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August 26, 2004

Lisa Raymond


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lisa Raymond, please.

Q. Are you going to give up doubles now and concentrate on singles?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, I play this game for singles. You know, I've always said that. You know, again, I think I've got some good tennis still left in me at 31. I'm fit, I'm healthy, knock on wood, injury-free. You know, I still enjoy going out there and battling. Hopefully I can keep doing well in both singles and doubles.

Q. Not a bad showing so far for a wildcard entry, huh?

LISA RAYMOND: Yeah. Again, I didn't expect to be here this week. You know, I expected to be in New York already, have this week off. It was a last-minute thing. I just wanted to play some matches. I got the wildcard. You know, I've put it to good use. I'm playing well. Today was a really good match for me. I've never beaten Daniela. It feels good to finally beat her.

Q. There's a lot of players in most sports that sort of play to their personality. Away from the court, you seem to be very calm. You play the same way, where you don't get too hyped. If you watch Daniela, she's demonstrative.

LISA RAYMOND: I do agree with that. I think your personality definitely reflects on the court, off the court. But, you know, for me this whole week, especially today, I've just had this sense of calm when I've been playing. I don't know if it's just because I don't feel any pressure being here. I didn't expect to be here. That's really important for me. For me to win matches, I have to be very clear in my head, you know, have a purpose and just kind of keep myself together out there. I can definitely be negative. I mean, I can get upset and frustrated and whatnot. But today I did a really good job of staying positive, staying calm, and just playing point to point.

Q. It seemed like you had really great control of your serve, put everything where you wanted it. Did you feel that?

LISA RAYMOND: Definitely. The second set, someone said there was a stat, I served 13 first serves and won 13 points. I couldn't ask anything more from myself on my service games. I got that early break. Every time I stepped up to the line after that, I knew what I wanted to do. I had a purpose with every serve. You know, I was able to just hold my serve and keep that break, and the then break her to win it.

Q. On the last game, they had an overrule. Looked like you made a gesture kind of saying, "Relax, it's going to be over soon enough."

LISA RAYMOND: No, it was so far in. He wanted it out as much as I did. I was just kidding around. It was a good overrule. It was two inches inside the line. I think maybe he was just blinded by me or whatnot (smiling).

Q. Do you recall a point in the second or third game of the second set, you hit the ball maybe not as deep as you wanted to, she came at you, you guessed right, volleyed it. It was a terrific point.

LISA RAYMOND: You know, it's funny, points like that, I've always said, they win you more than one point, they can win you games. They're worth two or three points at a time. You know, points like that deflate your opponent, when you steal a point away like that. That's something I did well today. I think I anticipated very well on her shots. I guessed right on a few shots. You know, it won me points. You know, an example like that, those sort of things can win matches - can win big matches.

Q. You don't know your opponent yet. Let's say Capriati gets by Dechy. Can you talk about that match-up?

LISA RAYMOND: I've beaten Jen a couple times, but I have a losing record against her. Again, nothing to lose if I play Jennifer. Just go out there. I'm finally playing some good tennis. I've struggled a little bit this year. You know, I had a good beginning of the year in January, then a bit of a lull, you know, in the clay court season. You know, I feel like my game's really coming together for The Open. Again, nothing to lose. Just going to go out there and just let it go, just swing away.

Q. You guys played first time on the WTA in 1993. I'm sure you played a lot in Juniors. Can you talk about what you remember from the first time you remember seeing her?

LISA RAYMOND: I mean, I remember Jennifer at Laver's clay courts 12-and-unders. She was probably eight years old. I've known Jennifer forever. You know, again, we've played each other a ton. We've actually played some doubles in the Juniors together. If she wins, it's going to be a good match. I don't think she really enjoys playing my style of game of tennis. I think I can frustrate her a little bit. It will be a good match.

Q. The fact that you attack so much, do you think you frustrate a lot of players? So many groundstrokers. Seems like you're a throwback.

LISA RAYMOND: I think that's one of my assets, if not my biggest asset, the fact that I can mix my shots. I can kind of do anything. It's kind of a curse at the same time because sometimes I, you know, don't have the best shot selection. But, you know, the fact that I can hit a slice, the fact that I can come to the net and volley, serve and volley, or mix my shots. The girls like rhythm, especially this new crop of girls coming up, I mean, they like to hit the ball hard and flat. They like it right in their wheelhouse. If I can get it out of there, get it out of that hitting zone, I try and do that.

