Anna Kournikova 2002 Italian Open 3rd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2002 Italian Open (Tennis Masters Series) at Rome, Italy on Thursday, May 16, 2002
Virginia Ruano Pascual defeated Anna Kournikova, 6-3, 6-2

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Anna, please.

Q. Were you in any distress physically out there? You needed time, a medical break. Was it the top of the thigh that was giving you problems?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah. It was kind of bothering me in my match before, but, you know, it was just a minor pain. And then today I started playing. As I was warming up, it was fine. I didn't feel anything. And then at the end of the first set I started to feel it a lot, you know, going to my forehands, for the wide forehands. Then at one point where there was a really wide one, I kind of felt it, a lot of pain and strained, obviously. I haven't played in the clay courts for a long time. And, you know, here I played two matches in a row. So I guess just got a little bit tired. And Virginia's the kind of player that you really have to move a lot against. The second set, was really tough for me to get over that pain. But, you know, I probably maybe should have stopped, but it was kind of difficult because I felt like I had a chance.

Q. So you think it's just a bit of wear and tear from the clay? Nothing to worry about?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Hopefully, yeah. Like I said, I haven't played two matches in a row in a little while. So, you know, I had tough matches, and I was playing really, really well those first two matches. And, you know, it's tough to keep up like that. And just my body's letting me know that it has to get back to the shape where I was. And, hopefully, it's nothing serious and I'll be ready for, you know, the next tournament.

Q. Overall, do you feel like you've made some progress this week?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Definitely. I won two matches (laughing). Yeah, I think that I played much, much better and started to feel my game again and did a lot of the things that I've been working on. And, you know, the first two matches were almost perfect, and I think that I started well off playing today also. But then just got a little bit maybe frustrated or lost my concentration, and then I was thinking a lot about my leg. So it was a little bit hard to get back into the fighting spirit and everything. But in general, I think it was a great tournament for me. Of course it's not enough, you know, to get back to where I was. But, you know, I know it's not going to take a week, it's not going to take two weeks, it's going to take some time. Obviously, not playing nine months, it's a long time. So I'm just going to continue working hard on it and try to do as many things as possible in a match that I'm working in practice.

Q. Do you feel you missed a good opportunity with the withdrawal from the top half of Venus? Do you think you could have perhaps made a greater impression here?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, you know, first of all, I cannot say because I lost today. But the next round is not an easy round, you know - it's Justine Henin. I've never really beat her. So it doesn't matter, you know. Like I said, it really doesn't matter who you play, it's what you do. And, of course, the other player can play an amazing match or make you play, you know, make you play your best tennis or whatever. But at the end of the day, you cannot change what the other person does. You have to concentrate on what you do.

Q. I know it's very early days, but are you pleased with how things are going with Harold?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah. So far it's been great, yeah.

Q. Can you say what exactly you have, and do you think it played a role in your defeat?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I already answered that question (smiling). Okay.

Q. I didn't understand if you had a strain or if you feared having one.


Q. Is it because of that that you pulled out of doubles as well?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, yeah. I can't really move. You know, like in the match, the second set, you could see that if there was a ball that was really far away from me, it was hard for me to reach. And I have a groin pulled - strain - whatever you want to call it. I don't know exactly, because I haven't seen the doctors yet. But it's my groin, so...

Q. You think it played a main role in your defeat?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, obviously, if I can't run, I mean... it's kind of difficult to run, you know, when you have pain. I didn't want it to be too bad for the next tournaments. I maybe should have stopped, but I felt like I had a chance or something so...

Q. Have you had an opportunity to speak to Martina Hingis about her injury problems?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: We have communicated, but I don't think I want to go into details what we talked about.

Q. Can you tell us how she is, how she's feeling.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't think I want to talk about that. I'm sorry.

Q. Having had a long-term injury problem yourself, you must feel for her, feel a bit of sympathy for her?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, definitely. You know, whenever there is a serious injury, you know - like I have right now it's a groin - I know it's going to go away in a week or whatever, how many days, so it's not like a bone or a joint or, you know, something major, surgery. So that kind of thing is totally different. And obviously it can be really difficult. But, you know, I guess in Martina's case, we don't know what exactly it is yet and how serious. So keep our fingers crossed (smiling)... whatever, to see the results.

Q. When you arrived, you said you didn't want to be a tourist.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I didn't say that. Where did he get that from?

Q. Well, now you pulled out from doubles, and you're not playing singles.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I didn't say that. Okay?

Q. Do you want to go visit Rome?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't know yet. I don't know. I haven't made any plans yet, you know. I had to take a shower, put some ice and come here. So... I really don't know about my plans. But I have to talk to the trainer and see what I have to do for my leg and everything. But I probably will stay for a day or something. I don't know yet.

Q. You mentioned earlier that you hoped to be fit for your next tournament. Is that Roland Garros? Do you have anything planned before then?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes, I'm for sure playing Roland Garros. But I don't know yet if I'm going to play anything next week. That's -- I'm going to make a decision today.

Q. Where are you scheduled for?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Nothing. Yes, I wasn't entered into anything, but I'm thinking about maybe playing something.

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