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August 25, 2000

Martina Navratilova


Q. Ladies, do you think playing two matches yesterday took a bit out of you, maybe you Martina, or was that not the difference today?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, it took me a little while to get going in practice. By the time we played, I was fine. Maybe I wasn't as sharp as I would like to have been, but it was just a lot of matches. It wasn't the physical, it's the mental and emotional that's more difficult. You can only get that by playing. But they played really well. They kept us on our heels the whole time. We never could get going. If we played them yesterday, last night we probably would have still lost. They just didn't really let us into the match.

Q. Katarina, can you talk about your experience playing in a tournament with Martina?

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: Yeah, I think I'll remember this for the rest of my life, and was really nice to play with her. And I would like to thank her, as well, for playing.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: You're welcome. Have to do it again.

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: I think I pick up a lot of stuff. I still have a lot of to learn. I'll just keep working on that and try to improve still my game.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: What are you, 19? Got plenty of time.

Q. Martina, have you played Arantxa before?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: You know, I don't think we have ever played. I played against her so many times, singles and doubles.

Q. This would be your third partner in a year; what kind of challenge does that present to you going into the Open?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I'm worried about my side of the court. I don't know who's going to play what side. Apparently she likes to play the outside of the court and I like to play the outside court. We'll have to flip a coin to see who plays the deuce. That will be the challenge, see which side. She knows how to play doubles, I know how to play doubles. She's been there. Should be okay. Just getting used to the different styles of play is difficult. You usually have the same partner most of time. I played with Pam Shriver for ten years. Played with a couple of people during that time, but mostly it was just Pam. You don't have to think about it so much, it's more of a mental challenge.

Q. How did you wind up playing up with Arantxa?

MARTINA HINGIS: She had asked me, but she still had a partner, and her partner got hurt, then I said, okay. She was playing with Mauresmo. Mauresmo pulled out with a bad back, and so she asked me again. I said, okay.

Q. Obviously very experienced doubles player in her own right.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She was ranked number one at one point. She's won a few Slams. I don't know what she's ranked right now in the doubles, but she's up there.

Q. Was this fun of both of you this week?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It was a blast for me. Wish we played better together today, just to give them a little bit of a match. But yesterday it was a blast, and whole week practicing I enjoyed myself.



Q. Can we expect you to pop into an occasional Grand Slam or tournament next year, or had is this kind after one-time --

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I don't know. That's really a long way away for me right now, but, you know, stranger things have happened. I'm here right now, so what's another year, you know, no big deal. 44, 45, who cares? It's possible. You know, if the body holds up and I still want to play and I have as much fun as I had this year, then there's no question I'd like to do it again.

Q. What prompted you to do it in the first place?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Because I was in shape. Last three years before that I really didn't have the heart. The heart wasn't in it. I really had no interest. And last year I was -- I played team tennis, I thought, my God, I could have played Wimbledon because I was practicing during Wimbledon. I said, next year, if the same situation happens, I'll play. It did. Same thing happened and I had a partner, I thought, why not, year 2000, '90s are over, so go for it.

Q. Martina, could you sense that Katarina was sort of in awe of you, and are you used to that? Do you kind of, you know, you've been through that a lot being one of the legends of the game, how do you try to ease her mind get her from stop being so nervous?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: We talked about it. I related my experience my own experience when the first time I played with Billy Jean, or Even when I played with Betty Stove, who was one of the great doubles players. I teamed up with her, I was just a 19 year old. So, you know, I know what it feels like, and so I told her and she did great. She did great. She rose to the occasion and played well, you know. But today neither one of us played as well as we played yesterday. But that's how it goes. I couldn't hold her up. And you know, but just we talked about it. You know, if you acknowledge it, it's okay. Of course, I'm nervous too. I'm mean, nervous because I haven't played. Yeah, I've won a lot of tournaments, but I haven't done anything for five years. So I told her, I'm more nervous than you are. I'm more nervous. She said, oh, you're kidding. No, I'm not. My service was all over the place, because the nerves get in.

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: It's true, she wanted to make me feel better. I don't believe her. I still don't believe her now.

