Anna Kournikova 2002 Rogers AT&T Cup 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

2002 Rogers AT&T Cup ("Canadian Open") at Montreal, Quebec, Canada,
on Wednesday, August 14, 2002
66th-ranked Virginia Ruano Pascual defeated Anna Kournikova, 7-5, 6-1
Anna's rank: 40th

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q: It was a very rough day today.


Q: You left for a break in the first set and when you came back you seemed to be off; you seemed to be hurrying. Was that the case?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I didn't make that connection. I was just -- I don't know, everything kind of was off today. You know, the last time I played I lost to her, so I was trying to find a better way to play against her. And it's just, I don't know, it was so hot today and it was just kind of right away from the beginning I was kind of always behind and not being aggressive enough and always on the defence and going for my shots too early, and just wasn't, you know, wasn't in the match totally for some reason. It was just kind of hard to get going and hard to get going and stuff like that.

Q: Anna, this close to one of the biggest tournaments of the year, the Open is just around the corner, does it worry you when you are not yourself so close to a big tournament?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. It's still a week and a half before the Open, so that's the good thing that I have now, all of this time to prepare and to rest and I think that I'm also still a bit tired from playing in California, and I played 10 matches there. And I'm not -- I haven't played so many lately so my body is just kind of not responding very well. And I think it's, you know, it's not a bad thing to go back now and, you know, take care of my body and practice and get ready for the Open because I played enough matches so it's all about just getting back into good physical state.

Q: Anna, did you feel you had to force the points a little more, that you didn't want to get out into long rallies with her?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Definitely, especially against her, especially that kind of a player. You can't start playing her game, you know. I tried to stay aggressive and, like I said, sometimes maybe I went for too much but that is the way to play against her. I mean I can't be 10 feet behind the baseline and running so far, you know. I can't beat her from there.

Q: Anna, did you have in your mind after the rain delay you would make the biggest comeback in Canadian Open history, come back after the rain delay and maybe things would change, the momentum would shift?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Not really. I was just thinking, whoa, what's going on? It's kind of hard, we didn't have it that long of a break, so I was really just thinking about what went wrong during the whole match.

Q: The point just before the rain break, you seemed upset on that. Were you upset with the call or were you upset because they didn't call it earlier, they didn't stop the play?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, with the call.

Q: With the call?


Q: What do you intend to do to prepare yourself for the U.S. Open after this quick exit from the tournament here?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, just do the same things I have been doing. Go back, like I said, take care of my body and just get ready for the Open. You know, practice and do all the things that I have to do.

Q: You don't think you will change anything in your preparation.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. I don't think you can change a lot of things in 10 days.

Q: After the first match did you expect a long stay here in Montreal in the singles in particular?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I mean, you know, I always take it a match at a time and day by day because you never know what can happen tomorrow. And I knew that she is a very tough opponent for me especially, you know, on these hot days, and she's very fit and it's not the kind of game you want to play against on these hot days. She makes you hit a million balls. I knew that she was going to be a tough opponent, I just was focusing and concentrating on this match today.

Q: How high was your confidence coming into that match?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Into what match?

Q: This one, the singles.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Like I said, I was just focusing on it. I knew it was going to be hard.

Q: If you run into her again at the Open, how would you play her differently, or would you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes, of course I would play her differently. I would be aggressive and come to the net a lot more. I wasn't moving very well today. I was moving horribly today. I think I was always late and, like I said, I was way too far behind the baseline. So all of those things I would be doing differently. You know, I don't know, for some reason I was just moving terribly today.

Q: Can you explain it?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. If I could explain it, I think I wouldn't do it.

Q: Anna, you talked about Harold Solomon, how he has helped you with the tactical part of the game. Do you believe that coaching should be allowed on the sidelines so you could maybe consult with him, if you wanted to change tactics and maybe change the rhythm of the way the match was going today?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't know. I have to think about that one because there is for and against, I'm sure. You know, there are lots of reasons for it to be and not to be.

Q: When you say go back, go back to where?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Go back to where?

Q: Where is it that you are going back to, to get ready?


Q: That's in Florida?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah. I'm not going to fly to Moscow eight days before and come back.

TOUR OFFICIAL: Anything else?

Q: What about the doubles? Your team was leading 4-2 in the last --

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: And 6-1, 3-love -- bad day at the office today!

Q: Anna, there was some photographs in the paper this week showing some patch on your belly area.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Oh yeah, that's my pulled stomach muscle. I was really having fun with it, you know, it says that I have a tattoo on my stomach. It's my pulled muscle. You can see here (indicating) -- can you see here? I had it taped for today, too.

Q: Did it bother you today?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: A little, but no big deal. But it was really fun to see that I have a tattoo on my stomach.

Q: How was it for you because Ruano was up?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I try not to think about it. Like I said, I knew that this girl that I was playing today was a difficult match for me. Anybody really in these conditions, you really have to get ready for anybody. And, like I said already before, the balls are really light, the courts are fast and wind -- and, today, this rain, where did it come from? It was like weird. I don't know.

Q: They had it in the forecast.


Q: Yeah, 30 per cent.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: 30 per cent.

TOUR OFFICIAL: Anything else?

Q: Is it a kind of motivation yesterday when you see that Serena Williams go out of the tournament and maybe you can pass through? Was it something you think --

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I just answered that question.

Q: Sorry, I missed it.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I said that I knew that I have a tough match today and, you know, I have to get ready for anybody. Really, you can't think -- plus, I couldn't think about Serena because I still had to play today.

TOUR OFFICIAL: Is that it? Okay.

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