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August 27, 1996

Annabel Ellwood


Q. Annabel, when you see you've got to play Capriati, what were your thoughts?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: First of all, I thought it's exciting to play someone. I remember watching her play when I was young. It was a big opportunity for me. I had nothing to lose. It was a great experience.

Q. How did you get in the tournament? You're a lucky loser, is that correct?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: Yeah, a very lucky loser. Well, Chanda Rubin pulled out, so I was the next lucky loser. She pulled out before the qualifying had finished, so originally Jennifer had to play a qualifier. When that happens, they draw out the lucky loser.

Q. So you've known for a few days?


Q. Who did you lose to in qualifying?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: I lost to Serra-Zanetti.

Q. Did you say that was a good opportunity?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: When I came up?

Q. Yes.

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: Yes, it was like a second chance. You're disappointed when you lose the last round of qualifying. It's always an exciting thing when you know you're in.

Q. You say you remember watching Capriati a couple years ago when you were younger. Can you compare what they played like back then to what you played against today.

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: No. I don't think I can compare just because it's different watching her on camera, video, and watching her play someone like Steffi Graf or someone like that at a semifinal of Wimbledon. I don't think you can really compare. She's gone through a lot. She had the pressure on her out there, and I had nothing to lose.

Q. You say you have nothing to lose. How nervous were you?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: I was still very nervous. I mean, playing Capriati, she's a big name. I had to keep thinking that I was lucky to be in the event.

Q. First time you've about been here. What do you think about playing on that court? Not the quietest court.

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: Not quiet. I played the Junior final on that court. Takes a while to get used to it, there's a lot of people moving around. Yeah, I was lucky to play on it last year, too.

Q. At what point would you say that you felt you knew you would win the match?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: I think when I actually won the match.

Q. Until then you thought that you wouldn't pull it out?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: No. I mean, I've seen matches when you've had match points and you could lose them. I knew I had to keep going right to the end.

Q. You said you felt the pressure was on her. Would you have felt more pressure if you were playing someone who wasn't a "named" opponent?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: It's hard to say. First round of a Grand Slam. That's very big for me. I think she's had it tough, all the cameras are on her, being so good so young. She was such a good player, and still is. She is always out there and has to perform.

Q. Have you ever played against anybody that renowned.


Q. To save a lazy guy from looking it up, how did you come out in that junior final last year?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: I lost to Tara Snyder, another American.

Q. Why do you think you won today? Your play or do you think she made a lot of errors there also.

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: Again, it's tough on her. There's so much expectation on her. I definitely played well, for me that is.

Q. What do you think about her game?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: Well, she played some great shots out there. She missed a few at times. I think she just hasn't had as many matches this year. It's tough when you don't have those matches behind you.

Q. You've been talked about a lot in Australia for two or three years. Have you been happy or have you been frustrated that it could have been quicker?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: No. I think in Australia it's a lot tougher because you have to do a lot of traveling. The programs down in Australia are really good. Australian sport, the facilities are great. We've moved to Melbourne and trained at the training center. We have all the facilities. I think it just takes time. In tennis you have to keep plugging away.

Q. What city are you from?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: I'm from Canberra.

Q. Have you thought about your next match?


Q. Do you know who you're playing?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: Yeah. I play Elsa Collins.

Q. What's your record against her?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: I don't think I've ever played her.

Q. Your brother play today, too?


Q. Was today his first US Open match as well?


Q. Did you guys talk about that? I don't know if that's ever happened before. ?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: I mean, it was exciting because he qualified as well. I was lucky loser, so. Actually he's decided to stay. He was going to go home after this tournament, but he's decided to stay and watch me for my next round.

Q. You have family here?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: No, just my brother.

Q. He's two years older than you, 20?


Q. Were you surprised, Annabel, to find yourself leading the match, leading quite comfortably?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: I didn't think it was comfortably. I was definitely surprised, yeah. I didn't want to think too much about it because when you think too much, you don't play as well.

Q. What were your expectations before the match?

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: I didn't really want to sort of think about things like that. I could have gone out and lost one and Love or something like that. I just wanted to go out and play. This way you sort of play tennis, big matches, playing Capriati first round US Open, that's what you play tennis for.

Q. Have you ever been to New York before? Last year, so this is the second time.

ANNABEL ELLWOOD: Second time, yeah.

End of FastScripts...

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