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August 28, 1998

Julie Halard-Decugis


JULIE HALARD-DECUGIS: She went to the net; I have some good passing shot and for sure I didn't let her come too much to the net because she is very good when she is at the net and I tried to play deep and not to let her come to the net too much. Well, I start the match very well, but I have some occasions where I made some mistakes on one or two balls very important. I have to play much more these kind of players because they know when it is very important and she make no mistakes and, well, I think today I was able to make -- I mean, at least to win one set and to see what is going on after. But I miss one or two important points, but I have to get used to playing these kind of players. But at least I won against Arantxa Sanchez in this tournament. I was pretty happy with that win and I have a great tournament just before the US Open. I am looking forward for the US Open. But Jana is a great player.

Q. Is it very frustrating to play her? You have never even won a match against her now, I think.

JULIE HALARD-DECUGIS: Yes, right. When I play on her favorite surface Supreme or fast court, that is tough to play on this surface, one of the best players in the world and she won three tournaments in a row and she won Wimbledon.

Q. How do you convince yourself that you can beat her before the match when you have never beaten her before? What did you tell yourself?

JULIE HALARD-DECUGIS: Well, I think I am playing better than before. I have some good feelings and even today I think I am not far. It is just a question of on these important points I have a few mistakes and just -- not a lot. Today I think I can have a win today, but I have to get used to play at this level for sure because she is used to it.

Q. She said that was the difference, was -- the difference between the very top ranked players and the -- a little bit lower-ranked players is those just very few moments when the points are big.


Q. It is that simple.

JULIE HALARD-DECUGIS: They are used to these important matches and she is used to playing these important points in the final in Wimbledon and for sure she knows about it and she always is in the semis and final in every tournament and for me it is not the same. I need to play -- to be there much more often. But I start the year, I was -- well, I was injured before, I have never been seeded since the beginning of the year so it is tough, you have to go your way and to find your way and well, I am happy with the way I played today. It was my best match of the tournament even if I lost today it was one of my best match because -- very good transition today, just a question of important points.

Q. You could have won the second set if a certain call had been made. It looked like the ball was about this far (indicating appxly. Nine inches)?

JULIE HALARD-DECUGIS: The other game it was the same.

Q. What goes through your mind when that happens?


Q. You didn't seem too happy.

JULIE HALARD-DECUGIS: For sure not. But it was to make 40-30 for me so it was very important point, but in the match you have a few balls like this. Just the game before it was on Jana's side there was a mistake. But, for sure, it is very frustrating when it is so far and you can't do anything. But you have this at least once in a match. You have to do with it, but for sure it is always hard, hard call, but I think it is for both sides, so, you have to play with.

Q. You are happy with your comeback? You feel this week was good for you?

JULIE HALARD-DECUGIS: Yeah, it was a great week for me. Hopefully we start to play much more like this and try to play every week like I play here and that is the way I can improve more.

End of FastScripts….

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