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September 9, 2001
NEW YORK CITY
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk a bit about the match, Lisa. Tougher than you expected?
LISA RAYMOND: Well, you know, any time you get into a final like that, it's going to be tough. There's tons of nerves. You know, obviously Kim and Nathalie have been playing great all summer. Even though we had a win against them at Wimbledon, you know, this was a whole different ball of wax. It was a different surface. You know, I think they're playing better than they were a month ago, two months ago. You know, even though we got that first set under our belt pretty easily, it was a battle. Obviously, from the score, that match could have gone either way. We just dug deep. We hung in there. We just fought and fought. You know, we're sitting here with the trophy now, so...
Q. Can you both talk about how special this is, the year that you have had together?
RENNAE STUBBS: I mean, it's hard to put into words right now, honestly. I mean, I can't believe that after going back to Australia and trying to defend our title, kind of having a semi-disappointing year after the Australian Open as far as Grand Slams were concerned, not getting to another final, then going back to Australia, thinking, "Let's start again here in Australia, let's see what we can do." We lost first round to an exception, good team of Seles and Hingis. It was kind of deflating. To finish it by winning the last two Grand Slams, two of the big ones, winning Wimbledon for us was a dream come true, now to win the US Open is just so (surreal/unreal?). It's amazing to think that we started the way we did this year in the Grand Slams. It's just testament to our belief in ourselves as a team as far as knowing what we can do under pressure. Today was the epitome of that. You know, I think a year or two ago, we definitely would have lost that match. I think we would have gotten so upset with ourselves individually that we wouldn't have been able to pull it together. Like I said, it's testament to us as a team now, that in any big situation, teams have to come out and they have to beat us. We're not going to beat ourselves anymore. That's the bottom line to our win today more than anything. I don't think we played exceptionally well. I think we hung in there so well. That's what made the difference in the end.
Q. You seemed kind of frustrated with your game out there. Did it affect you in any way? Did you motivate yourself off of that?
RENNAE STUBBS: I was very nervous today. I wasn't this nervous at Wimbledon in the final. I wasn't even this nervous at the Australian Open when we won. But today I was very nervous. I'm not sure why. Just some days you wake up and you're more nervous. I think I really wanted to win for Lisa, after winning the mixed here, trying to get her a title here. I knew how important it was for her to win here. The finals of Wimbledon, I served terribly, but I played really well. Today I thought I served very well, and I played average. We won both matches. Again, that's a testament of what we do under pressure now in the big matches. If something's not going right, it's okay. You have to rely on the other aspects of your game and you have to rely on each other. That's what we did today.
Q. Rennae, how does it feel for you to have done the double this week?
RENNAE STUBBS: I can't even believe I did it. It's unreal. I thought at the Australian Open it was a dream to come true. To do it here as well, it's just crazy. I can't believe what I've achieved over the last two and a half years. You know, at the age of 30, I guess I'm becoming a better tennis player because I'm maturing and I'm able to handle the situations. Again, we both proved that today.
Q. Lisa, did the mixed doubles have any impact on you guys at all, on how much you wanted today?
LISA RAYMOND: No, not at all. Obviously, it was a weird match to play, you know, against Rennae, especially after we had a match point, so we could have won the match.
RENNAE STUBBS: I've heard about it the last three days (laughter).
LISA RAYMOND: My top priority is my singles, second is doubles, and mixed is whatever. You know, my main objective that night was just to go out and, you know, try and win, obviously, but get ready for our semifinal the next day. Yeah, I mean, I was obviously disappointed that we lost. Any time you lose a match, you're disappointed. But it certainly didn't affect, you know, us and how we prepared and how we went out and played our semi.
Q. When things aren't going well for you, like they weren't at certain times during the match today, do you stay confident in those situations? Are you thinking positively? Are there negative thoughts creeping into your head?
LISA RAYMOND: I think that's something I need to work on in my singles, as well. I tend to kind of let some negativity, some negative things come into play, into my mind. Let's just say it's a good thing there's not a microphone on me when I'm out there (laughter). Again, in a situation like that, that's where we kind of rely on each other. When I start getting a little negative, Rennae pulls me out. If Rennae starts getting down or negative, I say, "Come on, we're still in this." Again, that's why we're sitting here at winners today. It's not necessarily because we played the best. At the key times, we just hung in there and fought our butts off, really believed that we were the best team, that we're the best team in the world right now.
Q. You spent the balance of July in Philadelphia after Wimbledon. Did you all do anything different? Did you improve as a team? Was it just hanging out after that?
