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September 3, 2001

Sandrine Testud


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Sandrine, there's a lot of good top power hitters now. There's six left pretty much in the quarterfinals that you would call power players. What do you think is going to be the next step in the evolution of the women's game now that there are more and more players that can hit the ball hard?

SANDRINE TESTUD: Well, I would say the Williamses brought the tennis in the next level. I mean, you had those players that could hit the ball very hard but maybe didn't have the fitness, and the Williamses just brought everything. I mean, they are powerful, they move very well. And when everything is in, it's just very difficult to play.

Q. Today Venus got to a point where she obviously just improved the level of her game. What's it like facing Venus when all of a sudden she's clicked to that next level?

SANDRINE TESTUD: It's tough, because I mean she can hit the ball, you know, winners from everywhere. She has a big serve. I served quite well tonight, you know, and she just returned, you know, so well and this (indicating) from the baseline. I was never under control of the points so, you know, I missed my chances in the first set. I had two, three balls to go up 5-3 and didn't make it. And so then she's back in the match. You cannot let those kind of players, you know -- she felt like she was, you know, playing better, more confident, and she went for her shot. And then, you know, the match was (inaudible) difficult for me after just to put the ball in, because she was playing so fast, served and shots from the baseline, so...

Q. They used to say about Venus that she would get a little tight on big points and she'd lose her concentration. What have you noticed since she's won three of the last five Grand Slams about her now as opposed to maybe a couple years ago?

SANDRINE TESTUD: The difference is that she made it. I mean, she won those kind of big matches, you know, and she won a Grand Slam. I think when you get to that point - I mean it never happened to me - but I can imagine what is it to win something that big. Your confidence is just, you know, she knows exactly what she's doing on the court. I saw the beginning, she was struggling. You know, she just tried to put the ball back in the court. Not very fast but just, you know, she didn't have the good rhythm at the beginning. And that's what make her, you know, she's a lot more -- she doesn't make that many mistake than what she used to doing in the past. She was just hitting everything, you know, in or out. She's more consistent.

Q. Do you see a difference in her game the first week of a Grand Slam versus the second week?

SANDRINE TESTUD: Oh, yeah. Well, you know, all the top players, you know, they maybe not as concentrate as they gonna be in the second week. They not, you know, I mean they losing few points, few games. They know it's not gonna be a big deal against a player, you know, lower ranked or whatever. And they know that when they gonna face like good players and top players, they gonna just be tough and, you know, try not to give any free points. And that's what make them, you know, so good.

Q. Do you see any of the younger players coming up now, Kim Clijsters who's in it still, any of them have the real potential to break through and reach that level that the Williams sisters have reached?

SANDRINE TESTUD: Well, they are already, you know, Top 5 or Top 6. So we should say, you know, they already there. They know, you know, Justine Henin beat already Williams once, and Kim Clijsters also beat top players. So they maybe not as consistent as the Williamses and, you know, maybe Davenport yet, but they have everything - they are fast, they move well, they hit the ball hard, you know, they have everything that what players need right now, you know, to play good tennis. And the confidence also. So, you know... They are good players already.

End of FastScripts….

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