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March 10, 1999

Chanda Rubin


Q. Were you disappointed with your ability to not close her off faster?

CHANDA RUBIN: It's a good start (laughter). I mean, definitely I was getting a little -- kind of a little annoyed with myself towards the end there. But I just kept telling myself, "Keep going aggressive, get back to what you were doing, making her play, taking opportunities when they were there." I kind of battled through it. I definitely would have liked to close it out a little easier, but I feel good about the win regardless.

Q. What in her game did you hope to exploit going into this match?

CHANDA RUBIN: Well, she's a really great player. She's extremely good off the ground. I mean, she's solid, she's steady. She moves well. I wanted to take advantage of her second serves, take advantage on her serve, the opportunity to start the point off aggressively. I also wanted to get a lot of first serves in, in my service games. I did okay on my first serve percentage, that could be better. But overall, I feel like I did the things that I wanted to do going out there. Took a lot of aggressive hits at her serve.

Q. Do you feel like you have to get that jump on her because once you do, she starts to get frustrated? You can see it on her.

CHANDA RUBIN: I think there's a lot of players who aren't as comfortable playing from behind as they are when they're ahead. For me, sometimes I play better when I'm behind. It feels better when you win the first set, when you get that first set under your belt, you can kind of relax a little bit and go into the second and just play. I definitely wanted to go out and try to take the first set if it was there, and play from there. It worked out pretty well.

Q. Are you finally feeling like things are coming around for you; it's been a long time?

CHANDA RUBIN: I feel like everything has been coming together since the end of last year, and definitely the beginning of this year. I feel like I've had a really good start in Australia. This week I felt very good coming into the tournament and felt like I was hitting the ball well enough to play with anybody and to beat anybody. This is certainly great to actually reap the benefits of feeling that.

Q. In your career, if you could break it up preinjury, post-injury, you had some pretty good wins, but where would you place this one?

CHANDA RUBIN: I definitely would say this is the best win of my career. She's No. 1 in the world, and the best player, so to speak, out there, week-in and week-out. She's a tough player to play. It's definitely, I think, the best win to date.

Q. Would you regard this as a milestone result for the rest of the year?

CHANDA RUBIN: It's not so much a milestone. I mean, I feel like it gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of year. It's my goal this year to get into the later rounds of the tournaments, quarters, semis, finals, and win. I feel like I'm capable of that. This just really gives me, I guess, some more incentive. It's great to take these kinds of wins when they're there, and it was certainly there for me to take. Maybe the next week it won't be. Maybe she'll be better. Maybe other players will be playing a little better. It's just week-in and week-out, everybody's tough. I feel like this kind of proves to me that everything I've been doing has been paying off. I feel good going into next week, see where it takes me. I mean, I'm looking forward to the Grand Slams and knocking off players there. Those are going to be the real, I guess, telltale signs.

Q. How about the next round?

CHANDA RUBIN: I haven't quite thought too much about the next round. Every match I've played has been a top quality player. I'm just taking whoever comes and just playing. Jana or Steffi, I mean, either one. They're kind of different styles, but I think either one is going to be a tough match. But I'm looking forward to it. I feel good going into it.

Q. Hit some great shots.

CHANDA RUBIN: It's going to take a few more great shots. We'll see where I am.

Q. Your accuracy seemed to be the key today. Is that something you've been consciously focusing on?

CHANDA RUBIN: Yes. Going into today's match especially because it's more important, a player of her caliber, for your placement, then power. To kind of have a good mix, sometimes you have to place the ball a little bit more to open up a particular shot. I feel like I did that pretty well most of the time, I guess.

Q. Did you practice together?

CHANDA RUBIN: We warmed up, yes.

Q. Is it something usual?

CHANDA RUBIN: No. We're starting a new trend, I think (laughter). We've practiced together a couple times during the week. This morning, we were going to share the court. We just decided, "Let's hit." It wasn't anything new that I was going to see from her, and vice versa. It was just a warm-up.

Q. Did you see something special in the way she was playing during practice?

CHANDA RUBIN: No. Like I said, we've practiced together a few times in the past. It wasn't anything new that I learned in the warm-up. I don't think she learned much new in the warm-up. It was just who was going to go out and compete better out there and put the shots together when it was all said and done.

Q. When you have a result like this, do you think back about the weeks and months that went by where you couldn't really play because of the injury and because of form, et cetera, and some of those matches you played at Grand Slam, like Sanchez at the Australian?

CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I definitely thinking about some of those times, the times when it was a bit frustrating when I couldn't play, when I was going back and my game just wasn't quite there. I think about that before I go out onto the court in a match like this. This is the stage where I want to be playing, the people I want to be competing against, and the people I have to beat week-in and week-out. It makes you appreciate it when you are healthy and when you are able to play and compete and when you're playing well. I'm trying to take advantage of it every day. When I feel like I'm playing better on a given day, go out and win the match. It's simple.

Q. Is this the best patch you've been able to string together since the surgery?

CHANDA RUBIN: Definitely, definitely. I mean, I've beaten four quality players. The first round she wasn't seeded, but former Top 20 player, three seeds, today the No. 1 player. It's definitely the best string of matches that I've put together.

Q. And when you're asking yourself, "Why has it taken so long for me to," how have you maintained your patience?

CHANDA RUBIN: I haven't asked that. I appreciate it when it comes. I have that attitude that if it doesn't come right away, you just keep plugging away, you keep doing what you need to do, keep working hard, paying your dues, and eventually it does come. I've always felt that. Certainly it was tested the time that I was out injured, and the time since then when I've been trying to come back. But, you know, I still feel that way. You can't give up. I mean, if you're doing something that you enjoy, you believe in yourself, you just have to do what it takes, and eventually it does happen.

Q. So you're back?

CHANDA RUBIN: I'm back, I guess. That's so cliche, "I'm back."

Q. Did it feel good when the crowd started to get behind you there?

CHANDA RUBIN: It felt good. Definitely the whole match I felt like the crowd was behind me, supporting me. I felt like I've had a lot of support all week actually. It's always nice to get the support against a top player, a No. 1 player, who week-in and week-out the crowd is seeing and enjoying, but they're also out there pulling for me. It's a nice feeling.

Q. You've played her before. What was so different about her play today, or was it you elevating your game?

CHANDA RUBIN: I mean, I feel like I'm a much better player than the last time I played her, which I think was this time last year. I don't know if she would say she's playing her best tennis, but she certainly has been playing very well week-in and week-out. I just feel like I'm playing much better, I'm a much better playing, more solid, a little bit smarter out there. I think that paid off.

End of FastScripts....

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