Anna Kournikova 1999 Wimbledon Championships 4th-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

1999 The Championships at Wimbledon, England, on June 30, 1999
Venus Williams defeated Anna Kournikova, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Anna's rank: 17th   Anna's seed: 17th

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q. What are your observations of how Venus was able to turn the match around and how far along is she in her game right now?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that in the first set I played very well, and then in the second she started to get her rhythm back. Of course, when you're down you always try to change something and that's what she did. But she was just mentally tougher today at the end.

Q. You seemed to have your tactics pretty well worked out at the start. You had a game plan obviously at the start. At what point did it start to go a bit wrong?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Some time in the second set, probably, but like I said, it wasn't tactics or anything. I think she was just stronger mentally today.

Q. When she's playing her best, is there a sense that she's unbeatable at times?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. Nobody is unbeatable. I think you can beat everybody. There's a chance against everybody and I think that grass is not Venus' favourite surface. So I think, you know, you can try to beat anybody if you play well.

Q. Was it her power and her strength which was the kind of key, you know, like she hits the ball very hard, doesn't she?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, not much different from other girls, but like I said, I think everything came down to she was just mentally tougher, and I didn't stay in with the points longer. I should have stayed longer with her.

Q. How do you expect her to do against Steffi Graf, given how Steffi has been playing recently?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think Steffi will win, but you can never, you know, say. It just depends who will be better that day.

Q. You seemed to get annoyed with yourself at times as well, talking of mental strength, whereas Venus stayed very cool and calm. Were you aware of that?


Q. Can you put that mental toughness down to anything? Do you need to get stronger there?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, not really. I just think that in this match particularly -- it's not like it happens all the time, I think that it is just in this match particularly today she was just better at the end.

Q. Were you playing some of the best tennis of your career to date in that first set? You looked fantastic.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, if I would be playing the best tennis I should have won probably.

Q. In the first set particularly.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes, I think I played well. I did a lot of things right, and that's important, and I'll just have to come back next time and do it all the way.

Q. Is the mental toughness the key to winning your first Grand Slam?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that, because this is a ladies' sport and women tend to get nervous, or something, more than the men, you know, men just play, so probably women's tennis is a lot about mental toughness.

Q. Anna, the match was quite similar to the one you played, not on same surface, last year on Key Biscayne. Didn't it give you a feeling how you should this time finish it?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes, it was a long time ago. I played her already afterwards , so it was -- in Rome -- so it was already -- that match was kind of gone, faded, you know, in memory. So this was a new match. I just tried to play, not to think who is on the other side, and obviously it was working well. Like I said, I just should have finished it, and I stayed with her a little bit more on the points, but she also played well. You know, she's a great player. She was just tougher today.

Q. Anna, what will you take away from this Wimbledon? What have you learned? I know you're still in the mixed doubles, but what are the things you will take away?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, there's a lot of different things. You know, I played a good three matches and today obviously I had chances, but I'll just have to come back and continue playing, and just continue working on improvement and, you know, it's a good experience for me.

Q. Have you enjoyed the whole atmosphere?


Q. You and Venus, Anna, are roughly the same age. Obviously you're going to be great rivals in the next ten years or so. How do you see things going?


Q. You and Venus in terms of, you know, top dog?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: You mean tennis?

Q. Yes.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, yes, like you said, you know, she's a great player, I'm a good player, and you said it. We're going to play for a long time, and a lot of matches will be between us.

Anna Kournikova pages at
Find thousands more sports interviews at the archives.

This page's URL is: