August 27, 2004
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Can you explain whether it's your neck? Upper spine thing? What is it?
NATHALIE DECHY: It's right there, so it's between the neck and the spine. That means you cannot turn the head. And it happened during the match. I didn't have anything before. I was feeling really great until 4-Love. Then on the passing shot, on the backhand passing shot, I heard like a big crack in my back. I realized it wasn't going to be very good after that, so that's why I called the physio. Most of the time, well, I never call the physio in my life on the tennis court, but I knew that she could help me a little bit to lose it up and then give me a lot of Advil to start take the pain away.
Q. So it was a muscle?
NATHALIE DECHY: I don't know. I don't know if it's a muscle. I think it's really tight because of the pain, but it's more like a bad movement that I did. I don't know.
Q. Didn't seem to have hurt your game too much.
NATHALIE DECHY: Well, there's two things. The bad thing was that I couldn't serve like my serve. The speed of my serve went down maybe from 10 miles, maybe even more. Then my backhand was pretty hard, and I was moving with a lot of pain. But the good thing was that I had to be really, really relaxed to play and really cool, so at least -- well, I didn't was feeling any tension in my game because I knew that I had to be really calm to play with this kind of pain.
Q. Do you worry about tomorrow? When you wake up tomorrow after you sleep on it, it might be more stiff. Is that a concern?
NATHALIE DECHY: I hope not (smiling). No, but I'm going to go back to the training room and do some treatment. And I'm sure it's going to be so much better tomorrow.
Q. Did it surprise you about how quickly the semifinal match went, how easy it really seemed?
NATHALIE DECHY: Well, yeah, maybe I was expecting like a really tight match. I don't know, I think she lost a little bit of rhythm with the break and with the way I was playing. Maybe she wasn't expecting this kind of, you know, soft ball or whatever. But the beginning until 4-Love, I was playing unbelievable. I couldn't miss one shot (smiling).
Q. How did you compensate after the injury? What did you do differently to get through it?
NATHALIE DECHY: I just say, "Okay, maybe my shot's not going to be as good as it was before, so try to move your legs and put the ball in the court." It worked pretty well.
Q. Can you talk about playing Elena tomorrow. You know her pretty well.
NATHALIE DECHY: I know her pretty well because we've been playing doubles together, so warming up a lot of time together. And I watch also a few match this week. The matches were on TV. I think she improved a lot. Like she's much more calmer on the court and much more focused. And she won pretty easy today. So it's going to be a tough match for me. The first thing is to be fit and ready for tomorrow because I have to compete hundred percent to win this final.
Q. What you just said Elena could also say of you. Some people are saying that you're much improved, that you're playing as well as people have seen you play. Do you feel that way?
NATHALIE DECHY: Well, I feel that I improved on the last -- I was improving like on the last few months, but the result were not coming. I was losing a lot of tight matches. Add suddenly it's this week where I start winning matches (snapping fingers). So it's good. But I was feeling that I was improving, but the result were not coming, so it was pretty frustrating. And this week, I didn't -- I wasn't feeling very good at the start of the week. Then it gets better and better.
Q. What do you think it was?
NATHALIE DECHY: I don't know (laughter). No, but maybe being at the Olympics was such a great experience, so it gave me a lot of experience, good attitude. Maybe coming here, I was so happy to play. I don't know. Maybe that's the reason.
Q. How long have you and Elena been doubles partners?
NATHALIE DECHY: We didn't play like for many years, but we played two years ago together. We played one or two tournament last year. We played like on the last few tournaments also this year together.
Q. Are you playing next week with her?
NATHALIE DECHY: Uh-huh.
Q. You have to be happy about both your guys' game, finals here. Has to be encouraging.
NATHALIE DECHY: So we don't have to kill each other tomorrow. We need ourself next week (laughter).
Q. Are you worried about the injury with the US Open coming up, playing again tomorrow?
NATHALIE DECHY: Well, I don't think -- I think you can fix the injury pretty easy. It's not like a tore muscle or a twist ankle or whatever. It's more like the trainer can manipulate and it's going to be much better after it. I'm not worried about next week, for sure.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.