September 5, 2000
U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York
MODERATOR: Questions for Martina.
Q. You're probably too young to be nostalgic, but did you feel anything on the court
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, because I'm planning on being back. No reason to get nostalgic
yet. Just pissed off that I played lousy. You can quote me on that. Really aggravated. I
didn't let my body flow today. It really upset me. There were flashes of good stuff, but
there were only flashes, unfortunately.
Q. How much are you going to play? Are you going to wing it?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I would imagine I'd play the same thing I played this year, if not
one or two tournaments more. Not sure yet.
Q. Not to age you here, but do you wish there was a formal women's singles tour?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Don't want to do that. I want to play with the real guys, you
know, with the young kids. It's fun to tap into another generation, be on the court with
Q. What gives you the most joy about being a tennis player?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: That's a very good question. I think letting my body do the work,
you know. Today it didn't. That's probably it. And have the crowd out there, you know, so
excited about us playing, then aggravated that we couldn't give them a better run for
their money and give the crowd a better show for their money.
Q. When you say "body do the work"?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: When it all connects, you know, when you hit the shot just the
right way, when you know what's going to happen, and you get out there and you do it. You
set a play. It's like running a play in football, and it just works to perfection. It's
fun when you know what the opponents are going to do before they know what they're going
to do, and actually getting the ball there. It's about execution. Not just knowing what to
do, but being able to do it. When it comes together, it's a lot of fun. I have a blast
practicing. I enjoy that as much as I enjoy the matches in a way. Of course, there's no
pressure, so it's easy. It's still nice when you have a couple people watching. When you
hit the best shot you've hit in the year, you don't want just the opponent to see it,
nobody else. There's that showman thing that comes through. Mostly it's just the joy of
really doing what you do well, being able to still do it.
Q. Has practice changed since you were playing?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Practice?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, yeah, I used to play four hours in a row. Now I do about an
hour and a half, two hours. It's enough. Yeah, of course, when you play singles, it's a
whole different ballgame. It's a commitment. Playing doubles, like I do now, is a vacation
for me. I mean, it's something that I can still do, but, you know, it's a bonus, icing on
the cake, it's something extra. I don't need to be doing it, but it makes me feel good.
Anyway, the practice for singles is a whole different ballgame. All of it is a different
thing when you play singles. Now I have no weight on my shoulders; I can just play. That's
what I mean by being on vacation.
Q. The difference between what you went through when you were playing singles compared
to what the girls who are playing singles now go through, has there been a big change?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I have no idea what they do. I can tell you what I used to do, and
that was brutal. Started at 10:00 in the morning. A normal day was 10 to 2 tennis, eat
lunch. I played basketball full-court one-on-one, two-on-two for about an hour. Then I
would either run track or lift weights. My day was finished at 9:00. Sometimes I was
lifting at 10:00 at night still. I just wanted that beer, that's all I wanted. That was my
reward. That was the typical day. Three meals a day, three workouts a day. I don't know
who's doing that.
Q. John McEnroe has had a lot of fun playing a modern-day Bobby Riggs in the
tournament. Do you think that would be good for the game?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think it would be great for McEnroe. I don't see how it would be
good for anybody else. Same old, same old. Apples and oranges. It's like saying that
Barbara Streisand can sing as well as Elton John.
Q. Do you suspect it's a midlife crisis? Why is he doing this?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It's his thing. I don't know. Just wasn't getting enough ink, I
guess. Davis Cup is over, whatever.
Q. Still you were part of something similar when you played Connors. At that time you
didn't think that Connors also was playing a little bit?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I think I was too old to play Connors, quite frankly. There
was the handicap thing going. Obviously, there is a handicap that is there that with even
the top players today, whether it's one serve, whether it's a bigger court, whether it's
making one side of the court faster than the other half, there is a way that you can make
it even. But the point of all of that, yeah, that's entertainment, that's something that
people can talk about. But bottom line is, men are stronger than women, and they always
hit the ball harder, they always run faster. Maybe not as much as they used to, but
they'll always run faster. There's that thing called testosterone, and that's always going
to be there. We're comparing men and women tennis players. We're talking about value for
entertainment. I think the women have that. What Connors and I gave them was another form
of entertainment. Maybe tennis needed a little shot in the arm. I certainly don't think it
needs it now - certainly not women's tennis.
