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September 5, 1994

Jana Novotna


Q. How are you satisfied with your game?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, I'm very happy. Before I came to U.S. Open I thought about it and I talked with my coach a little bit that I will try to do things differently this year, I will try to be more aggressive, but it turned out to be that I'm very solid and consistent from the baseline, so I really don't need to do that -- but, I'm very happy. I'm playing very solid, consistent tennis. Nothing special, nothing bad, just a happy medium, what I need.

Q. 5-2 match point, you, a little bit lost your concentration.

JANA NOVOTNA: I didn't really lose my concentration, but I said already earlier, she just went for it. She went for the first match point and she hit a passing shot right on the line and then she suddenly, you know, was back into the match, and then I made a few errors, and here we go, 5-4. But then I realize that I have to come in, and that's what I did and I finally finished it off.

Q. When -- did you and Hana have this conversation just before the Open or what?

JANA NOVOTNA: About what?

Q. You said you have to do things differently?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yeah, yeah, before we started to play on the hardcourt, after Wimbledon, said, like, what you need to do is you have to be a little more aggressive because you're always playing from the baseline and you try to win it from the back, and it takes so much out of you. So, he said, it's better if you will be more aggressive, you can make more points easily and you will feel better, you will have a better chance.

Q. How is your net game?

JANA NOVOTNA: My net game is good, but I'm so good from the back, I don't really need to come in. So I really surprised myself and now I'm playing from the back. Of course, when I get a short ball, I'm coming in, but it is not as we planned, but if it's working, fine. Let's do it and over it.

Q. Considering the Grand Slam season you had last year, did you look at yourself coming into the Open and say, "This my last chance to really do well in the Slam this year"?

JANA NOVOTNA: My last chance? Like Martina? This is my last tournament. Last chance. No.

Q. Don't start spreading rumors.

JANA NOVOTNA: No, not at all. Every other tournament seems like the Grand Slams. Of course, you want to do as well as the Grand Slam, but otherwise I do everything the same way, so I didn't really look at it. I know I don't really like to play here, it's very hard to play for me to concentrate here and the outside courts are very different compared to the Center Court and when you're on the Center Court, it's very noisy. I don't have to tell you about it, but I didn't really think about it at all. Play one match at a time and you'll see how far you can go and now it looks really good. You're looking -- okay, I'm telling you all the same, oh, it's good.

Q. Jana, what about your next match guess Majoli or -- one or the other?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, it depends, really, who gets there and they both are the same players, they hit hard from the baseline, not -- nothing specific, nothing really special, just hitting hard from the back. So it will be up to me how well I can deal with that and not only with the game, but with everything surrounding the players and, you know, if I can play as well as I did today, I think I have a better chance. I have a good chance.

Q. Do you have a preference between the two of them?

JANA NOVOTNA: No, but I know that you do -- you have.

Q. Just reporting what happens. Compare Mary Pierce right now --

JANA NOVOTNA: What is what?

Q. Compare how Mary Pierce is as a person and playingwise now as to last year? Is she a tougher opponent --

JANA NOVOTNA: I never played her before. This will be our first meeting, so I can't really tell you how much she improved or what is new in her game until I play her. If she get to the quarters and, you know, it really depends how well she can hit the ball. Depends on her day. I saw her play extremely well, I saw her play not as well in the tournament. So it will be pretty much up to her.

Q. Both her and Majoli, they're very hard hitters, baseline hard hitters; are you planning on attacking? Are you going to attack, come to the net a lot?

JANA NOVOTNA: Well, if they let me, yeah, maybe I will be in the back just bringing the ball back -- it really depends. Of course, I will try to come in as soon as I can, but it's very hard with these two players. I will have a hard time coming in and there will be danger on the passing shot, but I have a lot of variety in my game and I'm sure I can find a way how to get into the net and hopefully I will be solid there.

Q. Comparing Jana Novotna to last year--

JANA NOVOTNA: Same as usual, confident, playing well, smiling. I can keep going.

Q. When you came into the U.S. Open last year, you were on the heels of a runner up finishing -- almost a win here-- at Wimbledon?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yeah, but I feel about the same, I even feel better about my game this year than I did last year. You know, it was more like I was very confident and I was, you know, playing well the months before I get here, but, then, as I said, I didn't feel very comfortable on the hardcourt. I couldn't serve and volley all the time because the surface is pretty slow, especially Center Court and Grandstand. So, this year I tried to do it different way, as I said, from the back. So let's see how far I can get with that. And also last year I sprained my ankle, so I was not really good in my last match against Date, so I couldn't play the way I would like to. But now I'm feeling good, healthy.

Q. And smiling. Is it surprising that you won so easily today, to you?


Q. How does it help your confidence; you've had a relatively easy time going in the quarters?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yeah. Well, you know, it's always easy to say. You can't really look at the results only. You would have to see the matches and everything, and as I said, I think I did pretty well, very consistent and the match today wasn't as easy as it looked like. You know, the second set was a real struggle for me and I was happy to finish, you know-- but as I said, I'm happy the way I'm playing and hopefully I can get some rest because I have to play doubles and mixed doubles and the senior and everything -- and juniors-- just start today. So I have a lot of matches to play, but I'm feeling good and I'm looking forward to playing the quarters, to be in the quarters, I mean.

Q. Jana, who's the one person who had the most influence on your life and why?

JANA NOVOTNA: On my life?

Q. On your life.

JANA NOVOTNA: My mother.

Q. Or on your game. Is she the person you look up to the most?

JANA NOVOTNA: If she's what?

Q. The person you look up to, respect the most?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yes, we have a very nice relationship and I love her very much, and yes, she's influencing me in a way even now.

Q. Does she still watch you play?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yeah. If they show me on TV. Today she did. Not the other days.

Q. Did you talk to her?

JANA NOVOTNA: Not yet. Because you're bothering me here for half an hour and I can't go. I'm leaving now.

Q. Can you just fill us in on this sushi thing?


Q. The sushi.

JANA NOVOTNA: Sushi, the famous sushi, Kimiko Date has friends here that have a restaurant downtown Manhattan, so she has like 16 players which she has to bring sushi every day.

Q. And you're one of them?

JANA NOVOTNA: Yes, it's really nice. I like it.

Q. And you eat --

JANA NOVOTNA: I don't eat it every day, but once in a while. I'm still eating some pasta and, you know.

End of FastScripts....

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