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September 4, 1998

Mirjana Lucic


Q. Is that a shocking result to you today?

MIRJANA LUCIC: It was very shocking. I thought I wouldn't be that nervous, but I don't know, the moment I stepped on the court I really -- I felt like I couldn't give enough and my mind was definitely not on the court today.

Q. Yesterday you said you would not lose the match as a result of your own mistakes, but you had a lot of unforced errors. Could you just not find a way to get into the match?

MIRJANA LUCIC: No, I don't know, just today -- I mean, my mind was -- I couldn't concentrate and come back and start playing well. I mean, I do it a lot of times when I am down, I never give up. I would just go on and play, but today I just -- I don't know, I didn't feel like I could do it today.

Q. Is this the worst possible opponent to have on a day like that against someone who is going relentless?

MIRJANA LUCIC: Yeah, I mean, Steffi is always tough and all the players at the top, if you are not 100% against them, you know, you can't beat them. I mean, especially if you have day like this, then there is not much you can do.

Q. What was your mind on if you couldn't keep it on the match?

MIRJANA LUCIC: I don't really know the answer to that question. I don't even know where I was for that 40 minutes or whatever it was, but it was just very, very bad.

Q. Are there any positives that you can draw from this match?

MIRJANA LUCIC: Let me see. (Laughs) I won two games. Oh, my God, I don't think there is anything really good in it. I guess I can try not to do that another time.

Q. Could you talk about the players of your generation, teenagers, who do you think out of them is capable of winning a tournament like this right now, not years in the future, but other than Martina Hingis, who can really win this tournament?

MIRJANA LUCIC: I don't think it is in me to say that who could. All the players -- everyone is playing and who is in third, fourth round can win. It is hard to say. Everyone is playing great, so it is really hard to say. Everyone can do everything.

Q. What are your immediate plans? Do you feel you want to stay in the United States a while? How long do you have on your travel visas? Do you have any plans to go back to Croatia soon?

MIRJANA LUCIC: Yeah, we are planning to go to Bollettieri's and practice there, get ready for some other tournaments now in Europe and one in Japan.

Q. Do you plan to play on staying away from Croatian for a while?

MIRJANA LUCIC: We are planning an staying away for a little while.

Q. Can you talk about when you first met Steffi, I remember she was a big help to you when you first started -- how did you meet her? Where did you practice with her?

MIRJANA LUCIC: We met, I think, three years ago, two and a half years ago here. I don't know exactly. Yeah, I mean, Steffi was great from the beginning and helping me, telling me what to do, you know, she was very supportive, especially now when I had this trouble, you know, when I had these problems, so she was very supportive.

Q. What kind of things did she tell you when you practiced together, about your game?

MIRJANA LUCIC: All kind of little things, I mean, it is nothing -- it is nothing now that I should talk about, but just little things.

Q. You have spoken to her about your situation with your father in the last few days?


Q. Could you tell before you went out there that it wasn't going to be a good day?

MIRJANA LUCIC: Not really. I mean, I had a practice this morning, very good practice. Even though I did feel a little bit nervous just before the match, so...

Q. As a matter of pride, does that make today's result so tough because not only did you lose to one of your idols, but you lost with just winning two games?

MIRJANA LUCIC: I guess it is just one of those days when you can't put the ball in and just like a nightmare. That is what it was today for me, I mean, it never happened in my life. I was waiting -- I don't know if it was the last game before last, I totally missed the shot, I didn't even hit the ball. That didn't happen when I was three and a half years old and it happened now, so it wasn't a nice feeling, but anyway --

Q. Were you in some way a little embarrassed because this is your idol?

MIRJANA LUCIC: It wasn't a nice feeling I can tell you that.

Q. What did she say to you at the end?

MIRJANA LUCIC: We just talked a little bit now in the changing room.

Q. When she shook your hand she sort of --

MIRJANA LUCIC: She told me good luck in the future, just hang in there.

Q. Any way at all to gauge where she is at with her game? Obviously she looked great, but can you tell if she is all the way back?

MIRJANA LUCIC: Yeah, I mean, I think she is playing great. She won a lot of matches. Her confidence is back, I mean, she is playing great tennis and when she is there, it is very tough to beat her. I think whenever she plays next round it is going to be tough for everyone to beat her when she plays well.

Q. So that nervousness you were feeling before the match, was that because you were going to be playing her?

MIRJANA LUCIC: No, not just that. It is so hard to explain. It is just one of those days, one of those feelings when you have -- I don't know, I felt like I had nothing inside me, you know, that I could do something, play, or that I was ready to win that match. I don't really think it is just because Steffi was on the other side. It is just -- just one of those days.

Q. Are you planning to start working with the new coach or not?

MIRJANA LUCIC: Well, we are going to go back to Bollettieri's now, so I am going to really -- I have, I think, 20 days or something before Japan -- tournament in Japan. So I am going to try really to work hard and just get ready because in last few months I really had no practice at all, no nothing. The whole last year I was without a coach, so it was very hard. So I really need someone now to work on my game and everything because I think -- I am going that way, I mean, I am around 50 now, but if I want to move forward, I need to improve a lot on my game and I don't really think I should have matches like this when I am totally off. I mean, you can lose 1 and 1, it can happen that you lose like that. I didn't really feel like I was trying enough and being -- I was very negative today which was the result of all this.

Q. Do you think part of it could be because so much is going on in outside your life?

MIRJANA LUCIC: Could be, I don't know. I mean, a lot of it was going on.

Q. Would you consider becoming a citizen here in the US? A lot of players have done that from other countries.

MIRJANA LUCIC: I know they have done, but no, I have never thought about that. I am from Croatia, I am Croatian, but I just had a lot of problems now and I feel like here is a good place to stay for a little while and to practice.

Q. Do you hope to play better in the mixed doubles; are you playing as well as you can?

MIRJANA LUCIC: Definitely. I am glad this day is over, don't play today. Whenever I am on the court if it is mixed doubles, whatever I am going to try to win, so....

End of FastScripts….

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