September 6, 1992
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Mary Joe, did she show you anything new tonight that
you hadn't seen from her before?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Well, I know Mary's game pretty well. I
played her once before, a few years ago at the French. I practiced
with her many times. She hits the ball very clean and very hard.
Tough to play against her, because sometimes, you know, she goes
for periods where she hits like five winners in a row; then she
makes errors, so, I knew I had to be the aggressor. I couldn't
let her dictate play, and I did that in the beginning. She was
making mistakes. I think she lost a little confidence early on.
And then you know, at 2-Love, in the second-- it was a big game.
If I would have gone up 3-Love in the second set, it would have
been a little easier for me. She got loose and she went for a
couple of more shots; started going in and things got a little
come complicated. Fortunately, I hung in there, and played well.
Q. How much confidence does this give you? I mean, you
kind of was tinkering in the first two games.
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Yeah. It is a good boost. First couple
of rounds, I didn't played so well. I fought well. I hung in
there, and played well against Brenda Schultz in the third round.
Today I played well. I am doing what I am supposed to be doing;
trying to hit the ball, and from the start; not waiting until
I am down to do what I am supposed to do. And you know, I am
trying to get in my mind that if I play that way and I lose, it
is okay. As long as I am doing the right thing; then I will be
happy. So even in the second set, things got a little close there.
I was still going for my shots, and I made a few errors, but I
kept doing it.
Q. What were you thinking during the first set when things
seemed to be going so easy for you?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: I was happy. I was very happy. I wasn't
losing many points in that first set, and then when you win a
set 6-Love, you always have to be careful - You can't really play
any better and she can't do any worse. The minute you lose a
game, it changes things sometimes. I knew I had to keep the pressure
Q. How hard does she hit compared to some of the other top
players like Steffi and Monica?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: She hits, I'd say, the same. She hits it
very hard. When she is on a groove, it is hard to keep up her
pace. But you know, obviously Monica and Steffi are more consistent,
and that is why they are 1 and 2.
Q. You must be aware of all the talk about her and her dad
and how tough he might be on her. Right now do you ever feel
sorry that she has to go back and possibly face whatever atmosphere
that might be?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Well--
Q. I am not talking about feeling sorry for her on the court,
but now that it is over and you have beaten her?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: I know them. I can't say I know them well,
but I have been around them enough, you know, I really don't think
he should get all the bad press he does. I think now, Mary has
been doing very well, ranked 16 in the world; she is 17. She
has improved tremendously. I think they realize that and they
are happy. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but what
I see, in public, and everything, it is fine. I am not one to
judge whether he treats her well or not. That is for them to
Q. Do you think she could be one of the top players in the
game some day, like the father thinks she will be?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: She definitely has the tools. I think she
needs to improve her mobility a little bit. She doesn't move
that well from the back. But she hits the ball well. She has
got a good serve. You know, if she keeps improving she will be
Q. How about her nerves? Does she have the nerves to play
the big matches?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: I think that comes with experience. She
has had a good year and won some good matches. And she has played
close matches with some of the top players that always gives you
confidence, so, you know, I think she-- it is just a matter of
time. Everybody is playing better nowadays, so it is tough to
say one specifically is going to do well. She is definitely on
the right track.
Q. Did you sense her being nervous out there at all?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Maybe in the beginning. It is always hard
when you start off and you are down a couple of breaks, you start
wondering "what do I need to do." So, that is always
nerve-wracking, but I think once she won the game, she relaxed.
Q. Would do you expect to see from Sabatini?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Well, she going to come in a lot, and like
have a lot of topspin, and, you they, move me around. So I just
got to be ready for it. I got to be the one dictating the match.
I really basically all my matches I just have to pretty much
worry about myself. If I do what I am supposed to do, then, you
know, hopefully everything will take care of itself.
Q. When you lost to her in the semi-finals here a few years
ago, was that a hard loss to accept?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Yeah, took me a while to get over that one.
I was playing well and I was up 4-1, 40-15 in the first set, and
she started coming in on everything, kind of freaked me out, and
I lost concentration, and ended up losing the match in three sets,
but you know, it is one of those matches you learn from them,
and hopefully the next time will be my turn.
Q. Are you glad the next time is here at the U.S. Open?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: I have played her many times since.
Q. I mean, that you get another chance here to play her?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Oh, yeah, it is always great playing Gaby.
We are pretty goods friends. Hopefully, it will be a good match.
Q. Mary Joe, that injury that you had that occurred in Mahwah,
is that all gone by now?
MARY JOE FERNANDEZ: Yes, it is recovered.
Q. Any others.
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