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November 19, 1998

Irina Sprilea


Q. You are playing so well.

IRINA SPIRLEA: I think I am more relaxed. Everything is working.

Q. I saw you practicing the other day. You were in a good mood joking around with the other tennis players. I had a feeling that it might be a good influence on you playing.

IRINA SPIRLEA: Yeah the end of the year I am not going to practice too much. So I am pretty relaxed and actually when I practice I like to do whatever I have to do, but also joke with some things because otherwise I cannot handle the practice.

Q. Van Roost was telling us that you were doing pretty well on the court today; not so many unforced errors and pretty much confident with your shots. Would you be surprised if you would face Hingis the next round and you were to beat her because of this?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Well, I don't know because it is a tough match between them so I don't know who is going to win, but I don't care whoever it is going to be, I am going to try to play the same and see how it is coming.

Q. Would it surprise you if you would come out as a winner?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Against them?

Q. Against whoever is coming up.

IRINA SPIRLEA: Well, no, because I don't think I play so bad and anything can happen in this tournament.

Q. Have you played better than that this year?

IRINA SPIRLEA: I think so. Maybe, you know, I played another match where it was not televised or something else, but yeah, I think -- I had some moments when I played better.

Q. Generally, I mean, you looked like you were playing very well out there?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Well, okay, everything I touched was in, so, everything was working for me. I know that Dominique is the kind of player that is trying to hit every ball so I was having a little bit more waiting for her mistakes, so.... Maybe sometimes I knew where she hit so that is why I was there a little bit before. But, I don't know.

Q. You were a little surprised to get into the tournament, I guess, at one stage. But are you surprised now that you have reached the semifinal?

IRINA SPIRLEA: No, because I think everybody, all the matches now are very close, so I mean, you don't know who is going to win. I don't think you are sure from the beginning of the match who is going to win. It is depending on the day. It is the end of the year; some players are tired. Somebody is a little bit injured so --

Q. Are you tired?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Oh - (Laughs) - a little bit. I played a lot this year.

Q. Are you more tired of playing or more tired of being asked if you are tired?

IRINA SPIRLEA: I am never asked if I am tired. Nobody ask me so....

Q. It has been asked all week to everybody.

IRINA SPIRLEA: Nobody asked me, so -- they don't care. (laughs)

Q. Is she one of the easiest players you have to face because she seems to have a lot of problems against you?

IRINA SPIRLEA: I think I have the game that she doesn't like, like slice with the backhand and she can not hit very hard from there so I like -- I think she likes when you hit the ball to her so she can, you know, she has a lot of power. I mean, if she gets the ball well, it is nothing you can do, so, if she is in a day that she puts everything in, she can beat everybody 1 and 2 like it happened some tournaments. But as I said, I was trying to play more low and wait for her mistakes and when I had the chance come in and play a winner.

Q. She seemed very angry at the end of the game?

IRINA SPIRLEA: I don't know. I didn't even look, so, sorry.

Q. Whom would you prefer to play next round?

IRINA SPIRLEA: I don't know. I am not saying.

Q. How do you feel about getting to the semis of this event?

IRINA SPIRLEA: Pretty exciting. I mean, I was not thinking that I was going to play this tournament because -- well, I was -- it was very close for the last three, four spots, so after Steffi won, she was very close, like 30 points and I had a tough round in Philly so she was -- she had easier rounds than I mean, she could have make it easier to the quarters or pass me, so, I was like: Okay, I am out. But, you know, I got the chance so I am here.

Q. You are going to send Venus a thank you note for --

IRINA SPIRLEA: I was thanking to her in the last interview. Thanks to her I am here, so -- unfortunately for her, but, you know -- things like this happen, so, you know --

End of FastScripts....

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