Q. Given the fact you were doing weight training before other women, how do you think
you would have stacked up against the power players today?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, you know, if they played then, if I was 15 years younger, I
would stack up. I mean, you know, I have the strength. I don't have the size. I had
everything else. I had a slightly different game. You know, it would be great matches. It
would be a contrast. Just like it was a contrast with me and Chris, it would be a contrast
with me and Hingis. It would be a contrast with everybody, because I played differently. I
think I would win some, I would lose some. Who would be No. 1? Who knows. Hingis is still
No. 1. She's not exactly a powerful player, but she knows how to play the game. It would
have been fun. Let's put it that way. They haven't hit their prime yet. In my prime, I
know I was better in my prime than they are now, but they haven't hit their prime yet,
they haven't hit their best. Who knows, I may say in three years' time, when they hit
their prime, they'd kick my ass. It's possible. In my prime, I think I would hold up just
Q. You said tennis is entertainment. What would be your favorite doubles or mixed
match, what players?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I would have to play a whole lot better. I think I would
just watch other people play. That would be I think Lindsay and Martina against the
Williams sisters. That would be a fun match to watch.
Q. No match against Steffi anymore?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, not in doubles. I mean, she did win Wimbledon doubles, but
she didn't really commit to that very much. Singles against her, that was a good battle. I
guess they showed that a few days ago here in the rain delay.
Q. Today we saw Venus in some trouble with Nathalie Tauziat, who sometimes still goes
to the net.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Sometimes (laughter)? That's her game, isn't it?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: What was the score?
Q. Three sets. She was causing some troubles to Venus because she plays in a different
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Right.
Q. In a way, like close to the one you were using, or Novotna, attacking,
chip-and-charging. Do you see the reason why there are no more girls playing like that
nowadays, not too many in the top players?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, again, it's the way the schools are set up, the way the
system is set up, it encourages good ranking early on. Girls are not going to win from the
net, or boys for that matter, they're not going to win from the net when they're 12 years
old, 13 years old. They learn how to hit groundstrokes. When they become proficient, then
they start learning to hit a volley. They're not going to win by coming to the net,
because their groundstrokes are too good. They don't give their game a chance to develop
like Pete Sampras did or like I did. I was losing on clay. Everybody was telling my father
I was crazy, I was going to the net too much. They said, "No, she's going to play the
way she wants to." It paid off. I was getting killed when I was 16, 17. Then it
started coming together. The way the system is set up, it's doesn't promote that. You have
to be good when you're an early age, to make the national team, travel team, et cetera, et
cetera. Also the racquets, everybody hits the ball harder, so it's more difficult to be
creative. Hingis is an exception. McEnroe, if he were growing up now or I was growing up,
we wouldn't play the same way. We would be banging the ball, trying to power the way to
the net. Still, it works. Coming to the net works. I don't care how good their
groundstrokes are. But you know what the problem is? They can volley okay once they get to
the net, but nobody's really got a good first volley, the transition volley, unless they
can hit a swing volley. If they have to dig down, they can't do that. That takes time to
Q. Is that because of the evolution of the grips, big western grips?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Certainly doesn't help. The volley is the simplest stroke in the
game. All you have to do is meet the ball. Especially now, it's coming so fast, you
certainly don't need to do anything at all. The grips, they don't have the right grips,
especially on the forehand. They don't practice it. They all practice hitting from one
spot. They don't move. They don't create really match situations in practice. I saw
Martina Hingis' mother doing that years and years ago when she was 12 years old. She was
practicing completely differently from everybody else. That's why she's got all the shots.
They go cross-court, cross-court, down the line. That's not how you play the match. They
all hit the ball great. Then you get them into a strange situation, hitting awkward shots,
they look awkward.
Q. How was she practicing differently?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She would stay between the service line and the baseline and just
hit from there, the no-man's land. You have to become creative then.
Q. How do you think you would do --?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: For example, that's one of the things she was doing.
Q. How do you think you'd do at your peak versus Steffi at her peak?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Say that again.