Q. Have you talked with Martina at all about mixing it up, when to do it, given her experience?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, she will say a few things here and there about different matches, about different opponents. Obviously, I listen to what she has to say, both on the doubles and on the singles court. It's nice to have a set of eyes like that watching you, you know, experienced eyes, eyes that have been there and done that many, many times.

Q. There's a lot of hype on the tour about the latest teenage phenoms. Here you are, Nathalie is mid 20s, Jen is 28. Talk about the fact there's still room on the tour for the veterans.

LISA RAYMOND: Of course, you know, I'll say it again, age is just a state of mind. It's almost like you turn 30 and your career is supposed to be over. You turn 27 and your career is supposed to be over. You know, as long as we're fit, we're healthy and we're still enjoying this, you know, why not? I think we've got a lot of great tennis left in us, all of us, all those veterans. Anyone, you know, who is 25 and older, you know, there's a crop of us that just -- some of us can be late bloomers, some of us just have longevity.

Q. Do you think that has something to do with the fact that when you came on tour, you had mixed results? If you had gone on tour and won three Grand Slams, do you think you might have a different approach on this?

LISA RAYMOND: That's a good question. Maybe. Maybe, you know, it was like Martina Hingis who came out and absolutely dominated as such a young age. You know, who's to say? Who's to say if she maybe would have struggled early on that she wouldn't still be playing now? You know, that's a good question.

Q. Is there part of your game that's allowed you to stay around for so long, something in particular about your makeup?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, knock on wood, I think it's my body makeup. I've been very, very fortunate as far as having no injuries really my entire career. Again, knock on wood. You know, again, if you stay fit, you stay healthy and you still love playing this game, why not?

Q. You can stay healthy and not be good enough to stay out there.


Q. Do you have something in your game?

LISA RAYMOND: I think I've always had the tools to play the game. I've always had the shots. Again, I think a lot of times with this new crop of players that's coming up, they like a certain ball, they hit a certain ball, they all pretty much are out of the same mould. Fortunately, I can mix the pace, I can mix my shots a lot better, a lot more than a lot of the girls out here. That might be one asset of mine that you could say kept me out there with this new crop.

Q. Is there anything that's kept you from rising to the level you want to, something you really wish you had?

LISA RAYMOND: You know, of course. I mean, obviously I wish I would have maybe had better results at certain times or my ranking had been a little higher at certain times. Again, I mean, you guys count me out at 31, but I feel like I've got a lot of good years left in me.

Q. Talking about Lindsay Davenport's absence, you said it's an opportunity out there for somebody. Did you figure you were going to be that somebody?

LISA RAYMOND: Again, you know, you see the draw open up, you know, your eyes get bright eyed for Daniela and I today, it was a huge opportunity to get through. Now to either play Jennifer or Dechy, again, I've got nothing to lose against either one of them. I'm just going to go for it.

Q. How important is it to go into The Open with some strong results like you've had? Do you think it will make a big difference for you?

LISA RAYMOND: For me it's been huge. Again, I was struggling a little bit there for a few months, was a bit down with some of my results. You know, it's funny how things work out. I wasn't supposed to play the Olympics. I played there, played two really good matches, and ran into a hot player in Alicia Molik. Anne was kind enough to give me a wildcard here. I've played some of my best tennis I've played all year. It's funny how things work out.

Q. She said yesterday she was a little taken aback by how appreciative you were of a wildcard. You're a tour veteran. Can you talk about the way you've remained grounded, don't take things for granted like that?

LISA RAYMOND: I think that's just who I am. That's my upbringing. I don't think just because I might have, you know, better results than somebody, you know, I'm a professional tennis player, I'm no better than the next person. Again, I mean, I guess I'm pretty humble in who I am, my whole career. You know, I would never expect, you know, to be given a wildcard. Again, at 31, somebody, you know, who hasn't had the greatest results recently. I think any tournament director takes a chance when they give a wildcard to somebody, whether it be a young kid, whether it be a veteran, whoever. You know, fortunate for me, you know, Anne had faith in me. I've supported the tournament. I think she respects that. I'm here in the semifinals.

ANNE WORCESTER: Look how smart you make me look.


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