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September 2, 1996

Jana Novotna


Q. Jana, Pete Sampras is always saying when the year is over, he looks back to what he did at the majors. You never won a Slam in singles, but you did in doubles. Is it the same for you, do you look back at how you perform at the Slams?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yes, of course.

Q. Do you just care about the singles, the doubles?

JANA NOVOTNA: When I look back at the end of the year, I of course look back how I did in singles, of course at the major tournaments and of course at the Grand Slams. I must say that so far, you know, I haven't won one. I have been pretty consistent over the years, getting always to the quarters, semifinals. I at least give myself a chance every single year to get to the further rounds and compete with the top players, and hopefully my chance will come.

Q. We got the idea from Martina Hingis that she prefers to play with you rather than Habsudova. What is it like for you, are you happy she won?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I'm never -- I never look at the matches or I never watch the matches of my opponents, not never, but most of the time. Today I happened to see some of the first set, then the third set. I didn't really care who's going to win. I played against both players. I must say that I was really surprised with the end, the results. Especially when they got into the third set, I thought Arantxa would be the more experienced, the one a little bit tougher at the end. It happened to be Martina this time. You know, at least something new, something different. Quarterfinals again in the Grand Slam, I'm going to face Martina, who I never did before in the Grand Slam. It's going to be something new, new challenge. I think for everybody it's good to see some new faces once in a while.

Q. Isn't it more difficult to play --

JANA NOVOTNA: Of course, it's going to be more difficult because you have to realize she's good enough to beat No. 3 player in the world; she must be playing very well. It's going to be very tough.

Q. I was asking if it's not more difficult to play in singles against a player you play doubles with?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, no, it doesn't really matter. No, doesn't matter to me.

Q. Is there a sense of relief in this important match that it's not Arantxa, given the past four or five matches with you?

JANA NOVOTNA: Right. I wouldn't say it is a relief or something. I'm saying it's going to be different, you know, something new. I played Martina only one time, it was a couple years ago. You know, I think not a relief, but it's something else, something new, something new to look forward to. That's what I will do. I played excellent match today and hopefully will keep it up like that when I have to play Martina Hingis.

Q. Speaking of the match today, she's had some pretty good wins this year. Today's match seemed to be fairly easy. Did you sense she was maybe getting discouraged after about the fifth game of the first set?

JANA NOVOTNA: I think the beginning of the match is really important. She had a couple times she was way up in the game, she was 40-Love or she had two breakpoints on my serves earlier in the match. I think it was the key point. I think in a way, yes, she did get discouraged a little bit. I thought I played reasonably good tennis. I didn't give her much pace because I know she likes that. That's why she did good against players like Anke Huber or Iva Majoli. She hits hard, that's what she likes, the pace of the ball. I was coming into the match trying not to give her any rhythm, not give her any pace. I wasn't really hitting hard or anything, but she was the one who made all the mistakes.

Q. And do you feel you're playing very well now, confident?

JANA NOVOTNA: Even though today maybe it felt like she did all the mistakes or that I didn't do anything spectacular, I thought that this was the way I needed to play today. Of course, in the quarterfinals against Hingis, I will have to play different kind of tennis, much more aggressive than this. As I said, hopefully I will be able to do that. But I feel like I'm playing well, I'm not tired, going into the second week, the weather conditions is perfect. This I love to play and I enjoy it so much.

End of FastScripts...

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