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adidas International

January 13, 2004

Amanda Coetzer


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Amanda, please.

Q. Not very easy conditions out there today.

AMANDA COETZER: It was very hot. I was a little bit nervous going into the match. I wasn't feeling 100 percent coming in. But, yeah, it was -- luckily, the points weren't that long. Patty was going for her shots. And I think, you know, that made it a little bit more bearable.

Q. Second and third sets weren't very long either, were they?

AMANDA COETZER: No (smiling).

Q. Was there a reason why you weren't feeling that well?

AMANDA COETZER: I just picked up a little cold on the way on the plane. Luckily, I had a late start. So I was a little bit -- it definitely exaggerates how you feel if you're in the heat, so... And not having played, I haven't played since October, so it's always a little bit difficult, the first one. You know, you're not exactly sure where you are, so good to get a win.

Q. You had three months off. What did you do in your time off?

AMANDA COETZER: You know, I caught up with things that I haven't done for a while. I saw my family, saw a couple of my nieces; one of them I hadn't seen, she's already a few months old. So just mostly family and friends.

Q. Does it get harder to start a new season each year?

AMANDA COETZER: I don't know. Every one is still different, believe it or not. So, yeah, I don't feel like it's a grind. You know, towards the end of my career, I've sort of been excited because, I mean, it could be over any moment practically. If I was out for a while, if I had an injury and I had to come back, I think it would be almost impossible for me. So I really take it, you know -- every day that I'm out there, I feel like it's a bonus almost.

Q. We were talking with Wayne earlier about you're both getting towards your time on the tour. Once you two guys go, there's nothing in South Africa.

AMANDA COETZER: Yeah, I mean, you know, I think it's been so difficult the last, I'd say probably the last 10 years even, for our top Juniors to come and compete because the economy has just gotten worse and worse. It's actually a little bit better now. So it's really expensive for kids to expose themselves to the right type of training, to competition. I think that's been probably the biggest hurdle for anyone trying to make it. You know, they end up going out there on their own, traveling on their own. For girls especially, I think it really doesn't work. So both Wayne and myself, I think we were sort of lucky. We were all in a patch where there was money available for us to travel when we started out, so...

Q. I think the South African economy was the second best performing last year. Do you see things changing?

AMANDA COETZER: I hope so. I mean, it does take a while. But, I mean, there's a great Juniors circuit. It's not that people aren't playing. I mean, there's a lot going on, a lot of talent. I mean, tennis is definitely not on the decline, it's a popular sport. So I really think just -- at least if we can maybe get some satellites, if people can just get their foot in the door, it would help a lot.

Q. Do you see you or Wayne playing a part in that?

AMANDA COETZER: It would be nice. I mean, we've been so busy with our own stuff.

Q. Maybe when you're finished playing?

AMANDA COETZER: Yeah, definitely. If the rand stays strong, I think people will be willing to. In the past, no one was really willing to put money in the country, so... Hopefully in the future it will change, in the next few years; it would be great.

Q. Could you see yourself staying in tennis in some capacity?

AMANDA COETZER: That's a tough question (smiling). I mean, like I said before, both Wayne and myself, we've been spending -- you know , you can probably calculate and say 20 years of your life you've been spending on the court with tennis. So maybe for a little while it would be time for something else and doing some different things. But eventually if I can help, you know, down the line, I'd be happy to.

Q. I wanted to ask you this question because it looks to me as if you're one of the most tenacious, hard-working players on the circuit. Injuries become a big issue on the tour, it seems, every year. Capriati's pulled out today, Kim's injured. Can you give us your perspective of why you think -- firstly, do you think it's worse than it was five years ago?

AMANDA COETZER: Definitely. I think you see people coming in the beginning of the year and they're tired. I think this season is too long. And especially if you're at the top, you're playing, you know, five matches every week. It's really hard. And I think also there are fewer and fewer easy matches, so it's five tough matches. It's really difficult. If you been doing - if you add that up - 10 years in a row, it really gets to you after a while. I don't know, I've been so lucky. I've had, I think, 10 days that I wasn't able to play my whole career with like little freak things, so... But then again, you know, I don't play at the level, I don't play five matches every week. Probably I think also I didn't play so much, you know, between the ages of 5 and 16. I didn't play that much; whereas now, it's such a professional sport, kids are basically professionals when they're 10 years old. I've seen some junior tournaments, and they're little professionals out there. So it's a very demanding sport these days.

End of FastScripts….

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