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January 24, 2004

Lisa Raymond


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lisa, please.

Q. Must rank up there amongst one of the best days ever for you?

LISA RAYMOND: Definitely. Again, I really couldn't ask much more of myself, you know, today. To go out there against a top player and to, you know, start off well and to finish well. To maintain a high level of play the way I did today, you know, feels great. It feels great to finally, you know -- especially last year and end of last year, you know, I took a couple top players to 6-4 in the third, 7-5 in the third. Just to finally play that way and to get a win feels good.

Q. The quality, staying quality of your tennis today as well, is that especially gratifying for you?

LISA RAYMOND: Definitely. Again, to maintain that level. I knew going into the match I was gonna have to play well. I was gonna have to play well to beat her and go after her. I wasn't gonna have to -- or be able to sit back and wait for her to make mistakes, I was gonna have to take it to her. And I think I did that well today.

Q. Was there anything in particular that you and Andy went over, or even Martina as far as preparation?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, I think for me, just believing, believing that I deserved to be on the court with her and believing that I was able to beat her. You know, I think I use the middle ball very well. I started the point through the middle and then opened up the angles, whereas she loves to run, she loves to hit the balls out on her wings. You know, I served well when I needed to. I just went for my forehand when I needed to. Again, I just stepped up to the plate and just believed I could win. I think that was the bottom line out there today.

Q. Did you walk out there with the belief you could do it or did that manifest itself as the match went on?

LISA RAYMOND: I definitely believed I could do it. Again, that's something I've been working on. You know, there's a difference between taking a player to -- a top player, to a third set and beating a top player. You know, I've had some wins in the past against top players. But to go out there and, again, to maintain that level from the get-go feels really good.

Q. How would you compare this win with your best wins in the past?

LISA RAYMOND: It's certainly up there. I mean, it's up there with beating, you know, Hingis in Zurich, the year I beat her when she was 1. To go out there and to play on Rod Laver Arena on a Centre Court at a Grand Slam and to play the way I played, it feels great, it really does.

Q. She said that she was having a little trouble getting her feet going. Did you think she was moving not quite as well as she usually does?

LISA RAYMOND: Again, I think she -- maybe, a little bit. I think some of that had to do with how I was playing, though. I think she may have been a little surprised with -- you know, I was getting the ball deep, I was really ripping my forehand, I was making her move a lot, you know, putting her on her back foot whereas she's used to putting people on their back foot. You know, maybe a little bit, you know. Maybe she was hindered. But, again, I think that was a combination with that and me taking the game to her and then playing well.

Q. Have you snuck a look at the draw? It's fair to say it's really opened up, that little section, where it's basically, to put it bluntly, a bunch of no-names?

LISA RAYMOND: Yeah, again, to be honest, I really didn't look past Venus. Obviously, in the locker room, you know, I think it's Golovin now. Again, you know, I'm gonna enjoy this win. But I've got a doubles match I've got to go out and win later and play well there and regroup tomorrow and go out there and hopefully beat Golovin. You know, now it's -- the pressure's a little bit more on me. But I feel good. If I can maintain the level of play that I did today, I think I've got a good shot.

Q. Do you know Golovin at all? Have you seen her play?

LISA RAYMOND: Have not really seen her play. My coach, after my match, went out and watched her play a bit. So, you know, I'm sure he'll come up with a game plan for me. Again, I think a lot of it has to do with just me playing my game, and, you know, making my opponent have to adjust to how I'm going to play rather than me worrying about them so much.

Q. How much did you feeling you didn't have a lot to lose help in the win today?

LISA RAYMOND: Sure, again, any time you step on the court against someone who's ranked ahead of you, as the underdog, you definitely, you know, feel like you can swing a little freer. But at the same time, you know, I felt like it was an opponent I could win, I could beat. So I knew the opportunity was there. So I definitely put a little pressure on myself to try and win that match today.

Q. When someone's off the tour for such a long time, does that not eliminate the fear factor or mystique, but does it lessen it?

LISA RAYMOND: I think to a degree it does. I think to a degree they've certainly lost a little bit of their luster as far as, you know, the Williams sisters. But at the same time, you have to come -- you know they're gonna play well. You know that they're gonna compete. You know they're hungry, probably hungrier than ever now that they have been off the tour for so long, and they want to come back and establish themselves. So, you know, I think it works a little bit both ways.

Q. The fact that she's been away for six months doesn't make her a less intimidating presence there? You have to play your very best to beat her?

LISA RAYMOND: Definitely not. Again, I think she served something like 10 or 12 aces today. You're still playing Venus Williams. You're still playing Serena Williams. Whether or not they're off the tour for a month or a year, again, they're gonna come to play. They're gonna compete and they're gonna want to win.

Q. Was there anything specifically, without giving too much away, on the tactical side where you felt perhaps your best chance lay mixing it up, perhaps, playing down the middle, not giving her too much room to get wide and hit passing shots? Were you pleased with whatever you had in your head that you executed it?

LISA RAYMOND: I think I executed it to the T. I mean, again, I couldn't have asked for anything more of myself today. You know, I served pretty well when I needed to. My forehand was probably the best I've ever hit it. So, you know, I knew that my slice would bother her a little bit to her forehand. I knew I had the game to push her and to win, so, again, it was just a matter of believing that I could do it.

Q. Everybody nitpicks. Anything that you think you could have or should have done better today?

LISA RAYMOND: Again, maybe at 4-1 in the breaker, really just, you know, played a little bit tighter at that point. But, again, nerves start creeping in. You start seeing the finish line. I'm human. Anyone would start -- the arm starts to get a little heavier to try and serve. But, again, I mean, I'm pretty pleased with how I played.

Q. Did Martina have anything to say when you came off?

LISA RAYMOND: Yeah, I mean, she's just been great. You know, I knew playing doubles with her was not only gonna be an unbelievable partnership on the doubles court but just she was gonna help my singles. And she has already. You know, she's come to watch me play a couple times already. And, you know, she just said, "Just be brave." She sent me a text message this morning and said, "Just be brave and believe in yourself." You know, I thought about that out there today. I just saw her and I said, "Hey, you know, one down, one more to go today, so..."

Q. You are regarded as a fine player in doubles. Is it about time someone recognized you for your singles play as well?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, it's fine. I used to get a little angry when people would say I'm a doubles specialist. But that's fine. Obviously, I've had the doubles results, I've been No. 1 in the world in doubles. If people want to, you know, put that stigma, you know, give me that name, that's fine. You know, I train and put the hours in on and off the court for my singles. So, yeah, it's up to you guys whether or not you want to call me a doubles specialist or not.

Q. Like so many other times you've been in situations where perhaps you could have pushed through and won those really tight matches, do you wish you had of got that text from Martina? Was that a difference?

LISA RAYMOND: Definitely. Again, it's that, but yet it's also a little different at 30, you know. I'm 30 years old now rather than 23, 24. I have a lot more experience under my belt. I've been in that position before. But, you know, I just... I just had to go for it. I just had to step up to the plate today and just believe that I deserved to win that match. And, you know, having that little voice in the back of my head certainly didn't hurt, so...

End of FastScripts….

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