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September 3, 1999

Tara Snyder

U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, New York City

WTA: Questions for Tara.

Q. Seemed to start off pretty well. You broke her right away. What happened from there?

TARA SNYDER: I think starting off she was maybe a little bit nervous coming out of the gates. I got a good start, felt very comfortable from the first point, which is what I wanted to feel going into the match. I think she got, after the second game, kind of found her rhythm in the match, worked the points a little bit more, was a little more patient. I don't think I really did anything different as much as I think she kind of found her rhythm at that stage and started playing a little more patient, but at the same time aggressive when she had the opportunity.

Q. A lot of players notice how hard she hits. Did you notice that at all?

TARA SNYDER: I think for me she hits more of a heavy ball. It comes off of her racquet with quite a bit of spin on it. I want to say it's as much of a line drive. Even if it lands short, it still kicks up pretty good.

Q. Was this the first time you had played her?

TARA SNYDER: No. I played her at the French Open first round on her turf. I was hoping to get her here on American soil.

Q. Did you feel playing World Team Tennis was a good way to prepare for The Open? Did you enjoy that experience this year?

TARA SNYDER: I've played now three years of World Team Tennis. It's such a fun experience. It kind of breaks up the year after eight long weeks in Europe, but yet you're still playing tennis every night, which is good. We had a great time. I played for St. Louis Aces. I've always done real well after playing Team Tennis. I didn't want to change it this year. I think coming into this US Open, I've been playing some of my best tennis.

Q. You also came up through the USTA program.


Q. Can you tell us a bit about that, how you feel that has helped propel you in your professional career?

TARA SNYDER: Well, financially the USTA supported me throughout the Juniors and the first year as a rookie pro, which allowed me in 1994 to play national tournaments. '95 I won the Junior Open here. Those experiences took me to the next level, developing and turning pro in '95. The continued support has been really great with just the coaches they provide on the road week-in and week-out. Lynne Rolley, director of tennis, Mervin Webster, Ola (ph). There's a lot of the USTA pros I still work closely with which have been instrumental in the development of my game.

Q. What are your plans here on out after The Open?

TARA SNYDER: I just want to continue the way that I'm playing. Even though obviously I lost today, I feel like my game has continued to improve every week, which is for me where I want to go versus saying I want to all of a sudden break in the Top 10 or Top 20. I would rather just progress with my game at this point. I'm going to still take a little bit of time off, but not much, then head to Japan and Europe for quite a few tournaments, then go back to Quebec and defend my title from last year at the end of the year. So just continuing to play every week and get ready for the next Slam, which is Australia.

Q. Mauresmo at the Australian Open, there was a lot of controversy about her, her and Martina went back and forth. Do you think on the Tour it's not that big a deal to have a player openly gay?

TARA SNYDER: No. For me, I have no problem. I think a lot of it is obviously maybe a little bit of media with what they say, maybe blowing it out of proportion. I don't know, I wasn't there to hear the comments at the time. I don't think it really affects the players as much as some people might think.

Q. How do you feel she played tonight?

TARA SNYDER: I think she played solid. She really didn't give me too many free points. The first couple of games, like I said, she maybe started out the gates a little bit nervous. But I think she's in really good form to continue this tournament. But at the same time, it would have been nice to come out with the win. But I think with the way she's playing, I feel well about the game I took out there was the best game I could for today. She was just the better player.

Q. You're incredibly fit and fast. Can you tell us about what your training regimen is like?

TARA SNYDER: A lot of off-court training, weights, treadmill, bike, all those fun things.

Q. Your stamina . . .

TARA SNYDER: We had actually a few long points which I'll sleep well this weekend.

Q. You seem pretty calm for being out there on Ashe Stadium in the middle of a night match.

TARA SNYDER: I actually felt fairly comfortable going out there. One of the things I wanted to do was play more within myself going out there, not let the atmosphere too much affect me, but really just play Amelie straight up and try not to let all the outside things come into play. For my first time out there, I definitely felt comfortable. I hope to be out there quite a bit more in the future.

Q. You had a tremendous amount of support out there. You were aware of that?

TARA SNYDER: Yeah. The New York crowd is great. That's more my personality anyway, which is, like you said, with team tennis, why I enjoy that atmosphere, where it's hyped up, the crowd is very involved in the match. I tend to probably be one of the more emotional, at least, female players. I kind of wear it on my sleeve, which I think the crowd supports when they can see the up and the down in a match.

Q. You had your chances. There was like one long rally where she had a let cord, you had her right there. How did that feel?

TARA SNYDER: At that point, I was shocked that it actually hit the net because we had just hit I don't know balls in a row. It was almost like I thought she had hit the winner. Then when I saw it, my eyes were so big because I just wanted to step in and smack it for a winner. I got a little bit ahead of myself. Either way, that was an unbelievable point.

Q. When you were growing up, did you have any tennis role models that you particularly admired?

TARA SNYDER: I think as a kid, on at least the women's side, was Seles, just because of her intensity. I've had the opportunity to play her twice since being a pro, and hopefully will play her many more times. On the men's side, there's just so many, Andre and Sampras. I like so many different styles of the game. But definitely the more aggressive, intense is more the role models that I looked up to as a kid.

End of FastScripts....

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