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March 22, 1995

Marianne Werdel Witmeyer


Q. Marianne, the other day after your match with Sanchez, someone asked Steffi Graf if she was surprised; she said "yes and no," knowing that when you are playing your game, you can play with anybody. But that also when you are playing your game, your power game, sometimes you miss and hit long. Is that what essentially happened today?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: Yeah, I mean, Kimiko has a game that I, you know, tend to have problems with. She keeps the ball very low and very flat and takes the ball early, so it takes a lot of time away from me. I generally like playing players who hit the ball high a lot like Arantxa and even in my last two matches, the balls were kind of perfect for me. I felt today my game just fed right into her game. I am not -- my strength is not mixing balls up and that is what you have to do against her.

Q. You never considered that today -- I noticed --

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: I tried some high balls and things like that, but it is really hard when she is hitting the ball as low and flat as she does to then change the direction and hit a high ball without it sitting there for her to hit a winner off of. So it is a tough shot to hit with flat strokes that I have.

Q. Seemed like about midway through the second set you might have found a groove there for a short time. Do you think that maybe --

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: Yeah, I mean, I started coming in a little more and, you know, trying to take her balls a little earlier if she hit short balls. But, you know, my timing just didn't feel there really the whole match. Just nothing -- nothing felt like it was quite in sync.

Q. What do you have to fall back on in those situations when you get into a match like that?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: A lot of it -- I felt like -- I still didn't get really down on myself and competed well. I didn't play well really the whole match and I still managed 7-5 in the second set, You know, but a lot of the reason why I didn't play well is because Kimiko played very well. She was aggressive. She didn't make a lot of errors. She kept balls deep. She moved me around, so, I mean, she really played well.

Q. Headed to Arizona?


Q. That put a smile on your face.

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: Haven't seen him for a week, since, I guess, January 1.

Q. How long has it been since you have seen him?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: A week, since January 1st.

Q. You have seen him one week since then.


Q. Do you remember what he looks like?


Q. What is your next tournament?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: The next tournament is the Japan Open in Tokyo.

Q. Do you like watching baseball games? Can you sit in the stands and watch three hours of baseball?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: I couldn't in the beginning. I had to bring some magazines and books for the time in between innings, but that got a little embarrassing for him having his wife in the stands reading, so I have gotten much better at it.

Q. Would you still consider this a memorable tournament for you?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: Oh, yeah, I am really happy about the way I played. I played very well against Arantxa and a lot of times it is difficult to play, you know, the next day after a big win, and I'd say the best I played in the last few months was my match yesterday against Ines, so I was very happy to come back after a win like that and play well the next day, so yeah, I mean,, you know, it is one of the best tournaments I have ever had. I love playing here, you know, to see the family that I stay with every year, so, you know, sorry it is over and looking forward to coming back next year.

Q. You won a USTA or a Futures tournament out here several years ago. A little bit different?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: Yeah, that was out here and we played Easter Bowl here one year or in Miami somewhere - I think it was at the Doral. I like it. It is good conditions for me. It is medium-paced hard court and hot weather. That is what I play the best on so.

Q. I notice that your clothing sponsor is Kaelin. Very topical name these days. No connection?


Q. The new devisor for the rankings, did the board already decide if it is going to be 14 or 16 tournaments?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: Yes, it will be 14 next year and 16 in '97.

Q. When was that decided?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: Monday night during my doubles match.

Q. How was the vote?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: I wasn't able to go because I had -- I was on the court for my doubles; then I had to come back and play early the next day. So I wasn't able to go, so I just know that that is the way everyone was most comfortable with Olympics and Fed Cup and everything next year.

Q. Does it have to be ratified at a higher level?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: Well, the tournaments when we had our Tour board meeting in Indian Wells they agreed, you know, on the 14 or the 16 for next year. We had already agreed on 16 for '97 and they said that they would go with whatever we had decided for '96.

Q. It is done; nobody else has to approve it?


Q. Also since you have been on the board, has there been any formal discussion of what to do if Seles comes back?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: The million dollar question. Yeah, I mean, we haven't had any formal discussion because she has not contacted anyone from the Tour to say that she wants to play, so it hasn't gone that far. It is really been just in the papers, but she hasn't talked to any players or board members or staff. But I mean, you know, it is common consensus amongst players and the Tour that we will definitely do our best to accommodate her coming back. I mean, everybody wants it to be as easy for her as possible coming back after what she has been through.

Q. Is there any kind of sense that, hey, maybe we were a little bit rough on her when this first happened?

MARIANNE WERDEL WITMEYER: No, because we didn't -- we don't feel we did anything wrong. The decision that was made when she stopped was that when she decided to play again, she will come to us and we would work out, you know, a situation that accommodated everyone. You know, if you are going to have someone out for a year, you can't still keep her -- I mean, is -- we couldn't still have her ranked No. 1 in the world right now. I just -- two years later, you can't freeze someone's ranking ranked No. 1. I don't think that is being cruel. I think that would be hard for Arantxa because then she wouldn't be ranked No. 1 right now. But, you know, no one was going to have her play qualifiers. No one was going to have her come into a tournament and play first seed first round. Nobody wanted that. All of the players felt horrible what happened to her. But you couldn't make a decision five days later on what you were going to do on when you have no idea of when she is coming back.

End of FastScripts.....

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