March 21, 1998
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
Q. It seemed pretty easy for you today? Was it as easy as it looked?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, yeah. I think that I played pretty well. I played not bad. It the was first match. It was a little bit difficult, but I was really concentrated and didn't make any unforced errors, which was really, you know, helpful. And I think it was a good match. It was a little bit difficult to play Mirjana, because she is one of the young girls and -- but I am very glad with the way I played.
Q. Were you surprised that Mirjana didn't give you a harder match?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I wasn't. I mean, I expected that I would do my best. And if I did exactly what I intended to do, I knew that I would win.
Q. Has success changed you at all?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't think so. I think I am still the same.
Q. Who do you think is the cutest guy on the men's Tour?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: There is a handful of them probably.
Q. Not too many players on the Tour that are younger than you. Martina Hingis says that she always finds it different when she plays someone younger than herself. What about you, how do you feel about playing someone younger than yourself at this level?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: That was probably my first time in a long, very long time that I played somebody younger than I am. That is because when I was young, all the juniors, I always played somebody older than I was. But I didn't really think about it at all before the match. And I really had no emotions. I was not nervous. I was not excited. I go out there on the court, I was just really concentrating and I really had no emotions.
Q. There is a chance you might play Monica in the next round. Do you have any prior experience playing her?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I have no experience. I have never played her.
Q. What would you think about playing her?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it is going to be definitely a new match, and she is one of the best players ever and I respect her very much. I like her game, and it is going to be something new, so I am looking forward to that.
Q. The morning of a match, how do you prepare yourself? What kind of process mentally do you do or physically do you go through?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Nothing really different from my normal day. I played a lot of matches this year, so they are basically all the same stuff in the beginning of the week or something. Nothing really special.
Q. Other than Martina Hingis, who would you consider your most formidable opponent on the Tour?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think you have to be really ready to play all -- everybody. I mean, you cannot say, oh, my God, if she is No. 1, she plays good or if she is No. 100 she plays terrible. Everybody who are playing, you have to beat them, and you have to do what you are supposed to do. So you have to get ready for each match.
Q. On the Jay Leno show you said you wanted to get into acting. Are you looking to branch out to do acting or fashion or anything like that?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I am playing tennis right now. And that takes most of my time.
Q. Have you been offered any roles in TV shows?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't know. I mean, I am not even looking at that right now.
Q. What do you feel like you have to do to compete or beat Hingis?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I mean, I have to beat everybody not just Hingis, right?
Q. In your game, what do you feel like you still need to work on?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: My game I think I just have to play -- try to play my game when I am playing against somebody, you know, not to give the opponents the opportunity to play their game on the court. Not to change my game, but just to play the way I do when I am playing.
Q. If you had to gauge how much your game has improved or changed since the start of this year when you played in Sidney, how would you evaluate it?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I think that I learned a lot in this couple of months in Sidney. I think I improved a lot since there. I am much more patient and on that basis than I had -- and I had a couple of tough matches between now and then and now that I know, you know, even if you are down like a set and 5-1 and something like that, you can still try to win or even if you are up, you still have to finish the match. So that kind of stuff.
Q. What do you say to yourself at matchpoint?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I -- I don't really say anything. I just have to -- I try to really concentrate and try not to think about it that it is matchpoint. Just to try to play the point relaxed.
Q. You have taken offense in the past when asked about Sergei Federov. How important is this friendship for you?
ANNA KOURNIKOVA: He is just a friend of mine. I mean, you know, another athlete and he is a very nice person.
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