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September 11, 1993

Helena Sukova


Q. How disappointed are you?

HELENA SUKOVA: I am very disappointed, because I thought I had a good shot at this one. She played very well. I think the difference also was that at the beginning when the umpire made two times two mistakes, you know, in two games, it was different games. It makes a difference. If I would have had those games, it could have been different. I just felt the lady was afraid, I think, to overrule the balls and I felt it is tough for the U.S. Open finals, you have inexperienced umpire, because I have never seen this lady before.

Q. In the last two bad calls you felt like Steffi, she was going to give you the point?

HELENA SUKOVA: When you have big finals like this, you don't expect the player to give you the point, but I think the officiating should have given the correct calling of those balls, because especially the first game when she was making those mistakes, it was her closest side, there was no way she couldn't have seen it.

Q. How good is Steffi playing now? Is she playing as well as she was four, five years ago when she was dominating?

HELENA SUKOVA: You know, I see her play all the time, so I can't tell you how she was playing five years ago, but I think she was playing very well today. She was even passing better off her backhand than she normally does. I think she was playing very well.

Q. How well did you play? Were you nervous at all going into the match?

HELENA SUKOVA: No, but I think I was a little bit slower getting into the balls; especially at the net, because I made some mistakes which I shouldn't have. But that is what happened.

Q. Helena, were you saying before at the beginning now that after the first game-- these calls with the inexperienced umpire, that was tough for you to recover from that game?

HELENA SUKOVA: Well, it is difficult when you lose games like that. It is -- when she gets ahead, of course has less pressure on her. If the score is tied, the pressure is more on her and she is not going to make many of those passing shots like she did after she was ahead so much. It makes a big difference in a match like this, because all the pressure was on her; not on me, but this is the way to take the pressure off her completely. I was telling the umpire, okay, go ahead and give her 30-Love in every game, then you can call it a fair match.

Q. Did you have those situations during the whole match in your head, so you couldn't forget it?

HELENA SUKOVA: No. You have to forget it. There is nothing you can do about it. It is disappointing that-- as I said, I was looking forward to this match and you don't want something like that to affect the game.

Q. Are you talking about the service in the fifth game of the first set?

HELENA SUKOVA: No, not the service.

Q. The big lob that came back?

HELENA SUKOVA: Well, that was about the fifth mistake, but there were balls before that, when it was -- the line-- the closest line to the umpire. One time my approach was there, she doesn't overrule it. Then her passing shot was clearly out. She didn't say anything. It is --

Q. Steffi's game, she says it has become more weapons, more diversified. Can the players see how she would -- can you guess how she would do against Monica? Is her game that improved that it would be a real contest right now?

HELENA SUKOVA: Well, you don't think it has been a contest beforehand?

Q. Yeah, I do. But I mean, she seemed to make the point out there on the court, that she is very aware; it has been 3 Grand Slams, but there is somebody not here. I am actually wondering how much of a difference would it have made? I don't know, but a player might know.

HELENA SUKOVA: I think it is really a shame that Monica cannot be here, but it is hard for me to judge how it would be if she was here.

Q. Although the score seems routine to look at it, 6-3, 6-3, it just seemed like it was a little out of your reach each time. You would break her, get going, then get broken again; did you find that frustrating?

HELENA SUKOVA: I had the chances. I wasn't as sharp as I needed to be at the important stages of that match. Who knows, maybe it was -- I was a little bit, as I said, a little bit slower, maybe half a step slower to the balls, or it is hard to tell. Definitely, I needed to be sharper in that match than I was.

Q. Do you have an explanation why you have been slower today than, say, yesterday?

HELENA SUKOVA: Who knows? Maybe all those matches I played the whole tournament. But I had a tough one yesterday and also it doesn't happen -- this is the only Grand Slam when you have a semifinal, final one day after the other, I think it is kind of unfair to the players because the whole tournament you-- most of the time you have a match day off, match, then suddenly before the biggest matches, semifinal, final, you don't have a day in between, so I think it is very unfair to the players, but I guess there is nothing you can do about it.

Q. Is part of it also that you were playing in the doubles and the mixed; are you a little overtennised as a result?

HELENA SUKOVA: Not yet. I hope we do good in doubles, so I will try to forget about this match right now and try to concentrate on the doubles because I mean, we still have a good shot at that one, so we will see.

Q. How mentally draining - not even physically, but mentally draining is it to have played as much tennis as you played in the last few days?

HELENA SUKOVA: I really haven't had time to think about it, if I am tired physically tired or mentally tired because I have been playing one match, another match, another match, so there is really no time for me to think about if I am tired or not. Maybe next week you should ask me that question.

Q. Your experience of coming back you know the Grand Slams being further apart, does it make you feel happy now thinking I can still do it and I can get back or does it feel like more of a loss because they come fewer and farther between now or both?

HELENA SUKOVA: I am very happy that I made the finals because I think I really needed a bigger boost for my tennis and to myself confidence and I hope this one did it because it is good to make the finals of the singles and the mixed and so far being in the semis of singles and doubles. Hopefully this is going to help my game and it is not the end of the year yet.

Q. Do you take pride, Helena, you had a shot at a triple here, you are still alive for a double. There are not many people that do that.

HELENA SUKOVA: As I said the other day, I am not really thinking about that too much. I just take it one match at a time and try to do my best. Today just she was better and nothing I can do about it. Hopefully we will be better in the doubles. We will see.

Q. Helena, do you think that Steffi is going to continue to dominate the big tournaments over the next year?

HELENA SUKOVA: Well, if she -- it is hard to tell. I mean, if she keeps playing as well as she does, maybe. But you never know.

Q. Have you talked to Arantxa? Did you guys practice today or --

HELENA SUKOVA: I practiced and I hope she did too. And we talked, yes.

Q. I mean, how hard is it to snap back into -- is yesterday over?

HELENA SUKOVA: Yesterday she almost strangled me in the locker room first and then -- well --

Q. How could she reach you?

HELENA SUKOVA: She jumped up. This happened to us before so, we know, I mean, it is bad -- it has to be one of us, but this time I was the happier one and I hope she got over it because now-- I mean, that was yesterday and we are here today trying for the semis.

Q. A month from now how will you look back at these two weeks?

HELENA SUKOVA: Well, ask me in a month's time because who knows.

Q. Do you think that your tennis today was a little less power than when you beat Martina and when you played Arantxa yesterday?

HELENA SUKOVA: It was what?

Q. A little lower, the standard?

HELENA SUKOVA: I wouldn't really say that. I was, as I said, maybe a half a step slower to the balls, but it was a different match than it was yesterday and different match to play Martina because they are different players and it is -- so you just -- it is hard to compare it like that because she was very quick, I think, she was you know, getting to the balls very well and was giving me more problems with her passing shots. So as I said, it was a different match, different day.

Q. You still believe that Steffi is beatable?

HELENA SUKOVA: Yeah, that is for sure.

End of FastScripts....

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