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June 29, 2006

Lisa Raymond


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is it difficult to put into words your disappointment?
LISA RAYMOND: Yes, it is actually. Uhm, you know, the tennis gods caught up with me a bit today. I got a bit lucky in my first round and then, you know, I, you know, put myself in a perfect position to win that match and, you know, just don't get it done.

Q. Difficult to be analytical now, but your initial reactions as to why you didn't close it out?
LISA RAYMOND: Serve. You know, I didn't get one first serve in in that game, I don't think. And certainly not, you know -- I had been serving so well and, you know, and taking my time. I think I just rushed, you know. I had been, you know, pretty meticulous with my service games, you know, taking my time, having a routine. Then I guess it's just natural. You're about to serve for the match against the defending champion and you start rushing. I did, and it cost me, you know. I didn't get -- I didn't serve well that game, and you can't give Venus second serves.

Q. Did it cross your mind that, Here I am, one game away from sending out the defending champion?
LISA RAYMOND: Yeah, I'm human. Yes.
I mean, it didn't cross my mind that I'm playing, you know, defending champion, but that I was in the position to win this match, you know. I had, you know -- I felt I had earned it. I worked so hard to get to that point and played well and fought. You know, just didn't get it done.

Q. You'd beaten her before in a Grand Slam in Australia.
LISA RAYMOND: Uh-hmm, uh-hmm.

Q. So, you know, with your experience, people might be surprised.

Q. Just shows anybody's fallible when the pressure is on?
LISA RAYMOND: Exactly. Exactly. Experience, I guess, isn't everything.

Q. How much did Venus have to do with the turnaround? It seemed like she played so much better after it started to turn.
LISA RAYMOND: Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, she got a glimpse of, you know, me getting tight, getting upset with myself and realizing, Hey, I'm back in this match.
You know, even though I broke her that one time, she had been serving very well the whole match and, you know, I think I just -- I just let it affect me for a couple of games. You can't give Venus Williams, you know, any sort of a head start, and I did that in the third. She took it and ran with it.

Q. Carved out a new career in doubles. The very top of the game for three, four years now. Are you sometimes thinking now, I can do this until I'm 35, 40 years old?
LISA RAYMOND: I don't know about 40, but, you know, I --

Q. Half the court?
LISA RAYMOND: I love it. I have found this new partnership with Sam and, you know, we've been playing together now for a year. It's been great. It's given me a new lease on my career. You know, I think it's helped her singles. And, you know, obviously she went from, you know -- I think last year at this time she was about 15 or 16 in the world in doubles and now she's 1. I think the partnership has been great for both of us.
And, yeah, I mean, I have a lot of goals left, uhm, and a lot of doubles goals. I mean, we're the No. 1 team right now and, you know, we want to hold on to that for a while. Hopefully, you know, start our, you know, Wimbledon run tomorrow.

Q. Has she moved to Saddlebrook?
LISA RAYMOND: No. No. No. She's in Tampa, but she doesn't -- she'll train a little bit -- I think she's worked out a little bit at Saddlebrook but she doesn't live there.

Q. Where do you train when you have time off the tour?
LISA RAYMOND: Well, the little bit that we do have off, you know, I go back to Philly, I have a place in Philly. She goes to Tampa.
You know, our off weeks, we're apart. But once we're at a tournament, like especially like now we're both out of the singles, come tomorrow we'll spend a lot of time on the court together, getting ready. She's great. She works very hard. It's shown, you know, in our improvement.

Q. Could you talk a bit about the challenge of closing a match against Venus. When you said earlier you just can't give Venus second serves, I assume you're getting at something maybe intangible about her...
LISA RAYMOND: No, she's got amazing --

Q. Or something tangible?
LISA RAYMOND: Again, any time you play a player of that caliber, it's like, you know, when you play Lindsay at her prime or, you know, Serena at her prime, you can't give them short balls. And, you know, Venus stands so far in as it is anyway as a first serve. So as a second serve, she comes in even more.
And, you know, you have to strike first, you know, when you play somebody like a Venus, like a Davenport, you know, Serena, Pierce, you know, that type of player. Again, you know, putting -- people that you just have a different mentality when you return a second serve as you do a first serve. Even if it's a three-quarters first serve, you're not thinking "attack". Whereas if someone throws in a second, you're thinking "attack," and she attacked.

Q. How would you assess the state of her game? She's played so little. Are there opportunities that weren't there in the past?
LISA RAYMOND: Again, this is Wimbledon. What has she won this, three times? And, I mean, she's gonna come to play. You know, she's gonna be tough to beat her. You know, you have to play smart. You have to play well and hope that she's a little off. She loves playing here. She loves the grass.
You know, any time you're successful at an event, it's like home to you. Once you walk in those doors, I'm sure that's how she feels. She'll be tough to beat.

Q. She doesn't normally play any leadups to Wimbledon.

Q. She just practices on grass at home or comes here. Once she gets past the first week, though, is that like a week of practice and another tournament for her? Has she clicked in by the second week of Wimbledon?
LISA RAYMOND: I think that goes without saying for any player, any top player. If you get into the second week, I mean, that's kind of where it's all happening. You know, you're obviously playing well. You know, I mean, their practice regimen is, you know, different than most. You know, most play in a leadup tournament.
But, you know, obviously, she's got a successful formula for Wimbledon. So, yeah, I mean, I'm sure the more matches she plays, especially, you know, the fact that she hasn't played a ton this year, the better she's gonna get.

Q. She had some success with her backhand when she rallied from two points away.

Q. Once a rally has begun, how do you attack her? Where do you usually try to win a rally?
LISA RAYMOND: Well, I mean, now -- I mean, her forehand is certainly the weaker of the two shots. You know, I think the way to play her which, you know, I have had success in the past and today, you got to play the middle. You don't want to give Venus angles. She's got such reach that, you know, she likes the ball out on her wings, you know.
I mean, any time you play someone who is as tall as Venus is, you want to jam them and play a lot more up the middle so they have to kind of get out of the way of themselves.

Q. You still with Andy Randy?
LISA RAYMOND: He's a good friend of mine, yeah.

Q. Might call him up occasionally?
LISA RAYMOND: Yeah, I mean, we e-mail and stuff.

Q. If you have a problem, What should I do?
LISA RAYMOND: He's always been -- we have a very special friendship. He's almost like been a dad to me when I was at school and then on the tour. So, yeah, I mean, you know, we e-mail and stuff. He's a good guy.

End of FastScripts...

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