Q. You at your peak playing against Steffi at her peak on a slow hard court.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, we've done that, you know, but I wasn't at my peak anymore.
I still should have won the match. On a given day, I mean, she would beat me. On a given
day, I would beat her. If we played 50 times, who would win more? I don't know. Maybe it
would end up 25-25. I matched up well against her. I don't know. I wasn't at my peak
anymore when I started playing her, unfortunately.
Q. When you put your plan together for next year, what did you learn this year that
will be different next year? Will you look for different partners? What did you learn this
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: What did I learn? That I still can't hold my serve (laughter).
Well, I just changed my serve two days ago. Maybe that's not a good idea. I saw that thing
on TV, I was bringing my feet together. I can do it in practice, I don't have the nerve to
do it in a match, especially when you're changing your serve. There were too many
variables. Last night it was really windy. Today it was windy and sunny, my first match in
daylight since we played this tournament. I didn't adjust very well. I need to get my
serve better. Everything else was good enough. Certainly my return of serve was good. My
volleying was all right. I just need to improve my serve so I can hold my serve and get
Q. What about your partners?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: My partners were fine. Arantxa was great, Srebotnik was great.
Mariaan was great at times. She was a little inconsistent. She's a great player. She also
hadn't played for like eight months before we played together, so a lot of pressure on
her. She wasn't match tough either. That was probably a bad choice for both of us, because
neither of us had played recently. I needed for her to hold me up; she needed for me to
hold her up. Neither one of us escaped that.
Q. Retirement was not very interesting?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Retirement has been fantastic. I have been so busy doing all kinds
of things. I learned how to fly. I have a pilot's license. I'm a budding carpenter, built
some tables. I spend a lot of time in Kenya, taken a lot of photographs. I had an
exhibition in Prague. I spend a lot more time with my friends and family.
Q. Then why?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Why play? Because I still can and because I enjoy it. I love it. I
didn't miss it. I honestly didn't miss it. People say, "What did you miss the
most?" I say, "The competition, playing against the top players." I can't
get that anymore. I'm not after that, but still to be out there and perform and have fun
and enjoy it and give people enjoyment. I mean, what I'm getting from the crowd I never
got in my life, even the last couple years on the tour. This is special. This is good. I
came back, I didn't expect that, but it's there. You want more of that.
Q. What is it you're getting from the crowd?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: What is it? Appreciation. They want me to do well. They were
hurting with me when I double-faulted. They're like, "Oh, God, I feel so bad for
you." "It's okay," they start clapping. They're sweet, they're great,
they're supportive. I think what I've heard is I've given some - what do you say - the
will to want to do it themselves, you know, the spark to get out there and do it, whether
it's tennis or sports or their job or do something that you really love doing. I think
that's more than anything, I love playing tennis, I love the game. It's not a job. It's
not something that I have to do. It's something that I love doing. I think too many of us
are doing a job that we really don't love. Hopefully, most of you guys love what you're
doing. That's why you're probably good at it. I think a lot of people are caught in these
dead-end jobs. They see, "I can do something I really enjoy. Maybe I'll go and start
a business in Vermont, see if I can find a better grade of maple syrup." I don't
know, just do something that tugs at your heart strings, that feeds the soul. Tennis feeds
my soul, there's no question about it.
Q. Do you think the time will ever come when you might be tempted, if there's a
naturally gifted young girl around, to see if you can coach her in the way you feel
today's players would benefit from being coached?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I'm sure that's a possibility. I would hope that would happen. I
would want that. I still run for balls in practice because I don't want to waste the time.
If I don't run, it's because I'm too tired or something is hurting. The joy is still
there. I still run to pick up the balls. That's what I would want, is somebody that's
like, "Okay, how can I get better? What can we do today to get better?" If the
joy is there and the attitude, yeah, absolutely, I would love to do that.
Q. Are you aware of the significance of today's date, 25 years ago?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Now that you ask me, I realize. I saw it, I was reading all those
things that happened on a particular day. That's when I realized it was September 5th that
I defected. I did not think about it until you just now asked me.
