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September 9, 1994

Jana Novotna


Q. How did you let it slip away?

JANA NOVOTNA: Why? Well it is always very difficult against Steffi and I think that game 5-2 was very important. I was up 40-15 and right there I missed the forehand return; then I make easy error off my forehand as well. Even at deuce, I came in after very good approaches a couple good times; she was lucky there. She passed me. She did great at that time; nothing I could do. After that, my game just fall apart a little bit for three games. I finally had it together when I was 5-6 down, but it was a little bit too late for that.

Q. Jana, even at 5-3, 15-All, she hits that crosscourt flip forehand past you.

JANA NOVOTNA: That is exactly right. I was really aggressive today even when I was -- when I was up and I think I played great tennis during the second set. The way I go to 5-2, I think that was unbelievable, very exciting tennis. I hope not only for me, but hopefully for everybody. But there were points where I couldn't do anything. There was times when she made a winner or she passed me or she made a lob over me, that was very difficult, yeah.

Q. One of the television commentators said when you were 5-2, 5-3, you sort of' expected Steffi to make the mistake that would give you the game?

JANA NOVOTNA: Maybe that is what the commentator thought. I never thought about it at all. Because I know that Steffi doesn't really care what the score is. I mean, if it is 5-2, 5-Love,, she is playing full out all the time. And I never really thought about okay, now it is 5-2, 40-15 and I have the set. I knew it was going to be -- I had to finish that one point.

Q. Come back to 5-3 and 5-4 and 5-5, did your mind go back to Wimbledon last year?

JANA NOVOTNA: No. How could it? How can you ask this question all the time? I really wonder.

Q. Seems like a logical question to ask.

JANA NOVOTNA: Why? I mean, Wimbledon was 14 months ago. How can I still go back? Do you know how many times I played Steffi after Wimbledon? I have played so many times against her.

Q. Are you saying no or yes?


Q. To my question, are you saying no or yes?

JANA NOVOTNA: No. Absolutely no.

Q. Comparisons will be made to Wimbledon. Is it --

JANA NOVOTNA: Pardon me.

Q. Comparisons would be made to Wimbledon, but would it be fair to say Steffi played a lot better today?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, you can't really compare today's match to Wimbledon because we are playing on a hardcourt. I was playing different games. Steffi was playing -- I don't know. It is hard to say if she was playing better or worse. I mean, it is not important. I think that she played better at the important points.

Q. That was the key point to the -- did you ever begin playing defensively near the end, did you feel?

JANA NOVOTNA: Not really. I felt today that I really went for it. I mean, like -- that is what I usually do. I am like up 5-2 or something I am winning; then I just want to sort of wait and stay back and wait to see what she is going to do - if she is going to miss it today. I think I went for it. She was at the net quite a lot of times. She made some great passing shots, she really surprised me with that.

Q. This whole tournament you have been playing from the backcourt and winning from the back court, was it hard to make the adjustment to come in and have to play more aggressively today?

JANA NOVOTNA: Not really, no. Because while I was playing against the other players, they were certainly not as fast as Steffi is. They are not hitting that hard; even Mary Pierce is not hitting hard like Steffi, and really, Steffi is No. 1 player, and it really shows because I found myself so many times today in that match when I thought I had a winner already; that she is never going to get there. Suddenly she was right there and she still made it over the net. She still made a passing shot. So many times, when everybody is, okay, this is over and suddenly she was right there. She is really, really fast and she is very aggressive from the forehand and it is really, really hard to beat her at this stage. But I think -- I still think that I have played very good match; very exciting match, and, you know, I am very happy the whole tournament.

Q. How rattled or frustrated were you by the line calls?

JANA NOVOTNA: It was only -- only that baseline on the other side of the net. There was always -- always the same spot same mistake, all the time. There was not one overrule. I really couldn't tell if the ball was really out or was really in, but all the calls were very, very close. Sometimes I really felt that the chair umpire should do something; she should overrule something because three of these calls were very, very close. Not once she didn't do anything, not once.

Q. As they mounted up, did it begin to affect you at all, do you think?

JANA NOVOTNA: It didn't affect me. I just felt that every single time I am going to hit the baseline, it is going to go out any way. So it makes you wonder, you want to make it shorter, shorter; you don't really want to hit the baseline because you feel, you know, not again; it is going to happen again.

Q. If you could do one thing differently in that match, what would it have been?

JANA NOVOTNA: If I could do -- well, I guess I would take little more time at that stage 5-2, 15-40 on Steffi's serve; I would try to do something there. I would just try not to miss the ball; not just make too easy errors like I did there.

Q. You had -- three doublefaults you hit in the game near the end was a sign that you were tense?

JANA NOVOTNA: I was not getting tense at all. I really surprised myself today. I think it was very windy conditions today. I think it was just bad timing; really had nothing to do with being nervous or afraid to hit the ball.

Q. What is the main difference between you and Steffi?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I think that the difference is that she is hitting the ball a little bit harder from the forehand side, and she is still a little quicker than I am, and her serve is a little more consistent longer than mine is, so if I can, you know, make little adjustment at that stage, I think I can really become even better player than I am right now.

Q. If she is so much quicker than you anyway that either of the other two players could beat her?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, yes, they have a good chance because even I think that Arantxa probably or she had a better chance to make it to the finals, you know, she has total different style of game. I mean she is very quick. She is only you know, playing from the baseline. She is not very aggressive. So it will be up to Steffi. If she can make her shots and if she is not going to rush herself; then she has a better chance. Of course, Arantxa is you know, standing there and she is very consistent and she can run down a lot of balls.

Q. In the game in which you served the three doublefaults; you twice had second serves that hit the top of the net and then bounced along. Have you ever had one unluckier than that?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I didn't really-- I didn't really thought about it if there was anything to do with luck. I think that -- as I said, there was very bad timing and I should just maybe go for the safer serve; not to go for the first one and just make it over the net. As I said, it was very windy there.

Q. In order to catch her, do you think you need to make more improvement physically or mentally?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I think if I know that every time I am going to practice or every time I will play a match and I will know that I am giving everything and I am giving everything to tennis I can at that stage and if I think if I can become more consistent than I am right now, I think that all will help my confidence and that will improve my game. So you know, both. Both ways.

End of FastScripts....

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