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THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS


March 24, 1997


Arantxa Sanchez Vicario


Key Biscayne, FL

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Arantxa.

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Q. Can you just talk about the match, how it went, what went wrong?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: Well, I think she did play very well. I didn't play so good. I was a little bit tired. I mean, she started playing very good angles. I just think that I probably, you know, make a lot of mistakes. But she play good. That was how the match went.

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Q. You said you may have been a little tired. Was that the 2-3-set matches before this, did that have a factor?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: Yes. It was a long time since I didn't play matches in that heat. I think I play every day and I have two tough matches. You know, that affect me a little bit. But I was ready, but I was a little bit late today into the ball. That's something that you could see as the match going on. She played very well. I know I can play better than what I did, but I come back. At the end I was too late to come back anyway. I think I had a good tournament. I just going to continue working. I just need more matches like this.

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Q. Did you start doing anything differently when you were down 5-2?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: I was moving the ball better, playing more deep, too, so she was not be able to attack as much. I didn't make as many mistakes when I needed to make the points, so it was a big difference. I was be able to win more points, too. But, like I say, it was too late anyway to do that. I'm glad that I have some chances. At the end it went away.

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Q. Did you think you were going to be able to come back?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: At one point I did. I was one set 5-2, and nobody was giving me anything that I was going to come back. I start playing better. As a matter of fact, maybe I need a little bit of luck in that situation. Like I say, I think it was a little bit late. I thought I still have some chances and that's why I come back. I was be able to do better. She did play well.

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Q. Arantxa, where does this leave you with your brother as coach? He'll go on and coach you?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: Yeah, he's going to be with me a whole year.

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Q. He's going to travel with you?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: Yeah.

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Q. How does he help you, try to get back on track?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: Well, it's a slow process. We working. I'm trying to improve especially my serve, that is something that we working a lot. It's getting better. Still I have a long way to go. I'm just trying to prepare the point to be able to finish it up a little bit more into the net. I mean, he knows me better than anybody. Once I playing deep and moving the ball, I have more chances. When I leave the ball short, I'm a little more in trouble. He gives me the confidence back, and that's something that I'm looking for. I still long way to get a hundred percent in form, but I'm getting there. Hopefully, you know, when the claycourt tournaments will come, I'll get more confidence and I will be hundred percent for the French. That's what I'm looking for.

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Q. Are you two alike in personality and game style and personality?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: We are very similar. We both have the style of game that we have to run and prepare the point, to be able to play maybe a little bit longer points than the other players. Yeah, definitely we look alike and get along very well, also personality. We are very similar.

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Q. Arantxa, given your seeding here and the fact you've won here before, you were surprised at all that none of your first three matches were on the Stadium court, the main court?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: You know, it's always like you going to play on different courts, the first matches, we have so much matches. They put the ones they think are more interesting. Maybe I thought the first day I play there, maybe the second day I would play on Stadium, or today. They put me again on Grandstand. I cannot say much. I would have preferred to play on center court. The other court is also nice. Probably you have to ask more the tournament director or the people. Maybe they didn't think the matches were so interesting to put them center court. That happens. It's not something that I can do now. I would have preferred to play once on center court.

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Q. Is tennis as high for you as it was five or ten years ago?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: It's always been. If I play, it's because I think it's my job. That's something that I'm doing what I like to do, that is playing. That is my priority. You need a balance, doing other things that you like to do. Everything is fine for me, I don't have any problem. Nothing is bothering me at all. I'm doing the right thing.

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Q. Is your game where you want it to be right now?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: Well, it's better. I mean, it's not, like I say, a hundred percent. I can improve. That's why I keep working. In the future I'm learning to be a better tennis player, you know, to learn more things. It's a slow process, but it's getting better. Like I say, hopefully I'm a long way yet to catch a hundred percent. Hopefully will come when I'm going to the claycourt tournaments and to be able to be for the French, that's what I'm working.

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Q. Steffi and Monica have mentioned that they feel this new generation of Venus, Martina, Anna and so forth. Do you feel them kind of nipping at your toes a little bit now?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: They're young. We also started playing the same age as they are. Normally it's good for the game, the new generation. I think the more competition, the better. Besides that, the players, the top ones, who has been there so consistently, we still there. That's something that we just have to keep going. It's nice that they coming, all the young players.

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Q. Is the No. 1 ranking important to you, to get there, to have it?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: Well, it is important. I think that's why I keep playing. I just trying to get better and to be able to try to get it back like I was once there. I think if I would not think that way, I think it would be better to quit, to stop. That's why I'm here. It's not an obsession. It's on my mind. I'm working hard to getting a better player, win as much as I can. If I can get there again, great. If not, I keep playing.

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Q. Which do you think will come first, a Grand Slam title or a wedding?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: I'm not thinking to get married, so probably hopefully will come Grand Slam, or both. No, I'm kidding (laughter).

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Q. What did you anticipate from this tournament? Did you think you would play well enough to possibly get in the finals when you came into the tournament?

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: Here?

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Q. Yes.

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO: No. Like I say, I knew I was not 100 percent. I get better and better when the days get on. I knew I have a long way to go. Once you get more matches, it's better. I'm happy to be able to pull out both matches, tough ones, to be able to have a good tournament now, to keep going. It's more tournaments to go, try more times. I would have preferred to win, for sure. Now that I'm off, I will think just the doubles, thinking about the claycourt season.

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Any more questions? Thank you.

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End of FastScripts....

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