Q. Do you remember the details?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Not much. Not really. I mean, mostly what I remember is what I see
in press conference blurbs on TV, how very thick my accent was then. I had no idea how big
it was. I didn't know it was such a pivotal point. I knew it was a pivotal point for me
personally, but I didn't realize it was such a big point in my life as a public person.
Nuriev and Baryshnikov, and me just playing tennis. That was a shock. I did not realize
the significance of it at all.
Q. You talk about crowd appreciation. The other thing you're getting is corporate
appreciation. Is that bittersweet?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Very sweet. I'm not a bitter person. I could have been bitter a
long time ago. That's a choice you make. I always see the glass as half full, even though
there might be just a little bit there, I still see it as half full. Extremely happy with
my affiliation with Subaru and whoever else might come in the future. I mean, it's great.
Q. On your journey to these three Grand Slams, Martina, was there a moment or two that
were particularly poignant that you could share with us as special, the grass at
Wimbledon, anything that was really special?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, playing on the new courts, I think playing on Court 1 at
Wimbledon, Suzanne Lenglen in Paris, and now the Arthur Ashe Stadium, packed, the most
people I ever played in front of. It happened now. I think those three matches, for those
reasons. A lot of weird experiences. A lot of rain. Man, every match, just about, I played
was affected by the weather, just weird stuff happening. Match before me gets defaulted or
goes really fast. I was always really rushing or waiting. Today was the first time we
played in daylight. How does that happen on a Tuesday of the second week? I finally play a
match in daylight. It's been odd. It's been odd. It's been a learning experience. It's
Q. Does it feel strange with the stadium with the seats cut down?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It's a great stadium. It's a great little stadium. It was weird
going in. I checked it out. I've seen it from the outside. It's all different. I don't
have a chance to really walk around the way I would like to. It's a beautiful facility
now. There's a work -- all they need is a workout room for the players. It would be great.
You don't have to walk through the crowd to get to the cafeteria. The food there could be
better. Here I am again. I have to talk about food, right (laughter)? People are very
nice, but they could have better choices. It's good. It's gotten a lot better. I don't
have to bring my own food here anymore.
Q. You were asked if you could eventually coach somebody, a young kid. Would it be
different to coach a girl or a boy for you? Do you think it would be the same?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: You know, boys I think are okay. Men would be more difficult. I
think they have a harder time listening and being coached, period. I'm not sure how they
would listen to a woman, even if it is me. The right person, the right boy, the right man,
yeah. It doesn't have to be a girl. Doesn't have to be a woman. Just the right attitude
really. The rest is details.
Q. You would rather coach a girl?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: There's not "rathers," really. I promised that I would
pass on the knowledge one day. I would not be doing it next year or the year after, but
eventually. Right now I can help somebody while I'm still helping, but not on a full-time
Q. You said you'd like to see someone who had a real eagerness, positive attitude. Are
there two or three players you can think of?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It would have been Billie Jean, it was Chris. All the champions,
they all have it. Steffi, Monica. They love all of it. They love everything that it takes
to get there. Hingis. I think now the Williams sisters seem to be committed. Now I see
them doing everything they can to be the best tennis player they can be. You just don't
see people walking through practice, moping. It's attitude. All the champions have it. You
cannot be a champion without great attitude. You can have great attitude and not be a
champion, but you cannot be a champion without great attitude.
Q. It's been a while since Hingis won a Slam. Some people think she's been intimidated
by the power; she's admitted it at times. She's determined to play the same game she has.
She's not going to pump herself up. Do you root for her, not for personal reasons, but
also for the way she plays?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, first of all, I would be intimidated, too, by the size. I
always was intimidated by people that were a lot bigger than me, taller. They weren't
fast. Now they have the combination. I think I always rooted for her because I love the
way she plays the game. For the most part, she had the joy of the game, has kept that. But
I do believe that she needs to get stronger in a way - not necessarily physically
stronger. She needs to be able to play all-out for three sets, back-to-back. Like here at
the US Open last year, she was able to beat Venus, but she couldn't beat Serena because
she was tired. It was early in the second set. I'm like, "Match is over." For
that, you don't need to pump weights, you just need to put in the time at the track, at
the gym, on the court. You have to be in physical tip-top shape to be able to run. People
that run the quarter, they run 600 yards, they don't run the quarter. You need to be able
to go further than that. Physically, there is a reserve for her there. And she needs to
get more free points off her serve. Once the ball is in play, she's great. They get so
many more free points on their serve than she does. She's always trying to play catch-up.
