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September 6, 1997

Jana Novotna

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Going to miss playing against Gigi?

JANA NOVOTNA: No (laughter).

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Good competitor.


LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I mean, she's been a good friend of mine for a couple years now. I first met her playing Fed Cup with her. I mean, definitely she'll be missed in the locker room and stuff. But she's always so tough to play against.

JANA NOVOTNA: We will not miss her on the court, that's for sure.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: That's what we mean. We're joking. I think it's great. She's doing this when she wants to do it, when she's still winning and playing well. I think everyone should respect that.


Q. How nice of a win?


Q. How nice is it to win this title?

JANA NOVOTNA: It is fantastic. Especially when I look back at this year, didn't really have a great year in doubles. Didn't do really well at French. I had to pull out of doubles at Wimbledon. Definitely this is what we deserved. We have been struggling.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: If you had seen us place the first week, you wouldn't think we would be here.

JANA NOVOTNA: We got it all together when we needed it. That is the most important.

Q. Did you have a special plan going into the match?

JANA NOVOTNA: Of course. We have a special plan before every match, you know (laughter). But what we kept saying to ourself for the last couple of days was, "Just go out there, enjoy, have fun, just play well." Of course, we had a special plan of what you going to do in the match. Basically we just wanted to enjoy it. That's what we did. I always said when we can laugh and have a good time, that's when we play the best tennis.

Q. Lindsay, was there a key to today's match, why you won?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I just think we were pretty solid today. I don't think we did anything tremendously special. I think that Natasha maybe didn't play her best. I don't know for whatever reason. I think we were just very solid. For me, just trying to keep holding my serve. I think that's pretty much it.

JANA NOVOTNA: Yeah, absolutely.

Q. With your singles losses this week, were you more hungry?

JANA NOVOTNA: Very, very. I didn't even have breakfast this morning, how hungry I was (laughter).

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I know. The day after we played each other, we had to play the next day in semis against Hingis and Arantxa. You never know how a partner would react to that, coming back the next day losing, playing with the person you lost to. Jana came back and played the most unbelievable match, wanted to win so bad. That really helped me. It could have been an awkward situation. She was great.

Q. What made Gigi such a great doubles player?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I think she had great hands, and she had a good serve. You know, she just knew how to pick up all the balls. Because she has been playing most of the time, at least lately, for the last couple of years, she's been playing doubles only, or very little singles, she just became really, really good.


JANA NOVOTNA: Great hands.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Serve and volleyed really well. Tough to get a ball by her. You know, it's just one of those people, you know is coming in on your second serve. You get a little worried maybe with your own serve. Just was able to put the ball at your toes every time.


Q. How would they compare with Martina and Pam?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Never saw Martina and Pam play, so I don't have to answer.

JANA NOVOTNA: Never saw them (laughter). Who were they? Oh, you mean Martina and Pam, okay.


JANA NOVOTNA: It's hard to compare. Every doubles team has something special to it. You know, the way they have been playing, Gigi and Natasha, she just clicked. Natasha was really solid on the return. She didn't have a great serve. Both of them had great hands. They just became like one on the court. They knew exactly what the other one is doing. They had common thinking. I think that's what makes them great. But compare that to Martina and Pam, it's really hard to tell. Both Pam, Martina, they were both great serve and volleyers. I guess that's what made them better.

Q. Gigi said that the thing she liked best about being on The Tour was competing. The thing she liked least was just the daily grind of being out here, the travel, not being able to see the family. Is that true with both of you guys?

JANA NOVOTNA: Absolutely.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I mean, I think she played for so long. The travel does get old. In the beginning, it's not so tiring.

JANA NOVOTNA: Right. You handle things better.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You become maybe used to it. It is tough. It's hard being away from your family.

JANA NOVOTNA: Out all the time, see the same people, go to the same places, living out of the suitcase. In general, traveling is definitely the hardest part of it.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's also tough when you're injured and being at home. You want to see everybody, you want to be playing, you want to be gone. It's kind of weird.


Q. Is it the competing that kind of keeps you going, what you love about the sport?

JANA NOVOTNA: Absolutely, yeah. This is what keeps us going (pointing to trophy). Seriously, probably in the beginning, the money has something to do with it, right from the beginning, you want to make some money, earn something. In the end, you end up playing for the trophies, not the money. The competition and the excitement of winning matches, you know, trying to get better, it's always there.

Q. Both of you are better singles players than your opponents, is that necessarily an advantage?

JANA NOVOTNA: It could be advantage and it could be disadvantage, I think. When we play so well in singles, sometimes we tend to play like singles during the doubles, which is not good.


JANA NOVOTNA: You have to combine, you have to mix it up. Sometimes when we are playing well in singles, we start to play doubles like that. That's not good, that's very dangerous. That's why we struggled so much in the beginning. But then when somebody specializes for doubles only, that's definitely an advantage. I mean, that is advantage. You do different things than you do in singles. But if you can do both, then it's a piece of cake, right (laughter)?

Q. Does the doubles help your singles?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yes, it helped me a lot definitely.

Q. Guys, Venus' camp over the last day, family, agents, lawyers, have been alleging that the reason why the players aren't taking to her as they might someone else is either because of jealousy, because she's gotten good so fast, or because of race.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Oh, my God. You're serious?

Q. I'm serious.


Q. What's your take on that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: First of all, everybody loved Martina Hingis when she came up. She did great right away. I just don't like the jealousy thing. I mean, everybody likes the people for who they are, you know. I can't get into this. I'm getting so upset.

JANA NOVOTNA: Absolutely. I agree with Lindsay. I mean, I think that in general, in the locker room and anywhere around women's tennis, I think the atmosphere is very, very good. There is nothing like jealousy. Different race has nothing to do with it.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Very friendly place. If someone doesn't want to be friendly, that's fine. It's not our fault. I mean Iva Majoli, Anke Huber, they're nice people.

JANA NOVOTNA: They're much younger than I am.

Q. Is it the responsibility of the veteran players to make the younger players feel at home?

JANA NOVOTNA: Absolutely not. I think it's a responsibility of the parents and whoever is taking care of you, whoever you are associating with. I mean, it's part of the family, part of your parents, part of the agents. If you don't know it yourself, then somebody should be there to tell you how to behave, you know, how to handle that situation. But I don't think it's the responsibility of the players to teach someone how to behave, who to say hello to, manner. Absolutely not.

Q. So this entire situation of them feeling attacked is all --

JANA NOVOTNA: I think it's getting out of hand a little bit. It is definitely not as serious as you make it sound. So I wouldn't make it any worse.

End of FastScripts…

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