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August 27, 1998

Jana Novotna


Q. How tired are you?

JANA NOVOTNA: I would say I was pretty tired in the end of the second set. So I was definitely very happy we didn't have to go into the third. Of course, winning the first set so easily helped a lot, but nevertheless, really got out there today and just very difficult conditions, and I am glad that I won it in two sets. No question about it.

Q. Do you believe that you are playing more confidently since you won Wimbledon?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I guess you can say that, yes, I think that, yeah, for now the last couple of weeks and couple of months I have been playing really consistent tennis and I think that is what it is all about. If you want to stay at the top and if you want to go and win the big tournaments and major championships then you have to be consistent and play with confidence. So I guess that is what I am doing.

Q. Did the first game of the second set tire you a little bit?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yeah, it was a very long game and definitely for me a very important game to win that one, even though I wasn't able to take advantage of that early break in the second set. But nevertheless, it was a difficult match. I lost to Mauresmo the last time we played on clay in Berlin, a very long, tiring match. I am definitely happy to give it to her back and just not to lose to the same players twice in a row.

Q. How hard was it to get excited at the start of your match where it is so hot and you are playing in this huge stadium and there are so few people sitting out there? Did it feel strange?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yeah, it sure did feel a little strange. It is hard to get going, and, you know, but you just have to forget about it. You know, only for the fans only if they are there. You have to compete under -- no matter what circumstances. This was what I did. I tried not to think about it. I was hoping that as the match progressed more people will come, but at the end it was pretty good atmosphere out there.

Q. Last night there weren't too many people after all the bugs left.

JANA NOVOTNA: So that is hard, some tournaments you have more people. Some tournaments you have people coming to later round for the semis and finals. There is nothing you can do about it.

Q. How important is Wimbledon now when you look back - let's say it has taken the monkey off your back - as you go into the US Open for yourself?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I think it was very important. As I said, many times after when I won Wimbledon finally I felt enormous relief and I felt that now it seems like this would be a new beginning for me and, you know, I would just like to continue the way I was feeling playing at Wimbledon and definitely going into US Open that gives me extra confidence, and I will just look forward to that.

Q. Are you playing as well as you were playing at Wimbledon, do you think?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, you cannot look at it like that. In the beginning of the tournament at Wimbledon, I wasn't playing anything special. But as the tournament progressed, I started to play better and better. Again, every match is different. And it is hard to tell. Really, one day you can play well, the next day you may face a tough opponent. So Grand Slam tournaments are very long tournaments, and it doesn't really matter how well you play in the beginning of the tournament. I think it is very important to survive the first week and then start playing better and better tennis towards the end of the second week.

Q. Do you feel more pressure now that you have won Wimbledon you are probably more of a factor at the U.S. Open? People will look more --

JANA NOVOTNA: No, I don't feel pressure at all. I think that people will expect me to do well or people will support me and will cheer for me maybe to go and win another title like that, but I don't feel any pressure at all. I think that the pressure is completely off and all I can do is now just to go ahead and try to win as many matches as I want.

Q. What was working well for you today and what do you think you need to work on?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, you know what today, I thought that I was playing reasonably well from the back of the court: Coming in occasionally. What I think I need to work on is to work on my serve so I can win more easy points on my serve. I think that is very important to have that.

Q. You mentioned playing well, but since Wimbledon I think your match record is like 20 and 1. Can you talk about the mental confidence that Wimbledon gave you for this stretch of tennis that you are playing right now?

JANA NOVOTNA: It started already before Wimbledon. I came to Eastbourne, one tournament there, then right after Wimbledon went to play tournament in Prague, and of course, a couple there, so it is a wonderful streak to win three tournaments in a row, including the championship. But again, as I said, this is all about confidence and the month when you have that confidence you have to keep ongoing and try to use it as much as you can because it is very difficult once when you lose it then you don't feel so well on the court so get it back. So that is what I did. I needed to take some time off. There was no question about it because I was extremely tired and just exhausted. I was very pleased with the form. I started to play back in Montreal again. I found the rhythm and feeling of the matches again very quickly so was very happy with that.

Q. Had you lost your confidence at any point?


Q. You mentioned once you lose it is hard to get it back?

JANA NOVOTNA: Right, but it takes a couple of tournaments. You would have to lose a couple of bad matches or a couple of tournaments in a row to lose your confidence. I was playing quite well in Montreal. I said yesterday already that I just had a tough match against Arantxa, but it is not a shame to lose to Arantxa. She is a very tough and experienced player. So definitely, I wish to do better there, but again, as I said, it is not important to do well here or in a month. I think what is important is to get some matches under your belt and then go ahead with all the preparations you have into the Open.

Q. Even though it is only been a short time since you won the Championships. What does it feel like to be the newest member of the club over there?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, it feels great. I actually thought about going back already there, maybe before next year's grass court season or just go there, spend some time there because it is a great honor, and I definitely enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the club, and I would like to spend more time there. So if I find the time, I will definitely love to come back and just see how everything else is.

Q. Do you relive those last moments or is the circuit just too busy to even think about it?

JANA NOVOTNA: I think that I have enjoyed the moment for long enough. Now I can simply let it go and just look to the future. I wouldn't like to spend the rest of my career looking back how well I played at Wimbledon or just going through the emotions over and over again. I don't think that would be right. Since I had the time to see the tapes and since I had the time to talk about it with friends and saw the pictures and everything that made me feel really good and I had the break I could enjoy it. But again now, you just have to forget about it and look to the future say, okay, you are the Wimbledon champion, but you have to keep on working, keep on going and try to win another one.

Q. What did you do during your break? Did you practice at all or stay away from tennis?

JANA NOVOTNA: I stayed away from tennis completely. All I did was basically enjoy all the other sports that I love to do, roller-blading, playing some golf, jet skiing, down in Florida, so I was enjoying it down there in Florida. Then I started physical training and preparation as always.

Q. You know when the US Open starts next week everyone is going to be talking about Hingis, and the William sisters, and Kournikova. Even though you are having such a great year, you are not going to be the first player people mention.

JANA NOVOTNA: You never know. Well, I think I wouldn't like to jump into conclusions, but you never know. Maybe you will surprise me, guys this time. It will be all Jana Novotna. (laughter)

Q. Would you like that, though?

JANA NOVOTNA: I would love that. I would love that. Yeah. Unless I have to think about -- I have to do something bad so I can make the headlines.

Q. Got anything in mind?

JANA NOVOTNA: Now since we are talking about it (laughter) (smiles).

Q. Having not seen you since Wimbledon, where is the trophy? What have you done with it?

JANA NOVOTNA: I left the trophy at home in Belgium. It is safely placed in a very nice special glass, how would you say, case, and of course you don't get the big plate. You only get the small replica which is much smaller, but it is still very nice and basically I haven't seen it since. People ask me all the time so you travel with it. I said, no, I don't travel with it. So where is the trophy? I don't have it. They can't believe it. It is there and I haven't seen it since.

Q. Talk about the tiebreak a little. She doublefaulted --

JANA NOVOTNA: We are jumping from Wimbledon into tiebreak now. Who cares about the tiebreaker today? (laughter). (Laughs) No, the tiebreaker -- I think that tiebreaker was pretty solid. I was all the time ahead which was good which is very important in the break and I think that is what made the difference today was my forehand passing shots. I made two important points in the break and that was really important.

End of FastScripts…

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