I think if she does that, gets in good enough physical shape, she has everything else. If
she can play those matches back-to-back and not be worn out and win more points on her
serve, she can still stay up there.
Q. You've watched both the Williams and played them at Wimbledon. In about three or
four years when they're both really peaking, which one do you think will emerge as the
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think overall Serena is a better athlete, and I think she may
want it more. Venus is making a hell of a statement right now. It's like (indicating
Q. Have you found a lot of younger players, men and women, coming up to you as a legend
asking for autographs?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Just a couple.
Q. What was your reaction when you heard that Donald Trump put up a million dollars for
some challenge match between McEnroe and the Williams sisters?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: He, too, wanted to get some publicity. Haven't seen his name in
the paper for a while.
Q. What do you think of the idea?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I don't. It's not going to happen.
Q. You mentioned all the things you've been doing, you have a calendar out with
pictures from Kenya, anything else besides the tennis that you want to do?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No. I want to be a better person. I have a long way to go for
Q. How do you do that?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Work (tearing up).
Q. Two of the greatest doubles players of all time, have you and John McEnroe ever
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Would I? Have we?
Q. Have you played together?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, we never have.
Q. Why not?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I asked him a few years ago and he wasn't playing then. He
said it was too late, that he wasn't playing. That time had passed, I guess. Now we're
both too old. One of us needs to have the young legs.
Q. You danced with him at the Wimbledon gala. What kind of dancer is John?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No dancing. The first year I won was the first year they did not
have dancing, I believe. That was a good thing. Borg and I were a pretty cute couple.
Q. You mentioned the doubles game. Lisa Raymond, No. 1 doubles player. Do you have any
thoughts on that?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I thought she deserved a team on the spot -- a spot on the team. I
thought she deserved a chance to be on the team.
Q. Do you think it was the fact that the Olympics is a billion dollar industry?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I haven't really talked to Billie Jean about this. We talked a
little bit about it during Wimbledon. I'm not sure what her reasons were. If you think
doubles is important, who is the No. 1 player in the world, that would be Lisa Raymond.
Maybe logically you go around and say Serena and Venus, whatever tournaments they've
played, they've won. Also they haven't really given a chance, too many chances, to the
other teams to let them know how they play and beat them. Lisa has put it on the line time
after time after time, sacrificed to get that ranking to be the best doubles player out
there. It didn't pay off for her. I thought if you valued doubles, then she should be on
the team. The selection committee apparently didn't even know there was a different
ranking system for singles and doubles. I don't think they had enough knowledge about the
whole situation. I understand with the six people, the four people on the team, that whole
thing. I thought she should have been on the team. That was just my gut talking. I don't
have everybody telling me what to do, nor do I know all the rules and everything else. If
you have a four-person team, you put three singles players, one doubles player to go with
whoever plays singles. That would have been Lisa. If Monica Seles had not been on the
team, if Serena had a higher ranking than Monica, Monica is the fourth person, I think
Billie would have picked Lisa. Why then?
Q. Will you prepare differently next year?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I would play more often than not at all between November and April
so my arm doesn't fall off when I start playing. I'm still planning on playing a lot of
hockey. That was a great preparation for the legs. For Australia, Paul McNamee was asking
if I would want to do TV down there. I said if I do TV, I want to play. That's really hard
to do both at the same time. I'm not sure what will happen with that. If I don't go to
Australia at all, I would just really work on the physical more and get in better shape
and keep the arm going more so it's not such a shock to the system when I start hitting
the ball again. I would practice with somebody that hits the ball harder than my good
friend Julie Anthony, who could not crack an egg when she played on the tour; she still
can't now. These balls are coming at you very hard. I'd have to get better sparring
partners. I'll just play golf with Julie.
