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August 31, 1994

Patty Fendick


Q. Patty, how much of a factor was the knee; it looked like in a tiebreak; you couldn't get much of a lift on the serve?

PATTY FENDICK: Well, I am pretty short, so I didn't get much of a lift on the serve, no, I have had trouble with my knee a little bit lately. I hurt it the week before at Wimbledon. I have been kind of just playing on it and toughening it out. After L.A. I ended up having to go back home and I had a little trouble walking after that, so had to take some action and take some rest and I had some cortisone shots and, oh, just wears a little thin after two days of long matches.

Q. What is your assessment of the whole match? Do you think you had her where you wanted to, bring her into the tiebreaker or do you think you had your chances earlier in the third set?

PATTY FENDICK: Well, I was up on serving rotations, I was up in the third. I don't think I was really thinking about that. I think I was just trying to play my game and not really thinking about the score. I was just trying to play the point.

Q. Did she kind of surprise you at the end; she had some good serves in the tiebreak, then she came in?

PATTY FENDICK: Yeah, she did. I taught her that, so.

Q. How hard is it-- players, when they play Mary Joe now have to think about the fact that she has been injured and she may be a little bit weak. Are you thinking-- were you thinking about that as you went into the latter stages of the third set?

PATTY FENDICK: Well, I have known Mary Joe a long time and she has had a lot of physical problems since I have known her, and she is a very disciplined person. She is very, very focused on what she is doing and I think despite maybe her physical limitations, her mental abilities really carry her through and she is probably going to die after this match, but I am too, so I don't think she is thinking about it when she is on the court and as far as she is concerned I am sure she does it the same way I do. I just play every match and if it is my last match, that is just how it is got to be.

Q. How much are you disappointed today?

PATTY FENDICK: I am going to go back to my hotel room and commit suicide. I'm on the 31st floor and if I look down, I've got this slide towards the Chrysler building. I think I can get a little bit of an ark. Does that answer your question?

Q. Are you going to do a half dive or a Pike?

PATTY FENDICK: I was never much of a diver, so I will probably go for the full canonball.

Q. Is it the same injury that goes back when you were hurt at the Lipton?

PATTY FENDICK: Yeah, this is Jennifer's fault. They are pinning everything on Jennifer lately, so I thought I would too.

Q. Were you glad that Martina Navratilova was selected president of the WTA and do you think it will make any difference?

PATTY FENDICK: Well, I think a change of leadership at this juncture is probably not a bad thing for us. Martina is a very, I think that she really has her opinions and she really sticks by them. She is not going to be led around by the chain by anybody. I think that she is a leader and I think that we are going to be pretty fortunate to have her now that she has a little bit of time and can put energy into it. In the past when she was in the leadership position, she couldn't really do it so much because she had so many other things that she was doing and I think it is going to be great having her as our president.

Q. So are you suggesting that the former leadership was led around by an a chain?

PATTY FENDICK: No, I am not suggesting that at all. I think Pam worked very hard and I had think -- she sort of got caught between a rock and a hard place because it was difficult. I mean, leadership that we had before that, you know, whatever you want to say about it, it certainly didn't go in the direction that anybody -- she opened a lot of doors. Jerry opened up a lot of doors for us and I think Pam perhaps sort of got caught in this wake a little bit and maybe just the change of leadership, maybe Martina can get a little bit more done now. I think Pam did an incredible job for us. She worked very hard for us; put her whole heart into it and I think her tennis suffered from it.

Q. How important is it for Seles and Jennifer to get back on the court, how important is it?

PATTY FENDICK: I think you guys are guilty as much as we are for promoting only our top 10 players. You put your eggs in the top 10 baskets and all of a sudden they are not there anymore and everybody is going, "what is wrong." Heaven forbid they actually take notice that in the Grand Slam events a lot of the seeds are getting beaten early. This is happening. We have got much more depth in our game and I would ask you people to help us out as much as anybody else because I mean we are struggling to promote ourselves at this point and I mean, I certainly -- sometimes I wonder if you guys are biting the hand that feeds you. I mean, you should help us out a little bit. Maybe take a positive approach that we are not suffering so much as we have got a lot of depth and we have got a lot of good players and a lot of young talent. Even the old dogs like myself can come around every once in a while. We would really appreciate your help in that respect.

Q. Who would you anticipate would take that place, though, when you look at other players that you think aren't finished or young players coming; who would you in your mind think would replace the Jennifers and the Monicas to get the crowds really involved?

PATTY FENDICK: You guys created Jennifer anyway. I mean, the media, it was a total circus, and, you know...

Q. Take us out of it. I mean, could look at your Tour?

PATTY FENDICK: I am just saying Spirlea -- I can go down the list. Hand me a ranking list and I will go down it for you. I am serious. There are that many players. If given the chance, I think that they will -- they are struggling to find their own niche or whatever in the Tour as it is. Once they get into that, I think they will their personality will come out more too, and certainly you can help us with that by doing a few pieces on a few of the players that people don't know. I think it would really help.

Q. Patty, speaking of depth, what do you think of your partner's chance against Sabatini today?

PATTY FENDICK: I always pick my partner, I mean, she has to serve behind me so I have to pick her.

Q. But you think?

PATTY FENDICK: I think Mary has been playing really well, and she hits the ball a ton. This isn't going to be anything new for her to play Gaby on Center Court since she had to do it at Wimbledon. She was a little nervous playing Gaby on Center Court at Wimbledon. That was a little rough on her. I think she will be a little bit more prepared.

