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March 24, 2003

Meghann Shaughnessy


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Can you just talk about how it feels to do what you just did?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: It feels great. These are the moments that I play tennis for, is to get on the center court, featured match against a player like Venus, that I really respect. So I live for these times and that's what all my training goes into. So I'm feeling really, really happy right now.

Q. Safe to say you were in the zone?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Well, if you want to call it that. I was playing well, I was following my game plan. That's why I won.

Q. Specifically, what did you do right today?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I felt like besides the first three games of the match, that I was dictating most of the points, I was playing aggressively, looking for my forehand, serving pretty well, attacking her second serve. So that was definitely the key, with a player like her that's so dominant on the court, it's important that I didn't allow her to run me around.

Q. Was it moments like this that you were thinking about when you signed up for Athlete's Performance and put on that, you know, 15 pounds of muscle? Was that specifically to try to keep up with the Williamses?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Definitely. I think, you know, women's tennis is becoming more and more physical. I felt like I needed to take my physical to another level, so, yeah, two years ago I started to going to Athletes Performance and training with Mark Verstegen there in Tempe. It's been incredible. My entire body has changed. I've gotten much stronger, faster, more endurance, more flexible, more durable. It's just really been an incredible experience.

Q. Does that help you psychologically when you just know that you have, you know, the physical ability and strength to stay on (inaudible)?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: For sure. I know that when I walk out on the court, there's not anybody that's going to beat me because I got tired or I wasn't fast enough or whatever. So that's -- it's definitely a confidence booster, knowing that.

Q. What goes through your mind as you were watching those matchpoints tick off at the end? There were nine.

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: You don't want to know what was going through my mind. Yeah, I definitely took a little bit too long to finish it there. Was a little bit nervous, didn't go for a couple of shots. She raised her level, that's expected from a player like her. I was happy I ended up finishing it out.

Q. How did the crowd help you today?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: They were great. From the very beginning, they were into it. It's just so much fun playing in front of a crowd like that.

Q. How does this win tonight compare to the one you had over her two years ago?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I think this one's definitely a little more satisfying, it's in a bigger tournament, on a bigger court. I felt like I played better tennis today, so it's very nice.

Q. Given what's happened in the last four Slams, do you think there's added symbolic value? Players stepping up at a big event, taking out one of the two sisters?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Like I said, for me, it's just -- I just went out there tonight and played my game. I would have done the same if I was playing, you know, a Tier 4 tournament. So it's definitely a little more rewarding when it's on a big stage like this one. So I'm really excited about that.

Q. Do you think the (inaudible) on her forehand? You were working that very successful?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Her backhand is solid. During the key points, I was trying to keep it to the forehand a little more, like she was trying to keep it to my forehand.

Q. What went through your mind the second you realized you'd won?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Little bit of relief there, because there was so much tension in the end to finish it out. But I'm just, you know, I'm so happy. It's not even going to sink in for a little while.

Q. You had a chance to think about the next match, you've got Jennifer in the next match. Are you still buzzing from that game?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: No, I'm not going to worry about that yet. I've got a doubles match tomorrow to focus on first. That's my main focus first and I'll worry about that when it comes.

Q. Was there a moment in the second set as you were 3-love up, 4-love up, 5-love up where you actually stopped and thought, "Is this really happening"?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: No, I was just, you know, I didn't want to think about what was happening. I was just trying to stay focused on what I was doing. I did a good job of that, just kept following my game plan. She started making a few more errors there in the second set. Got a run and got up 5-love pretty quickly. That was very, very important.

Q. Can you give us an idea, how much work it is to put 15 pounds of muscle in two years, how many hours training you do, what you do?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: It's a ton of work. I travel on the road about 25 to 30 weeks a year, and when I'm not on the road, I'm at home training there in Tempe with Mark. I go in there just about every single day. We spend a good three or four hours not just on weights, but on everything, flexibility, recovery, all kinds of things. It's definitely -- it takes a ton of time, but it's an investment that I've wanted to make and I'm so happy about it because I see the rewards.

Q. When did you start?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I started training with Mark two years ago now.

Q. You had said before that one of the things that you and he work on is your quickness?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Uh-hmm. Yeah, we do a lot of power training explosiveness, a lot of speed. We focus on everything. Like I said, it comes down to endurance, flexibility, everything. We get each component of the physical aspect and, like I said, its really paid off. I'm so thankful for that.

Q. Did you do any special mental training, sports psychologists, anything like that?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I do. I do some hypnosis, actually. I have some CDs that I listen to at night just to kind of put what I want to have in my mind, so I spend quite a lot of time doing that, too.

Q. What kind of hypnosis would you need before playing Venus?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Well, it's not a particular hypnosis that I do, you know, before playing Venus or anyone. It's just something I do for myself to have, you know, positive thoughts in my mind and be at peace with myself pretty much.

Q. Playing someone like her, though, I mean she's such a dominating force. You get the feeling a lot of people don't think they can win against her. How do you get over that?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Well, that's not really how I think. I definitely know that if I don't play well and do things properly, she'll probably blow me off the court pretty quickly because she's so strong. But I know that if I follow my game plan and play aggressively and take chances, that I have a shot.

Q. That was your game plan tonight?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Definitely (smiling).

Q. I know a lot of baseball players and football players work at Athletes Performance. Are you the only tennis player or are there others?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: No, Mary Pierce, she works out there quite a bit. Some of the younger American girls go there, not very often, because nobody lives there. So they go just weeks here and there. I'm definitely the most consistent one there, because I live there.

Q. When was the last time you hit a stab volley that bounced on your opponent's side of the net and bounced back over?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I can't really remember (smiling). It's been a while.

Q. Seriously, though, you hit a shot like that. In the back of your head are you thinking, "This has got to be my night"?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Definitely. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I practice that shot. Like I said, I wanted it to go in so badly that I just put everything I had to get it over the net, and it was my night tonight.

Q. Now that you have beaten Venus, do you feel you could beat Serena, or is it another league up there? Is she in another league, is she stronger than Venus?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: I wouldn't say she's in another league. They're different players with different strengths and different weaknesses. So I wouldn't say that, you know, -- I wouldn't jump to any conclusions. I'm just going to take it one match at a time. I've got Jennifer in a couple days here and that's all I'm going to think about now.

Q. How did you like the children plus the marriage proposal on your way out?

MEGHANN SHAUGHNESSY: Yeah (laughing). Pretty nice, I'm flattered.

End of FastScripts….

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