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September 2, 1993

Martina Navratilova


Q. You zipped through the first set and then you-- she started playing better and that was it.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I played about the same. She picked it up and I didn't, but squeaked it out at the end. I could hardly hear the ball with the planes. I really -- it messed me up a couple of times, but I think I let her get in the groove of my serve a little bit. I didn't mix it up a little bit. I was getting enough first serves in. She hit so many first returns. I lost 3 points on my serve that game. I lost my serve when I got all my first-- three points off a first serve, so that shouldn't happen. When that happens, it is the serves. It is not anything else. Other than that, it was pretty good. It was weird playing out there. I am glad I got it out of the way. I played Monday at what, 1:00, and I played Thursday at night. It is like a third tournament going on here. I have been in New York hitting at Central Park and biding time. It is kind of weird. I am glad I got it out of the way.

Q. Did the planes flying overhead, did that throw off your rhythm? Was it a distraction?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It doesn't help because you really depend on hitting the ball being hit; particularly when you are at the net. And you know, you first hear the ball; then you react to the speed and spin according to the sound, and when you can't hear it, it really throws you off. I did miss some volleys there because I didn't hear the ball. It is kind of weird. I missed because I didn't hear it, but that is what happens. You should try to play and put headphones on with some music on and see what happens. It is really bizarre.

Q. Are you finding the schedule a little bit stranger than usual, I mean, Becker is obviously playing first round match?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: What reason did they have for not putting Becker on Monday or Tuesday? I'd like to know.

Q. He is in the top half of draw so he would have had to play Monday; not again until the Friday, something weird like that. He had asked for a Monday start.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: That is what I heard. I thought that can't be right because they are complaining they didn't have top men playing on Monday, but he asked to play on Monday and I played Wednesday night. What can you say? That is beyond comment. That is beyond no comment.

Q. How well are you playing now?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think I am playing well enough to get through the next round. I mean, I am picking it up. I pick it up when I have to, and I have been hitting the ball real solid. There is really nothing that should just, you know, go off and go, you know, and not work. Everything is working and everything is pretty solid technically even if I get nervous, the technique carries me through. And if the technique falls apart, my head carries me through, so, you know, I have some pretty good backup steps, I think. I am having a good time actually. I really enjoyed myself tonight. So that is a big switch from last year.

Q. Arthur Ashe in his book said that he hoped that ultimately his contributions off-court in the humanitarian areas would be even more important than his on-court performance. Do you hope some day that your contributions off-court will in some way match what you have done on-court?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I don't know. That would be pretty rough. I mean, that is a tall order. But I am-- hopefully I have another 40 years to live and I only had 20 years in tennis; maybe I would have a good chance doing that. That would be a nice way to go out definitely. I am not planning on fading away into the sunset when I quit playing; staying out and hopefully making a difference and apparently from the letters that I have gotten and response that I had from people I have made a difference even if they don't play any tennis. That is when you know you sort of transcended the sport. That is nice because not many athletes do that. I am honored, and you know it is a responsibility but it is a nice responsibility to bear.

Q. Do you think you could possibly be after you are playing be a broadcaster and even possibly commentate on men's matches?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think I could handle that. Well the ball is still yellow and it is still fuzzy and round and the court is the same dimension. I do think I could handle men's tennis.

Q. Yesterday Mats Wilander came in here; he made an interesting comment. He said after he became No. 1, he couldn't find anything that was interesting and not boring about tennis. Do you understand that and also what keeps you interested?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, he needed to get Billy Jean King as a coach. Because she would have shown him exactly how much he doesn't know about tennis. It was a rude awakening for me at the age of, what, four years ago, when Billy general started working with Craig Kardon and myself I felt like a total beginner out there and you know, you never know everything about the game. So he just didn't look hard enough to find something.

Q. Maybe it was because he was a man.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I mean, he could have become a serve and volleyer, in nothing else, challenger, something different. I think he just got tired of the grind, and you know, it is a nice life out there when you have made so much money and you can do anything you want to do and all of a sudden you don't have to practice; you don't have to worry about what you eat, what you drink; not that he worried that much anyway, but it is an easy life out there.

Q. Do you ever get tired of the grind?


Q. What do you do --


Q. What do you do to --

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I try not to think about it. Pack my bags and go to the next city. And call the hotel and tell them all that I forgot. Call my office and tell them all I forgot, like I forgot my comforter this time. It is always something.

Q. What would you like to have been if you hadn't been a tennis player?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Some type of an athlete, I am sure. I like ready skiing. Really didn't have the opportunity. I skied before I played tennis. I think I would have been good at that. I probably would have had a few more operations than I have had by now, or a track and field, I liked all the -- well used to be the penthatlon. I like the decathlon, but I was woman so there was a draw back. Track and field, I love. Didn't have the opportunity to play basketball either back then. But --

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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