Anna Kournikova 2002 US Open 1st-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

USTA 2002 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Monday, August 26, 2002
#73 Angelique Widjaja defeated #37 Anna Kournikova, 6-3, 6-0 interview excerpt on Real Video

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

MODERATOR: Questions for Anna.

Q. With all the preparation you put in, you had said in interviews leading up you were focused on this tournament, excited about making a run, how disappointing is what happened today?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Very disappointing, obviously. I think I just -- I didn't play well obviously at all. I wasn't in the match. I was just not there. I didn't play well. It was just a very bad match for me.

Q. You seemed competitive early on, then the bottom falls out the last eight games. Was there anything you felt slipping away?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think I just played totally wrong way. I mean, I was going for winners after a second shot. I was just not in the match for some reason.

Q. You obviously read your press clippings over the years. "She gets great corporate endorsements but doesn't earn on the court." Does that add pressure coming into a tournament like this, trying to prove yourself to the cynics out there?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I'm not trying to prove myself to anybody. I try to do what I have to do. I go on the court and I try to play. Today was just a really, really bad match for me. Of course, it's really disappointing, you know, for it to happen at a Grand Slam. The good thing is that I did play well, you know, in the last couple months or so, so that's a good thing. But, you know, I guess I'll just have to, you know, do better and work harder next time.

Q. Was it your strategy coming in today to try and play quick points or did you wind up doing that as a matter of trying to get yourself out of this slump that you got into?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think, I mean, I should have played -- I should have kept the ball more in play. I should have gave her more chance to hit the balls because I didn't give her any chances. I made like a million mistakes. I think that she hit like two winners and that's it. Everything else was my unforced errors. It was kind of weird, because I had all the opportunities. I set up the point, and then when I had to put it away, I was missing it. So that was kind of horrible.

Q. What were you feeling like when you were going for those balls? Were you tense? Did you lack confidence? What was happening there?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I just, you know, I set it up and then it was just a mistake. Sometimes I went for too much on the wrong shots. If I'm behind the baseline or something like that, you know, I went for too much.

Q. Did you feel good coming into the match?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, I was hitting pretty good in practice. I was feeling pretty good.

Q. And walking on court, were there any nerves or anything like that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, just like before any match, I mean, you're pretty, you know, excited and tense, a little bit nervous, I guess. You know, I haven't played here last year, so it was fun coming back, you know, being here again. It was good.

Q. Even with today's disappointment, you still have what could potentially turn out to be a pretty good couple of weeks with the doubles coming up. How difficult, if at all, will it be to try and put this one behind you when you go out to play with Martina?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: You know, I'm still in the tournament, so I'm just going to practice and go out there and play a totally different game. But, you know, it's fun. You know, I'm just going to go out there and we're going to try to win. I mean, it is hard to be around, but it's fine.

Q. The stadium was jam-packed. Did you feel a little disappointed you didn't give them a better show, the fans?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I'm disappointed about myself that I didn't give myself a good show. But, you know, definitely I don't think it was a pretty match for anyone - especially for me.

Q. In your second service game, you actually bounced a second serve before the net. Has that ever happened to you before? Is that something you've been struggling with lately? Was it a miss-hit?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: It happened to me before. It happens, you know, a lot of times to all players.

Q. I know you said you were a little disappointed, but are you shocked, given how well you played at times this summer, that you could come in and lose to a player who is not exactly a marquee player that quickly?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, I'm definitely disappointed. I mean, you know, I didn't expect it to be this way at all. You know, I thought I had a pretty good draw. You know, in the first round to play against her... I did know that she's a good player. She was a good junior player and stuff. But, you know, obviously I didn't expect it to be that easy for her.

Q. When something like that happens to you, what kind of explanation do you give to yourself? How do you explain? "I had a bad day at the office"? "Nothing went in"? How do you explain?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't think I have an explanation yet. I just finished a half an hour or so ago. I think I'm going to go and think to a conclusion what happened. I don't like to make fast decisions.

Q. Do you think you have a chance to improve your game, to be a better player in the future, maybe win a tournament, or maybe you are so disappointed that you think it will be like that always?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think if I didn't think I could improve, I wouldn't be, you know, trying. And I think that anybody can improve at anything if they work hard and do the things they have to do. You know, it's not like I play the way I played today all the time. That's okay. That's good. I'm just going to, you know, try again.

Q. Do you take losses like this to heart or are you more philosophical about it? Do you get emotional about losing this way?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: All of that: emotional, philosophical, to heart, everything.

Q. Do you worry about it from the business point of view, that the lack of tournament victories could one day cost the endorsements, maybe the photographers won't show up any more.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Oh, good. Good if they don't show up anymore.

Q. Do you feel you work hard enough? In the second set, I was under the impression you just wanted it to be over.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, that was your impression probably. But I just felt like I tried everything, you know, nothing was just going my way. You know, I guess I was going faster and faster and faster, and that was my mistake. But, you know, for me, for myself, I do know that I do work hard.

Match Statistics from

Anna Kournikova (RUS) 3 0      
Angelique Widjaja (INA) 6 6      
Elapsed Time by Set:  24 20      
  Match Summary
   Kournikova (RUS) Widjaja (INA)
  1st Serve % 41 of 50 = 82 % 23 of 45 = 51 %
  Aces 0 0
  Double Faults 4 1
  Unforced Errors 40 17
  Winning % on 1st Serve 20 of 41 = 49 % 15 of 23 = 65 %
  Winning % on 2nd Serve 0 of 9 = 0 % 14 of 22 = 64 %
  Winners (Including Service) 9 1
  Break Point Conversions 2 of 2 = 100 % 6 of 11 = 55 %
  Net Approaches 5 of 11 = 45 % 2 of 4 = 50 %
  Total Points Won 36 59
  Fastest Serve 103 MPH 100 MPH
  Average 1st Serve Speed 79 MPH 88 MPH
  Average 2nd Serve Speed 70 MPH 75 MPH

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