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November 17, 2000

Amanda Coetzer


Q. It seems you tried to move her around as much as could. She was still getting the balls. Did that surprise you sometimes?

AMANDA COETZER: I think actually a couple times, I went a little bit too much out of body at her body. I didn't open up the court as much as I could have. I definitely had a few opportunities to just maybe pull the ball off the court a little bit more, and instead, I went for a harder shot. So, I think I could have played with a little bit more feel and finesse than what I did.

Q. You've seen Monica all these years, but both of you have played each other a lot of times. Do you feel after you've seen her play as she did tonight, that she can raise it another notch, that she still has another major in here?

AMANDA COETZER: I think the best thing about Monica's game is her competitiveness, and she seems to be able to raise her level, you know, at the right moment, just enough. Like tonight, there was some really, really close opportunities for me, you know, where I felt like if I could get that point, I could really be right in the match. You know, she comes up with the ball on the line and she just makes it. So, I really think that she can raise her level, depending on who she is playing that day, and also, you know, depending on how tight the point is, she definitely has had that ability.

Q. Looking back on 2000, how would you rate your year?

AMANDA COETZER: I would probably rate it as one of my very best. If not one of my better ones ever. I think this year for me was a little bit disappointing because I didn't do great at the Grand Slams, but in a way, I feel like it was better than my best year in '97. I felt like I've made a lot of improvements, and it's just unfortunate that I didn't have good Grand Slams.

Q. Does that give you any more encouragement to keep on playing for a few more years?

AMANDA COETZER: I really haven't set a time on when I'd like to retire. I think it all depends on how competitive I can stay with the top players.

Q. Who are you working with now?

AMANDA COETZER: I'm working with Aleco Preovolis.

Q. Can you enlighten me a little, sorry?

AMANDA COETZER: He's American. He's from California. We started working the week before Wimbledon and he's helped me a lot. I feel really happy with where my game is right now. I feel really comfortable with the way I'm playing.

Q. How did that come about with him?

AMANDA COETZER: Aleco has been helping Rick Leach for a while and Ellis Ferreira, so that's how I know him. Rick Leach is retiring, and Aleco was nice enough to help me with short notice right before Wimbledon, so it has worked out well.

Q. Do you think you're still learning?

AMANDA COETZER: Never too old to learn. I think I've learned a lot. In the last couple of weeks, I took a bit of a break after Zurich, and, you know, sometimes that just opens up your mind a little bit. I had time to sit back and look at my year and think about where I want to go, and definitely, the last two weeks, I feel like I've made some big improvements.

Q. The last time you played her was early this year. Can you sense a big difference in the way she is playing now?

AMANDA COETZER: I think I played her in an exhibition in Mawah. I think when I played her in -- I don't remember much of Oklahoma City. I think it was a quick match, too. Oklahoma City, I felt -- when I played her in Mawah, thought her serve was just really, really dangerous, and I was very cautious about that tonight, and I think I handled her serve right; I was able to break her. So, yeah, I think that to me has been the most dangerous part of her game lately has been her serve. If she's confident and she starts going for it, it's really difficult to handle.

Q. Do you sense that she's quicker?

AMANDA COETZER: I think she chased down quite a few balls tonight. Again, I felt like a couple times I really didn't move the ball as much as I should being a fast court, I just try to hit the ball too hard and I could have placed it a little bit better. I mean, I guess, yeah, she did go after some balls.

Q. On the broader issue, in South Africa, is tennis settling down again there or not? You've had all sorts of turmoil over the years?

AMANDA COETZER: Yeah, I think the turmoil has been more in the official side, on the management side. Tennis is always going to be a very popular sport in South Africa. We have great weather, lots of facilities. I think it is just making it available to a lot of -- you know, to the majority of the people. I think that has been a problem. In the past it has just been available to a small amount of people. So, that's where the focus -- that's where the main focus has been.

Q. Are they starting to get proper junior programs again or not?

AMANDA COETZER: I think -- I mean, there's some really good tournaments going on in South Africa. I think that's what brought me to where I am today is, there was a very competitive junior circuit as I was growing up, and that's always been there. I think the problem has not been having enough funds to send kids overseas, because we are so isolated. You end up just competing in your own small little group, and it is difficult for kids to get out and be exposed at a young age to internationally competition. So, the economy, actually, has been the main problem for kids.

Q. So, at a time when South African sports is doing so well in many other fields, it is a shame tennis isn't going back to where it used to be years ago?

AMANDA COETZER: Yeah, I think, again, the currency is so bad at the moment, really, we have a lot of opportunities to put up a tournament, but if a company has to pay prize money in dollars, it is really difficult to put up a tournament. Unless you see people, unless kids can actually relate to professionals playing or they can come out and see them play, it's really difficult for them to relate.

End of FastScripts....

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