Anna Kournikova 1997 French Open 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1997 French Open at Roland Garros, Paris, France, on Thursday, May 29, 1997
Anna Kournikova defeated Sandra Cecchini, 6-2, 6-2
Anna's rank: 47th

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q: How do you think you're playing so far?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, so far I think I played very well. I feel comfortable out there. I didn't have any problems. I won two rounds, four sets, so I played pretty well.

Q: Bearing in mind the opposition next time out, do you think that will be different?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I'm just going to take it as a normal match. I mean, it's nothing unusual about that. It's just a normal match. I'm going to do, you know, my best, and play as I played.

Q:Anna, big sort of tournament for you, obviously. I'm just wondering, how do you feel now on the circuit with all the girls? You're not full-time almost on the circuit.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, you know, it's a little bit hard being full-time on the Tour. I'm trying to adjust to it. I wish, I hope I could be better there, on the Tour, get more experience. I guess, you know, I just can't do it. Just try to take it tournament by tournament.

Q: Sort of the reaction of your fellow players to you now being on the circuit the whole time? I think in the past there have been one or two things said that weren't complimentary about each other. I think Venus said only her sister will be challenging her, things like that.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I never said anything like that, that I'm going to be the greatest. I never said that. I don't look forward -- I don't look -- I look forward, but I don't want to say all that stuff. We'll see what happens. You have to try your best, you know.

Q: On your next opponent, Martina Hingis, you met her many times as a junior. Is there anything special now meeting her in a real tournament?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I didn't meet her many times, I just play her twice. You know, of course, it's different now. She's No. 1. It's not juniors anymore. Obviously, we are both playing different tennis now. It's just going to be a normal match.

Q: Just being No. 1, she's No. 1, so is that special?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA:Well, I mean, I think for everybody it's special being No. 1.

Q: But with you playing her?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I already played No. 1, I played Steffi.

Q: Do you feel that she's vulnerable right now?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Excuse me, she's what?

Q: Vulnerable, that she's beatable right now?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it's hard to say. She obviously had not too good injury. She had operation, you know. She played three sets today. I don't know, we'll see. It's hard to say right now. We'll just have to wait until the match. You can never say what's going to happen.

Q: Did you see her first match?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Her first match?

Q: You couldn't see her second.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I saw the second one, too, the beginning. She played, you know, normal, as usual.

Q: The first one?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: And the first match, yeah.

Q: But the second one, when you saw the first set of the second match, that was completely different. You must have seen something.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, you know, she was just not prepared, I think. She was not thinking about the other opponent. After she was herself again.

Q: And didn't you lose Love-Love to her at Wimbledon, juniors?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Not at Wimbledon.

Q: Did you lose to her one time?


Q: That's no fun to lose with that kind of score. Is that the kind of thing that motivates you a little bit? When you lose a match like that, you say, "One day I'll turn it around "?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: The score doesn't say anything about that match. It was actually a good match, whoever saw that match. It just happened that she was also No. 1 in the Juniors. She was also first seeded. I played her in the second round. It was, I think, very good match. I played very well. I can't say anything. She won all the important points.

Q: Would you say you're playing the best tennis you ever have right now?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I mean, you know, I'm -- I don't think -- I don't know. I haven't played that long to say what's my best tennis, was or is. I mean, I had obviously a good tournament in Berlin where I beat Sanchez. I had a good tournament at the US Open. Indian Wells. Now, it's just another tournament.

Q: You've played Steffi and now you play Hingis. Do you need something more to play a No. 1 player?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Do I what, excuse me?

Q: Do you need something more to play No. 1 player, a new game?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I mean, everybody can play against a No. 1 player.

Q: What about to beat her?


Q: To beat her.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA:You just have to concentrate, don't think about, I guess, you know, who she is, just try to do your best. You know, it's just a game. It's a game. Anybody can win.

Q: Anna, how much are you looking forward to playing at Wimbledon, and do you think you'll be overawed or intimidated, with a special atmosphere at Wimbledon?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I like grass, I like Wimbledon, very, very much. I was there. I lost once in quarters and once in semis. It's obviously very special tournament. I'm looking forward to it. I like grass very much, like I said. It suits my game very well. We'll see what's happening.

Q: Do you envy Martina Hingis, being the world No. 1 so young?


Q: Do you envy her?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. I mean, all the time new players come, it's a matter of time. Monica came, she was young, like 16 also. Steffi came young, you know. Every time is just somebody comes. That's the way it is.

Q: You seem to have a sort of single-minded, focused approach.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Single-minded?

Q: You sort of look at yourself, you concentrate on your own game rather than worrying, perhaps, what other people are doing.


Q: Is that something you set out to do?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: If I would be worrying about other people's game, what to worry for? I cannot do anything with other people's game. The only thing I can do is, you know, do something about myself.

Anna Kournikova pages at
Find thousands more sports interviews at the archives.

This page's URL is: