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November 19, 2003

Billie Jean King

Meghann Shaughnessy



Q. It wasn't easy. What do you think was the deciding factor in the end? What made you win the match?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I can't just take it down to one thing. I was struggling the whole match, finding my rhythm, aggressiveness. I wanted to play. I think it came down to just heart and who wanted it a little bit more in the end. With all those guys on the sidelines cheering me on, it helped me so much just to keep fighting. That was the only difference today.

Q. How hard was it to go in there against somebody that you really hadn't obviously seen probably that much of and certainly didn't play before, an unknown factor?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: It's always a little bit difficult going out and playing against somebody that you've never seen compete or play a match. We tried to watch her a little bit this week during practice just to get an idea of how she played. She's young and hasn't been around. Hopefully we'll have some scouting for Lisa tomorrow (laughter).

Q. In Belgium, there is Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters. What do you think of this young player?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I think she's a great player. She runs really well. She just retrieves everything, plays with a lot of heart. She's got a great forehand, too. She looks for her forehand and plays pretty aggressively. Yeah, she's still really young and has a lot of development. I think she's a great player.

Q. Billie, can you talk about having a 2-0 lead going into tomorrow, which obviously is how you prefer to have it, and also as an elder statesman or stateswoman, Flipkens' game, your perception? She seemed pretty good from the sidelines.

BILLIE JEAN KING: Yes, I'm very relieved that we're up 2-0. I just would like to congratulate both Lisa -- that was Lisa's first singles in Fed Cup. She played eight Fed Cup ties that was her first singles. First singles ever in Fed Cup. So I thought she did a great job. She played really well, just as well as she wanted to. I think that's the best I've seen her play in a long time actually. Then I'd like to congratulate Meghann because it was difficult for her today, but she found a way with her heart and her guts to win that match. That's the kind of match that's real easy to give up in when someone is playing that well, had that many chances. Somehow Meghann dug so deep, found a way to stay in it when the going really got rough, then finally finished. I hope that she'll pat herself on the back for that, that she really hung in there. Sometimes you have to win ugly. She really did hang in there when all seemed lost. Just to add to what Meghann did, she was very sweet to say how much we helped her on the sidelines, but she still had to do it. As far as Flipkens, I think she's an excellent player. She loves to play tennis. She's very passionate about it. She's flexible. She's good off of both sides, likes the net. I think she's a very good all-around player. She did win the US Open. Most players have a hard time learning how to finish, and she knows how to finish at a young age, just experiencing that, even though she's a junior. But all she needs now, she needs experience. This kind of match for her could be a turning point. It depends on how she responds to losing this match, to see what she's kind of made of, whether this is going to make her a better player or whether it's going to put her back. It will be interesting to see what kind of effect this match has had on her, because this has been a very hard match for both players.

Q. Billie, can you get into a little bit of the psychology of your role as the captain in terms of every player has a different personality, and to fit Meghann's?

BILLIE JEAN KING: Still trying to figure that out (laughter).

Q. What was the right approach for bringing Meghann around?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Well, that's a difficult question. My coach of 11 years still hasn't figured that one out, so... I think Billie Jean needs a little more time with me (laughter).

BILLIE JEAN KING: Sometimes I say nothing. I sit far away or I stand far away. Other times, I get right in her face and yell and scream. I never know what's the right thing to do, but I try everything.

Q. Maybe it premature to ask, but who would you like to play in the finals?

BILLIE JEAN KING: It is premature. I'm just recovering from this match. I have no idea. We have a lot of tennis to play tomorrow. It doesn't matter. Just got to play each ball. Whoever deserves to be there will be there.

End of FastScriptsâ?¦.

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