Anna Kournikova 1997 Wimbledon Championships Semifinal Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1997 The Championships at Wimbledon, England, on July 3, 1997
Martina Hingis defeated Anna Kournikova, 6-3, 6-2
Anna's rank: 42nd

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q: Anna, did you have a problem with your leg or your hip during that match? You seemed to be feeling the injury a little bit.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes, I was a little bit tired, you know, and I felt very sore in my left hip. But it had nothing to do with the way I played or anything.

Q: You only won one of your service games, what was the problem?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, Martina played, you know, very good the important points, so she returned well today, and I didn't serve too well. I served a couple of double faults. That's why.

Q: Is it too soon to say that this is a learning experience and what you might have learnt from it?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I'm sure I'll learn something from this match. I mean, I've, you know, had a great tournament. I'm really happy the way I played, and I really enjoyed it so much. It's unbelievable, I got to the semi-finals. I was dreaming about this. I'm definitely going to take a lot with me from this tournament, and from this experience.

Q: Is there anything that you look back on now, even an hour later, and say, "I wish I had done that on the court", or, "If I thought about that", or strategy or technique?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: You know, I think I did my best today. I tried very hard, but, you know, I've played a lot of matches in the last week. So I was a little bit tired, but it's okay, you know. I feel fine.

Q: Were you at all nervous today?


Q: Have you ever been nervous in your life for any matches?


Q: Like what?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: The first round was very nervous. You know, I was surprised, you know, and very - with the way, you know, I played my first round. I played very well, but today, no, I wasn't nervous.

Q: At the French Open, you played very conservatively, very defensively. Did you tell yourself you were going to play much more aggressively today against her?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. I didn't even think about that match, you know. I just went out there and, you know, tried to show my play and play my best tennis. Now I see that, you know, I didn't play too well at the French Open, but, you know, I'm happy with the way I played. I mean, it's probably some of my best tennis.

Q: Do you think Martina will win the tournament now?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, she has definitely a good chance, but in the other semi-final they're also very experienced players, and Arantxa has been in the finals for the past two years. So she has a very good chance, and Jana is unbelievable on grass. So it's going to be tough, but she definitely has a chance.

Q: Do you think you have the capability one day to beat Martina in a major tournament?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I'm definitely, you know, going to try to.

Q: Do you think you can?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, anybody can, you know.

Q: You broke her in the first game. At that point did you believe you might win the match?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes, I started good. I got a good start today, finally. So, you know, I felt comfortable out there.

Q: When you came here, did you think you were ready to make a run like you did here, or did you surprise yourself?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I was nervous, like I said, about the first round match. It was, you know, an amazing experience, first time on the Centre Court, playing against Chanda, a person who has been around in the top ten. But, after I got, you know, through, I got more and more confidence in each match, and I felt comfortable.

Q: When you were on the court, how much does it help you to know that your mother is up in the stands watching your match and she is on your side?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it would be funny if she wouldn't be on my side.

Q: In the sense that she is there, she is for you, she's in your corner right there, you can look up and see her?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I wouldn't travel, I don't think, without her. It'd definitely be very hard to be by yourself on the tour and it's really nice that somebody helps you, and especially if it's your mother.

Q: Where do you need to grow more, in your game, or in your mind?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I just - you know, I think both. You know, I have to get experience. I have to play more against top players. I have to, you know, really learn how to win the important points, and really, you know, concentrate.

Q: What do you find most difficult in Martina's game?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, she sees, you know, the game very well. She sees the court very well. She opens it up well, and it's hard if you give her one short ball, she, you know, does with it whatever she wants. So she feels the ball very well.

Q: You went for a lot today, on most of your shots. Do you think you could have a few times not gone for so much so early in the point, tried to stay in the point a little bit longer and wait a little bit?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I wasn't scared. I didn't want to be scared. I wanted to go for my shots. If I would keep the ball in play longer, that means, you know, I wouldn't get anything out of that.

Q: How much better do you think you played against Majoli than Hingis? The level of your tennis was very good yesterday.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think I played equally, but it's just, you know, I didn't play too well the important points today, and she obviously played very well the important points.

Q: Do you think that the press coverage is appropriate and fair for a 16 year old, and if you think there are some things that are unfair about the coverage that you get, can you put your finger on it?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, like I said before, every new person who comes to the tour, young, you know, like young Martina, Venus or me, they get, I think, you know, attention. So it doesn't really bother me, or - I don't know.

Q: Could you comment a little bit more on the chances of Martina to win the tournament according to what you have seen playing against her?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, she has a very good chance, like I said, but in the other semi-final they are experienced players, Arantxa and Jana, so it's going to be tough for her, but she has a chance.

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