January 9, 2001
THE MODERATOR: First question for Anna.
Q. Do you know much about the Russian players that are coming through?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: For example?
Q. Like Bovina.
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Bovina, yeah. Of course I see them on the Tour. But they play a lot of qualifying and a lot of other tournaments, so it's not often. It was the first time I actually played against her. I've never played her before, even in Russia or anywhere in Juniors. You know, I pretty much knew what to expect. I pretty much knew that she is hitting the ball really hard and she has a good serve. So... But I knew what I had to do. I had my game plan.
Q. Any chance that the young Russians that are coming through, you feel you can perhaps take some credit for that? That the reason there are a number of young Russians is because of you?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I guess. I just think that it sort of is motivation for younger players to, you know, to have somebody and to see that you can actually do it.
Q. Do you keep in touch at all with what's happening as far as junior tennis in Russia and the others coming up behind you or not?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I have enough of things - enough of matches to concentrate on my own.
Q. I just meant in general conversation. You were talking about the Russians, about what's happening, anybody else coming through.
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, really. I mean, we see all the Juniors at the Grand Slams, so that's where you kind of get all the information.
Q. How was the wind down there today? Was it bad?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, it wasn't so bad. It was just kind of weird on one side, on the left to the chair. It was kind of difficult to return from there, because the ball just stopped. And a lot of short balls, they were even shorter. So I had to be always ready. But other than that, it wasn't really bad. It was just kind of twirling around.
Q. How well do you think you played?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that for this match I played pretty good. I think that I was very concentrated, which was very important. Because, like I said, on the court it was difficult to expect what was coming, you know. First of all, I don't really know how she plays, and then these kind of players, you really don't know what to expect because one time they hit a winner, one time it's an easy mistake. You know, one time it's an ace, one time it's a very slow second serve. So you always have to keep your eyes open and be ready. So I was happy with my concentration today.
Q. What were the reasons for the breakup of your doubles partnership?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, just like before, we've played together and then we separated. And now we just -- also we want to try different things, and I want to concentrate more on my singles. I'm not going to play as much doubles as I used to, and that's it.
Q. There was reports that it ended in tears. How accurate are those reports?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Not accurate. It was something -- it was about something else.
Q. Would you like to elaborate on that?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: What? Sorry.
Q. Would you care to elaborate on what the "something else" might have been?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. Sorry. (Laughing.)
Q. Given the breakup with Martina, how do you see the first round against the Williams sisters with Martina and Monica?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: You know, it's a draw. This is tennis. There's a lot of good players, so I guess that's just what happens when you're unseeded.
Q. Any predictions?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, it's really tough to say.
Q. Was it an angry breakup or a friendly breakup?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it's not like a breakup. It's just that we both have different partners. It's not like we're never going to see each other, never going to talk to each other. No way. It's tennis. As you know, a lot of players, they change partners all the time, so it's absolutely normal. This is our sport and this is the way it is. For example, I played with Barbara a year ago. Now I'm playing with her again. So it's normal.
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: With who?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: There's always a chance of everything.
Q. Who suggested the breakup?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Excuse me?
Q. Who suggested you going separate ways?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: We just kind of - I don't know - decided after the Chase, that's it.
Q. What do you think you have to do with your game so you can actually make the top three or four this year?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, right now I just want to continue the way I'm playing and the way I played the end of last year, and continue that and be consistent in the top eight, top ten. And hopefully this year I can make top five. That would be what I would like to happen by the end of this year. And in order to get higher-ranked, I guess I just have to play much more consistent and just win the big matches.
Q. How do you plan to do that?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Sorry?
Q. How do you plan to make it in to the top five? What are you doing?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I'm perfectly fine just like I am. I think that I'm playing even better since August. I think that that's where my improvement started, and I was 14 and now I'm No. 8. So I think that the last few months have been really a big improvement for me.
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No.
Q. Your mom and dad?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, my parents are helping me. I like it the way it is.
Q. Do you plan on making any changes?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, not right now. When things are going good, why do you want to change something?
Q. Do they organize your fitness routines?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: My dad is a professor. He coaches. He's a professor in the University of Physical Culture in Moscow. He knows a lot about it. He has a PhD in it.
Q. Does he do it for free?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well... You should ask him.
Q. You'd have to pay their salary.
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I wouldn't want to discuss that here. We have a perfectly great parents with a child relationship, and that's --.
Q. I'm only teasing you. That's all right. Are you training a lot harder, or are you doing different things?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: You mean in terms of...?
Q. Your fitness level.
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, yeah. Definitely I've started working out much harder since last summer. Like I said, since about August. And it's -- you can really see. So...
Q. Do you think there's any elements of your game that you need to change to get in to the top three or the top five?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. I think that I just have to improve the way I'm playing now.
Q. Be more consistent?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah.
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I'm not saying that tomorrow, you know, I'm going to be No. 1 or tomorrow I'm going to be this or tomorrow I'm going to be that. I'm just going to keep working and whenever it happens, it happens. I know that I'm working hard, and that's it. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow. Maybe it's the end of the world.
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