November 17, 1998
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK
BART McGUIRE: We have a special award tonight which is the WTA Tour Most Improved Player Award. It is selected by the media so we must have gotten it to the right person. Easy to say, Patty is the most improved player on the Tour and she did win five tournaments this year including Hannover. During the year she beat Steffi and Jana and Iva and Nathalie and Placido Domingo, too, one of her big wins. She has had a great year. She is No. 10 now. We wanted to give this award to her earlier this evening at the Chase party, but she had improved so much that she was playing on the court at the time. So we are delighted to present the most Improved Player-of-the-Year Trophy to Patty Schnyder. Congratulations.
PATTY SCHNYDER: Thank you. (Applause)
Q. Patty, what do you think made the difference tonight?
PATTY SCHNYDER: It was really close games in the beginning of the third set and 3 breakpoints to go 3-1 lead and I couldn't make one of them, so, yeah, it was tough for me and I got broken so it was really tough to come back, but I think she played really good points there and I could have played a little bit more aggressive, yeah, probably I could have won it.
Q. Did you feel tired toward the end?
PATTY SCHNYDER: No, not at all. Just I had some long rallies after that, yeah, had heavy legs, but I wasn't tired at the end.
Q. Do you feel tired at the end of the season now? Do you feel like you need a break?
PATTY SCHNYDER: Yeah, for sure I need a break now. It has been a long season. But I think for such a highlight, Chase Championship, you always can find motivation like 100% you are willing to play your best tennis, so, I wasn't too tired to play such a big event - let's say it like that. But now kind of really relax for one week and, yeah, take it easy.
Q. In the third set where you had triple breakpoint, how devastating is it to come out not having won that game?
PATTY SCHNYDER: Yeah, it would have been the key game, I think, but I was disappointed that I lost that match serve after that game, so, yeah, it was a little bit annoying for me. But I mean, yeah, I had the chance to come back and with some good games and would have won it also, but she played better at the end and that is why I lost.
Q. What was your feeling when you heard for the first time that you had to play Martina in the first round?
PATTY SCHNYDER: It was just -- it was not a shock. It was not a big smile on my face. It was just like something in between, just took it like that. Yeah, I thought when I played a great match, I am 100%, I probably can win that match too, but I mean, no player - you could not have an unseeded player - is easy.
Q. Is there extra motivation to play her or to try to beat her?
PATTY SCHNYDER: I mean, she is No. 2 in the world, so you get a lot of bonus points, but I think you think about her being Swiss, but it is no big deal for me.
Q. When you were juniors, what were the matches like when you played against her?
PATTY SCHNYDER: Played like, I think, seven times and she won six times. So I always lost and she was a better junior player. She had much more experience, with the international tournaments. She was just a better player.
Q. But it is a different relationship now when you play her?
PATTY SCHNYDER: Yeah, I think our games are more even and yeah, if I play like 100% and she is not playing it, and I really feel comfortable on the court, I hope we can play some day outdoors, so I would like that challenge as well. But, yeah, sometime it will come.
Q. Can you tell us your feeling, I mean, you got this award now the most improved player, is that important to you?
PATTY SCHNYDER: Yeah, it is an honor for me to receive such an award. I had some good opponents for the award, Venus Williams she improved a lot and Anna Kournikova as well, so I am happy that I could win it. Yeah, it is an honor and motivation for next year and, yeah, I think I am in good company with this award. I think Martina won it as well. And I don't know who else.
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