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August 24, 2000

Martina Navratilova


Q. Martina, you ready for a nap?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, I'm wired for a nap right now. It's weird not playing at all and playing TWO matches in one day and winning on both. That's a new experience. It was nice.

Q. Match started out pretty even. You guys were 2-2 and they get the early break and then you go ahead and win ten games in a row; is that like a wake-up call?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: You want the talk? You want me to talk?


MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: They were breakable. We had a break point for 3-2 and Schnyder had a top-spin lop for a winner. I'm like, they're not going to keep doing that. We were close. Could have won just about every game they served. I wasn't worried. One break they got. We weren't too worried about it. At that point you don't think you're going to run off ten games in a row. We kept mixing it up and returning it well. We got into their heads a little bit on their service games and started mixing it up on our serves to get them to think about what they're doing on the return. If they get in a groove, they will break you every single time. They hit the ball really well, both of them. We mixed it up enough, they started looking up on the returns and missed a few and played well enough. Once the ball was in play, they were in good shape. They can really hurt us off the serve or the return. Once we get into the point we're in good shape.

Q. Martina, you look like you could have played a third match today.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I felt fine. The only problem I've had is my Achilles has been giving me trouble this summer. It seems to be getting better as the tournament goes on. Getting great treatment from the trainers. I don't know why it's bothering me, it's getting much better. Yeah, it was nice to play at night. It was a little hot today in the day and I didn't want to wear a hat because I didn't want to mess up my hair. I think tomorrow I'll wear a hat.

Q. Do you wear anything in your shoe for that?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I'm getting orthotics. I sprained my ankle badly in '93. It's been stiff, and I jammed it skiing this winter. Because the ankle is stiff the Achilles started absorbing all the shock. I was okay on the grass and clay. Once I got on hardcourts this summer, it started acting up. Now I have a little heel lift in both shoes and extra cushioning and getting the ankle loosened up, which it has been doing and the Achilles is not taking all the brunt of the impact, and it's fine. I mean, it's stiff. In the morning I walk like an old lady. Once I warm up, it's fine.

Q. How much practice time did you guys have before today?

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: We had like -- we played on Monday like two hours and then Tuesday two and a half, and then we played well yesterday. We warmed up for the match, and unfortunately didn't get to play, and today twice. That was it.

Q. Are you learning a lot from her?

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: Learning every match more things. I'm all ears, you know.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She's like a sponge. I told her once, she does it. It's fantastic. It's great.

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: Keeping information and getting them, trying to do what she says.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Next time I play against her, I'll be in trouble. She'll know all my tricks. I don't want to teach her everything all at once. But it's fun because, yeah, I tell her what to do, and she does it.

Q. Was her learning curve pretty fast today in two matches?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It was nine games and four sets in doubles. That's slaughter. So, yeah, I mean, we're getting every match. I need matchplay first of all, and it's -- of course it's helpful for us to play a lot. Actually playing four sets today was great. But, you know, it's just good for me to get a few matches under my belt. Even in Europe it was over such a long period of time the French Open I played four matches. Doubles and mixed doubles over two weeks. We were out of there by Wednesday the second week. Ten days, four matches. Wimbledon was the same thing and only played one match. To get three matches in two days is fantastic. Hopefully, I'll keep getting better and Katarina also.

Q. How does it feel to be back in the loop?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I'm not quite in the loop. I'm a doubles specialist now. But it's nice to be back. It's great to play in front of a crowd that really appreciates good tennis, and they were happy to see me back and that's very special.

Q. How are you internalizing that warm reception?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, you try not to think about it too much. If I really get into it, I wasn't be able to play, I'll be all sugary and stuff. I appreciate it, but then you have to get on with the match. This is not an exhibition, it's a match. They're trying to kick our butt. You have to get on with it very quickly, but it's very nice, very nice.

Q. (inaudible.) -- a problem even with the turnaround tomorrow after into noon?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It's doubles. I have young legs here. I just keep saying "yours." That's not a problem. If you play 11:00, try to go to bed and get enough sleep. We play at 2:30, 3:00 no problem.

Q. Were you nervous at all the first match especially?

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: Yeah, I was. I think the first practice was when I was more nervous.

Q. The first practice.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I growled at her a lot.

KATARINA SREBOTNIK: I was like, oh my gosh, I have to play good now. I have to make a good impression. No, but I mean, I was nervous before every match, earlier I was especially because of Martina, the crowd wants her to win, keep her as long as possible in the tournament. But I guess

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I was reminding Katarina of the first time I played with Billy Jean King how nervous I was. I was ranked number one in the world. I was nervous. We were playing on a side court, no big deal because she was still playing. It was harder for her because there's so much more attention on this and a lot of pressure on her and she did great. It was like no problem. We were five games in a row that first match, wow, I felt like we were playing together for years.

Q. You showed some remarkable reflexes at the net and a nice touch with your dropshots. What's the biggest difference in your game now, just a lack of power?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: My game? Yeah. I'm not picking up the ball as quickly as I'd like to. That's coming also. Lack of power, most of all. I mean, you know, just don't play enough to -- it took me a long time to get the upper body, to get the arm going in the first place when I first started practicing in April. The legs were there, because I was playing a lot of hockey. My upper body was terrible. My arm was just weak. So that's the biggest difference, and just I'm still fast, but I'm not nearly as fast as I used to be to play the kind of game. Especially with the ball coming back that fast, you have to be quicker. If I still had the speed I had 15 years ago, 10 years ago, I could get by. I mean, you know, you slice and dice a little more. I could get by. Speed's not there anymore. On a given day I can play great, but the next day is pretty rough.

Q. You had a break point against you in the second set, and you smacked a 99 mile an hour ace.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: That was nice. I told her beforehand I stepped up there, I thought, I'm going to hit hard. It worked, that was nice. 99. I think I'll go for a hundred tomorrow. I hit 101 in Indianapolis a couple weeks ago with the Legends, they had the radar, I wanted to see if I still had the three digits in me. I did. That was good. I never served that hard. To serve over 100 is unusual. My serves are mostly 92, 95. I'm getting back. Okay. Thanks guys.

End of FastScripts....

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