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July 29, 1996

Jana Novotna


Q. Was it guts or necessity to have to keep attacking, keep coming in against someone with that good a passing shot?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yes, of course, it's both. It's a combination of, I think, but you know that Monica is stronger from the back, and even though sometimes I saw that she likes to have a target, at least at the very important points I thought that she was very good at the match points when she was down. She was always to come up with some excellent passing shots, so at the fourth one when I finally had one I said I'm going to stay back on this one and I'm just going to let her miss it. But overall you just have to -- you just have to be very safe and you have to come in because otherwise you wouldn't be able to keep up the pace.

Q. Monica has lost to you in two big tournaments this year, which one means more to you?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, to me probably it would be the French Open, yeah, because I would say that in general for tennis players the Grand Slams are the most important ones. But of course there's something special in another way because on this occasion you don't represent only yourself but you represent your country, as well. And you have to realize that I was playing against everybody today. And with all the comments some of you have made about me that I'm not strong enough or mentally tough enough at the end I thought that I didn't prove it only today but already in the past that that's not the case, because to play in the stadium in her home country you know on an occasion like this when you're going for a medal I think it's pretty gutsy.

Q. Speaking of that, you were taking some chances today particularly in the second set, second serve you went for a big serve on set point you took some chances in the third set?

JANA NOVOTNA: Of course and coming from being 3-5 down in the first set and being 3-5 down in the third set, I think that's unbelievable and that's what I needed to do because it was quite hot out there and I was getting tired a little bit towards the end so I needed to go for it more and that's the way to do it.

Q. How were you able to dig in and not come back not once but twice?

JANA NOVOTNA: I'm sorry.

Q. How were you able to reach within yourself and come back like that twice?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, it's something that I have inside of me because I'm a fighter and so that wasn't a difficult task to do, but I would say that it is pretty tough against a player like Monica is and especially when you would expect her to be much better at the end of the first set when she was up 5-3 or a little more aggressive, that's something to do, you know.

Q. How much did it help you today knowing that you had indeed beaten Monica the last time you played because the last time you played you remarked afterwards that your game is more complicated so there's more room for error but there's also more room --

JANA NOVOTNA: -- For variety, yeah, absolutely. Well, actually it helped but you have to realize that French Open we are playing on clay and everybody would say probably that I have a better chance to beat her on clay because it is slower I can get to the balls and I can play all these drop shots. So Monica's best surface is probably the hard court that's why I appreciate it so much more. But today it was great match for both us of us. I don't think I played such a good match for the past two years, you know, so exciting and so many good shots up and so many ups and downs.

Q. How different is it playing to this kind of atmosphere as to the regular tour?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, it feels like a Fed Cup, that you are playing against a home team and a regular tournament you get more supporters on your side but I was coming into this match with this attitude knowing that everybody will be probably for Monica or everybody will be pretty loud or even there may be some close calls but, you know, I had no problem with it at all. I just stayed calm, concentrated and fought to the end.

Q. You had a small cheering section up on one side, it looked like teammates of yours, do you know who they were?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yes, they were some of the athletes. I don't think I know them or know who they are but I know they were for me and they were pretty loud and I'm sure I'm going to meet them today and I'm going to have a little celebration for them.

Q. Now, you're in the final four but only three people come away with medals?

JANA NOVOTNA: That's a pity, isn't it? You work so hard and now you have to play for the third spot, too. Yes, well, I guess that's the way it should be, yeah.

End of FastScripts...

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