Q. What are your thoughts on Dokic?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She's handled it great. I think it's going to be good for her if
the father can't be around, there will be a lot of pressure off her eventually because you
guys won't be bringing it up every single press conference that she does. I think she'll
be able to relax. I see fear in her eyes when she looks up at her father during the match.
I see fear. She's afraid of failing. You can't play tennis in that environment. This may
be the best thing for her in the long run. I understand they're very close and all that,
but she needs to get herself a good coach and play for the joy of playing rather than
trying to please somebody or, worse yet, be in fear of them.
Q. Do you think Mary Pierce blasted the way she did after her father --?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Absolutely. The father's help them get to a certain point, then
they hurt them from getting further. It's very sad.
Q. Who are your picks for the US Open?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: My picks? I have to go against the grain and pick Sampras and
Venus (laughter). Really go out on a limb. Sampras, unless it goes really, really long. I
don't know if he's physically fit enough to go the distance. He's always got that arm with
that huge serve. The court's playing pretty fast. Either Lindsay or Martina would have to
beat both Williamses on the way there probably. Of course, Lindsay plays Serena tomorrow,
right? That could really change the course of the tournament. Venus has just been the most
solid player of them all. Can't go against her. She's got the confidence right now. She
didn't have it last year.
Q. Do you think Pete gets his due as a player?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think so. I know the players give him his due, the old-timers
and the young ones. If he's not the all-time greatest, he's up there with Rod Laver, the
two of them. That would be a hell of a match. God, that would have been a hell of a match,
Laver against Sampras. Yeah, I think so. He's up there as one of the all-time greats. I
don't care if he never wins the French Open, doesn't really matter. He could have, if he
put his mind to it.
Q. I remember you coming in the press interview in Wimbledon just after Krajicek had
said bad things about the women's tour. You were furious. Did you ever have a chat with
him about it? Did you meet him and say, "This is how you were wrong"?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: We talked. We were laughing about it. I think he spoke out
stronger than he wanted to. He said, "I wasn't talking about you." I said,
"I knew that." The fact of the matter is, there are some women players that are
not in as good a shape as they should be. I've said that all along. I don't know why they
don't get in better shape. Maybe their fear of failure. Maybe they're afraid if they
really put it out on the line, if they still don't win, then somehow they think they
failed. This way they have an excuse. "I really need to lose 15 pounds or get in
shape." They always have that excuse. I mean, I agree with them to the tune that
there is a lot of women and there's a lot of men that are not in as good of shape as they
should be. You should never lose a match because you're too tired.
Q. Does Kournikova fall into that category?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She's in good enough shape. She's a whole new category in many
ways. She's just not willing to get in the trenches. She doesn't need to. I mean, it's
akin to a kid that has rich parents. They really don't have the motivation. I don't think
she's got the motivation. I haven't seen it yet. She's got the talent. I mean, she has
good hands, got the legs - I don't mean looks-wise, I mean speed-wise. She has the
ability, but she has not -- I don't think she's got the hunger, at least not now. She may
get it. Maybe I'll piss her off enough with these comments to get her going. I doubt it. I
think it will take more than that, some soul searching. She has a lot more ability than
Q. Do you think it's because she's not compensated for winning? Nobody puts a premium
on winning. It's almost irrelevant.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Again, there's not much motivation. I don't see it. It's not a
matter of I don't want to say life and death, that's too dramatic, but it just doesn't
seem to matter that much to her, winning or losing.
Q. While many women players seem to be in pretty good shape, seems to me there really
aren't too many who are actively working out, actively paying attention to diet in a way
that you do, proactive way. Do you agree with that?
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, there are some, but not as many as in my day. I think
they've gotten better. When I first came (back) on the tour, everybody has their trainer
with them, they're all stretching. Even the coaches are stretching, you know, before
practice. They're taking it a lot more seriously. But I think they could take it a step
further, yeah. It's not just the stretching. I mean, you need to put in the work. It's
hard work. It's not much fun when you are doing it all by yourself out on the track, when
you don't feel like it. I see more. I mean, I definitely see that they're more aware of
what they're eating, and working out harder. It's still not quite sure what it could be.
You know, I didn't get to that point until I was 26 years old. Who am I to say, "You
should be working harder." I didn't get there until then.
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