March 26, 2003
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You seemed frustrated at the end. Can you talk about your emotions at the end of the match?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, I was actually frustrated through most of the match. Just was difficult, when I knew I had the chance and I didn't take it. So that was what I was upset about.
Q. Did you feel from the beginning that you had a chance to beat her, just from the very beginning of the match? How did the match go for you, do you feel? Go set by set.
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Of course, I went out to the match thinking I could win. I do that before every match. The first set, we had quite a few momentum changes. I was a little bit lucky to pull it out there in the end. In the second set, I had a couple chances to break that I didn't convert. In the tiebreaker, you know, I just played too defensively. That was the problem. I had some chances and didn't go for it.
Q. It's been almost a year since the Fed Cup incident. That's a lot of time to pass under the bridge. Going into this match against Jennifer, what would you -- how would you describe your personal emotions about her and what do you think her emotions were about you, coming in here?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I don't feel any differently emotionally playing her or playing anyone else.
Q. I mean, personally, toward her.
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: That's what I'm saying. I don't have -- I don't feel personally different playing her than I do playing anybody else.
Q. Can you take some comfort from the fact that you are up there ready to be in the Top 10?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, of course I'm going to walk away from this tournament with a lot of positives. I played a great match the other night, played a good first couple of rounds. I just need to learn from it, you know. This is what it's all about, is having these experiences and learning from it and getting better every day.
Q. Tough call on that line in the last game at 15-love. You think that might have shook you at all in that final game?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: No. I mean, goes both ways. There's close calls both ways, so that has nothing to do with it.
Q. A style question, I guess, do you prefer to play somebody who you're going to have long, extended rallies with, like she did today, or do you prefer having an opportunity to win it sooner?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I think having the opportunity to win it sooner depends on how I'm playing. In tennis today, you have to step up and play aggressively to get a short ball, and that's what was my problem today. I was kind of waiting for things to happen. Playing against a great player like Jennifer, I've got to make it happen.
Q. There were a couple points where your serve was just dominant out there but you weren't able to carry it over in that first game of the third set. What happened in that game?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I think, you know, she came back out on the court in the beginning of the third set all fired up, played a couple really good points. I lowered my level a little bit. So just between those two factors, that was the break.
Q. Did that overhead you missed in the tiebreaker change things?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, I prefer not to think about that. Yeah, it was a little bit sloppy with my feet there. If I would have put a little more intensity, there's no way to miss that shot. But it happens. All I can do is laugh about that now. But I may have some bad dreams about that one.
Q. Were you in a position to angle that one off or were you not in a position to angle it the other way?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I was running kind of diagonally to the outside of the court. All I had to do was just put it right there. Can we change the subject (smiling).
Q. What are you going to do from here?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I'm going home now and I'm going to start again in Charleston.
Q. As you came to the net, it appeared as though Jennifer said -- made some short comment to you when you came to the net. Was it, "Nice work," or, "Nice game."
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: She said, "Tough match."
Q. Over three days, you played two of the three best players in women's tennis, even or better. When the smoke is cleared and you look back on this, this has to be a step forward for you in your career?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, definitely. Like I said, I'm going to walk away from this tournament with a lot of positive thought in my mind, but I have a lot of room for improvement. That's the good thing. I feel like I have so many errors still to work on. I'm going to go home, do that, continue to work hard and it's just going to get better.
Q. What was that city just outside Tampa where you were living?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Valrico.
Q. Can you talk about the areas where you see improvement?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: A lot. I think, mentally, I've matured a lot in the last year. I'm learning to enjoy myself a little bit more, practicing and playing. Physically, I've gotten a lot stronger in the last two years. It's slowly, you know, it's all starting to come together. So I'm happy about that.
Q. Are you working on sort of your transition game, when you get a player into trouble, you're coming into the net. Is that an area where you had some chances that you weren't able to sort of take advantage of having a short ball?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, definitely, that's an area I'm working on. My instinct is to stay on the baseline a lot more. I'm trying to work on going forward a little more and finishing points at the net. That's a key thing I need to do to take it to the next level.
Q. On the business level, I went up to the stands and asked a lot of people about who you were, I took a poll of 30 people, someone said, "I heard of her, she's almost as good... Not quite good." People are saying they hope you break through, hope you win. With a win, there's a lot of tennis market on the fact that you have your ability and who you are, as a person. Do you feel this week will add to your endorsement value?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, definitely. I think playing in big tournaments like this, having big opportunities to play the best players and have victories is the best thing you can do. Like I said, I'm just going to -- that's not what I like to focus on. I just like to focus on myself and getting better every day and I know those type of things are going to come.
