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August 31, 1996

Anna Kournikova


Q. Now that this is done, you get to play Steffi. Your thoughts on that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I'm really excited about that match. I'm looking forward to it. I hope I'll be playing as good as I was playing today, so I'm looking forward to it.

Q. How good did you play tonight?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think I played really good. I moved really good. I didn't lose my concentration. I was not disappointed when I lost the first set.

Q. Were you disappointed when you were down 4-3 when you lost the lead?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I was really, you know -- I was not disappointed at all, which is normal. I was trying to get back in the match, trying to stay calm.

Q. Even when you were down 40-Love, you didn't?


Q. Were you tired at all in the third set?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: A little bit because I played already, this was my sixth match. I was a little bit tired, but not that I couldn't move, you know.

Q. How did you get back the lead? You were down 4-3, Love-40. How did you stay calm? What happened?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think I was just really patient, I was not trying to go for big shots, just kept the ball in play. When I saw a good one, I was attacking.

Q. When you are making this kind of advancement, do you see the time you've spent with Nick in Bradenton all this time paying off in any particular way?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I've been practicing real hard before this tournament, at the academy. I think that's why I'm playing so good here.

Q. Are you surprised yourself, fourth round, first Open, all the other stuff?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I'm really excited about it, but as I said, I practiced really hard three weeks before this tournament after the Olympics. I was expecting to get somewhere, but it's definitely a real good achievement for me.

Q. Are you content now getting to play Steffi or do you think you can give her a good match?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I hope I can give her a good match.

Q. Are you comfortable with your dropshots or it's just good luck?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: If it would be luck, I could just have done one. I think I've done like five or something, so I'm happy.

Q. You won seven games in a row in this match, but then you lost four straight games. What was it about this match that made it such a shifting tide so to speak?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: The first set I was a little bit nervous. I stayed calm and kept my concentration. I was really patient. I didn't try to end the points real quick. I was real patient. Even if I was losing, I wanted to give her a good match.

Q. When you said you were expecting to get somewhere, you consider the fourth round "somewhere"?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I didn't expect to get that far. It's definitely what I have worked for.

Q. Are you going to change anything in your game to get ready to play Graf?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I think I'll have to have a little bigger serve than today, just trying to do my best to play Steffi.

Q. When you're going to look at the draw, people are going to look at the draw and see Graf and Sanchez, a lot of names people recognize. Do you think they are going to be surprised to see your name in that final six people?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: It's hard for me to say what people expect. I don't know what they think. I hope they're not going to be surprised.

Q. Could you tell us how it was playing in front of such a big stadium here at stadium court?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I felt real comfortable out there, felt real comfortable.

Q. Anna, everybody thinks because of your age, you have nothing to lose. Does that play on your mind?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No. I have something to lose: my match. I'm trying to relax and do the best I can.

Q. Do you remember when you saw Steffi for the first time playing?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yes. I think I saw her playing Wimbledon probably like '88 or something like that. The next year I saw her playing against Monica, first time Monica was in semifinals when she was 15. She lost 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. I remember that.

Q. Last time you said there was no real role model. But seeing these people at this age, what did you figure out for yourself as a plan?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I didn't have any plan, I was just learning from the players, the top players, Steffi and Monica. I was watching them on TV. It definitely was my dream to play Steffi.

Q. How does it feel knowing that you're the future of women's tennis?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't know if I'm the future of women's tennis.

Q. I think a lot of people think you are.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it's great that they think that way. We'll have to wait and see what's going to happen.

Q. Who were the players that hit the hardest balls against you? Which match you had to play with the hardest hitting?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I have played some big girls, you know, who hit the ball real hard. I remember I played against Brenda Schultz-McCarthy in a doubles match. I was pretty well returning her serve, but she was probably the one that hits harder.

Q. You think you can do everything you did today against Monica?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: It's hard to say how I would play Monica. She would probably attack me more than Barbara did.

End of FastScripts....

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