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March 11, 2003

Amanda Coetzer


MODERATOR: Questions for Amanda.

Q. It's been a good couple of weeks and it's still not over.

AMANDA COETZER: It's a nice feeling, as long as it lasts.

Q. What was your strategy against her today? You were bringing a lot of balls back at times, but you were also playing aggressive.

AMANDA COETZER: I felt that -- I mean, not trying to go too far from my own game. My own game is probably to be a better defensive player than offensive. But it was important for me to try to be offensive before she does. I think I did that pretty well today.

Q. Are you saying you didn't really play your game today?

AMANDA COETZER: I think it's kind of been something I've been working on for a while now. I think it's finally sort of setting in. My coach has been working on it with me for quite a while. But it really took me a while, first, to understand it, then to execute it.

Q. When do you feel like you really started executing it, when you actually believed you could take someone's second serve, hit it down the line, not be too concerned you'd make a stupid error?

AMANDA COETZER: I mean, I think I've been doing it for a while. But, you know, it takes an important match, an important opponent to really do it and believe that you can do it. I think just having played a lot of matches over the last few weeks really has given me a little bit more confidence to really stick to what I want to do.

Q. As successful as you've been, aren't you regretting you didn't do this a long time ago?

AMANDA COETZER: I mean, just right now it's important for -- I'm not focusing that much on the results. It's important for me to try to improve my game still, even at that stage of my life. I probably have more fun doing that than really focusing on whether I win or lose.

Q. You're one of the veterans on the women's tour. How much more satisfying is a win like this as you get older?

AMANDA COETZER: It really means a lot. I think not only the wins, but I think just playing now at this stage. I really appreciate it probably more than I did a few years ago. I realize it's not going to last forever. So every match is really, really important for me to go out. I don't always look like I have fun, but deep inside I am. I really am enjoying it and I am appreciating it.

Q. What does it say to you that you've beaten lots of players, but just today beating a Top 5 player, having it all come together, center court?

AMANDA COETZER: Yeah, it's important. I mean, I've had some good wins these last few weeks, and really some tough matches where I felt like I was in deep trouble against players that were ranked lower. But it really means a lot to be able to close out a match like this today. You know the top players are going to come out and play well. They're going to play better at the important points. It was good to sort of weather the storm today at the moments that she did come out and play well, you know, have it go my way.

Q. Did you have to give yourself any kind of pep talk in the second when she came back and got even at 4?

AMANDA COETZER: I think it's staying levelheaded, knowing that the top players are going to come out and play better. But I've actually been seeing, the couple smaller tournaments I played before, when I'm ahead, people come at me. They lift their games, and I have to be ready for it. I think today she did come back, but there were a couple points when the score was even that I felt like I could hang with her for a little bit and hopefully take my opportunity when I got it.

Q. Are the changes you're making in your game perhaps a concession to age, maybe the realization that you may not be as fast as you will be in the future, give you something else to rely on?

AMANDA COETZER: It hasn't been motivated by my speed. I think I'm moving better than what I did, believe it or not. It's just I think, you know, the nature of the game right now. I don't really have the option. A lot of people are able to hit winners from anywhere on the court. Also it's more fun. I mean, it's not always that much fun to be out there, you know, be at the mercy of someone else's shots, whether they make a winner or not.

Q. You played her twice before and lost, then today you beat her. Was the fact you beat her today just the difference in changing your style of game or were there other reasons why you beat her today?

AMANDA COETZER: I can't -- I think it's just an accumulation of so many different things. I can't really sit here and say I have a new game and that's what did it today. It's really just been so many things. I don't think I should bore you with all the details. It's something that has been happening over the last nine months, and also like the last couple weeks. Like I said earlier, there were times in my matches where it could have gone completely the other way, and maybe I would have had a different result today. Who knows what exactly it is.

Q. Is part of it just being opportunistic? You came into net 18 times today, won 15 of those points. You don't exactly have a serve and volley style of game, but you get up there when you have to get up there.

AMANDA COETZER: I think it's understanding now and also, again, I have to give credit to my coach, seeing opportunity. Still in my matches today, some of the previous matches, I sometimes don't take the opportunity. Afterwards I realize that's what she was talking about, that's where I could have done it. It's fun, you know, learning that way and getting a little bit better at it each match.

Q. The way you're playing right now, do you think you can break into the Top 10 again?

AMANDA COETZER: I mean, that would be really nice. I think a lot of people outside of the Top 10 right now, young ones coming up, who really have the ability to get back in the Top 10. It's going to be hard for me, but I won't count myself out completely.

Q. You've been coming to Indian Wells since 1990. You must have a lot of memories of playing tennis at Indian Wells.

AMANDA COETZER: Yeah, I've had some good memories, a few not-so-good memories. Overall, I think it's been very good for me to play here.

End of FastScripts….

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