Anna Kournikova 2000 US Open 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

USTA 2000 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Thursday, August 31, 2000
Anna Kournikova defeated Sandra Kleinova, 6-4, 6-3

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q. You seemed to mix up the pace a little bit there toward the end of the first set.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: She's the kind of player when you hit hard to her, she hits it hard. I had to mix it up a lot because she hits even better when you give her pace and when you hit hard. I had to mix it up in order for her to -- in order to break her pattern a little bit.

Q. I think you have Henin in the next match. Should be a good match? What kind of test will that be?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I didn't know that she won, first of all. I haven't thought about that match yet. I just was getting ready for this one.

Q. Is that the type of match that will be a good test for you, a young, hard-hitting player?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes, definitely. But I think also today was a very tough match. She was ready to go. I didn't play too good in the beginning. It was really hot and humid. The conditions were really tough. After being all day inside, you go outside and you feel kind of strange. I was very tired in the third game of the match, which I'm usually not. You know, definitely it's going to be a tough match. We played once before. It was indoors. It was really fast. It's going to be a new match. We played almost a year ago. It's definitely going to be a good match.

Q. A lot of the top women players who came from Europe in the past decade lived in the United States, became United States citizens. Is that something you would ever think about? If not, why not?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think there's only two players that did that.

Q. Two actually did. Would you ever consider it? If not, is it financial? Patriotic? What considerations?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Right now, I don't even think about that. I've been here since I'm ten, so I consider myself half and half, half Russian, half American. Since nine actually. More than half of my life. I never think about it because right now every week I'm in a different place, every two weeks. It's kind of difficult to say. I travel 11 months out of the year.

Q. Why are you not playing the Olympics?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Why? Because of the tough schedule. There's so many tournaments. I played, you know, quite a few tournaments during the summer. It's just very difficult.

Q. Will you play Federation Cup?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, definitely.

Q. Are you playing Luxembourg?


Q. When are you going to meet with your coach again? Are there meetings scheduled?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I don't know yet.

Q. Your ad with Schwab, have you followed the marketing?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: "(Inaudible) ratio is an indicator of the expectations of the stock."

Q. Is there a closet CPA here?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I know what I'm talking about. I wouldn't do something that I didn't understand completely.

Q. Business school down the road?


Q. How confident are you of going all the way?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, you know, like I said the day before yesterday, this is a Grand Slam. Everybody's fighting as hard as they can. You can see Davenport today playing three sets. Everybody is just going to try to give their best. Nobody's going to give anything away. You have to play your best game, a lot of good matches in a row. With these conditions, it's pretty tough. Whoever is the strongest will win.

Q. Is it fair to say that post Wimbledon, this is the best two months of tennis that you've had?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Oh, for sure, for sure. From Berlin, when I got my injury, I haven't played any good tennis, second round French, second round Wimbledon, where I had a good first round. This is an exciting time, and I'm really happy to be past that second-round mark. I had two losses in the second round in the last two Grand Slams.

Q. Did you do anything special to prepare for The Open? Did you change your training regimen last week or anything?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, after Wimbledon, I had a week off, then I just started working on conditioning a lot, just playing a lot of points, a lot of matches. I've been pretty much practicing the same since after Wimbledon.

Q. New York is the media capital of the world. You're somebody who is accustomed to having a great deal of media around you. For some it might be overwhelming to come to this venue.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I thought it was London, no, where they have all the tabloids.

Q. Do you thrive on this venue, on the excitement that surrounds the US Open?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, you know, for sure it's very exciting. It's very, very different than you play the tournaments between Wimbledon and here. It's much quieter, more home atmosphere. Here it's more of the show, more of the excitement. You know, that's what we play for. It's about excitement. It's about all this. It's about being big. This stadium is big. This tournament is really huge. Everything is huge here - the distance from Manhattan to here. I think it doesn't bother me. I enjoy it. It's nice.

Q. Compared to the other majors?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, they're all different in their own way.

Q. Yannick Noah came to New York because he could get lost here. Is it possible for you to get lost?


Q. What's the thing you like most about tennis?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it's kind of a difficult and an easy question because I can't remember myself doing anything else except playing tennis. Since I was five years old, I've been playing. It's the thing that I loved always. It's the most important thing in my life. It's part of me. It's my life. You can't just say it's part of my life; it is my life. The great thing is that you can combine a job and a hobby together.

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