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Postmatch Interview with Anna Kournikova
Defeated Barbara Rittner 6-3 6-1 at the Australian Open
January 21, 2001


MODERATOR: First question for Anna, please.

Q. First time you've reached a quarter final of a Grand Slam since '97. How do you feel about that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I'm definitely really happy with the result, and it's great to be playing so well in a Grand Slam again.

Q. Your serve improved towards the end. It was a little shaky early on. How did you see it?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think I didn't start off too well. You know, we hadn't played each other in a long time. Barbara kind of is the player that mixes it up a lot. She plays really slow. I had to get used to her game. She gives no rhythm. Plus, I made a lot of mistakes. After that, I think after 3-all, I got used to it and I started to play just really well.

Q. Can you beat Davenport if you served like you did today?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that I didn't serve first of all too bad. I still have my stomach problem, so that gives me a little discomfort. But I think, you know, in the second set I served really well. And, you know, me and Lindsay, we had some tough matches. I have a good record against her. I've beaten her a few times. So, you know, I'm not playing my best for sure right now but I will go out there and try to play and fight as much as I can and, you know, we'll see what happens. Sometimes it's a good day; sometimes it's a bad day. So hopefully I'll have a good day.

Q. Sandy Harwitt, United States. Davenport has a 5-3 lead on you.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: United States what?

Q. Well, I'm a free-lancer. I'm working for the Australian Open website here. I'm just telling you my country. You won the last match, you guys played in San Diego. How much momentum does that give you?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it definitely feels good to say that, but, you know, it's been a while ago. It's been almost six months I think, or something like that, five months. And we're definitely playing different right now. I think that I played really well in the summer, so that was probably the difference. But, you know, it's the beginning of the year. I don't think anybody is playing their best tennis, so like I said, I'm just gonna try to go out there and have a good day.

Q. Just taking you back to sort of -- does it seem like a long time ago, Wimbledon '97 when you last got to this stage of a tournament, and has it sort of been frustrating having to wait so long to reach this point? I think you've made the fourth round eight times, seven or eight times and not sort of been able to get beyond it.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, it feels like yesterday actually. I remember everything as yesterday. Time flies, huh. You know, every time I got to the fourth round of a Grand Slam, you know, I wasn't really seeded or I was seeded but I always played in the fourth round, you know, higher-ranked players. I lost to Lindsay here before, Mary and Martina and so I've always kind of lost to the players that were, you know, either winners or, you know, got far. So this time I had a little bit of luck also. I played in the fourth round an unseeded player. So actually it feels just great to be back and playing well in a Grand Slam.

Q. Lindsay said before when she has vacation time she's always glad to get home, but by around one month she's ready to go back on the Tour and stuff, playing again. She kind of misses it and is anxious. How do you feel? Is there a period of time where you're ready to go back to tennis, or do you like your vacation time?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, of course I like my vacation time. Definitely I miss tennis when I'm not playing. For example, when I had my stress fracture injury, I wasn't playing for three months. I was real excited to be back playing and I couldn't wait just to start playing. It's our life. We're so used to it. I think it's just difficult right away, you know, do something else. So I really miss it, and every time that I have an injury, I'm hoping to get back as soon as possible.

Q. Has your stay in Melbourne been a bit dull without Mark Philippoussis playing?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I'm playing great. It's been a good stay.

End of FastScripts....


Source : www.annafan.net
















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No tears for end of doubles pairing

January 10, 2001


Anna Kournikova was coy and refused to elaborate yesterday on the reasons for her doubles break-up with world number one Martina Hingis. The 19-year-old Russian denied the bust-up ended in tears and said it was over something else. When pressed on what was the cause, Kournikova was noncommital.

The split follows reports of a row between Hingis and Kournikova at a singles exhibition match in Chile a month ago. Hingis said at last week's Hopman Cup in Perth: "I want to be more independent. I have played a lot of tennis and I was very tired at the end of the season."

Kournikova, who won this year's Chase Championships and four other doubles titles along with the 1999 Australian Open with Hingis, disagreed that it was a break-up and denied there were any ill-feelings between the two. "It's not like a break-up," said Kournikova. "It's just that we both have different partners. It's not like we're never going to see each other, never going to talk to each other. No way. It's tennis. As you know, a lot of players, they change partners all the time, so it's absolutely normal."

Hingis will partner Monica Seles in the doubles at next week's Australian Open while Kournikova will team-up with Austrian Barbara Schett again.

Meanwhile, eighth-seed Kournikova beat Russian qualifier Elena Bovina 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Sydney International yesterday as Venus and Serena Williams suffered defeat for the first time in 18 months on their return to the court on which they won Olympic gold together just over three months ago.

The sisters, winners of Wimbledon as well last year, were beaten in a third set tie-break by Hingis and Seles. Chosen as the showpiece night match under the centre court floodlights, Hingis and Seles won 6-4 3-6 7-6 after saving four match points on Venus Williams' serve at 5-6 in the decider. It ended the sisters' run of 22 unbeaten doubles matches.

While Serena has a chance to make amends in the singles, Venus decided to opt out and her next match will be in next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.

In the men's singles defending champion Lleyton Hewitt pulled himself back from the brink to defeat fellow Australian Wayne Arthurs.

The three-set match saw Hewitt a set down and a break point down at 5-5 in the second, but he came up with a brilliant passing shot at full stretch to deny Arthurs the chance to serve for victory.

It was literally the turning point. The 19-year-old from Adelaide won a tie-break to square things up and then romped through the deciding set 6-2.

"Under pressure it was nice that it came off," said Hewitt, who now faces another compatriot in Andrew Ilie for a place in the quarter-finals.

Top-seeded Magnus Norman beat Romanian Andrei Pavel, but two seeds did go out - number three Wayne Ferreira to Switzerland's rising star Roger Federer and number four Cedric Pioline to Norman's fellow Swede Jonas Bjorkman.

There was no stopping German Tommy Haas, who continued his fine start to 2001 by beating American Todd Martin 6-3 6-2 two days after winning the Australian hard court title in Adelaide.

Haas, who got the better of Hewitt in the semi-finals there, will be one of the players the seeds will be hoping to avoid in the early rounds of the Australian Open. The draw is made on Friday.

(Source : www.annafan.net)