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August 27, 1996

Kimberly Po-Messerli


Q. Kim, given those results, you must have felt like you had a pretty good shot today?

KIMBERLY PO: Yeah. That's how I wanted -- I didn't want to go in thinking I had no shot. It actually gave me confidence that I knew I was able if I played well.

Q. Had you played her before?

KIMBERLY PO: No. In doubles, but never in singles.

Q. You must have been pretty familiar with her game, I'm sure you've seen her play?

KIMBERLY PO: Yeah. I've seen her play my doubles partner Amy Fraizer.

Q. What did you do particularly well today?

KIMBERLY PO: I didn't make very many errors. Shots when I didn't have to.

Q. Tell me a bit about how the match went. Depending on the opponent, she tends to play retriever, occasionally goes for the big forehand. Did you pretty much outsteady her or did you hit winners when you had to hit winners?

KIMBERLY PO: I don't remember hitting that many winners. She's really fast, so it's hard to hit a winner against her. I might have had quite a few forcing shots, but I don't remember that many clean winners at all. I just went out the first couple of games and just tried to hit it deep, make her create things. I didn't want to overplay at all. I just wanted to kind of get into it. I don't know if she was tired. I was hoping she was.

Q. You had a pretty good sense she wasn't getting any great rhythm the whole match?

KIMBERLY PO: See, that was one thing. I knew the last three people she played have been topspin and slice, and I'm not. I was hoping that she wouldn't be -- I had a completely different game than the last people she played.

Q. How would you explain your success over the last month? What's been the key for you?

KIMBERLY PO: Learning how to play tennis.

Q. But you already knew how to play tennis.

KIMBERLY PO: I knew how to play, but I didn't know what to do. It's a big difference. Just staying calm, not trying to force anything, not try to overhit.

Q. When you're saying you didn't know what to do, is that strategic?

KIMBERLY PO: Kind of, yeah. I would go, "Okay, I'll hit this cross court, I'll hit this one down the line." Now I try to structure things a little better, try to think a little more out there.

Q. Is that you or your coach?

KIMBERLY PO: My coach.

Q. Who is your coach?

KIMBERLY PO: Donnie Young.

Q. And is he fairly new to you?

KIMBERLY PO: Yeah. I've been working with him since March.

Q. So that's what you guys started with, after he analyzed you, watching a couple matches?


Q. He said, "You have no game plan in mind"?

KIMBERLY PO: Maybe I told him. I don't know. I think maybe I told him. He identify might have asked me, "What do you do when you're out there?" I'm like, "Well, I don't know, just play." We've just been practicing, just having meaning when I'm out there.

Q. So if you get yourself in a tight situation, you have some plans to fall back on so you feel more comfortable?

KIMBERLY PO: Yeah. It also depends on who I'm playing, of course. Today I just tried to play percentage.

Q. Would you consider this -- I know you beat Anke and Mary Joe. Is this your biggest win today, being that it's at the Open?

KIMBERLY PO: I've been pretty excited with all three actually. This was nice because it was in the States. Like I told Shaun, I didn't even know where the media room was here.

Q. So what are your expectations for the tournament?

KIMBERLY PO: I don't have any.

Q. None?

KIMBERLY PO: No. Next match, whenever that is, I don't know if it will be tomorrow or Thursday, just concentrate on that.

Q. In your country, didn't you feel so many Japanese cheering Kimiko?

KIMBERLY PO: Yes. There were a few times I was thinking, "I'm in the United States, aren't I?" It was like, "Wait, no, I'm here." She has so many fans. I'd sit and look at the front row, my coach and my friend, then like everyone else was -- I don't know if everyone was Japanese, but everyone else was Asian sitting in the first row. I'm like, "This is weird."

Q. Do you have Japanese in your family?

KIMBERLY PO: Uh-huh, my mother.

Q. What's her name?


Q. Your mother's first name.

KIMBERLY PO: Harriet Kobayashi is her maiden name. Everyone always thinks I'm Korean. Every time I play in Japan, they put I'm Korean. I'm half Chinese, half Japanese. My middle name is Yasuko. I go there and I get booed before I go on the court. I'm not even Korean.

Q. Do you speak Japanese?

KIMBERLY PO: No. She was third generation here. My mom was born in southern California -- Minnesota, but she's lived in southern California.

Q. Her parents were native Japanese?

KIMBERLY PO: Her grandparents.

Q. You will know Kimiko's play? You study or you watch many times?

KIMBERLY PO: Yeah, I did watch her.

Q. Then you are confident when you saw the draw?

KIMBERLY PO: Not that confident. I wasn't like, "Oh, yeah, I'm going to win." I was like, "Okay." I just wanted to compete well and let that take care of itself. I knew if I made her hit ten balls a point and then she hits a winner, that's too good. If I miss on the second, then that's not very good, so.

Q. Kimiko was saying that you are not very shot maker, you were like her trying to return the ball, using the other player's power. She was saying that's the reason why she couldn't quite get into the rhythm. What do you think about her comment?

KIMBERLY PO: I think that's good because that's what I was trying to do today.

Q. Can you talk of the tactics of the match? Did somebody tell you how she play?

KIMBERLY PO: Well, I watched her. I watched her play. I mean, I didn't want to give her too much angle unless I was going to hit like a good shot, because I know she'll take that and got good cross-courts on both sides. I know both sides are pretty strong. I just wanted to play within myself and make her beat me rather than me just miss.

End of FastScripts...

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