July 3, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. What are the emotions this time leaving Wimbledon for good as compared to the last time when you retired from singles?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think a lot less emotional. I mean, you know, just the way it ended was very anti-climactic, and this is pretty anti-climactic. Well, we had a pretty good crowd today. Yesterday wasn't so great on Court 13. But it just ended on a definite weird note, to say the least. But, you know, we played our -- we gave it our best shot. We did not play our best tennis, but we played well enough to win. They just played very well. I don't know if I expected them to play as well as they did. But too good.
Q. There's been so much on and off with the weather during this Wimbledon. Have you ever questioned, "Why did I come here to do this"?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Only because I did not play as well today as I played yesterday and the day before. The wind certainly made it difficult to get a bead on the ball. But, no, you know, I gave my best effort and I'm not disappointed in that. Nerves got to me a little bit today - not as bad as it has been in the past. But I didn't -- I mean, I hit it a bunch of times. I thought I was taking it to them pretty good, but their reflexes we amazing today. They got a lot of balls over our head, a lot of reflex shots, and, you know, neither one of us could put the ball away, especially the first set..
Q. Did you not feel tentative about the way some of your volleying was going today, maybe come back again for one more go?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No.
Q. A lot of people would be surprised you still get nervous for a match.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, it gets -- everybody gets nervous. If you didn't get nervous, it means you don't care. It's how you deal with it. And I was dealing with it better, I thought. But still not as well as I could have. And so I'm disappointed in myself for that. But, you know, it wasn't about winning or losing, it was about playing hard, and I did that. I tried very hard. I tried hard yesterday. I tried hard the day before. That's probably the hardest that I ever tried and still lost, but that's how it goes. That's all you can say, you know, is give it your best effort and make sure you don't leave anything out there on the court, and we didn't. We tried. Questions for Lisa. I don't want to feel like I'm hogging it here.
Q. Still not the end because of the Olympics.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, we're playing the rest of the year, planning on it.
Q. The US Open then, as well?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Yeah.
Q. Which is more important to you now, the Olympics or the US?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: The Olympics. I think that was our goal for the whole year, was the Olympics more than Wimbledon. That's why I really played one more year. It wasn't to play Wimbledon one more time, it was to play the Olympics. That has been our biggest goal, so we still have that to look forward to. But it would have been nicer if we at least got to the finals, then you sort of feel like you're making some progress. Played against a team we never played against before as a team. We played against them separately. You know, we didn't play as well. They both played against us separately. I mean, Lisa with somebody else and Sugi with somebody else. They had a slight edge that way. I never really saw them play, so that didn't help. But, anyway, as far as the Olympics, that was our biggest goal. I think we still -- we can still pick it up another notch or two, and we know we have that. But we have to get there.
Q. Lisa, did you feel extra pressure today knowing that this was going to be Martina's last chance to break that record?
LISA RAYMOND: You know, I tried not to really think about that. You know, I think that, uhm, the whole year, uhm, you know, I'd be lying here if I said that that wasn't something -- you know, every time I step on the court, I kind of think about that. But, uhm, you know, again I think our goal was, you know, these past two weeks was to win Wimbledon. You know, I wasn't really necessarily today thinking, you know, "Okay, this is going to be her last match here." It's, "All right, how can we win this? How can we break? How can we get to the finals of Wimbledon?" You know, it's unfortunate that we're sitting here right now having lost in the semis. But, you know, we have some big events to look forward to for the rest of the year. I think to make the Olympic team was a huge goal of ours. You know, hopefully we can, you know, bring home a gold medal.
Q. Must be particularly satisfying for you to go to the Olympics this year after the problems last time.
LISA RAYMOND: Definitely. You know, 2000 was probably my biggest disappointment of my career, to be honest. You know, to not make that team the way that, you know, it happened was very unfortunate, very disappointing. But, you know, now I've gotten another chance. You know, I certainly am going to make the best of it.
Q. Liezel plays out of Houston. You have played together and won at least one tournament together. Also your dogs are siblings. What is your dog's name?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Sophie.
Q. And her's is Sam?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Sam.
Q. How long ago did you give her that dog?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Three years ago.
Q. What can you say about Liezel as a player? I know she's had a lot of injury problems.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She splayed extremely well. They played smart. They didn't give us much pace and kept the ball in play really well. And then when we did get the opening, they closed it. I mean, almost like they had a radar. They knew where we were going to hit the ball. It was hard to get forever alleys. I wanted to go for the alleys, but with the wind swirling, it was hard to go there. We kept going up the gut, they kept covering it. They played very smart and they deserved to win.
Q. One question about Maria Sharapova. She was 17. I think you were 16 when you played your first Wimbledon.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Uh-huh.
Q. An amazing achievement for a 17-year-old to win the first Grand Slam at Wimbledon.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, that's where I started. That's where Federer started. It's a good start. It's a good place to start winning a Grand Slam. So I'm sure it's not the last one for her. It's a fantastic achievement, especially the way she did it, really dominating Serena today. It was amazing. I saw the second set, because we were on the court the first set anyway. What a talent, you know. We saw it from the beginning, and she's just been very focused on what she wanted to do, extremely committed to her cause, and she loves to play. That's the best part. She wants to be out there. She doesn't want to be anywhere else. You see that. Yes, she's got the father that's behind her. But she's there because she wants to be there, not because he wants her to be there. It's great to see her make it on her first try like this. It's fantastic.
Q. You saw her at a clinic with a thousand kids.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I don't know if there were that many kids there.
Q. Did she stand out that day?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, apparently she did. I don't remember her particularly. I mean, I've said that about a bunch of kids. "This one's good, that one's good." You don't recognize them 10 years later. But, you know, you see a kid run after a ball. You say, "God, that kid's a good feet." Boy or girl, they're five, six, three years old you can spot that talent. You know, I wasn't instrumental in her getting anywhere. Everybody knew that talent. I was just one of the people.
Q. You didn't peg her as a Wimbledon Champion that particular day?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Not that particular day.
Q. She's been touted for a while as a future top player. Are you surprised it's come so quickly?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, no, because, I mean, Hingis won here, she was a year younger. We've had young Top 10'ers before with Austin and Jaeger and Capriati. So that's not that unusual. And she obviously has the body. I mean, she's so long. Now she's grown into it. And she'll still get stronger. So it's great for women's tennis. It's the best thing that could have happened to us really. And obviously it's great for her, but it's great for women's tennis.
Q. Will you be back next year here?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: That I don't know. But I know I won't be playing.
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