September 5, 1993
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Barbara, had you her on the ropes for a while. What do you think she started doing better that changed things?
BARBARA RITTNER: Well, I think she started to play a lot more percentages on her first serve, and I didn't serve that well after the end of the second set. I started to make a lot of faults with the first serve and I let her to come in a lot more. That was the reason why, I think. She took the big advantage of my serve.
Q. Is it difficult, Barbara, to play against her in that arena where everybody is wanting her to win so badly; can you feel that?
BARBARA RITTNER: It is not that bad. I think it is a good motivation to play. I mean, you don't really play against the crowd. They are pretty fair. I played a couple of goods points that they also clapped a lot for me. But I mean, yeah, for sure, but that is normal. I mean, she has played 22 years on the tour and everybody likes her, the way she is playing, I mean, it is just normal. But you know it before, so you can prepare for it. It is not new when you come to the court and everybody is cheering for her.
Q. Do you think she was nervous at all during the match?
BARBARA RITTNER: Yeah, sure, she was. She was making some doublefaults or easy volley mistakes and -- I mean, she is always a little bit nervous when it is getting close. Yeah, she was, definitely.
Q. When she is nervous, what do you try to do when you know she is nervous?
BARBARA RITTNER: I try to -- I try to take the net first. I mean, everybody knows that she likes to dominate the game by attacking, and I just try to protect myself at the net. That is what she doesn't like. It worked but like one and a half sets, so that is why she won in the end. I think in the third set, she was like 70 to 30 percent like she was at the net than me. That is the reason.
Q. Does she get more nervous than other opponents or is it that everybody gets nervous?
BARBARA RITTNER: I think that everybody gets nervous. It is the kind of game she is playing. I mean, she is always attacking. You can see it immediately if she makes some easy mistakes with the volley, you know that she is nervous. With other players you don't see it, so everybody is, for sure.
Q. Do you remember the first time you ever saw her play on television or in person; how old you might have been?
BARBARA RITTNER: I was watching a lot of tennis when I was very young, like between five and seven or something - yeah, that was a point when I said, well, I would like to play against her.
Q. Did you think you ever would?
BARBARA RITTNER: At that time for sure, no.
Q. Is she somebody you admired at all, her style of game?
BARBARA RITTNER: Yeah, for sure. I liked -- I always liked a lot the way she is playing. She was always, yeah, she always had a very high position in my thoughts. Yeah, I think she is a great player.
Q. Because of her success, are you surprised that more women don't play her style, like you did to take the net?
BARBARA RITTNER: Well, it is very difficult in women's tennis because everybody is returning better than serving, I mean, that is the difference between women's and men's tennis. It is very difficult. You have to play a high percentage first serve and if not, it doesn't work. I think it is also a different way of thinking. I mean, also if you go to the net like did Martina does, also if she loses like 5-6 points in a row, she still keeps going and other players doesn't. They stay back.
Q. Barbara, is this a particularly difficult tournament for young -- not necessarily younger, but up and coming players?
BARBARA RITTNER: I don't think so. It is just, I mean, no. I mean, it is a big tournament like Paris, Wimbledon, everywhere it is difficult for the younger players. I mean, it is more difficult to play against the big player on the Center Court, if it is the first time you don't know the court and you have to get used to it. Maybe in the beginning you are a bit scared of it, but yeah, the young players -- that is the advantage of the older players, I mean, they already know how it works.
Q. Thank you.
End of FastScripts....