember the game you were down three break points, I think, and you came back and won every point after that.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: When was that?

Q: In the last set, wasn't it? It had to be second set, I think, 0-40 on your serve. And you came back and won. I just wondered what was going through your mind at that point.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't really remember that. Sorry.

Q: You were up 3-1 and serving on 3-1 and got down 0-40 and came back.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: In the third set?

Q: In the second set.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah. Well, when I was up 3-1, I kind of told myself I have to win this game, I have to hold because I just broke and stuff, and of course, that was it. You're losing, but then she just kind of made unforced errors, and at deuce I played well.

Q: With this tournament going to Charleston next year, are you going to miss coming to Hilton Head?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah. Definitely. It's my second time here. I've enjoyed it. I know the area very well, so definitely, but I'm sure it will be fun playing there, too.

Q: You seem to have more success with your inside-out forehand than any other shot. Is that your best shot, the inside-out forehand?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I wouldn't say, but I think that she was just not expecting it maybe. I was playing a lot that way, but I think she was expecting me to play to her forehand, so I was just using it against her.

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