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August 30, 1993

Lisa Raymond


Q. Lisa, you have been out on the road now for about two months. What have you learned about professional tennis? Not necessarily that your strokes are any better, that you are serving any better, have you learned any subtle mental things that would make you better?

LISA RAYMOND: The basic thing is that mentally I needed to change gears. I think you have to be so much stronger as a person on and off the court, to play professional tennis. It was a very big mental transition from playing collegiate tennis to playing professional tennis.

Q. Can you elaborate?

LISA RAYMOND: What I mean is every day you go out there and play professional tennis, it's not an easy match. You have to be 100% or at least no one is ever 100% every day. You got to be 100% focused every time you step on the court. There is no easy matches now. Whereas playing collegiate tennis, I could go out there and not be-- I could go out there almost 50% and still come off a lot of times with a decisive win. You know, I think that my focus has to be a lot stronger now than it was in collegiate matches.

Q. One more follow-up to that. What is different that you didn't anticipate in the tournament when you turned pro, and maybe what is-- what things did you anticipate that have been true?

LISA RAYMOND: I don't really think that there is anything that I haven't anticipated. I think that the only thing, maybe, that-- like I said, I didn't think it would be such a transition from college -- from college tennis to professional. I knew that I was going to have to be playing a lot better tennis than I was and be a lot more focused and, you know, on the court, but I didn't think it would have to be such a huge difference as it has been.

Q. After Wimbledon went so good for you, you won some matches, was it a rough shot to go to Stratton and lose off the bat as a seed?

LISA RAYMOND: It wasn't so much a shock. It was just very disappointing to me. I think what had happened was that I think I started putting a little too much pressure on myself. I lost first round of Stratton; then I lost first round in L.A. and I think that in both tournaments I was seeded and I think that, you know, I started to think about that too much. That is something that I, you know, definitely have stopped or at least tried to stop doing, stop putting pressure on myself expecting so much from myself so soon.

Q. You said the reason you didn't turn pro right away is because you needed to go to college and get a little bit more mature; what did those two years do for you?

LISA RAYMOND: I honestly don't think that I could do this without those two years under my belt. They just made me so much more confident about myself, more so even off-the-court than on-the-court. I think that that was what I needed more; more than the technical stuff on the court. I needed those two years of maturing and a growing up process for me off the court.

Q. Did you realize that there was an overflow crowd in the match? Did you sense that there were kids with their heads underneath the windscreens?

LISA RAYMOND: I did a little bit. I love playing here in New York. I always have, even when I played in the juniors. I have a lot of friends here, a lot of people that I know, being from the Philadelphia area, which is not too far away, and it is a great feeling when I hit a winner and, you know, I see all these faces, all these little kids and all these fans out there, even the ones I don't even know cheering for me. That is a great feeling. I think that, you know, a lot of times when I get into a match and I have a crowd behind me like that, it is almost like I want to win it just as much for them as I do for myself out there. It is almost like I don't want to let them down either.

Q. Were you a little surprised you were on court 18 instead of 16 or even grandstand?


Q. You didn't deserve that?

LISA RAYMOND: I didn't expect to be -- I didn't expect to be on a show court at all. It was great that I was on a court that did have stands like that; but I mean, actually, I think a lot of times the show courts are easier to play on than, say, you know, the courts that are in the back or you know, where there is just more hustle and bustle right around there.

Q. You talked at Wimbledon about the possibility of cracking the top 20 by the end of the year. Now that you have been out here for a couple of months, do you want to amend that or revise it in any way?

LISA RAYMOND: I don't really want to say I think I can do it. I don't want to say I think I can't. I never want to put a goal, a ranking goal or set a ranking goal for myself because I didn't want to put that pressure on myself. If I end the year top 20, that is great. Obviously, that is what I am aiming for. I am aiming for a lot higher than top 20. But if it doesn't happen this year, you know, I am not going to say-- look at the year and look back and say this year was a failure. I think that if I just keep working as hard as I have been working, it is going to happen and it is just a matter of time. As far as when that time is going to be, I can't say, no one can say.

Q. Lisa, would you say that because you were raised and learned to play tennis in a city that had four grasscourt clubs in the area was some help to you when you started to play Wimbledon?

LISA RAYMOND: Actually, not really, because I have not -- I had only played on grass, you know, I could count on one hand the amount of times I played on grass before. So --

Q. Oh, I see.

LISA RAYMOND: -- So I was never brought up on the grass at all.

Q. Well, wasn't your first coach at Philadelphia Cricket?

LISA RAYMOND: Right, Charlie Oliver was my first coach.

Q. But he didn't play with you on grass; is that right?

LISA RAYMOND: No, the only tournament I had played on grass was I played the Girls' 18 International Grass Courts.

Q. In Philadelphia?

LISA RAYMOND: In Philadelphia. But I mean, I would never make it a routine and go out and play on the grass.

Q. When you worked out before Wimbledon, that was really some of the first grass you had in a long time?


Q. Lisa, just quickly, playing out on court 18, is playing outside here any different than playing outside, say, at a Wimbledon, or anyplace else, is it in fact louder or tougher to concentrate?

LISA RAYMOND: It is-- compared to such a tournament as Wimbledon, but I love it. I love being here with this New York crowd. You know, like I said before, I love coming to New York playing this tournament, you know, it is-- to compare it to Wimbledon is different just because you know, it is so much more low-keyed there and more --

Q. Stayed?

LISA RAYMOND: Yeah. And you know, I much rather, I mean, grant it I love being over there. I think that is a great tournament, but you know, I love playing here in front of these loud crowds.

Q. And the background noise didn't distract you?

LISA RAYMOND: I mean, I expected it, so.

Q. Andy Brandi said you were a little nervous today is that right?

LISA RAYMOND: Yeah, I was very nervous. I think, especially the first set, a lot -- I remember couple of times I'd sit down and couldn't even hold my cup of water. I just think I was going to the match and knowing it was my first you know, U.S. Open, as a professional you know, I really wanted to get this first one under my belt, and you know, I think first win in a Grand Slams a lot of times are ugly matches, but you know, you just got to work through it and hopefully you know, the next match or each match just gets better.

Q. Did the players, the other women on the tour turn pro say at 15, 16, ever ask you what college was like; ever talk with that?


Q. What was college like for you?

LISA RAYMOND: I can't even think of the words. I mean, there isn't a day that goes by that there isn't some memory that is triggered and a smile comes to my face thinking about it, you know, I think that is what is so great about still living in Gainesville, you know I am always going to be a Gator, I love the football. We are going to go to the games whenever I am home, and you know, some of my best friends are on that team, and the tennis team, and you know, I have got a lot of friends in Gainesville. It is just a great place. I wouldn't trade a moment of those two years for anything.

Q. Are you paying more attention to stamina since you turned professional, endurance?

LISA RAYMOND: Not really. I have a conditioning program, but you know, I think since I have turned pro, it has been the same since then, you know, I haven't improved it over the past couple of months but I mean, I do work out a lot and do a lot of conditioning, so --

Q. Increased travel doesn't bother you so much?


Q. In a future match are you going to trying to come to the net more?

LISA RAYMOND: Probably. Depends upon my opponent. I think I play Zvereva or Liz Smylie. So against either, I think I am going to definitely need to come in more, either-- I think either-- I think I stayed too much at the baseline today and hopefully tomorrow -- or Wednesday I will be more aggressive.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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