RENNAE STUBBS: We spent the balance of the last four months together. We've played almost every other week I think from Madrid, the French, grass courts, Team Tennis, now the hard court season.
LISA RAYMOND: Team Tennis, that's fun.
RENNAE STUBBS: That's like we had fun. Did we work on anything during Team Tennis? No.
LISA RAYMOND: No.
RENNAE STUBBS: I mean, honestly, we were just trying to get through the season, having the best time we could, playing together as a team and having fun. David, who is on our team, is now coaching Lisa, helping us both in our doubles. What a difference he's made in two weeks. Obviously, we got along really well with him in Team Tennis. What came out of Team Tennis? Probably that aspect. We're really good friends with Don, and some really nice friendships. Obviously, it helped. I mean, we won here.
Q. Lisa, can you talk about the difference between singles players playing doubles, such as Martina, as opposed to a doubles team like yourself?
LISA RAYMOND: Good question. Any time you can get the No. 1 and 2 singles players together, they may be the worst doubles team. You know, it's completely different tennis really. A lot of times, like someone like a Jennifer or Martina --.
RENNAE STUBBS: Who happened to be No. 1 and 2 in the world, by the way.
LISA RAYMOND: Martina is a very established doubles player. She's gone on the court with four or five different partners and won Grand Slams. You know, they're not necessarily going to make a great doubles team because they're out there playing singles pretty much. When you play a team like that, you have to worry more about their big returns, their big groundies. You know, when you play a team like us, granted, yeah, I'm an established singles player, but it's more we go, we cross, we have strategy.
RENNAE STUBBS: I've grown up playing doubles my whole life, since I was a kid. I think Lisa has learned really well over the last three years in particular doubles. She has a great serve, a great return, great volleys. But putting it all together on the doubles court is a different thing, as well. She's learned over the last two or three years hopefully a lot from the way I play. I don't have the big shots. When I go out against Jennifer or Martina or Mary Pierce, even the Williamses, they're a lot better tennis players as far as hitting the ball is concerned, but I understand where the ball has to go, what you have to do. In doubles, that's what it comes down to. Same in the men's game. The Woodies epitomized that. They could have gone out and played Sampras and Agassi and beaten them seven times out of ten. They understand the game the doubles. It's a difficult game. I think people take it for granted. You saw that in this tournament. Most of them played. They weren't in the final. You have to be able to play doubles. To do that well, you have to be a good doubles player.
Q. Could you talk more about your coaching arrangement with David? What has he brought to your game?
LISA RAYMOND: You know, I think for me what's attractive about David is his style of play. We've grown up knowing each other since we were eight years old. It's kind of ironic. We're very similar in how we play. He was a very good serve and volleyer, really good doubles player, you know, moves really well around the net. That's something that I really need to work on if I really want to step it up and move to that next level. Just in the past, you know, he helped me a little bit in Team Tennis, but really the past two and a half weeks we've really focused a lot on my balance, my split step, my movement at the net. You know, I already feel it just in my legs. I feel it in my body, you know, the improvement. As far as us, he's been great helping us on the doubles court. Again, he played really well, his best results were in doubles.
RENNAE STUBBS: You can be a great singles player, but you have to understand the angles and the way you play doubles. I think where David has helped Lisa in particular is that he's helped her with that aspect of her game in the doubles. That can only make us a better doubles team. Those are the things maybe we were lacking in the past. It's been great. You know what, he's a fun guy. It's always good to have that.
LISA RAYMOND: Lot of energy.
RENNAE STUBBS: Tells us what to do, helping us with drills. It's been great.
Q. Last year's Olympic snub. Do you ever feel like you're Rodney Dangerfield, that you're not getting the respect you deserve?
RENNAE STUBBS: Here here.
LISA RAYMOND: You know, fortunately and unfortunately, it seems like I've had most of my success in the doubles. Unfortunately, doubles does not get the praise that singles does. I think there should definitely be more television coverage of doubles. I think that you guys, you know, different papers around the world, they don't cover doubles. Friends of mine will read, and say, "I have no idea how you're doing."
Q. Today it wasn't broadcast nationally.
LISA RAYMOND: It was on USA.
RENNAE STUBBS: USA.
LISA RAYMOND: Little steps like that could certainly be taken. You know, as far as respect and whatnot, I'm not one to really blow my own horn anyway. I'm fine kind of a little under the radar, going about my business, winning championships, doing well, surrounding myself with the people that mean the most to me, that make me feel good about myself. That's important enough for me.
