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November 18, 1993

Martina Navratilova


Q. I guess you can start out, obviously, how you thought Mary played. You know, what was key to her success?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, she played well when she was behind. That third set both times when I was up a break, she hit some good shots, but, I also didn't hit very many first serves in, those games, so, that was a combination of her playing well and me opening the door pretty nicely for her by not getting any first serves in and she attacked my second serve very well and just played the tight games better, you know, the third set. She went for her shots and she made them.

Q. What adjustments did you make after the first set?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I got the ball in. My execution was horrible in the first set, there really wasn't any. And the last two sets I played better, I served better in the second set. I was holding pretty comfortably most the time, I think except for one game. And in the third set I lost my serve three times, I mean, you think -- again, I made more balls in, just didn't try to make the shots too good and it was pretty effective coming in to certain spots, but I didn't do that enough and mostly I just didn't get the serve in when I had to. It is a matter of execution, you know, if I nitpick I could have done some things better tactically but mostly it was a matter of execution and I just didn't-- I was trying to hit the right shots for the most part but didn't make them.

Q. How high does she stand among the list of people who can really wallop the ball?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She hit a couple forehands as hard as anything that I have seen, but those you don't worry about, those are only four, five balls a match. That's four points, so that's not a big deal. I know she's going to smack a few. The first set was-- mainly I was thinking she's going to hit the ball hard and she didn't, and I was-- I was not responding well to the softer balls, particularly her serve, but a couple of the forehands she just, you know, was waiting for it and was right in her zone and it was a high bouncing ball and she's tall and she's got a lot of leverage and she's strong, so when she connects, it is a bomb. Not only was she hitting them hard, she was placing them well. The pace doesn't bother me-- but when she hits it in the corner, the point is over.

Q. You seemed terribly nervous out there for some-- what do you think the reason is you were so nervous?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: You're assuming I was nervous.

Q. I ask you, were you nervous? You seemed very nervous.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I was-- I don't know what happened in that first set, I had those sets in Oakland as well when I played lousy tennis and you can say it was nerves or I wasn't ready to play. I think I was too much wondering what she was going to do and not thinking about what I was going to do and I was on her side of the court a bit too much-- hadn't played her-- I played her once two, three years ago, and I always have a hard time playing people for the first time and I think next time I play her, I'll do a lot better. But, you know, I was a little nervous, but I don't think that's why I lost the match, definitely not.

Q. Martina, were you waiting in the third set for her to get unnerved, to fade out?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, I wasn't thinking about-- by then I wasn't wondering about her, I was wondering about me, thinking about me, and again, I just didn't execute. I know she plays better when she's behind, so I expected this, but that's natural, people usually play better when they're behind, people have nothing to lose, they go for more shots. But I left the door wide open by not getting any first serves in 2-1 and 4-3. I was in a position to win and I just blew it. She played well in those games, but I have to give her credit. I didn't think she'd be nervous, it's too much of an opportunity to get overwhelmed. I think by then she was into the match totally. She didn't play well at the beginning of the match and I'm down 4-1, she really didn't do much. That's when I let her in. That's where experience should have been good for me, but I totally reversed it, so...

Q. -- knowing that there are not remaining too many options to win a tournament like this puts additional pressure on you?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I wasn't thinking about that at all, I just wanted to do well in New York. I love playing here and I've been stinking up the joint the last few years-- well, I got to the finals here twice last two years, but still I've not done as well as I felt I should, especially now, I've been hitting the ball really well in practice and I didn't do it today, but I wasn't thinking about next year or anything like that, so I didn't get nostalgic yet.

Q. So is the door open that we'll see you on the Garden floor one more time?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I'm planning on it. God knows what will happen between now and then, but that's the plan right now.

Q. Did you get a sense from the fans that maybe they were worried that they won't see you any more?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I have no idea. I mean I've been getting these responses from people saying, it's too bad you're quitting, and I said, no, I'm playing one more year. Oh, you are? I don't know if they don't read the papers right or if somebody wrote it wrong, but they think this is it. No, no, one more year if I have anything to say about it unless I have a major change of heart, which I don't expect. I don't know, again I don't know what they're reading. If they're just not understanding the English language correctly or what.

Q. That's why I actually led into that, because there had be speculation in some of the papers that this was your last appearance at the Garden?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: See, I don't read the papers, so, I guess they are reading right. You guys are writing the wrong things. Come on, when was the last time I told you this was the last time I was going to play in the Garden? Has anybody heard me say that? You're speculating. You've been speculating about me retiring since 1980 and this is 1993. So I rest my case.

Q. Can you tell us if this audience or how this audience is special if it is in any way?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I wish I had them like this all along, but it's nice to have them-- I was telling Pam Shriver before the match I feel like I'm playing Federation Cup every match because the crowd is just on my side so much. It's great. When I come out I mean sometimes I can get more, you know, I just get so excited about it, but it's never a detriment, it always helps and makes playing that much more enjoy able and I think losing that much more depressing because I just want to be out there again and, you know, feel it, feel the crowd going crazy for me. It's wonderful, but they were pretty good today I think. They applauded her shots as well. There wasn't any bad sports out there it was a really positive crowd both ways and I think we both enjoyed the very much being out there. Do it again.

Q. Would it be-- you've done so well in this tournament, will there be kind of an empty feeling when it's still going on and you're not in it?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Tell you the truth, the thing that really pisses me off, I have to go to the board meeting on Saturday, the WTA board meeting Saturday morning and now I don't have an excuse. I thought about that during the match. Pam told me they moved it from Sunday to Saturday and I said, an added incentive, and you know, I lost the first set and I said, great, now I have to go to the board meeting and that got me going for a while, but it didn't help. I'd love to be out there, but again I'm playing one more year. I think if this was my last tournament I'd be devastated, but it is not. So, I'll be back. I'm planning on being back one more time.

Q. What shape do you think women's tennis is going in in that last year?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think we can make it very positive. You can look at all the negatives. I don't think it can be any worse than what it turned out this year. I just hope that Monica can come back and I think we can put a really good package together for the sponsors and the audience and hopefully make it an exciting year. I think it can be a great year. If people just take care of themselves and stay healthy and not play too much, especially exhibitions and extra events and really put in the effort with the media and the public, I think we can have a great year.

Q. Mary Pierce is 16 on the computer and with Sabatini; where do you think she belongs?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Computer says 16, I'm not going to argue with it. I don't know what her results are during the year. She had a great year, a win in Stuttgart and semis here, maybe she'll win another one. So she's playing top tennis ten right now, there's no question about that, but can she keep it up? I expect her moving up in the rankings, she's got a good head-on her shoulders and she's willing to put in the work.

Q. Martina, are you going to play doubles next near?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Yes, I'm playing with Bollegraf next year about 6-7 tournaments, Grand Slams, so we'll see.

Q. Martina, are you going to play next week at the exhibitions in Budapest?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Yes, I can't wait. Thanksgiving night I'm flying in Budapest. Whatever possessed me to agree to that, I don't know, but since I'm a vegetarian I won't miss the turkey anyway.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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