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March 15, 1997

Irina Sprilea


Q. Irina, that was probably not the type of match you hoped to play today.

IRINA SPIRLEA: Not at all. I think she really didn't miss any shot. I mean, like every return she hit unbelievable shots. It's not like I had too many chance to get, you know, the opportunity to make her run or whatever. She made the pressure, so.

Q. Did you expect her to play as much to your backhand as she did?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Well, yeah. I mean, I think a lot of players are doing this. They miss sometimes. With the slice, I might give them not the balls they want because it's very low, and it's hard to hit it from down there. She just hit unbelievable shots, so.

Q. You seemed to miss dozens of shots by an inch.

IRINA SPIRLEA: Yeah, a few of them, a few important points, very close to the line. I mean, it's always like this when you are starting and she's playing well and you want to try to do too much. You're going to miss. I mean, it's a tough match. You are thinking, "I have to do the best shot, you know, to close the point." It's always out.

Q. It's even harder when you're having trouble with your serve?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Yeah. I mean, you cannot play with a second serve with Lindsay. Even if you play with the first serve, she's returning very deep. I mean, not even five meters -- three meters to the line, it's very close to the line.

Q. Did you just not have a rhythm on your serve today? What was the problem?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Well, I think I was taking too much to give her a little bit of trouble. She was returning very well at the beginning. I was thinking too much what I have to do instead of trying to do and put the serve in, the first one, let her even make the shot or miss it. I was missing before her.

Q. This was the biggest final of your career, right?


Q. Were you nervous or what?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Actually, no. It was a normal match. I've been playing, you know, the final before. I know it's not the same, you'll say. I think being on the Tour and trying to play, you get used to, so.

Q. Was the weather any factor, the heat?

IRINA SPIRLEA: No. Today was not so bad actually. I think was nice. Was better than a few days ago when we played like 1 o'clock or something. Nothing to do with this.

Q. Irina that, is this your biggest payday?

IRINA SPIRLEA: I don't know. She was just asking me how much I got when I won Amelia, but I have no idea, if it was 80.

Q. You got $83,000.

IRINA SPIRLEA: For Amelia, 89 or --

Q. Don't you count your money?

IRINA SPIRLEA: No, not at all (laughter). Well, I still have money to spend, that's for sure.

Q. The way Lindsay played the last two days against Mary Joe and against you, how hot is she? How hot is she playing?

IRINA SPIRLEA: She really hits the ball very hard. I mean, I was surprised. The ball was very, very deep and very hard. It's not that you can do too much. You have no time to go back and you have no time to come into the ball. You eat the ball. If she plays like this, it's very hard to beat her because she was, you know, all the time in the right position in the court. You couldn't move her too much because she makes pressure. No way you can make her move. I mean, if she keeps playing like that, I think she won the last two tournaments that she played, so. She can play very well. Looking for Lipton.

Q. Are you playing Lipton?


Q. Are you going to stay here after that and play Amelia Island?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Well, I have to play Lipton, and Amelia.

Q. You said there's no way to make her move. Was that part of your thinking in hitting so many dropshots, trying to get her to move?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Did I hit too many? Well, I don't think I was hitting too many dropshots. I was just trying, you know, to make her move a little bit. But she really hits also from with a dropshot unbelievable forehand winner. She was all over the court, not like someone who is running unbelievable, but she was always in the right position. Was like she knew before I hit the ball where the ball is going, so.

TONI WOODS: Any more questions? Thank you, very much.


End of FastScripts....

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