RENNAE STUBBS: I think on top of what I said earlier about us starting the year so well, not doing as well as we wanted to do the middle and end of last year, a lot of that had to do with the Olympics. Lisa and myself, but in particular Lisa, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do well in doubles basically from April through to July to try to get the No. 1 ranking, to try and get her on the Olympic team. We thought we'd done enough to do that as far as she was concerned about being on her Olympic team. Then after Wimbledon, you know, we were disappointed we didn't win it. You know, she still achieved the No. 1 ranking. To find out basically three weeks later she wasn't going, I think that was a hard pill for her to swallow. I think that's why we suffered at the end of last year a lot. I think it's testament, again, to her and to us to come back this year and once again prove Billie Jean and the USTA wrong. She should feel really proud winning this event, the USTA event.
Q. Don't you think those Olympic decisions were based on TV ratings rather than ability?
LISA RAYMOND: Don't even go there.
RENNAE STUBBS: Obviously, that has a lot to do with it. Lisa and I would never sit here and say that the Williams sisters aren't incredibly good for the game. You know, they're wonderful tennis players. They bring so much to the game, as you saw last night. But I think that Olympic situation was an unfortunate situation. I think, once again, it's great that Lisa has come back the following year and won her national title, shown the selectors and Billie Jean that they made a mistake last year.
Q. What did they tell you when they didn't select you?
RENNAE STUBBS: Basically that.
LISA RAYMOND: Just they basically told me they were going to go with singles players, bottom line. I mean, we don't need to even rehash all that. I think it's pretty obvious why they selected who they selected, and we'll end it at that.
Q. You guys are a French away from a career Grand Slam. What would that mean to you? Will you do anything different next year to gear up for Paris?
RENNAE STUBBS: We were pretty close this year. You know, I think that's what made the difference with winning Wimbledon and winning here. Me, in particular, I learned a very big lesson at the French Open in the semifinals. I got very up upset in the semifinals. I let it affect me. I let it affect us as a team out there. I vowed to myself that I would never, ever be like that again in a Grand Slam match, that I would never get that angry or that upset, that I couldn't play. You know, two and a half weeks later, four weeks later, we ended up winning Wimbledon. I think that's one of the reasons why. Today again I got angry when we got broke. Sometimes I do that to let out some steam, focuses me on playing. Some people think, "She's gone, she's lost her head." I do that sometimes on purpose because I want to let some emotions out. You know, at the French, maybe we should have been in the final and playing for that. So we feel really good about the French. We're not thinking about that right now. We're going to enjoy the US Open. We're going to Hawaii. I'm going to take a break.
Q. Did you get a conduct code violation?
RENNAE STUBBS: Yes, I think.
Q. Two were announced.
RENNAE STUBBS: One against Nathalie, one against me.
Q. Is that when you slammed the racquet?
RENNAE STUBBS: I guess after the 20th Slam of the racquet, they decided. I was seeing how far I could go until I got the warning.
Q. Is it too early to call home yet with the news?
RENNAE STUBBS: No. I'm sure my family are probably all up waiting for me to call home.
LISA RAYMOND: I'm sure they're on the Internet. They're not asleep.
RENNAE STUBBS: That's usually where they are, on the Internet, trying to get some information. I haven't had time. Just walked off the court. Everyone is going to be ecstatic (tearing up).
Q. It's not often I make someone cry.
RENNAE STUBBS: After Wimbledon this year --.
LISA RAYMOND: After Wimbledon this year her nan passed away. Actually, she passed away the night that we won. She was really close to her. You know, I think, obviously, she probably would be the first person that she would love to call. You know, as I always tell her, I'm sure she watched the whole match from up above today.
RENNAE STUBBS: I just told my family that if I were to win this one today it would be for her. I hope it goes back home and they appreciate it.
Q. Are you brave enough to put any money on either player today?
RENNAE STUBBS: Obviously, I'd love to see Lleyton win now. I think he's due. Think two years ago Jason Stoltenberg actually said to me, "Lleyton is going to win a Grand Slam in the next two years." This is the end of the two-year reign that he talked about. I'd love to see him win. I think the incident earlier this the week, maybe it taught him a little bit of a lesson about how to act and how to be professional. I think that might help him today out there in being focused because he usually lets his emotions get to him. It would be great to have an Aussie double, wouldn't it? Take every title except the women's, obviously.
Q. He's too young to go out and celebrate tonight.
RENNAE STUBBS: Publicly. I'll take him a beer if he wins (laughter). I'm allowed in my country, so...
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.