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September 10, 1995

Gigi Fernandez

Natalia Zvereva


Q. Can you talk about it about how it feels to finally do it, finally win the U.S. Open?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Three years, I thought it would be a lot easier to come out because we knew that it's is not a Grand Slam. It wasn't, you know, we weren't going for a Grand Slam here, but it still took a lot of, you know, took me to be a little bit nervous with some points of the match. Pretty tense match.

GIGI FERNANDEZ: I think the wind didn't help. When it is windy, you tend to not be as loose. You can't really go for your shots as much because the ball is not where you expect it to be and also when you hit it, you aim for a spot; it doesn't go to your aim, so doubles, there seems to be less -- it is hard in both, but in doubles you always have the net crossing you, so your space with the ball is smaller. So that we were tense not only because it was a Grand Slam final, but because it was windy and it was swirling so you had to get used to it.

Q. Why was it so tough to nail one that really counted for the Slam? What kept preventing you from doing that, what was the difference?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: Well, who knows. You can ask God when you die. I have no idea. You can ask him. It is like we tried our best and we think -- we were a little bit unlucky with the scheduling. We were stuck playing too late semifinals, both times. We played the first one -- we played after Super Saturday, after, you know, we went on at 8 o'clock at night and the second one we played fourth on Friday, which -- there was like 50 people in the stands and there was like no atmosphere and it is very hard for us to play like that. And for the other team, it is better because there is not so much pressure. But you know, we try our best. I think we are not done. We can still have another chance, you know, next year starting all over again and, you know, Jana and Arantxa are playing great doubles, and it would be probably more difficult now than it was before, because they are playing so well.

NATASHA ZVEREVA: The good thing is there is a challenge out there. Really tough challenge. We seem to be playing against them all the time in the finals, most of the time anyway, so that makes it very challenging and, you know, once you are out there and playing a final or any match against them, you know it is going to be a great match.

GIGI FERNANDEZ: If we had won the Grand Slam two years in a row or even one time, there would be a little less for us to do as a team. We still have that and we still have Martina and Pam, we are still trying catch them. I know that is way far away. I am probably going to have to play tennis until I am 50 to catch them, but it is still in the back of our minds.

Q. Is that what keeps you together that challenge?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: We stay together because we Love playing together. We are great friends; enjoy each other on the court, off the court, and we are the best team in the world, so why would we split up?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Find it very good chemistry and seems to be working out everything on and off the court, so...

GIGI FERNANDEZ: Particularly off; that is the hardest thing, a partnership that goes on a long time, you have to go through a lot of changes and we have been through a lot of changes personally off the court between us and we both have been able to adapt; that is what makes the difference.

Q. Would this title have been sweeter if it was Novotna and Sanchez after a great Wimbledon final against them?


NATASHA ZVEREVA: Doesn't really matter.

GIGI FERNANDEZ: We don't care. And also I think we always think about team of the year and we were pretty -- it was pretty close and I think now that we won here we probably -- we had a better year excluding the Grand Slams than they did up to now and now we are tied at Grand Slams and they didn't make the finals to this one, so we feel that we would be favored again. So, you know, that was important, so we didn't care whether it was--

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Who knows, maybe they will bribe somebody....

GIGI FERNANDEZ: We didn't care who was in the finals. Plus the last three years we won the three Grand Slams each year and this year we weren't going to win three because three were already gone and we only won one, so we wanted to finish the year with at least two.

Q. This is a little offbeat, but I understand you collect pigs; is that right?


Q. Real pigs or...

GIGI FERNANDEZ: No. Fake pigs.

Q. When did you start doing that and why?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: I started about six years ago when I was just shopping a lot and buying stupid things, somebody said, why are you buying those stupid things; just start a collection; like what? Like a pig collection. I said, all right, I will start a pig collection. I started this big pigs collection. Now I have like 200 pigs in my house.

Q. Are they crystal pigs, ceramic?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: I have lot of fans who gives me pigs. Crystal, ceramic. So I accumulate about three a week, three a tournament.

Q. Any policemen giving you pigs?


Q. Yes?


Q. You said fans give you pigs?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: All the time.

Q. What is the strangest pig you have gotten?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: Eastport, it was a stuffed pig. It was about my size and I have to find a way to bring it back to the states which I did. I put it in a garbage bag and I checked it, so it is at home. It is like this big (indicating bigger than herself).

Q. Do you have anything weird like that, Natasha?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: Are you calling that weird?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Did you ask me?

Q. Yes.



NATASHA ZVEREVA: Well, it is nothing weird. CD's is just regular.

GIGI FERNANDEZ: We give each other -- when we win a tournament, I give a CD to her and she gives me a Russian lockerbox. She has a Russian lockerbox collection and I have a --

NATASHA ZVEREVA: You owe me 260 bucks by the way in CD's.

Q. There may be a little bit of a tough question, but do you think many of the women players were sort of happy to see Steffi win yesterday so at least Monica didn't come back and win the first time out?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Personally, I -- my personality was breaking down in half. I didn't know who I wanted to root for because Steffi had such a hard time lately and Monica had an extremely hard time coming back and I was really glad that she came back and started playing a tournament in Toronto and so, for me, it was really hard to root for anybody there.

GIGI FERNANDEZ: Yeah, Steffi had been going through all what she has been going through with her dad and tax evasion and stuff, all her problems. For Monica -- they were both having such a hard time. Steffi now and Monica before, it was hard to root for anybody. But also I am sure maybe some of the top players were feeling like there was some pride involved, Monica can't just come in and beat everybody, I mean, at least Steffi beat her, you know, she played great. It was great tennis and good to have her back.

Q. Not a little bit more than surprising that after two years she is back and so strong?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: Well, Monica is a surprising human being. The things that she did before she retired, I mean, before she had to retire or whatever, temporary retirement, were surprised when she was 17, she had won, I don't know how many Grand Slams, so she is an exceptional athlete so I wasn't surprised. I know that she is probably the most intense player on the Tour. She has such tunnel vision and focus on the court that I thought it would be easy for her to focus when she got on the court and then she grew two inches and her serve got bigger; her shots got harder, so I wasn't surprised after I saw her play the first time, I wasn't surprised.

Q. Whose idea was it to do the strip and wearing matching jogging bras; is that a throwback to Australia? You got such grief when you did that the last time.

GIGI FERNANDEZ: It all started about Nike controlling something or other. We thought we would give our company a little, I don't know, a little exposure; happy to be with them.

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Gives us exposure too....

GIGI FERNANDEZ: Female dancers.


Q. Can you be fined?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: I don't know. Hope not. We used to have a rule that didn't allow jogging bras on the practice court, but the rule got overwhelmingly voted against. Every single player on Tour signed against it, so they had to get rid of that rule, so there is no rule on the jogging bras.

Q. There was a little bit of trouble in Australia when you flashed.

NATASHA ZVEREVA: That was still in the rule time.

Q. Old rule?


Q. Is the new rule name after you?

GIGI FERNANDEZ: You had a bra or...

NATASHA ZVEREVA: No, it was a sports bra. Couldn't see anything.

GIGI FERNANDEZ: I don't know. I hope we don't get fined but if we do, we will pay.

End of FastScripts....

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