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August 22, 2004

Conchita Martinez

Virginia Ruano Pascual

ATHENS, GREECE, LI-SUN/Martinez-Ruano 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. The Chinese players at the press conference said they did not expect to win this title. Could you attribute the loss of the game to probably you underestimated the strength of your opponents?

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: Did we underestimate? No, never. No, never. I think they're great players. I mean, they beat some amazing double teams to get to the final, so we didn't, no.

Q. Can you explain to us why you lost the game.

VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL: Because they played very good today, so that's why they beat us.

Q. You are world famous players.

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: I think they are great players. I mean, if you saw their match, you could tell that they can play tennis, you know. They just did great.

Q. Do you think the result is normal or abnormal and why?

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: Well, I mean, I think, you know, we didn't expected to lose in two sets. But, you know, like we said, they just played a very good match to beat us. They were very aggressive moving at the net. They did everything right. I mean, they didn't miss. We didn't have much chance out there.

Q. Do you think it's normal?

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: What's normal? What's abnormal?

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish, please.

Q. There's always the same dilemma. I want you to speak honestly here. Are you disappointed, or are you pleased with your medal?

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: Well, you feel disappointed at first, don't you, because you've lost the match. It's really quite tough to lose in a final, be it here, be it elsewhere. But, you know, we were in constant movement. We were quite tired. So we were disappointed at the beginning. Then when we stopped to think about it, we did think after all, it is a silver medal, and we shouldn't be that disappointed.

VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL: Well, yes, at the beginning, that's what you feel. You feel disappointed because you've just lost a match, so obviously you're not happy. But as the time goes on and you start thinking about it, you think, "Well, it's not that bad. We've got a silver medal at the Olympic Games." So we are quite pleased and we are very proud of that fact.

Q. This was a good opportunity to win a Spanish gold medal. I'm sure you felt the same before the match.

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: What, that we could win?

Q. Yes.

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: Well, yeah, sure. I mean, to be in the final is a great thing, and it always offers you that opportunity to win a gold medal. Well, you were disappointed, too. I know we're disappointed. You perhaps had greater expectations of us because you didn't really know the Chinese players. Well, perhaps we underestimated them just like you did. They played great. But, of course, a final is always a good opportunity to have to win a gold medal. But never underestimate your opponents. It's never going to be easy. I mean, they won the gold medal because they beat Williams and others, Venus Williams and other great players that were in the draw. You see, they're really good players. I don't know if they always play that well, but they did today.

Q. The wreath on your head is prickly, isn't it?

VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL: It is a bit actually. I've given it to my mother. I haven't kept it (laughter).

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: I've kept mine. I put it over there with my things.

Q. You said that the Chinese players played very well. Do you have any regrets as to the way you played?

VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL: Well, you always think you could have played better than you did. I mean, you know, when you look back on it, you always think you could have played better. But they played really, really well. They really didn't give us much of a break. We had a few breaks, but we didn't make the best use possible of them. Maybe it was a bit of bad luck, too. But, no, no regrets really. What can you do about it? You can't go back in time.

Q. If you had won the Olympic gold, would you have said, "Okay, great, nothing else to prove, I'm going to go ahead and rest"? Is that still the idea now that you have the silver and not the gold?

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: Every time you come back and say the same thing (laughter).

Q. You've won Wimbledon. You could have won the Olympic gold. That would have made you a very special sportswoman. Are you disappointed because you didn't achieve that, or do you still feel you are a great sportswoman even though you have the silver?



Q. But gold is gold. Gold is not the same as silver, that's why I'm asking you.

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: What was the question?

Q. The question is the following: to add an Olympic gold medal to Wimbledon is something very special.

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: Should I now retire?

Q. I'm not telling you you should retire.

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: That's more or less what you were hinting at in your first question, wasn't it? Anyway, Olympic gold is a great thing. But, well, you know, silver's not bad either. Silver is also good.

Q. I don't want you to retire.

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: You're asking me what I'm going to do next. You're saying, "You didn't win gold, so are you going to retire now? If you had one gold, would you retire?" That's more or less what you're leading up to, isn't it?

Q. You said earlier that you might have had a stroke of bad luck earlier. Conchi, do you feel the same way as your partner there?

CONCHITA MARTINEZ: Yeah, I was a bit frustrated because I really couldn't do any better. I mean, we really hit the ball hard. I don't know, maybe I should have hit the ball higher or not put so much spin on it or tried to put more spin on it. But the ball comes at you so fast, I did what I could. I don't know, you know, we had some near misses. But, you know, they hit some shots that even they couldn't believe they had hit. I mean, we didn't have that much bad luck. They played well, that's all there is to it.

End of FastScripts….

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