Anna Kournikova 2000 US Open 1st-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

USTA 2000 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Tuesday, August 29, 2000
Anna Kournikova defeated Holly Parkinson, 6-2, 6-3

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q. What kind of a start is this for you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: What do you mean, the match?

Q. Did you play well tonight? Did you just sort of get by tonight?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. Of course I tried to play well. Every first-round match is different. It's always sometimes difficult because it's a first match of the tournament. New conditions, new everything, new court. You haven't played for a week. You're not into the tournament. It's always good to have a good first-round match and get into the tournament. I think I played pretty well. I didn't know much about her except we played about seven years ago each other in junior tournaments. I didn't know much about her, didn't know what to expect. My plan was to come in a lot and try to attack the ball as much as possible.

Q. With whom are you working here at the tournament coach-wise?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Right now, my parents are helping me.

Q. Did you split with Eric Van Harpen?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: We've already talked about this. He cannot travel for personal reasons right now.

Q. When?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: We didn't split. I say he cannot travel for personal reasons right now.

Q. You like New York, all the planes? Is this place good for you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Of course, it's a great city, it's a big city. Everything is very big here. Every Grand Slam is different. This one is definitely different from the other tournaments. It has its own special atmosphere. It's nice to be in New York. I like it.

Q. This hype about Anna Kournikova, you were surprised today that the audience was sometimes on the side of your opponent?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I don't think at all. I think the audience probably didn't want to see such an easy match. They wanted to see some good points. Doesn't matter. I think, like I said, they just wanted to see good points.

Q. All this hype, you still like it?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I can't change it.

Q. What kind of shape is your game in at this point? How do you feel about your game at this point coming into the tournament?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I've been playing really good this summer, these past three tournaments. I played really good. Last week I was practicing really hard at home. It's a good match, I think. It was a good first-round match. Score-wise also. I just played an hour. It was good not to have a long match. To go back tomorrow, practice more, play some doubles. I think it was a good way to get into the tournament and also feel pretty comfortable out there. I tried to do some different shots today than I would usually do in a tight match. I was going a lot for my serves. I made some double-faults because I was going for a harder second serve. Just tried to come to the net as much as possible.

Q. This early in a tournament, first round, can you get a sense that you can do some real damage later on, or does it take a while for you to work your way in and feel you can do something the second week?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: In a Grand Slam, anything can happen. There's so many matches to play, there's so many players to play. Everybody are getting ready for these four tournaments a year. Just have to get ready for everybody and watch out. Anything could happen.

Q. What do you feel you have to do better in your game to start winning tournaments?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think I just need to get more consistent, play a lot of good matches in a row. Sometimes have a little bit of luck.

Q. Was San Diego a good tournament for you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Of course, it was a great tournament.

Q. Did that give you more confidence, looking at who's ahead for you here?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, when you beat top players, it gives you confidence, gives you even more stability to practice, to go on. You feel like you can do it.

Q. Is that a newer confidence or have you had it before? Does it come and go?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I've beaten almost all top players, so I pretty much knew how that feels. It just helps to do that again and again. It's just great.

Q. Did you ever consider to enter some smaller tournaments, to win one right now?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I don't think it's going to bring me much satisfaction beating somebody who's ranked No. 100 in the finals of smaller tournament, and I'm ranked No. 12, 14, 13 in the world. I don't think it's going to bring me the confidence beating somebody No. 50 or 100 in a smaller tournament. I just have to be patient and keep working.

Q. Do you sense that the women's game is going more toward power? Martina Hingis said she's not going to go that way; she's going to try to outsmart people with her speed as well. How do you contend to play against the power of Lindsay, the Williams sisters?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Everybody has their own style. You can never try to copy somebody or try to do something that you haven't done before, actually change the style of your game, because it's never going to work. If you play from a very young age one way, it's very difficult to change it. Everybody I think is going to just play the way they're playing, but it's going to just get better. The level of it is just going to rise. It's not about power; it's all about individuality, each game of the player. It just happens to be that there's two Williamses and they both hit hard. That's it, Mary Pierce and Davenport hit hard. That's only, what, four people out of the Top 10 who hit pretty hard. There's another six people who play somehow different.

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