home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 25, 2004

Martina Navratilova



Q. Martina, how was it after such a long wait?


Q. Today, yesterday and the day before, too.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, it was a long week. But at the same time it went by really quickly. Today was long. Today was a long day. I practiced at 11. You wait through two matches. I was sitting there. I realized in the second match, "Wait a minute, I got to save myself for the doubles." So I left after the first set and watched on TV, which was pretty nerve-wracking. Never been that close to where the doubles would be a deciding match. Once I only had to play the deciding match in Fed Cup before. I'm glad I didn't have to happen today. Just as well.

Q. Assess Venus' match, then Lisa's, pretty dramatic, up and down in the third set.

ZINA GARRISON: I think in the beginning, I mean, for Venus, it was a little awkward for her. She was kind of getting jerked around. It's always awkward with your footing, kind of realizing what's going on. Once she understood she was going to be jerked around, she was going to have to hit a couple more balls in play, she kind of got her groove, just worked from there. As far as Lisa is concerned, it was extremely windy out there. She just had to settle down and realize that it was going to be an ugly match for both players, and that she's just going to have to guts it out. While I was on the sideline, I just trying to keep telling her, "It's going to be a couple points that's going to make the difference in the match. You just have to be ready for the opportunity. When it's there, you got to take it." She hung in there. I mean, there were some balls that she got that she hasn't normally been getting. That's what it takes, that one extra ball. You just don't know. Days like this, it's going to be ugly, it's going to be an ugly match.

Q. How concerned were you when she went on court down a break?

ZINA GARRISON: It's funny, because my nature is kind of like I seem very calm at times, but inside I was going like a hundred miles an hour. I really, really did have faith, if she could just hang in there, I felt, you know, if she -- this sounds a little weird, but if she could just get that one lucky break, I thought that was going to help. She actually got this backhand down the line that she kind of flipped, made a great shot. To me that was the turning point. That's when I said, "You know what, I believe she can really do this." I kept telling her, "Lisa, this is your match. Don't let it go."

Q. Lisa said she pretty much won it with guts and heart.

ZINA GARRISON: She won it all with guts and heart (laughter). That was definitely one -- she took a big one for the team. It was awesome. Even more so than it being my first Fed Cup, for the thing, I really wanted it for her. You need one of those matches to help you understand that sometimes you just got to stay in there and take it, you know.

Q. Describe your own feelings yesterday and today, your first time. Incredible matches.

ZINA GARRISON: Well, you know, it's been great, I mean, because ever since the complete team got here on Tuesday, we've just, you know, really gelled together. I mean, I've done a lot of Fed Cups. It's interesting how the different personalities just kind of get along and everybody's kind of really cool in their own way, just kind of really gelling together. I think today Lisa felt that from the sidelines. She felt the gel. It makes it a lot easier to put yourself on the line when you know your team is really behind you.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I don't know if Lisa would have stayed with it if it had been just a tournament match. I don't think the energy she felt from the bench, we weren't going to let her get down, just say, "Oh, it's too tough." The conditions were horrendous for both players, obviously. You feel even when you play a great point, you feel like it's ugly. You don't feel comfortable. You can't ever get grooved and get settled. So you're just struggling. But you have to remember that the other person is struggling, as well. Of course, there was a lot of pressure on Katarina. Playing at home is worse than playing away. Lisa gutsed it out big time. We were rooting for her, and glad that she did it for herself more so than for the team.

Q. Anything about the next round?

ZINA GARRISON: It's going to be -- my natural competitive side is we're going to play Austria, actually they put us out a couple years ago. Naturally, we want to go there and actually play our best, but be very competitive at the same time. It's going to be a very interesting tie. It's going to be right after Wimbledon. I'm just going to try to field the best team I possibly can, go over there and be very competitive. It's not going to be an easy match, for sure.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I'm sure we'll be able to play.

ZINA GARRISON: After grass (laughter).

Q. What is your Dream Team?

ZINA GARRISON: Right now my Dream Team is the team that I have right now. We're just going to enjoy the moment. Tomorrow I'll start trying to figure out what team I can possibly get together and work from there. I mean, it's tough for the players. They have a very tough schedule this year with the Olympics being put in there. Just going to enjoy today and get ready for tomorrow and start thinking about, you know, what team I can put together.

Q. I know it's looking far ahead, but is this team capable of winning it all this year if you get the players you want to?

ZINA GARRISON: You know, I think it's very interesting. The thing that I feel most is, from each player, even the ones that are not here, it's a really competitive group. We really do want that Cup back. The United States had it for some time, then we haven't had it for a very long time, to us. You know, each one of the young women I've talked to, everybody is like they want the Cup to come back to the States. I think that's what it's all about, is gelling together as a team, wanting to do something. Right now, the team that's here, they put theirselves on the line by coming here and showing me that, you know, they want to. You know, it's going to be great. It's going to be interesting. But, you know, we know we have a tough road ahead, as well. But we're competitors.

Q. Venus said she is committed to playing the next tie.

ZINA GARRISON: Thanks. She didn't tell me that (laughter).

Q. She's saying she's making herself available. Both she and Serena have played Wimbledon for years. You never know what's going to happen in July, injuries, coming back a week later...

ZINA GARRISON: I think actually she did mention when we actually won, she really likes the whole team concept. She likes being on the sideline, camaraderie, the whole thing. She also said, "Zina, I really understand that we all, not just whoever, we all have to work together, it's not just a one-person thing." I thought that was pretty professional of her. But it is interesting. I mean, I just hope all my American women stay healthy. It's tough. I mean, that's the biggest thing right now on the women's tour. It's like, "Who is going to be healthy?" We're trying to take notes from her.

Q. Have you spoken to Lindsay? Is she going to play this year or is she done?

ZINA GARRISON: She actually said to me, you know, that she's interested. She didn't say when she was interested. You know, I always try to at least, if I get the fact that they're interested, I figure I can work from there. You know, at least you have some interest. She also is one player, she's very competitive and interested in getting it back to the States. But, you know, we'll talk.

Q. Venus was praising your coaching up and down - actually all of you working with her this week. Do both of you think she's going to reach the level she had in 2000, 2001? Is she capable of winning the French?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, when she won in Charleston last week, I thought she played as well as she ever had, and she was more aggressive. She was really coming in more than I've ever seen her come in on clay, and doing it very well, winning like 90% of the points when she came in on clay. I think that gave her a big boost. Yeah, I think she can hit that stride again, if she stays healthy. That's always been the question for her. I think she's got the confidence back.

ZINA GARRISON: Also I know that she is for the first time, and I am so happy, she's loving the whole net game. She wants to learn it and understand it. She's really had like a great time, you know, being here with myself, with Billie Jean, Martina. To her, that's been like a big plus. She's going to learn, she's going to learn it from us, which is very good. Actually, you know, even Laura Granville, the whole team has just been great. To have, you know, three serve-and-volleyers on the same team, I mean, if you want to learn how to volley, we're probably the best team -- that sounds a little arrogant when I say that. We're probably the best ones you can possibly learn from, which is good.

Q. Zina, if you're at Roland Garros this year, which I assume you're going to be, will you help coach her? Are you going to leave it to Oracine or Richard?

ZINA GARRISON: That's her coach. I'm not trying to step outside my boundaries. As Fed Cup captain, I can help any one of the young women that asks me to help them, American. That's a good part of it. Each one of them have their own "coaches," their own support team. It's a total kind of different atmosphere, unless somebody asks me about something.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297