August 30, 2003
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jennifer.
Q. In a match like today, how much does experience play a factor?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I think it has something to do with it. But also, I mean, you know, how much of a better tennis player you are, you know, how you can learn to cope with the kind of different conditions. I mean, so I guess that would be experience. I mean, usually in the end, you know, whoever's just playing better wins anyway, so...
Q. She was really hitting her forehand in the second set. Did you feel eventually that she was going to slow down a bit, once the third set started?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I didn't think that at all. I was just expecting her to keep up the level of play. I was just going to focus more and concentrate more on my own game and try to step up the level of my play, too.
Q. Did you change strategy at all consciously in the third set?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, maybe I wasn't moving her as well in the second set, so I did that a little bit better. You know, I was hitting more to her forehand instead of letting her just get grooved on running it around all the time, because that's what she was hitting her best shot. She didn't hit it on the run that well. I was just trying to move it around and still be aggressive.
Q. How tough were the conditions? Were you feeling like you were racing the rain a little bit?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: A little bit, yeah. Yeah, I hate playing in that kind of condition. You know, it was windy. I played two night matches, so it was kind of different playing in the day a little bit.
Q. What did you ask the chair umpire about? Somebody came out to the court, but it wasn't a trainer.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I just asked if that blimp was going to go around the whole time.
Q. You asked them to call someone to move the blimp?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I just asked if they were going to fly around the whole time. You know, if it was possible, you know, it doesn't hurt to ask. Maybe they won't do it, but you don't know.
Q. Did they ever give you a response?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Huh-uh.
Q. There was no contact with the blimp?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I have no idea (smiling). I think it left, though.
Q. What distracted you about it?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: It was loud.
Q. It was loud?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. Usually it's farther up. It just seemed to be much closer.
Q. Is that just one more thing to deal with in New York, at this tournament, that others don't have?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I mean, there's a few more distractions here. That's why I did ask, you know, to try to make it as less -- cut some of the distractions out. I mean, I remember once in Paris, there was like a helicopter flying around the whole time. You know, it doesn't happen in Wimbledon, but...
Q. You put a premium of late on working on your serve and making that more of a weapon in your arsenal. Do you feel like it let you down any in the second set?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No.
Q. Why do you always play so fast? Is that just the way you were raised and taught to play?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: That's just my pace.
Q. Sound is so important in tennis, especially at this level. Are you surprised that more players don't comment about all the blimps that are around, all the helicopters and so forth? How does it bother you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, I don't know. I mean, it bothers me. You know, when you're trying to concentrate... I guess, when you're playing worse, everything sort of becomes louder, you know, than when you're playing well. You know, if you can reduce the distractions as much as possible. I don't know about the other players. I'm sure other players would complain after a while.
Q. My sense is you're a bit more aware of court happenings and conditions, the fans. Is that something you can sense? Can you comment on that?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: More than everybody?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't know. I mean, I just do what I do out there. You know, that's it. If something is bothering me, I try to stop it or just focus a little harder.
Q. Next is Dementieva. Give us some thoughts heading into the second week.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, she's, you know, a hard-hitter. She must be playing some good tennis. Played her a few times before. I mean, it's pretty much straight up and down tennis, just hitting the ball hard. But she's a good athlete. You know, if she has an on day, she can really be tough to play, tough to handle.
Q. Do you favor that type of match-up, against another hard-hitter, rather than somebody like Emilie today?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Most of the girls play like that. That's kind of the game I'm used to playing against. Yeah, I would be more comfortable against that type.
Q. How concerned were you after the beginning of the third set when you got broken?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I just was thinking about just trying to break right back. I wasn't concerned. You know, I was just trying to focus and concentrate on just breaking right back.
Q. Coming in here after winning in New Haven, I know you said there you wanted to be real cautious that it would not negatively affect your strategy here. How have you done that? Has it been a factor at all?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I just, you know, haven't celebrated the win too much. Just basically just let it go. Just use it as a confidence booster, and that's it, basically.
Q. Do you feel like you're playing any different after having broken that streak?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. It's hard to tell. I've had different opponents and kind of different matches. Over there, I just had some really tough matches, so...
Q. Are you feeling a little bit tense? Again, talk about your general feelings, outside of Dementieva, going into the second week, what you're going to have to do to maybe win the title.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I'm not tense at all. I'm just taking it one at a time. Really, that's what I've been doing each match the last couple tournaments so far.
Q. Is there an excitement building now that you've gone through the first week, and next week it's you and all the elite players going up against each other?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Really, I'm just concentrating on the next match, and that's it.
Q. Does it seem odd or different that for the longest time you were kind of the kid in women's tennis. This year they're talking about you at 27 being one of the older players in the draw? Have you noticed that people treat you differently than when you were 17 or 15 or 16? Does it seem different to you, being 27 here, instead of in your teens?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean, that's what happens. You know, everyone gets older. No, I've pretty much gotten used to it, you know, just kind of being the older one now. But really, I mean, I don't feel that much different, except that I just have all the experience.
Q. Could you talk about Dementieva's serve. Is it something you attack, particularly the second? Is it a vulnerability in her game?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think it's definitely the weakest shot in her game. You know, I played her in Indian Wells. That's what I think was very effective for me, is just trying to pounce on her second serve. That's when, you know, you just put pressure. That's when more of the double-faults come. You know, definitely, I just will try to step up and try to hit it. That's what I normally try to do anyways on second serves.
Q. Is there anything in particular that brought up the hiccup in the second set? Anything she did? Mixing up her shots more? Anything you did that you didn't do in the first set?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, she started playing a lot better. You know, maybe I just lost patience a little bit, you know, made a couple more errors. But, you know, she hit some great shots and she played a few good games there. You know, the slice, wasn't used to playing against that, so I had to adjust a little bit.
Q. Did you have better tension in your racquets at the end when you switched?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. See, it was just so windy today, the humidity and everything, during the day it makes the balls fly a little bit more. Like I said, I was playing night matches. Now in the day, you know, it was a little bit too loose for me.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.