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March 11, 2003

Chanda Rubin


MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Kind of a tough start to start the match.

CHANDA RUBIN: It just was real erratic today. Definitely at the beginning of the match, I was not making enough balls. You know, she made just enough to make me play. Second set, I just had to, you know, totally turn things around and start making balls into the court first.

Q. Are you okay physically now? Have you been fine since the end of the year?

CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, I've been feeling pretty good. You know, I didn't play these tournaments actually the last couple years. You know, it's been nice just to be able to play and get my teeth into the tournament. Just trying to definitely be a little bit fitter going into these matches and going into these tournaments. Overall, I feel pretty good about where I am, the fact I'm playing.

Q. Results-wise, it doesn't seem you have the confidence you had last summer, say from the end of the US Open even up till now.

CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I think, you know, I had a couple of tough losses after the US Open, indoor season. Definitely it was not quite the same level of tennis that I was playing then. I think now I'm definitely getting back to, you know, just a basic solid level of tennis that I was playing leading up to those tournaments. I think that's what it's going to take. I think now, the first match in a tournament is where I have to be playing my best tennis. These are matches I have to get through, give myself a chance. Later rounds in tournaments, quarters, semis, the finals, give myself a chance to be in there and then let the tennis, you know, unfold. I think that's what I did better over the summer months.

Q. Are you saying since you took those couple tough losses in the fall, I assume you're talking about Kim in the Championships, that mentally in the first matches you're getting a little tighter than you were before?

CHANDA RUBIN: I wouldn't say overall tighter. I think just the flow of playing definitely, you know, it's not going to be there every single week. For a long time I didn't play, so it's about sustaining that flow, that level of play over, you know, week in, week out over a number of given weeks. That's I think where my challenge is and where I want to get better, where I feel that these tournaments at the beginning of the year, it's an opportunity for me to get better with that for the Grand Slams, going into the summer months.

Q. So confidence-wise, this tournament has to be pretty good for you because now you're sort of back in the mix?

CHANDA RUBIN: Definitely. I mean, it's just good to really get into the heart of the tournament and still be playing when Wednesday rolls around, still have a chance and a shot at the title. That's what I wanted to do coming into here, you know, why you play the first few rounds, you really fight through those matches. I really feel good about where I am. You know, I think with my game I still have a lot of improvements that I can make and be a little more solid in certain instances, just a little tougher point in and point out. That's what I think it's going to take for me to keep progressing this week and the weeks to come. That's what I'm going to be working on.

Q. Are you pretty confident? The level you showed last summer was pretty much Top 5 level. Are you pretty confident that's coming back and you can really challenge for the top?

CHANDA RUBIN: I definitely feel like I can challenge for the top and for that level. I mean, even the first couple tournaments this year, I had a couple tough losses in Australia at The Open, and also in Tokyo. I feel like even in those tournaments, Tokyo in particular, I was really playing well. That's where I was in the summer. I didn't play every match great, but, you know, I did enough each time to win, and in those bigger matches, that's where you have to step up. That's what it's about, you know, stepping up when you need to. I think a match like today, it's really good in terms of that. Hopefully I can just continue with that and use the upcoming matches that I'm going to have against better players, use that, you know, to be even better with it.

Q. With Venus and Serena not in the field, how wide open is this tournament?

CHANDA RUBIN: You have to say a tournament is wide open when you first hear that neither one of them are in the draw just based on the way things have been going. Percentage-wise, they've won -- one or the other has won most of the tournaments they've played in. Definitely, you know, I think it's anybody's tournament. Certainly, looking at the quarterfinals, it's up for grabs. It's good to have a shot at it, be in the hunt.

Q. Lindsay was saying a few days ago she also thought this was a really good testing ground for who the next couple players are going to be who actually may go to Miami, challenge Venus and Serena.

CHANDA RUBIN: I think that can be the case. I still feel that in terms of, you know, having the challenge to Venus and Serena being the bar for some reason, if you just hypothetically look at it that way, I think the true test is when everybody is playing and when everybody's at a particular tournament. When Venus and Serena, in particular, are at a tournament. This I think is a great week for anyone who's going to step up to really, you know, solidify their game, just the confidence that it takes to win a big event like this one. But, you know, it's a whole new ballgame. Each tournament you go into, you have to be ready to compete, ready to fight. You just don't know in a given week who is going to be ready to step up. I don't think it's necessarily going to be the indication as to who steps up here, but certainly it's a big step on the road, you know, to where I think most of us want to go.

Q. Mauresmo also said she feels now, because Venus and Serena are playing at a higher level, especially physically, that everyone else has to add a couple more elements to their game. Do you agree with that?

CHANDA RUBIN: I think, you know, to beat one or the other, you definitely have to have an extra gear that you can go to. You can't just, you know, sit on the baseline and expect to just get balls back and win. That's always been the way that I've approached it. I don't know how other players have looked at it or what other players' approach has been to playing the Williams sisters. For me, that's the way I've always looked at it. Even the players just below them, that's the way I feel I have to go out and play. You just have to be able to put it on the line, take your chances, try to make something happen in matches, because nobody is giving you matches, everybody is out here competing and fighting.

Q. Don't you have the winner of Kim?


Q. If you happen to play her, she's given you a rough time.


Q. Can you talk about how you're going to approach that differently this time.

CHANDA RUBIN: I haven't really thought so much about it yet after just playing today. I think it's really going to be about, you know, how I start off the match, you know, how I give myself a chance just to get into the match and get into the play. I think the couple times I've played her last, I just hadn't given myself that opportunity. You know, for me, I'm looking at it as a whole new match, a whole new ballgame. Win or lose, I want to go out and play the way I know I can play and compete the way I know I can compete. We'll see who's better.

Q. Can you talk about Dechy?

CHANDA RUBIN: Actually, right, she plays tonight. I'm making assumptions. I think it's actually going to be an interesting match between the two of them because Dechy can make a lot of balls, takes the ball just early enough at times to be able to give Kim problems. For me against a player like her, it would be a similar type of game plan. It's more focused on how I go out, how I hit the ball, give myself the chances for the points to evolve, for me to attack and be able to finish points at the net. That's how I'm going to have to play either way.

Q. With the WTA looking for a new CEO, what are some of the top issues you think should be addressed?

CHANDA RUBIN: In terms of?

Q. Just issues on the tour that you think have to be addressed with the new CEO.

CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I think with Kevin kind of going out, things have been on the right track certainly from what I hear and from what I see. I think that is going to be just as important to continue that, to continue to try to move forward, you know, with making the tour more recognizable as a whole, making it stronger just as a product, as a brand. I think that is definitely the first and foremost most important thing. Just letting people -- television-wise, that's where everything is, that's where the strength of sports is right now today. I think that's going to be important for us to tap into that, just to bring it all together.

End of FastScripts….

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