August 27, 1996
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. I'm just wondering what your biggest problem was today, if it was your own game or
something that Kimberly was doing?
KIMIKO DATE: Kimberly was playing very steady and very good throughout the match,
especially she got off to a good start. I was kind of slow at the beginning. When she was
ahead of me, then I got really, really nervous, and it turned worse.
Q. Was there any particular point in the second set, any particular place in the second
set that you thought was the turning point?
KIMIKO DATE: Of course, in the second set I was leading 5-3. I think I had chances, but
still I was struggling to get her rhythm. I wasn't confident with my play, and I never
returned to my normal form.
Q. How much more disappointing is a result like that so soon after winning?
KIMIKO DATE: Last week I won, but still, to tell the truth, I was not in good form. I
managed to get to my form gradually. Of course, I could play -- I could really play well
in the final, but still I came to this tournament with a little anxiety left in my mind. I
was not ready in some ways, but I shouldn't make any excuse. Kimberly is such a good
player. She's been in good form these days, beating Anke Huber in Canada. I don't think I
lost -- I don't think I won't be disappointed by being beaten by Kimberly, but I consider
Kimberly as a very good player.
Q. It wasn't some disappointment, especially coming off such a great Wimbledon for
Kimiko? Was she not optimistic about performing well in the next major?
KIMIKO DATE: I should say I was not optimistic. I advanced to the semifinal in
Wimbledon, but still I think that without playing my best hundred percent tennis, it's
really difficult to stay in the Top 10. It's really difficult to keep the higher level of
my play. It's true that I always have this first round jitters in all the Grand Slam
tournaments. Also it's really impossible to predict what will happen in the match.
Q. Is there anything in particular you think you need to do so that you can be more
consistent, more consistently get to the semifinals or the final of a Grand Slam?
KIMIKO DATE: In order to advance to final or semifinal, what I always think about is to
improve my service, net play and all the tactics and how to win the critical point. That's
what I always think about. It's really difficult to carry out what I think in the actual
match under the pressure. It sometimes work and sometimes doesn't work. That's always what
I think. Compared to other players in the top level, I'm not so tall and I have less
power, but I always try my best to catch up with top level of tennis.
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