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September 7, 1999

Barbara Schett

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. It was your first night match, first night on Arthur Ashe, were you nervous at all?

BARBARA SCHETT: No, I was not nervous at all, I have to say. I stepped out there and I knew I had nothing to lose. Yeah, I had my chances, I think, in both of the sets and, yeah, she just played better at the big points.

Q. Was the wind a factor tonight?

BARBARA SCHETT: Yeah, I didn't really like the wind. I had big troubles returning her serves. I think it would have been easier for me if there wouldn't have been that much wind. Yeah, that was -- I didn't really like it at all.

Q. Was it harder for you to concentrate because of the loss in your family yesterday?

BARBARA SCHETT: Yeah, well, you just find out that there are more important things than tennis. And, yeah, it has been hard for me going out there, and then just, you know, it's just a tennis match. You give your best, and I tried.

Q. Is it frustrating to play Venus? You hit a lot of good shots. She played better in the big points. Does she wear you down?

BARBARA SCHETT: Yeah, I think the big difference between us is that she just serves better at the important points. She just doesn't miss the first serves. And with me, I had some troubles, especially when I was serving against the wind. When I served second serve, she was just going -- stepping into the court and then playing a winner. And she put so much pressure on me with that, and that made it really difficult for me.

Q. Her athleticism, her ability to run down balls that you probably think are going to be winners against anybody else, does that make you force the play a little too much?

BARBARA SCHETT: No, I won't say that. I think -- when I had a lot of chances, when she played the shorter balls, I was just not very consistent with them. I just didn't kill those points -- kill that ball, you know. I was just hitting it back to her and that's what you shouldn't do. You have to risk something when you play against her. And, yeah, next time I'm trying to do that because she's running really fast and really good, especially for -- well, she's very tall, yeah. You have to risk something.

Q. You've played Martina quite a bit, and now you've played Venus a couple of times. Can you compare the two of them, and how do you think they match up against each other?

BARBARA SCHETT: Personally, I like to -- I prefer to play against Martina because she's not playing very -- that fast. But as I said before, I have big troubles with the serve, Venus' serve. And Martina's not playing -- her serve is not that fast, so I can always return it. And, yeah, I just -- I prefer -- it's easier for me to play against Martina because she's playing not so fast.

Q. Who do you think will win?

BARBARA SCHETT: Well, that's a good question. (Laughing). I have no idea. Both of them can win. It's just every day you feel different. You cannot say that before. I think both of them have good chances.

Q. Do you think your game suits Venus more? She seems to like the pace that you put on the ball. She had problems with Mary Joe a couple days ago. She doesn't put a lot of pace on the ball.

BARBARA SCHETT: Well, as I said before, I had my chances, and it could have been, if I wouldn't have gotten the break in the first set, it would have been 5-All. I can't tell how first set would have ended then. And the second set as well, I had, again, break chances at 4-3 for her, I think. And it's just, it turns out to be a really different match if I make those games. So...

Q. That was a key game. You were up 15-40. What happened at that point?

BARBARA SCHETT: Yeah. Well, what happened, I tried to make the game and I didn't make it. I was just -- well, the first -- I don't remember the first point was a good serve of her, I think. And the second point was a really good rally. And I came to the net and I was just not hitting a good volley. Then she served two good; served it out there. But I had my chances. It's just you have to take them.

Q. If you could give Hingis some advice about playing Venus, what would you say to her?

BARBARA SCHETT: Well, she actually gave me some advice before the match.

Q. What did she say?

BARBARA SCHETT: Well, she said her forehand is not so good as her backhand, and she doesn't really like the flat balls to her forehand and more spin to her backhand just to mix it up. I tried that, but it just -- was just really hard for me because of the wind. Against the wind, I was in the defensive right away. And with the wind I was just not making those little steps to the ball, which you have to do when it's windy. You have to move better.

Q. Who gave you that advice?

BARBARA SCHETT: Which advice?

Q. The advice before the match.

BARBARA SCHETT: Martina. Not for the movement, but her forehand.

Q. To play her forehand?

BARBARA SCHETT: Yeah, Martina.

Q. Did you ask her for that advice or did she offer it freely?

BARBARA SCHETT: Well, we were good friends, so we were talking about it, yeah. I asked her, yeah, and she told me.

Q. Is she right in that advice? Is that what you --?

BARBARA SCHETT: I think so, yeah. I think so. She's got more problems with her forehand, definitely. She makes more unforced errors there.

Q. Why is it so hard to for you to actually do that in wind?

BARBARA SCHETT: Well, because in every game, I think I make two or three return errors, and that makes it really difficult. And I think when there was a rally, I really -- it was like 50/50 chance to make the point.

Q. Your ranking has increased quite a bit this year, and a lot of people say that you're learning how to finish off matches now, where maybe before you weren't. What's the difference? What changed it for you?

BARBARA SCHETT: Well, I just think that I'm more experienced now as I used to be. I played more matches this year. I won more matches. I'm just more self-confident, and, yeah, that's why I'm playing so much better, I think. Just believe in myself.

Q. Did you change your approach at all?

BARBARA SCHETT: I didn't really change anything, no. I was just practicing hard and trying to improve. Yeah, and I think when you just practice hard and believe in yourself, you can make -- everybody can make it.

Q. Did Martina say she would prefer to play you over Venus? Did she really want you to win, do you know?

BARBARA SCHETT: Well, she said, "Good luck." Maybe she told her also good luck; I don't know that. She probably would have preferred to play against me because she never lost against me.

Q. When was the first time you played Venus?

BARBARA SCHETT: Last year in Wimbledon.

Q. Do you sense any difference in her demeanor or in her game since then? Do you sense an improvement or is she basically the same player she was then?

BARBARA SCHETT: Well, I can't really tell because that match went by so fast. I was out there for 35 minutes, I think, and for me, it's so different. I think she's playing really good on grass because of her serve. It's hard to break her. But, yeah, of course she improved. I mean, her ranking got higher, too, and she's -- yeah, I think she's playing very good.

Q. Are you curious to see who will win tomorrow? I mean, two days from now, are you curious to see which kind of game will be --?

BARBARA SCHETT: Yeah, I'm gonna watch the match for sure, and I'm going to see how Martina is playing against her. I can learn something from that match, for sure.

End of FastScripts….

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