Q. When you look at the draw, in general, not just Meredith and Gaby. Mary Carillo said this was the widest Open she has seen. Do you have any guesses for floaters or --

PATTY FENDICK: Well, I always have to pick my partner as a floater. She is really talented. Gaby looks like she is playing pretty well. I mean, from what I heard Sabine, I guess it was pretty ugly, I really haven't looked at the draw that much. .

Q. But you wouldn't look -- it has been suggested that it could be a runaway for Conchita with Mary Joe not necessarily healthy and Gaby struggling to win, you wouldn't sum it up that way necessarily?

PATTY FENDICK: I think whenever you have to play these many matches in an event under the chance we play in here in New York, I don't think it's a runaway for anybody. This surface really suits Conchita; that is for sure. She is playing great. She is very confident, but you know, anybody on a given day can out here.

Q. You were basically saying that tennis was taking some hits. If someone came up to you and said okay Patty, what is so great about this game. Tell me what is the magic of tennis.

PATTY FENDICK: I will tell you. Two years ago I would go out and I would watch matches just because I like to watch tennis. I know it sounds silly. I am sure had you talk to players who say I play my match and I get out of here. I like to watch tennis. I like to watch the guys and I like to watch the girls' matches as well. Two years ago when I would go out and watch matches, I was kind of bored. I mean, I know you guys weren't as bored as I was, but I mean I was a little bored in the sense that it just seemed line everybody was doing the same thing and now the players that are coming up and the players that have been forced to make a transition like myself -- now-- this is now the third era in transition, in speaking of transitions that since I have been playing since 1981, that I have had to change my game through each one of these -- each one of these eras, and it is like you are -- I was talking about Spirlea coming in. This is the first girl that I have seen that comes in and can slice a backhand and isn't like one of these tall, you know, two-handers that are learning how to do these slices; now it is time to hit the slice, you know, I mean, she hits a lot of good slices with a lot of style she has-- I walked around the courts and now everybody seems to be doing different things. You have to be able to do everything now. It is not so much -- you can't just be a serve and volleyer and you can't just be a baseliner now. Even Mary Joe is a serve and volleyer now. I think it is much more exciting from that perspective.

Q. Last year Carillo said that Martina would be the last true serve and volleyer in women's tennis. Do you disagree with that?

PATTY FENDICK: Even Martina couldn't serve and volley all the time last few years. I mean, she was having to work the point and it is very difficult in this game with the technology and the rackets now, I mean it is bash ball. I was talking about it with my coach the other night. The guys go like this (indicating Up) and women's comes up and guys game has another spirit. I think the guys' game is sort of at a lull right now. Women have sort of -- are catching up in terms of interest, but I just think there is a lot more going out there. Just don't have people pounding groundstrokes. You are seeing a lot more spins and a lot more opening up the court.

Q. Martina was quoted, I am not sure if she was speaking about the mens tennis in general going back to wood rackets. Does that make any sense for either --

PATTY FENDICK: Is she having flashbacks or something? Hey, I am the only one of the few who played with them I would look forward to going back to them. I think it would be kind of fun to have a little wooden tournament. Other than that, I think it unrealistic.

Q. A wood racket tournament?

PATTY FENDICK: Yes, I think it will be fun. I don't think any of the younger players would play.

Q. Who could you think will be win that one?

PATTY FENDICK: I don't think even Martina would be touched.

Q. In Martina's leadership, what changes do you expect or what are you expectations in general for the uplift of the game?

PATTY FENDICK: I think Martina will be looking out for the players' interest and I think that she will really choose a path and go on that path. I don't think, you know, she is going to be fluctuating too much, you know, like I said she has got her opinions and she has got -- the way that she does things, I think that she will see that, decide what she wants to do after viewing all the information, and I think she is going to take us in that direction.

Q. Do you have a definitive idea of what you think about the ideal age for coming on tour, given what you said about Jennifer being media-created or media on hands? It has been obviously been --

PATTY FENDICK: I don't want you to think that I'm suggesting that she couldn't play tennis.

Q. I know, but I just mean that that issue --

PATTY FENDICK: My personal belief is that we need to structure our tour in such a way that allows these players to play and learn their way up. Our tour has been handing out too many goodies for the young players and throwing them in the spotlight way too soon. I mean, I have been working on a lot of stuff with the WTA a little bit before the French. I have been given information and doing a lot of research on it. I personally think that players that are young and unproven and possibly younger than 16 should not be allowed to have wildcards above the tier four level. I think that they should learn their way up beyond that. If you want to use them to get a little more interest in the game, the tier four tournaments-- the $100,000s-- are the ones that are suffering anyway. That will create a little bit more interest in those events. At the same time, it wouldn't put so much pressure on the younger players and they are going to learn their rankings rather than, bam, six wildcards and you are in the top 100.

Q. Suppose that you got the 13-year-old junior champs or you have got these prodigies who earned their tennis rankings or whatever, and are still young. I mean, do you have a feeling on this emotional issue we talked about?

PATTY FENDICK: Yes, I do. I really do. I feel that if they are good enough to play on the professional level, I don't care what age they are, I believe that they should have that opportunity to play. But as I said, they will take someone -- take a Martina Hingis for instance, all of a sudden you get so much interest in this girl and all of a sudden she's supposed to be the next savior of women's tennis. A player like me, I am looking at this and going, what are you guys doing, she is one of the few, actually, few younger players that has played ITF events and has played club tennis and has played a lot of these smaller events, I think she will be more emotionally equipped to handle the pressures when she does get up and, you know, having played week in and week out. That is the thing that kills you, and that is the thing that these kids don't realize at first. But it is the week in, week out stuff that kills you. And I think she is good enough to handle it and she can -- give her two, three wildcards, whatever, but not six and not in the tier ones and twos. Geez, the dog and pony show is just getting old. It just is. Throw them out there.

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