March 26, 2003
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. How do you feel?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Good. Happy.
Q. What was the difference there in the third set, do you think?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I think physically, I didn't get tired and maybe she did a little bit. I was able to break early on. I think that was a big factor there. Just I was able to stay aggressive and still move her around and mix up my shots and came to net. So I think I served well, too. I was just consistent in the third set.
Q. You had played her before. What were you expecting from the match, and is she playing differently now than she did earlier, when you guys played before?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, she served amazing. I mean, I always knew she had a good serve but she never, like, consistently just, you know, boom, boom, boom the serve. So it was very hard to break her. She's a great scrapper. She gets a lot of balls back. She was just, you know, more consistent than usual. So it's, you know, it was just longer rallies. So she's just -- you know, her forehand's always been big. But I guess her serve and her consistency...
Q. One of the keys to this match was the first game of the final set. You broke right away. What kind of attitude did you take on the court when that third set began?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I just -- I had the momentum, because I just won the tiebreaker. So I just went off the court, took a shirt change and, you know, wanted to -- maybe she got a little bit cold there from taking the break, just didn't concentrate as well. I thought that would be the best chance, the best opportunity, to break early on like that. So I was fortunate enough to do that and consolidate it with my serve.
Q. I know confidence is one of the strengths of your game. You walk on the court thinking you can beat anybody, any time. Having said that, is there a different sense looking ahead, knowing you only have to beat one Williams sister the rest of the way, where, generally, you have one in your half of the bracket and one in the other half?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, I don't think that way at all. There's just so many other tough players. It's not like I'm beating everybody. So I've lost to Lindsay, I've lost to Henin. I'm not just thinking about them.
Q. You said after your last match you woke up that morning feeling you were in a groove. Was it like that for you today?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, for the most part. Maybe didn't sleep as well, but, yeah, for the most part everything felt, well -- good.
Q. What were you thinking at the end of the first set?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, that it's not over and I was able to come back from 5-2, and I just felt like I was getting a better rhythm. You know, she was winning a lot of the long rallies and she was kind of moving me around. Then I just picked up my level and started moving her around a bit and started serving better. So I just knew that, you know, the second set would just be different. I think it would be a lot closer, anyways.
Q. As far as you're concerned, what makes the Williams sisters so tough to beat? What is the most impressive when you face them?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I really don't want to talk about that right now.
Q. It's been about a year since the Fed Cup incident. Meghann had some remarks to make about you the day after she lost -- the day she lost to Barbara Schwartz. Is all that forgotten in your mind? Do you have some memories about that, that make you feel disappointed in her?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, it's water under the bridge. I mean, it's not worth it for something as silly as that. You know, just doesn't faze me one way or the other, so...
Q. What makes you so difficult?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, just like in today's match, I think, you know, I played a good scrapper, but I think, also, I get a lot of balls back. My movement, I think, is good. Not only that, I think I can execute my shots well and not just be a defensive player, but also come back with making winners also. I think I play smart, too and come to net well (smiling)... And do everything...
Q. Did she impress you this week, Meghann? Is she a better player than you thought?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, I always knew she was a good player. A lot of things going into it - mentally, physically, she's been injured. I think, mentally, she's been working on that because, you know, she stayed in there more, not really losing her concentration and sort of hitting a lot of errors. I watched her play against Venus, so I know she's beaten Venus before, so it's like, you know, just one of those players that you just play really good against and feel no pressure. So she's definitely talented.
Q. You decided not to warm up to the Outkast song again?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah.
Q. How come?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I guess it was just made into being a big deal. I just said, "Forget about it."
Q. What was your thinking behind choosing that song?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, I just -- I like the song. It's just to show my support. I think by listening to the song, you could say that I'm an American, so...
Q. U2 today, is that right?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. I didn't pick that, though.
Q. You just said, "Whatever" basically?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah.
Q. You've had some big matches here over the years where your serve has let you down late in the match. Today, you weren't broken in the final set. Have you been working particularly hard on your serve the last couple of months?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yes, I have.
Q. Can you give us some detail about that?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I'm not going to, like, say my secrets or anything, but just I practice, you know, my shots, all my other shots so much during a day, during a practice session. I mean, why not, you know, I can't just go and practice my serve ten minutes, you know, when I'm practicing everything else for an hour, hour and a half, my ground strokes. So I'm just putting more time into practicing my serve and just -- so it just becomes automatic instead of me just, you know, getting in that situation and just getting off rhythm, just thinking about it. So I just get so I can just go through the motion if I'm practicing it so much.
Q. Have you tried to slow down also? You always liked to play very, very quickly.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, little bit.
Q. Five straight holds down the stretch. Most of them pretty easy. How much satisfaction is there in that particular aspect of the game?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: A lot, because, you know, 5-4, I remember other matches where I've been up like that, serving for it, and I've lost it and lost the match. So, you know, I'm proud of myself for coming through on that point.
Q. You seem happy, you actually seem to be enjoying answering questions?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Why wouldn't I (smiling)?
Q. We've seen you even after a win sometimes, are you in a particularly good mood this week? Are you having a good time at this tournament?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I came off a great win for myself, so I'm pretty happy about that. Yeah, I mean, I got my whole family here and just the crowd has been great. I feel great. I'm happy that, you know, I got over my injury last week and I was a little bit nervous about that. But, yeah, I've just been playing well and... But besides just playing well, just in general, yeah, I feel good about myself.
Q. Is Steven your hitting partner this week?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. He's been the last couple weeks and he will travel with me during the summer.
Q. With respect to what happened last year, are you looking forward to possibly being slighted by Billie Jean King during Fed Cup?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I have no comment about that.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.