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April 26, 2003

Daja Bedanova


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It seemed like Venus just got stronger after the second game.

DAJA BEDANOVA: Yeah, she played amazing tennis. She played one of her best tennis. She's a great athlete, a great tennis player. It's really hard to compete against those players. I played some good tennis. Unfortunately, I had some chances I didn't use. If I used those chances (inaudible).

Q. In the 6th game you were ahead 40-love. How demoralizing was it to lose when you were one point away from winning the game?

DAJA BEDANOVA: It happened actually more times. Today in the first game I was 40-15 up I think on her serve. If I could win that, if I would be ahead in the break, I would hold my serve at least 2-love. If you are ahead with such a big player, it's much easier to play against them, compete against them, stay even with them. Then I lost my serve. So instead of me leading the game, maybe again at 40-love, she broke me and she was ahead. She's such a great player, it was hard to stay even with her.

Q. Do you see any subtle improvement in her game?

DAJA BEDANOVA: She was just better and better every time, every single game. When she got further and further, she was more ahead, she played better and better.

Q. How about what you've seen over the past year or two?

DAJA BEDANOVA: I mean, Venus is a great player, great athlete. I think she's improving, like a lot of athletes are improving if you work on your game. Also, Venus is getting better and better, stronger and stronger mentally and stroke-wise. So definitely I think she's better.

Q. What was the point for you where perhaps you thought you weren't going to give her the match you thought you would? At what point did you think in your heart that you just were not going to give her the kind of match you thought maybe you could, to give her the competition you thought maybe you could?

DAJA BEDANOVA: Right. I knew that if I wanted to do good and stay even, at least (inaudible), that I need to lead at least in each of the sets. So if it didn't happen in the first set, which if I could have a break, if I had the break and then lead and had the break down, I think that's the point where you just realize that you have to do something else.

Q. Do you feel like you needed to serve better especially on your first serve today to keep yourself in the match?

DAJA BEDANOVA: Yeah. I was trying to go for too much, I guess, for the sidelines, which didn't -- it always went out a little bit. So basically I have to stay calm with those players and just play your game.

Q. Was there anything different in terms of this match compared to the last two times you've played her, how this went differently?

DAJA BEDANOVA: I don't remember... No, both those times I played her I had a break (inaudible). So it was a little bit different. The first one 3-1, then you can play against those players much better. The same if I would have again the 2-love lead. Maybe it would end the same, 6-2, but just, you know...

Q. How tough was the court? You said yesterday it was playing fast. Did it play even faster today than you thought?

DAJA BEDANOVA: It's getting faster and faster every day. But the biggest difference was the first couple days. But it's getting faster and faster (inaudible). It's pretty fast.

Q. How do you turn around mentally now for tomorrow?

DAJA BEDANOVA: Well, first Iveta is now going to play, so we're going to cheer her on. Maybe she's going to do a good job there. As far as mentally, then we'll just try to speak together, sit down. I think we are pretty calm about tomorrow.

End of FastScripts….

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