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August 27, 1997

Lilia Osterloh

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Were you aware that she was in some trouble out there, in distress?

LILIA OSTERLOH: I heard from a few players that she hasn't been feeling well the last few months, but after the first set she took a bathroom break, but I mean, I felt like she was playing hard entirely the whole match until 3-Love when she took the injury timeout. And then decided that she had to default.

Q. Could you lead us through the sequence of that, the trainer was called out and she couldn't --

LILIA OSTERLOH: Right. At 3-Love I guess she had called for a trainer and they gave her three minutes and then she couldn't get up or something. Then she had to default.

Q. Now, you know her pretty well?


Q. That must have been sort of a scary?

LILIA OSTERLOH: It was tough because she is my friend, but I am all business on the court. And, I mean, I felt like in the first set she was playing well and I had -- I was up a break 3-1. And, I just didn't take advantage of those opportunities and I just didn't find my rhythm. I mean, I saved one set point and I brought it to a tiebreak. And, I mean, we had a tough tiebreaker. But, she managed to pull it out. And, then in the second, I mean, I jumped out to a quick break and, you know, I found my rhythm and I felt like I was in control of the match.

Q. Was there some point during the second set that you were aware that she was moving slower or shots weren't coming back with as much sting?

LILIA OSTERLOH: Right. I felt she was fighting throughout the entire match up until 3-Love.

Q. Congratulations getting into the third round.


Q. Got too feel pretty good about that?


Q. So you got in the second round last year?


Q. You are into the third this year. Does that mean you are going to be the U.S. Open Champion in like five years or whatever --

LILIA OSTERLOH: (Laughter.) I don't know. I mean, I am playing good tennis right now and I am just going to take it one match at a time. I play the winner of Spirlea/Kournikova. I believe that is going to be a real tough match, whoever wins that, so I am just going to focus on my next match; plus I still have a mixed doubles tonight. So, I have to focus on that one, too.

Q. Who is the best player you have played so far in your career?

LILIA OSTERLOH: I mean, they are all tough.

Q. I know.

LILIA OSTERLOH: You mean like the highest ranking-wise?

Q. Yeah.

LILIA OSTERLOH: I believe last year when I lost to Likhovtseva, I think she was ranked like 19 at the time.

Q. Talk a little bit about this class of young women who have seemed to have come along all at the same time, we were talking yesterday about the men who have gaps, I mean, there is not as many young promising young men as there seem to be young promising women?

LILIA OSTERLOH: I mean, I don't know. I mean, I just -- most of the other girls are actually younger than me, I think, Hingis and Kournikova, I think, they are around 16, 17. I am actually -- I mean, even though I am young, but I think I am still a little bit older. And, I don't really know why, but I mean, my timetable is just different.

Q. Among the American girls, it must be a stiff competition?

LILIA OSTERLOH: Actually there is a lot of up and coming Americans. There is Tara Snyder, Brie Rippner. Who else? I am not sure, but there is a lot of good competition in the USA.

Q. What this mean now reaching the third round now - you talked about this the other day.

LILIA OSTERLOH: I mean, it is great. I mean, it is special. It will be my first pro event. But, I mean, I am just going to take it one match at a time.

Q. You probably will be on one of the stadium courts and how do you think you will adjust to that?

LILIA OSTERLOH: I love playing in front of crowds. I mean, it is also the entertainment business too. And, so, I like playing in front of big crowds so I am going to be really excited for it.

Q. If I could ask, is your mother or father Filipino?

LILIA OSTERLOH: My mother is from the Phillipines and she also has a little Spanish in her and my father is from a German background.

Q. You may not want to answer this, but what the heck. A lot of observers look at the top players and a lot of them are first generation, like Andre, or Michael Chang or Pete and even on the golf side, Tiger Woods, of course. Do you think, in some ways, having one of your parents coming to America recently, does that sort of help you in some kind of way with drive or eagerness?

LILIA OSTERLOH: Not especially because my mother has been here since like the '70's, or the early 60's, so, I mean, yeah, she is an American citizen. So, I mean, I am American all the way - yeah.

Q. You do have family here watching?

LILIA OSTERLOH: Yes, my mother had to go back to work yesterday, but my father is here and a lot of people from Stanford came over.

Q. Who is here from Stanford?

LILIA OSTERLOH: A couple of guys from the team. Well, actually, some of them are playing also in men's.

Q. Can you name some?

LILIA OSTERLOH: There is like the Bryan brothers, David Hauser (ph) and I forget the other guy's name, but.

Q. Are you guys supporting or hanging out or is there any networking going on?

LILIA OSTERLOH: Yeah, we call each other at night see how everyone did. We all like to keep in touch so it is very good.

Q. Is Coach Brennan here or not?

LILIA OSTERLOH: Actually he is not. But I don't know if he is coming later on in the week. Assistant coach Lele Ferod is here.

Q. This is a tough assignment for a first pro tournament. I mean, this is a Grand Slam. It is a big event. It is New York City. Coming in, what were your expectations? What were -- what did you think you could do here?

LILIA OSTERLOH: Well, I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself. But, I did win a round last year and I did want to get past the first round. So, I did that and I am happy that I won another round.

Q. If you had to name one thing that was the biggest surprise of playing pro ball, what would that be?

LILIA OSTERLOH: Biggest surprise -- I guess the money involved. There is a lot of money involved.

Q. What parts of your game do you see that you have to develop further making the transition from the college level to the pro ranks?

LILIA OSTERLOH: Just have to play my game. College tennis, everyone is really -- I mean, I could just be solid and consistent basically and not really go for my shots, but now I mean, I have to play my game and be aggressive and take advantage of opportunities, you know, come in a little more and I am still continuing to work on a lot of things, improving my serve and my conditioning.

End of FastScripts…

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