July 19, 2002
MIKE RALSTON: First question, please.
Q. How do you feel about the draw? Get your top player out there right off the bat, try to get a quick point?
CAPTAIN ODED JACOB: Well, in a way we like the draw. We preferred Anna to play first on court tomorrow. However, I don't think it makes a great difference matter of winning a point or not. I think it's just the preference of the player. Anna preferred to play first, maybe because of the time of the day. That's it.
Q. Do you think Lindsay will be nervous, this being her first competition in more than eight months?
ANNA SMASHNOVA: I think she might be a little bit, but that's normal because it's a match. I don't think she will be nervous because she was out eight months; she might feel it just because it's a match. She cares, just as I am.
Q. Is this a perfect time for you to play her? You're on a rise, and she's just coming back.
ANNA SMASHNOVA: Well, I think that I was not really thinking for it's the perfect time. I'm just going to go out there and do my very best. Lindsay is a great player. I mean, she's in a great form if she's going to come out and she's going to play the Fed Cup. So she must be playing really well, otherwise she wouldn't be here.
Q. What was your reaction to the draw?
ANNA SMASHNOVA: I wanted to play the first match because I like to start, so I don't have that much wait. And I just -- I mean, I don't think it's that big of a deal. It just was a preference. But I think playing second would be the same thing.
Q. What's your reaction playing Monica? Have you played her before?
TZIPORA OBZILER: I never played Monica before. It will be very exciting for me. I think it's a big honor for me and for us as a team to play the USA team. We'll do the best, and hopefully for the best to come from it.
Q. Can each of you speak about what it's like to play for your country?
TZIPORA OBZILER: I'm playing for the Federation Cup the last four years. It's always honor to play Federation Cup for Israel. Especially these days, we can make a little bit of happiness to our country, it's an honor. We are the ones that maybe can really bring it to Israel.
HILA ROSEN: I'm playing Fed Cup for the last 10 years. It was always be a big honor for me. It's a great tournament to play for the country and a great chance to help the country and to give back what the country and the tennis association of Israel gave us. So for me it's a very big event. As Tzippy already said, the situation in Israel the last six months is already very hard. For us to represent Israel in such a big occasion, playing the USA in Fed Cup, I think it's a very, very big event for us. I hope we can do the best, we can get some smiles in Israel and through the tennis make peace in the world.
SHAHAR PEER: For me it's the first year that I play Fed Cup, and it's especially a good experience to play against USA because these are the top player in the world. To go to watch them, to see how they play, how they act. I hope I will play some more Fed Cup.
Q. What are your goals for the future?
ANNA SMASHNOVA: My goals are just to play my very best tennis. If I play well, then results will come. I don't have any expectations for myself.
Q. When was the last time you were back home?
CAPTAIN ODED JACOB: It's divided. Some of us came from some tournaments on the tour. Actually, two of us, Hila and myself came straight from home to this event, while Shahar and Anna and Tzippy have been playing for the last three weeks outside of Israel.
Q. What you said was very touching about you hoped you could bring some smiles to your country. Have any of your loved ones or friends been involved in any of the violence?
TZIPORA OBZILER: I think none of us have any family related to one of the people who got killed in the last year in Israel. As you know, Israel is a very, very small country. I think each of us knows few people or at least one who got killed, you know, a little bit, friends of friends, you know, very far family. The situation in Israel these days makes you feel like Israel is one very big family, that everybody cares about everybody. When such things happen, it's like it happens to you. Thanks God we here, didn't lose anybody. We hope Israel is not going to lose anybody else.
Q. Can you talk about the excitement being chosen for the first time?
SHAHAR PEER: It's very exciting, but it's my first time that I'm Fed Cup and first time that I'm coming to watch very good players. But I hope it will be some more times and I will get used for it. That's it.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.