Q. Martina, would you ever consider playing singles again?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, no, it's too hard. I'd have to work too hard for it. This is like is a vacation, I can practice for a few weeks and get into it and enjoy it. It's half the court, just a little alley there. Singles it's a commitment and I don't have that anymore. I've done that for 25 years. So, if I was 25 years old, of course, I'd be playing, but it's too hard. You know, I'm onto other things.

Q. Katarina, what did you learn most by playing with Martina, nuances of playing double strategy?

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: It's the whole game, like the mental thing, the tactics, like the whole thing, you know, it's like so much positive in her such a positive person. And, you know, no matter what, even today, I wasn't playing that well and she was trying to put me up, like it's okay, don't worry, next point. It's just, the experience, you know, because you know it's not over, but like you know in one way you don't believe it, like you know you put tough on yourself. But like she's always positive and like telling me, okay, here's what you have to do, like the tactics, do this, do that, So it's not like, okay, I don't know what to do, you know, yeah, it's just great.

Q. Were you ever worried she might growl as you?

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: Well, today, yeah, a couple times. She did, okay. No, she was always positive.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She was trying to do the right thing, you know. If you try to hit the right shot and you miss... she played better than the score. We played better than the score. It could have been a lot closer we were up 2-Love, 2-1 serving, had a long game. They lucked out in that game. That was really the turning point for us in score wise, as well as emotionally. You know, they played one that game might still be there playing now. They didn't give us the chance, break my serve. That was the match. We were on our heels again. Katarina kept trying to do the right thing. Next time they will go in more.

Q. If there is a highlight to your career, would playing with Martina be it?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It's a very young career.

Q. Young career. Would it be playing with Martina?

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: It's a tough question. To me I would like to concentrate on the singles more, and, of course, I like to play, because she's a great player, so but I mean, like I put some more on the singles, and I have to play a little bit probably now, starts to play smaller tournaments. My ranking dropped a little bit, so just playing little ones.

Q. Did you discuss philosophy, tennis --

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Of life? Who are we? Why are we here? She'll make her own highlights. We talked about stuff, and we'll still talking just because we are we're not playing with her.

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: Because of playing with her I'm a better person. Playing with her, nobody gets that. Only one person get take spot.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: You're embarrassing me.


Q. Katarina, you asked Martina to play in this tournament; is that right?



Q. You're just like, what the heck, nothing to lose?

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: Yeah, I mean, she can always say, no, you know, if I don't ask her I get a no anyway. So just took a chance.

Q. Martina, do you get a sense of the appreciation the fans had for your appearance here?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Absolutely, it was disappointing we couldn't play better today and stay out there one more day or one more set, but, yeah, it was fun. People were great, you know, very positive response I've had throughout in Europe and here people saying how great it was I was still playing, I'm exited and got inspired to get out there and get in better shape, you know, because if I can do this at 43, whatever, I've gotten some fun response from the fans. So it's nice that you can inspire people by just being there.

Q. Martina, last night you said she was like a sponge this week; is there one thing, there was only three matches? But is there one thing you can see that she took away more than anything?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think attitude, I think Katarina has is emotional, and I'm the same way, obviously, and I think people that play's a roll. I'm more emotional. It helps you, but it can hurt you. If anything, I think she'll learn to control her emotions better and be more positive at all times, no matter what, she'll do better. She'll play better no question in my mind.

Q. When you got the Email, did you say --

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I know Katarina, we've been talking, we've been spoken.

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: She said, okay, send me a picture, how you look like.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Send your resume. I wrote back, I said, okay. And then once I got an okay from her and Worcester, are you playing, I don't know I haven't gotten an Email back. I have to make sure it's a done deal. Once she Emailed back, okay, it's a done deal, I told Ann, that's how we got going.

Q. What do you anticipate next week to be like?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Busy, busy. The Open's is crazy. Now they own the stadium, new facilities. Check it out. Busy. I have some corporate stuff I have to do and a Hall of Fame dinner. I'm going to to-do for Vaclav Havel and Madam Albright, the Czech thing. I have to go to that. It's going to be a busy two weeks.

Q. Playing mixed also?


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