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January 26, 2004

Lisa Raymond


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lisa.

Q. Pretty clinical performance out there. Talk about the match.

LISA RAYMOND: You know, it's funny because I really didn't know much about her before the match. So, you know, it would have been pretty easy for me to kind of have the letdown after playing Venus and after playing so well against Venus. So, you know, I basically just went into the match thinking it was like a first or second round in a Grand Slam and prepared the same way, and didn't think about the opportunity that was there. You know, just went out there and just -- and just kept playing the way I've been playing. Was able to play well, so I felt good about how I was able to handle the situation.

Q. Will it be hard not to think about the opportunity now that you're back in the quarters for the second time in your career at a Slam?

LISA RAYMOND: It is. I mean, it is hard. But at the same time, you know, whoever I play is obviously playing well. You know, they've had to play, you know, three or four very good matches to get to the quarters. So it certainly won't be easy. But it's going to be an opportunity for both of us, you know, to get to a semifinal of a Slam.

Q. Can you talk about the match-up between either one.

LISA RAYMOND: Well, you know, I haven't had much success against either one. But, at the same time, I haven't played them in quite a few years, either Dechy or Schnyder. I feel like I'm playing a lot better than I have been. I feel like I'm kind of comfortable with my game right now, very confident, and believe that I can get to the semifinals here. So, you know, I'm really not going to put much stock in the past as far as, you know, how I've played against them before and my results with them before.

Q. Where would you put your form now compared to all the stages throughout your career?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, these past two matches, I don't think I've really been able to put, you know, two four sets (sic) together like that ever, really, in my career. You know, sure I've had one-off's. I've career well at tournaments here and there, but not at this level and not in a Slam. You know, I think that that's important. I've kind of had very mixed results in Slams throughout my career. I've never really peaked at Slams. To be able to play as well as I have here, it feels great. And hopefully I've got a lot more great tennis left in me for a couple more rounds.

Q. What do you think the reason for that is?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, I honestly don't know. I don't know if it's experience. I don't know if it's just, you know, working with my coach. I don't know if it's because I'm happy. I don't know if it's a combination of all the above. You know, I feel fit. I'm healthy. I don't have any injuries. You know, I think it's a combination of a lot of hard work and a belief. You know, I've always had the game. You know, I've had people tell me for the past, you know, 10 years that I've been out here that I've got the talent. But you know what, that doesn't really take you too far out here. The girls are too good and too mentally tough. And you have to believe you belong out here, and you have to believe that, you know, you belong in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam or the semifinals of a Grand Slam in order to achieve that. You know, I think, you know, for some reason, you know, this past week, these past two weeks, I believe that. It's just clicked.

Q. What kind of a reaction have you received after beating Venus?

LISA RAYMOND: Other than the 50 e-mails I had to write back (smiling)? It was awesome, you know, both in the locker room here and obviously my family and friends at home. Just I guess, you know, ESPN covered the match, and everyone saw it. It feels great. And, you know, right now, I've already talked to friends and family. You know, they're going to watch again tonight. You know, to be able to call home and tell those people that have supported me for so long, you know, that I'm finally putting it together out here, it feels great. It's been a lot of fun.

Q. Has to be doubly satisfying because a lot of times a player beats a top player, then has a letdown the very next round.

LISA RAYMOND: Right. And, again, that was something that was probably my biggest fear of today. It probably wasn't necessarily playing her, it was more of how I was going to play and how I was going to handle the situation. And, again, you know, I just put my head down and just went forward and didn't think about the opportunity. Pretended it was a first-round match and played, you know, well, just as I did against Venus.

Q. You didn't have a letdown in singles. Did you have a letdown in doubles?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, I certainly need to take a lot of that blame. I mean, I definitely didn't play as well as I could have and should have. You know, but, you know, Lindsay and Corina, they played unbelievable. They played great in Sydney against us. They played great, you know, the other day against us. I don't know if they just want to beat us badly, I don't know what the situation is. I'm going to definitely have to have a talk with both of them. But, you know, maybe a bit of a letdown. I think it was one of those things where, you know, you want to enjoy the win, but, you know, you got to get back out there and, you know, you got a partner that you don't want to let down, especially someone like Martina. You know, you certainly don't want to let down the greatest player to ever play the game. And definitely very disappointing that we're out of the doubles. But, you know, hopefully we'll both meet each other in the finals of the next.

Q. Can you think of other matches in Grand Slam events in the last few years where you might have been able to win against a really good player if you had the confidence you have now?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, even at Wimbledon last year, I mean, Mary Pierce wasn't ranked high, but obviously she's, you know, a past Grand Slam winner. You know, I lost 5 in the third to her. I think, you know, if I could have, you know, really just believed at 5-4 in that third set, you know, that I should beat her, if I had the mentality and kind of, you know, the game that I do right now, and just, you know, stepped up to the plate and was brave and just said, "You know, just go for it," maybe I could have walked away with a win there. I'm trying to remember some other Slams. I mean, again, I haven't really had the best results in the Slams the past few years. So for me to be able to play this kind of tennis here in Australia just feels great.

Q. What do you think of Tatiana's game?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, again, I hadn't really seen much of her play. And today, I think obviously it was a huge opportunity for her, and I think, you know, with her birthday, she was probably a little overwhelmed. But, you know, she's got a really nice backhand, you know, great backhand down the line. You know, again, it was pretty hard to tell because I took her so out of her game. You know, I don't think she, you know, liked my slice at all. You know, coming in, just I served well, you know, she didn't see a lot of second serves. So it was hard to say. But I mean, gosh, she's 16. I mean, she's a baby. You know, she's got a very long career ahead of her.

Q. Is there anything similar in your mentality now to when you were dominating when you were in college?

LISA RAYMOND: Well, certainly my coach. I mean, he's certainly a common denominator there, my coach now Andy Brandy was my college coach. You know, it's funny, I hadn't worked with Andy for nine years. And, you know, just kind of by coincidence and circumstance, we ended up back together. You know, there's just some people in your life, you know, whether it's in your career, just in your personal life, that you just click with. And they make you feel good about yourself. And Andy does that with me. He's, you know, almost like a second father to me. And he always has been. And I just feel so comfortable and I just feel so good when I'm around him, and he makes me feel so good about myself and my tennis. And he just believes so much in me; he always has, when I was a Gator to now, at 30. That has definitely helped me.

Q. When did you start working with him again?

LISA RAYMOND: Last May, at the French Open last year.

Q. Is his method just positive reinforcement, more or less?

LISA RAYMOND: It is. And, again, it's just being comfortable on the court with someone, and being comfortable. You know, he just -- he just has this way about him that it's like this calming effect on me. And, you know, he takes care of things. He's just -- he just always makes me feel like, you know, whether I'm playing well or whether I just, you know, believe in myself. He just -- I don't know, again, there's just some people that you have that bond with, that connection. And he certainly is one of them with me. He just has this calming effect on me.

End of FastScripts….

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