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September 4, 1996

Jana Novotna


Q. Jana, it seemed you couldn't put enough of a good stuff together today. Was that you or was it the way she was playing?

JANA NOVOTNA: I wouldn't said so. Actually, I thought -- of course, the beginning of the match wasn't great. I was down 3-Love and maybe if I would have won the first game it would be a different story, but I thought that I was playing quite well from the back and at the net in the beginning throughout the first set. I just would say that I wasn't serving particularly well. I knew I will have to take a little bit of my pace, but I knew she likes hard serves; I was going more for the percentage, but never the less, my serve wasn't working at all, and in that case I didn't have any easy points on my serve. So I really had to work very hard to win every single point because she wasn't missing anything and I always had to try to come in and win the point at the net. But nevertheless, I thought that I was playing pretty well. I got a little bit tired and I played very bad tiebreaker, and I believe if I would be lucky enough to win some of her service games at the end of the first set at 4-All when I had some chances and she unfortunately played some good stuff when she was down. When she needed it, she came up with the good passing shot or great topspin lob, so that is good for her.

Q. Would you say you have played many players who are as thoughtful and tactically sound as she is?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, but the interesting thing is that when I saw her play the quarterfinal -- I mean, the round of 16 against Arantxa, I thought that she should be more aggressive and come in more often and all that and she wasn't doing that at all. Today, against me, I felt, yeah, she was good in all aspects. She was good at the net. She was good from the back, and she basically knew what she was doing, and I didn't see that in the previous matches, but I saw that today that she was mixing her game a little bit more up than she did in the previous matches.

Q. You were surprised the way she played against you?

JANA NOVOTNA: No, I wasn't surprised the way she played. All I said that I thought it was a great match and I wish I would play a little better tiebreaker than I did, but I wasn't surprised the way she was playing, no. I knew that she is able to do anything basically on the court and I was prepared for that. And all the points -- I just wish that I would have served a little better that I would have more easy points or I could serve and volley a couple of more times so it would make my tennis much better and much easier.

Q. Have her passing shots always been as good against you as they were today?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I think against everybody. You have to realize, that I haven't played Martina that often. I think this is the only time we played together and we officially met only at one tournament, so, you know, she is good at it. She likes to have a target and she has great passing shots, but nevertheless, I thought that I was doing pretty well at the net except at the time when she needed it, she came up with a good one.

Q. Did you think she was tired at all at any stage?

JANA NOVOTNA: I was sure that she will be coming into the match a little bit tired because she played many matches, singles doubles and mixed doubles. I knew that. But she plays very light tennis. She plays really light games, so I knew that, you know, she will be able to handle that, so I wasn't counting on getting Martina tired. I wanted to beat her; that is what I tried to do. It didn't work so there is nothing I can do.

Q. What does that mean she plays "light tennis?"

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I don't know. Don't you think when she plays, when you watch her, that she plays very effortless tennis, you know, very light tennis, very effortless, and she is guessing right for so many balls, so she is there always on time and that makes her good.

Q. She is still in the doubles and the mixed doubles; plus the singles. Do you think it is a little bit too much?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I really don't know. I think that everybody has to know how much and how many matches they can handle during a Grand Slam and, you know, it is really up to her. I don't know. In my mind, I would say, yes, it is too much, but, you know, she has to know herself the best.

Q. What is Steffi up against in the next round?

JANA NOVOTNA: How is Steffi going to do?

Q. Yeah, what is your prediction?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I wouldn't go into predicting this match. I think it will be very interesting match again if Martina will play as well as she did now. But of course she will not have to play that passing shot because Steffi isn't going to come in that often. It will be a battle from the baseline and we will see who will be better at that.

End of FastScripts....

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