November 18, 1995
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Who taught you to return serve like that? That's one. And two, you seemed to have improved in the last year in your movement, your flexibility and your speed. Have you worked with anybody special on that?
ANKE HUBER: Yeah, I worked a lot on my speed. I did a lot of conditioning practice this year. And yeah, I was working a lot. But who taught me to receive like this? I guess nobody. It just -- today it was pretty good. I was getting used to it, from game after game I was getting better. So I was pretty good. And I saw it pretty early, where she was serving to, so everything was great.
Q. Anke, can you talk a little bit about when you turned pro at 15 and you came up and everybody was talking about you. And the next Steffi. And how hard that was for you at the time. And do you think that hurt you or in the end has helped your development?
ANKE HUBER: It's difficult to say. It's tough when everybody compares you to Steffi. She's somebody special, nobody is going -- there's not a second Steffi coming up the next hundred years, maybe. So it was very tough in the beginning. Because everything was too early for me. I didn't win anything great. And they still said I'm the second Steffi. I always said I'm not. That's me and I'm trying to play good, but I don't think that I'm going to be as good as Steffi. So it was a little bit tough in the beginning, I'd say. But I got used to it and I didn't listen to them anymore, just tried to play my own tennis and to have my own head. So that's okay. I'm happy with the way I'm playing.
Q. Now do you think you can be as good as Steffi?
ANKE HUBER: Well, I guess I'm 20 already, when she -- what she won at 20, I guess it's not possible anymore. I don't want to say I'm going to be as good as Steffi.
ANKE HUBER: I'm trying to beat her for sure. It's going to be tough. I never did it. I just try to play good tennis again. And I have nothing to lose. I had a great tournament. And I'm just trying to play good.
Q. Anke, it seems like a bold move to choose to receive first when you had the choice. Was that just to see her serves?
ANKE HUBER: I choose to receive? Well, I'm doing this always. I feel more comfortable if I'm receiving in the beginning. So nothing happened if I lose the game. So I just feel more comfortable. I'm doing that all the time. And it's not because I was playing against her. Maybe I should have taken my serve against her, it would have been easier in the beginning. But I just got used to it already, to receive.
Q. Anke, do you know when you take your -- where you're receiving it from?
ANKE HUBER: Where I'm taking it from? I have no idea.
Q. Let's go back to my other question just for one more minute. Back home in Germany, we all know what it's like for Steffi back home. What is it like for you, and is it better for you because she gets all the attention or does the press hound you just as much?
ANKE HUBER: Not as much as Steffi for sure. I think for me it's -- it's comfortable. I don't have too much pressure, and it's still okay. I'm feeling okay. I have no problems, at all.
Q. So they're not camped outside your door or anything like that?
ANKE HUBER: Well, no, I don't think so. Not yet. So I hope it's not going to happen.
Q. Which Grand Slam do you think you have the best chance of winning?
ANKE HUBER: Winning? I never thought about winning a Gran Slam. But I guess I like hard courts very much. Like Australian Open. I played twice, very good tennis in the Australian Open. Or like the U.S. Open, maybe. But I don't know which I have the best chance. Just depends a little bit on my draw how I'm playing at this time.
Q. Anke, you played Steffi in the finals in Philadelphia and it was a close three set match.
ANKE HUBER: In the finals of Philadelphia. I didn't play Steffi, no.
Q. Correction. Sorry. Withdraw.
ANKE HUBER: I played her two years ago here, and it was three sets.
Q. How long have you been working with your new coach, and what does he bring you?
ANKE HUBER: I'm working with him now since Wimbledon and just, I think it's a great combination. It's very quiet and relaxed and I feel very comfortable when I'm practicing with him and it's a lot of fun. And I think he tries to let me think a little bit on the court also, and not just hit the ball somewhere. So it's just great at the moment. He gives me confidence and it's good.
Q. Anke, what do you think you have to do in order to beat Steffi tomorrow?
ANKE HUBER: I think from the baseline, I have to play a little bit more aggressive, for sure, than today. And to serve a little bit better, harder than today. And well, it's going to be very, very difficult. She's playing really well the last matches. So I think I just have to play my game and don't miss too much, and concentrate.
Q. Are you going to play to her backhand mostly?
ANKE HUBER: I don't want to say that now what I'm going to do. But, yeah, well, we will see tomorrow.
Q. Is this your first three out of five?
ANKE HUBER: Yeah, yeah.
Q. Any thoughts on it?
ANKE HUBER: Well, I'm looking forward to it. It's the first time and I'm really happy that it's going to be like that. I never did it and I think I'm in a pretty good shape to do it. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to it.
Q. Do you think you have the stamina to go five sets?
ANKE HUBER: I think I have, yeah. I did it already in practice. And I think there is no problem.
Q. Does Steffi help you more outside the court because you are her country man?
ANKE HUBER: Outside the court, if she helps me?
Q. Because you are also a German? Does she play you differently because you are German?
ANKE HUBER: I don't understand the question, really.
Q. Does she take you differently, not as a regular opponent.
ANKE HUBER: If it's different because she's German?
Q. Does she help you?
ANKE HUBER: No, I don't think so.
Q. But actually did she ever have -- when you were going through this and just coming up, did she ever have a conversation with you or you with her to say this is hard or --
ANKE HUBER: No, not really. We played Federation Cup together and we talk, but never about tennis or something like that, or what I have to do. No, not really. We are not that close to each other.
Q. Do you have any intense --
ANKE HUBER: If I'm tense when I'm playing against her?
Q. Do you have any special problem when you have to play against Steffi?
ANKE HUBER: Have a tactic?
Q. Like intense, like emotion?
ANKE HUBER: Well, it's always great to play against her. I never had really a chance to beat her. So it's difficult to say if it's a special feeling or something like that. I like to play against her and, yeah, I don't like to lose. But if I'm playing good I'm happy. And to play against No. 1, I think it's always great.
Q. Anke, you seem to be flying on the clouds since the beginning of the week. Is that the feeling you've got, or is it a natural thing, to be here in the finals?
ANKE HUBER: No, for me it's great. It's a big success. I am so happy I won today. I cannot explain it. It's not normal that I'm in the final, it's something special. And it means something special for me.
Q. Is there a special reason why, can you explain that?
ANKE HUBER: I don't know why. I think I was practicing very good in the beginning of the indoor season. And I was practicing very hard. And the whole indoor season I played already pretty well. So I think it just turns out like this. I don't know, I was a little bit lucky, the draw was good for me. And so everything was better.
Q. You returned serve very well today. And you seemed to have a really good read to anticipate her rocket serves. Natasha said earlier in her semifinal matches she was having trouble reading Steffi's serve. Do you have any thoughts about her serve and does the higher ball toss make it harder to read?
ANKE HUBER: For sure Steffi's serve is more difficult to receive, I think. It's a little bit more -- better placed, I don't know. And she has better angles in her serves. So it's more difficult to receive, for sure.
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