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March 11, 2002

Amanda Coetzer


Q. How did you manage to pull this out? What do you think was the difference in the last set between you and Alexandra?

AMANDA COETZER: I mean, it came down to a couple points obviously in the very end. It was a really crucial game at I think 4-3. She was serving. I changed my game around a little bit. I tried to play a little bit more aggressive. She made a couple errors. I just tried to stay tough. I felt like I deserved to win the match. I really had a few opportunities in the second set. I think that kept me going. You know, I think also the atmosphere out there was great. I played a couple of games where I was really disappointed with myself. I walk over to the chair, and you have people behind you talking to you, encouraging you. I think that really helped.

Q. You appeared to have really frustrated her at times because she just -- because you kept getting everything back, shots she thought were winners.

AMANDA COETZER: I think there was a fair amount of frustration going both ways. She can hit big shots from anywhere on the court. Her serve, it's just dangerous all the time. Yeah, I mean, I think it went both ways definitely.

Q. You had one streak late in the third set where you won nine points out of ten. Of course, you finished well. Did you feel you were stronger at the finish than she was?

AMANDA COETZER: I sensed she played great at times when she was behind in the match. I think I sensed when she had an opportunity to win the match, I think she tightened up a little. Her shots flew. She made a few errors. So I think that gave me a bit of a boost.

Q. Is that a function of her being somewhat young, inexperienced?

AMANDA COETZER: Yeah, I think a little bit of both. I think she also plays with that type of game. She has a big game. She has to go for her shots. They tend to be a lot more streaky. They have a streak of great points, and then if you can somehow hang with them, they're bound to miss at some point.

Q. You've had a lot of success in the past. Are you starting to have that kind of feeling you did when you reached the finals here twice?

AMANDA COETZER: I've been feeling good out on the court. Obviously, I had a few battles, a couple match points against me yesterday. So it's really nice to pull out the tough ones. I didn't play here last year, so it was very nice to be playing and enjoying playing so much here.

Q. You had a little touch volley when you were leading 5-2 in the second set that would have made it 4-2 -- 4-2 that would have made it 5-2. Do you remember that one?

AMANDA COETZER: Very clearly.

Q. Was it difficult to shake that off?

AMANDA COETZER: That's the one shot that really stands out in my mind of the whole match. I think that's the one that kind of disappointed me because I really had the match in my hand. Obviously, I had to try to break her. Yeah, I really remember that one. You know, hopefully I can learn from that shot, not make the same mistake twice.

Q. Do you think Stevenson is improving?

AMANDA COETZER: She's had a great, I would say, six months. I think last year the indoor season, maybe people didn't notice. She started to qualify for a lot of tournaments, winning a couple rounds in the main draws, then had a good run in the Australian circuit. She's been doing well, I would say, the last six months.

Q. You now face Martina in the quarters. Preview that for us.

AMANDA COETZER: It's a big challenge for me. I've had one or two close matches with her. The rest have been very one-sided. I feel like I can play with her, but she's very good at closing out the points, finishing the points. She puts a lot of pressure on me. So I'm looking forward to it. The last match we played was in Australia. I think I can do better than what I did there. That would be the first challenge.

Q. You talked about that point. Do top players like yourself tend to remember the great shots that won the point or the things that didn't work out so well?

AMANDA COETZER: I mean, mostly I'm not one of the players that really remembers points too clearly. Some players will replay points over and over after the match is done. I tend to let them go. That one specifically was a big turning point, a big difference between a set and 5-2, and all of a sudden I ended up losing that game, so it's 4-3, her serve. So, yeah, that one just stood out today in my mind. I think normally you would want to remember the better shots.

Q. Do you feel fitness was a factor in today's match?

AMANDA COETZER: I don't think so much in today's match. Maybe mental stamina, but not so much physical. I think the points were fairly short. I don't think that was too much of an issue.

Q. You're kind of a veteran on the tour. Do you see yourself being around a fair amount of time more? Have you thought about that kind of thing yet?

AMANDA COETZER: It's definitely a thought. Once you reach 30, I think for anybody, you start analyzing where you want to go from here. It's definitely something that's crept into my mind a lot lately. But, I mean, I really value my career, what I've had so far in tennis. I'm trying to hold on as long as I can. I don't know how long I can stay competitive with these types of games. But, yeah, for the moment it's still a nice challenge. I'd like to be around for a while.

Q. Do you have any specific goals this year?

AMANDA COETZER: Yeah, I mean, I think I've made some improvements probably over the last five months or so. I'm going to continue doing that. Try to lift my game to another level, that's always my main goal. Hopefully in the process I can improve my ranking. I think, yeah, the Grand Slams and these types of tournaments are always the ones you want to do well.

Q. You just finished playing a player who is much bigger than you are. Martina was talking about the famous injury of hers. She says almost all the girls on the tour have a certain amount of tendonitis. Have you found that to be the case with the Williams sisters and Lindsay, all of the larger girls who hit so hard?

AMANDA COETZER: I think, yeah, it's a very good point. I think the bigger your game -- every time you go out on the court, you demand a lot of your body, so you do put a lot of strain on them. I think someone like Martina, I have to give her credit for her consistency. She probably hasn't had that many injuries because she has a much smoother type of game. In the long run, that counts in her favor.

Q. Have you had many injuries?

AMANDA COETZER: Touch wood, I haven't. I don't think I've really missed maybe one tournament my whole career for injury. I haven't really had an injury.

Q. What do you attribute that to?

AMANDA COETZER: Luck, I think. I'm not sure.

End of FastScripts….

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