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May 18, 2003

Martina Navratilova


THE MODERATOR: Questions for the team, please.

Q. You're 46 and you can still move people and be emotional. How do you do that?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I know how -- I think, for me, it's just I think really giving it my best. I know I don't play as well as I used to 20 years ago, but people don't care. They still like the way I play tennis and the way I put myself out there. You know, you just get up every morning and do your best every single day. I love what I do. I have passion for life. I have passion for tennis. I think that's the most important thing - do something that you love, you know? That way, no matter what the result, you enjoy yourself. I think that's what the people see.

Q. You don't have a sponsor? It's your choice?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, nobody wants me (laughing).

Q. I can't believe that.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It's true. It's true. They're not banging down on my door. Since I've been 30, it's been very difficult for me to get sponsorship because they said, "Oh, you finished." Since I was 30 it was difficult, and I was still No. 1 then. They're looking for the next 15-year-old. So, you know, here I am at 46 and I'm still there. They're still looking for the next 15-year-old.

Q. What is your thought about this?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, you know, tennis is going through a fickle time. There's not that much money to be around. The world economy is in a mess. I mean, it's not just me, not just tennis, it's everything. People are really watching their dollars now. But even 15 years ago when things were good, you know... When I first decided to play three years ago, one company, a very well-known company, said they would give me clothes but I had to pay wholesale. They'd give me a deal wholesale instead of retail. I said, "Thank you so much." So, you know, I don't know what's wrong with them. Because, obviously, when I play, a lot of people -- I get a lot of publicity. And now with Svetlana, we're winning a lot. They're not knocking down on my door, but that's okay. That's not why I'm here. I bought this stuff that I'm playing in, but we match. That's the most important thing, we look good on the court. So it's all right. "Have we got a deal for you!" I'm sure you have a question for my partner here, somebody? You don't want to talk (laughing).

Q. How is it to play with Martina Navratilova?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: That's the first time she's been asked that (laughter). I want to say for my partner, she played really well today. I did not play that well. This is the worst, actually, I played all week, and she held me up. So it was really nice to win when I certainly wasn't playing my best, so...

Q. You are a good sponsor for her.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, she helps me, I help her. It's a team effort one way or the other. That's what being a team is all about, playing doubles. Those two didn't talk much. We talk all the time. It's hard to get excited when one of the players doesn't even look like she wants to be there. I'm thinking, "Why is she playing?" But we were happy to be there and we played like it.

Q. Regarding the singles game, you told me the other day that after the tournament you would analyze the French Open.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Hmm... It's wide open. I mean, this tournament certainly didn't answer any questions. I think Mauresmo, if she hadn't played three tough matches in a row, she would have won today. She definitely ran out of gas. But Clijsters just doesn't go away. Serena doesn't look like she's in the best of shape, but she's still got a week to get herself in better physical shape. She just looked like she was breathing very hard out there yesterday. She ran out of gas. Henin, who knows what physical shape she's in. Capriati. I mean, it is as wide open as it's ever been I think this year. Venus is an unknown as well. You've got six, seven players that are legitimate contenders. I would still -- I thought earlier this year that it would be one of the Belgians, and I would still say that's a pretty good bet because they really have had a great run-up and lots of matches on clay. Neither Serena nor Venus look comfortable on the stuff yet, but then they always bring it together when they have to. Hard to go against Serena, but I think I'd put my money on one of the Belgians.

Q. Do you know if they're going to be playing the doubles competition?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I have no idea. I don't know, probably.

Q. You're going to play with this team? You're going to enter the French?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Who, me and Svetlana? Is this like a really, really stupid question (laughing)?

Q. I assume you are.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, of course, we're hooked up for the year. We just won here. What do you think, I'm going to play with my mother (laughing)? Sorry. Of course, no, we're playing the whole year together - if she'll have me. Sorry, sorry, sorry. But I might re-think playing with her because there was a very well-known Italian writer that wrote that apparently Svetlana has no clue how to play doubles. So I might re-think that. But since we won here, I'll probably play with her.

Q. What did you learn from Martina on the court and what do you think you gave to her?

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I gave to her like to be calm maybe. But sometimes I rush, too, and she gives me calm. We give it to each other because, like, we have to support each other on the court because we are a team. And I get, of course, volley better, volley much better and more come into the net more often. Before -- now, I'm staying a lot of time back. But before, I was staying all the time back. So now I'm volleying better.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She's getting better.

Q. Improving?


MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Improving. We'll be ready.

End of FastScripts….

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