November 19, 1997
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK
Q. You guys seemed to be playing really sharp. How have you been keeping that sharp -- been recovering Mannon with your leg and Nicole with your shoulder?
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: I have no idea. Nicole hasn't played a tournament since the U.S. Open, and we were both supposed to play together at the Philadelphia. And Monday morning of Philadelphia I partially tear my calf muscle, so I haven't played for eight straight days. I don't know, we wanted to go out there and have fun and forget about no practicing and, you know, it was very strange.
NICOLE ARENDT: And no expectations. We went out there to see what happens, let the chips fall where they may. Something I should probably be doing more anyway.
Q. Are you hopeful that you can keep your leg, particularly, in shape for the rest of the tournament?
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: I'm going to say a prayer tonight, and hopefully it stays healthy. The problem is kind of shifting a little bit because I'm overcompensating -- not over, I'm compensating for my calf injury. And hopefully it's not going to give me any other problems with my other leg. But it's going to be tough.
Q. What were they doing for you in between the games there? What were they doing for you?
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: They were massaging my thigh, because I was compensating and I was getting cramps. And by the time the second set almost finished, I was getting cramps in the other leg. So it's a little bit of a mess.
Q. Looked like you guys were having fun out there and you were getting incredible (inaudible) good team.
NICOLE ARENDT: It's a lot of fun to play with Mannon. She keeps things light and makes sure I'm having a good time out there, so...
Q. Is there going to be a break after this or do you have other plans?
NICOLE ARENDT: After the tournament? Yeah, we're all going on vacation.
Q. And then the Australian?
NICOLE ARENDT: Yeah, in January, yeah.
Q. Nicole, playing here somewhat close to Princeton, what's that like for you; a lot of people out there, you've family filling out the crowd?
NICOLE ARENDT: No, just some neat fans from the area that knew me through -- I heard a few "Go Gators." I guess that's from the University of Florida. But my dad came out today and some of my friends did, so that's neat. To play Madison Square Garden for some -- like me being from this area is just a dream come true. I've been -- as a kid I've gone to basketball games and I've seen the tennis when it was at Virginia Slims Championships, I came and watched. And for me to step out on the court and be playing here at Madison Square Garden, it's the highlight. People from Europe don't realize how big Madison Square Garden is to people that live around here. And to be able to play out there is fantastic.
Q. How enjoyable was the tiebreaker?
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: It was very enjoyable.
NICOLE ARENDT: Especially at 5-1.
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: It's always good to get off to a good start. And first point I hit a good return. That was almost an instant winner. And then with two good serves over that, you know, you have a 3-Love start, and with one set in the pocket it plays much nicer. And so the tiebreaker in the end was a fairly easy tiebreaker.
Q. How would you rate your chances to win the title here with the No. 1 and 2 teams not around?
NICOLE ARENDT: For us, we want to get through tomorrow without any injuries and get to the semifinals on the court and play at this point.
Q. You're in the semifinals.
NICOLE ARENDT: I mean we've been having injuries that pulled us out of tournaments at the last minute.
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: I think we're about 50 percent or 60 percent fit, and Nicole has got a bad shoulder. And she's coming back, but it's still bothering her. My leg is bad. So, basically, I think we have no chance to win the title. But you never know. At least I don't expect winning it. I just hope that both of us stay healthy and we could play good match on Friday.
Q. Nicole, is this one of your favorite surfaces or not? Which is your favorite?
NICOLE ARENDT: My favorite you mean as singles or as a team?
NICOLE ARENDT: We've done well indoors as a team. We didn't play much on it. We've done well on the grass. I'd say grass right now. But it all depends. I guess we're actually doing well on every surface. We've been very consistent on all surfaces.
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: We're looking more forward to -- oh,, yeah, next week we're going to play on supreme indoors, it's not like that. We play well, basically, on any surface. One is maybe a little more -- you feel a little better than the others, but overall I think we play well.
Q. Nicole, why do you think you've had so much more success doubles than singles?
NICOLE ARENDT: Well, when I have a partner that can help me out, for sure. Good question. It's a different game. It's a team sport. I've always been into team sports. I do have someone to lean on and help me out in certain situations. Singles having I think -- I've improved so much in the last year because I think I've really had a good coach, Charlton Eagle. And he's now getting me to be a better singles player. Doubles and singles is so different. And I think that's what it is, the mental part of the game. And I wasn't so strong in singles. I didn't realize my strengths and weaknesses and how to use that against my opponents. Now I'm starting to learn that.
Q. Did you grow up in Princeton?
NICOLE ARENDT: Yes.
Q. What high school did you go to?
NICOLE ARENDT: The Hunt School, Princeton.
Q. Do you anticipate keeping Charlton throughout this coming year?
NICOLE ARENDT: Yes.
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: This is the last tournament, so...
NICOLE ARENDT: For next year.
Q. Next year.
NICOLE ARENDT: Yes.
Q. How did you two hook up?
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: I was playing with Rennae Stubbs at one point, and she didn't have -- she had to go home to Australia because her sister was getting married in March, so I needed a partner for three clay fourth tournaments, Hilton Head, Amelia Island and Houston, and I just went down the ranking and saw Nicole was about 25.
NICOLE ARENDT: Ranked.
MANNON BOLLEGRAF: And I knew I was going to be seeded with her, which is big in those tournaments. And I figured with her game, that if I can help her a little bit or say some things, I can kind of guide her a little bit more. And we played the first tournaments and we end up winning, beating Gigi and Natasha. The next we one we got to the finals, and week after we won. So it was time to stick with each other.
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