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March 23, 1998

Jana Novotna


Q. This seemed to be a fairly easy match for you today. Who would you think is the most formidable player on the Tour that you come up against?

JANA NOVOTNA: Who I don't like to play against?


Q. Right.

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, you know, I used to be like this in the past. I had players which I said, "I don't like to play this player because of a certain reason, I don't like to play that player." The last couple years, I never had any problem with any player. Pretty much I like the style or the way Anke Huber plays, or the baseliners, because I can pretty much play my game. I don't have any problems. Of course, Martina Hingis is the No. 1 player in the world, probably at the moment playing the best. Lindsay Davenport, very consistent this year. These two players would probably be the toughest to beat.


Q. Jana, do you feel overlooked sometimes? I mean, you're No. 3 in the world. You're playing really well in this tournament. Certainly all of last year, especially you won the Chase Championships, you haven't really slowed down, but yet you win a big match and you don't have a full room of reporters asking you questions. Do you feel, I guess, "Overlooked" might be the best word?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I don't look at it this way. My job and what I do the best is when I play on the court. I mean, then later on if you have any questions, if it's only a couple of you show up here today, I mean, I understand that. That's pretty understandable. There are more important players at this moment probably playing. You know, I have no problem about that. What I'm doing the best is to play my game. Even at my age, I'm still doing well, winning great tournaments. What can I do? I'm not going to change anything about it. It's a waste thinking about it.


Q. Also, changing the subject slightly, I wanted to get your view on the Williams sisters. Is their perception different in Europe different than in America? One reporter made a comment that they're an American invention, although they're good, it's a lot of hype in the United States. Do a lot of European players view it as that?

JANA NOVOTNA: I don't think I understand the question very well. What do you mean by that?


Q. Meaning that they're a lot more popular in the United States.



Q. The Williams sisters.

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I think -- I don't know. I think so far where they did very well was in the United States. So I think they were quite popular back in Australia. I think it's just a matter of time for them and for the crowd to get used to them, just see them perform. I think it's just a matter of time. I see no reason why they would be liked any less back in Europe than they are here. I think it's just a matter of time for them to show the European crowd what they can do, how well they can play. I'm sure it's just a matter of time and they'll be as liked as they are here.


Q. Was there any resentment among the veteran players that they got a lot of attention, became very popular before they achieved results?

JANA NOVOTNA: I can always only talk for myself. From my side, no, absolutely not. That's pretty understandable. If you have somebody else good, you know, in her age, then it's very natural that she will get all the attention. Same with Anna Kournikova, Mirjana Lucic, upcoming players. If they were to go to the finals of the U.S. Open, they will get all the attention. I don't see that they are treated in any way different than any other upcoming player or any young player doing so well.


Q. Does playing doubles with Martina, would that give you an advantage in singles against her?

JANA NOVOTNA: In which way?


Q. If you were to play her in singles.

JANA NOVOTNA: No, I don't think so. I played Martina many times in singles. I think I know her game very well. I don't think it makes any difference if I play doubles with her or no. We just go out there, we have good fun. But when we will be competing against each other on the singles court, we will think about it and try to do things differently. I don't think so.


Q. Jana, you'll probably play Arantxa in the next round. Will you prepare any differently for that match? Obviously a different style than Anke.

JANA NOVOTNA: Yeah, definitely she has a much less aggressive style than Anke. I always said, when you have to play against Arantxa, you have to really be patient and go after your shots. She's like a wall, very solid from the baseline, runs down many points. You just have to be patient and of course aggressive and just do your job well.


End of FastScripts....

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