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March 27, 1995

Nicole Arendt


Q. It seems to be getting a habit with you and Lisa playing early, this is like the third time you played in the first round of a tournament in the last two years.

NICOLE ARENDT: Not first round. Last week I played her second round, so, yeah, and the habit partly too is that I have been losing, so hopefully that will change. She's playing well, though. But I'm playing better, but she's playing like a top player. When it gets Love-40 I have triple break point which happened today, she comes up with shots or puts the pressure on me to get the point and I've been missing them. And that's definitely what's the difference between a champion and a winner to people where I'm ranked about 60 or playing the important points well, and and she's really improved and come a long way with that.

Q. How did you feel when you saw you were playing her for the second week in a row, and do you look and say, oh my God or bad luck or do you look forward to playing her again?

NICOLE ARENDT: I have nothing to lose. I mean, she's the one who's supposed to win and for me, it was another chance to try to beat her and I saw it and I laughed and I said, okay, now I need to get back down to business.

Q. You didn't go to Florida at the same --

NICOLE ARENDT: No, I left and turned pro in '91.

Q. Now, how good a friends are you?

NICOLE ARENDT: Well, I've known her as a junior through -- just she was younger than I was. I knew the name and I knew who she was and we became friends just through the tennis and we were -- at the University of Florida people always make friends.

Q. Is it hard to play against someone who you are friends --

NICOLE ARENDT: You put it to the side. At first it used to be hard for me to play friends but you've got to put that aside and basically it's a faceless person on the other side that you're playing with. It's not really that big of a deal anymore.

Q. Looks like you got down 3-1 in the second set and came back 4-3. She won about -- I think she won about 12 out of the last 13 points of the match, what happened there?

NICOLE ARENDT: I don't -- yeah, she was up a break and I broke her back. I was not consistent in the second set as I was in the first. She missed some shots that put me off. In other words, she hit good angle shots, and the next point I put too much pressure on myself to try to play too well and you cannot do that against these players, you've got to figure out what got you there, if it's 30-Love or whatever or 40-Love and you've got to keep playing that way so I seem to get up 30-Love and then I make some stupid errors because I try too hard.

Q. Is it a big adjustment for the clay? Have you been practicing?

NICOLE ARENDT: After the Lipton I started on clay. This is my first WTA Tour claycourt tournament for me. I usually avoid the clay because I'm more of a serve and volleyer. It's a new experience for me. I enjoy sliding and getting all dirty and -- it's fun, it's something different and it's really worked out well that I played them this year and also here. It's too bad I haven't played this tournament before because it really is one of the highlights of the tour.

Q. Why haven't you in the past?

NICOLE ARENDT: Well, there used to be an Asian tour, and those were hardcourts, so I always went there. But those tournaments were moved now to the fall so I just didn't not want to not come to work so I decided to come here.

Q. You said you haven't played the French Open either?

NICOLE ARENDT: I've never played. This will be the first year I'll play the French Open.

Q. Are you looking forward to going over there?

NICOLE ARENDT: Oh, yeah, definitely.

Q. Where are you in your quest to become a top player? How far away do you feel you are?

NICOLE ARENDT: I think I'm very close. I've been getting pretty tough draws. I mean, I hit a seed in the beginning and it is always tough, so I've been unlucky with draws. I think I'm close. I think I'm very close. I mean, I'm about in the 60s right now to break in the top 50 I think I'm extremely close. If a get a draw, play well, I think I can move up very soon. Of course, then, you know, when I get to the top 50 I'm sure that won't be good enough and I'll move up. We're sneaking up there slowly.

Q. Have you found it to be true on tour that at this level if you're standing still or relaxing -- you really have to be stepping it up --

NICOLE ARENDT: I think that's just the charm of an athlete, I think is that you're never satisfied with where you are. If you are, I think it's time to -- you know, maybe it's not a challenge anymore if you don't keep looking for something higher than what you've done. And in this sense the ranking system seems to give us goals to move up. So it's not that you feel you're going down, but you're not accomplishing or reaching new goals and I think that's what makes an athlete so competitive and wanting to do what we do; especially tennis players.

End of FastScripts...

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