Q. What's your clay schedule?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I'm going home now for a week and then I'm going to start in Charleston, then go to Amelia. Then I have Fed Cup the week after that. Then I'm going to start in Europe, over in Berlin.
Q. Do you have the feeling that more players are starting to believe that they can beat Venus or Serena than before, they're working harder to achieve that?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Well, I wouldn't just specifically say Venus and Serena. I think more players are beginning to believe that they can beat the top players. The level is so close these days, it's really just a matter of who believes that they belong there. It's not always about tennis, it's usually not about tennis. It's who really believes that they're the best and who really believes that they're gonna win the match.
Q. Do you believe that you're up there already?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I do. I'm beginning to believe, and believing more and more every day. But I still have some hesitations and that's what showed today; in the tiebreaker there, I had a couple returns that I hesitated and just didn't go for it. But I believe a lot more now than I used to and it's getting more every day. It's something I'm working on and I know that when I do believe in myself 100 percent, and I know that is gonna happen, that that's when I'm going to reach my potential.
Q. Would you say your best stretch in this match was in the first set from 2-all, until the end of the set?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah. It's kind of a strange match. There were a lot of momentum changes, so it's hard to just pick out one part that was, you know, the best part of the match because there were so many changes.
Q. You were dictating a lot of points at that midpoint of the first set.
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, sure.
Q. Do you think there's sort of a gap between Venus and Serena as far as players thinking they can beat them? They were lumped together for a while. It seems to me now there's more belief that Venus is a little bit closer to everyone else. Serena still carries around that aura of invincibility.
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: That question keeps coming up every day. I wouldn't say that's true. Right now, Serena's playing better, she's having the better results. But Venus is capable of the same thing that Serena is, I believe. There's other players capable of the same thing. So I wouldn't -- they're playing better than everyone else right now, but I wouldn't put them at another level from everyone else.
Q. Billie Jean says you're ready to go for Fed Cup. Can you talk about why you're looking forward to it?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I just love the opportunity to represent the US. I think that's such an honor. To be on a team like that is just great. I'm really excited. Last year, I had the opportunity to twice and I had a lot of fun with Billie Jean there. I don't think I've ever met anyone who loves the game more than her. We just spent a lot of hours on the court, just trying to get better. That's what it's all about.
Q. Billie Jean said that she came to Tempe, I guess, or Phoenix, to observe your physical program. She said she was exhausted from watching you. Was that very difficult to undertake in the first trials? It sounds very exhausting.
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: My physical program?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, for two years now I've been training at Athletes Performance in Tempe with Mark Verstegen. Like I say all the time, he's just pretty amazing. He's changed me entirely. I've gotten so much stronger and so much faster and more durable, everything. But I love it, you know. The physical aspect of it, for me, is not even an effort. I love to go to the gym and work out. It's something I've enjoyed doing since I was eight years old. So it's a lot of fun for me and I'll continue to do that.
Q. What exactly is in the Meghann training day diet?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Training day diet? I'm a pretty healthy eater. Little bit too much chocolate, but I watch what I eat and...
Q. Wasn't there a time where it was almost impossible for you to gain weight, even with 20 or 30 million shakes a day?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, putting on weight is hard for me. But I am, I'm putting on weight, working out quite a bit and putting on some muscle. So it's working.
Q. Could you just describe what is your typical training regimen? When you're going through that program in Tempe what are you doing on a typical day?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Well, it varies a lot. It depends on what part of the season it is, how much I'm training, how healthy I'm feeling. But typically, I'll go in there and spend a good four or five hours, you know. It's not four or five hours of just weights, but it's two or three hours of a lot of intense, all kinds of explosive work, weights, then it's an hour of stretching and all kinds of things to make sure I stay healthy. So it's a good half of my day when I'm there at home.
Q. Is there running or endurance? What do you do for endurance?
MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah, we do a lot of -- monitor the heart rate while I'm working out to make sure that it keeps to improve (sic). Different, sometimes do the treadmill, sometimes versaclimber, sometimes I go outside and run. We just keep it a little bit of variety, keep it exciting.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.