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August 21, 2003

Jennifer Capriati


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jennifer.

Q. Two sets would have been nice, wouldn't it?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Whatever it takes (smiling).

Q. It was like playing a brick wall out there, kept returning everything.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, she really moves well out there. She fights for every ball, just tries for everything. You underestimate her because you think, you know, the ball is like not coming that hard. But, you know, she's putting a lot of spin. It's hard to not just, you know, want to really just go for every shot and try to put the ball away. But either, you know, she gets to a lot of them or, you know, you get little too impatient and do it at the wrong time, which I think in the second set is what happened a lot.

Q. Is it frustrating to play someone like that?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Sometimes it is. I mean, it's a real test of your patience, your will to win out there, especially in the hot conditions. You know, it could be easy to, you know, just sort of, you know, give every shot and just go for it, whether it goes in or not. But, you know, that's why she wins a lot of matches. I think that's why she's up there and she is where she is, because she just breaks a lot of players down, you know.

Q. Tired at all from last night?


Q. Again, like last night, she got tired in the third set, do you think?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, maybe it was a -- it was a little different conditions today. I think it was just really hot out there. You know, I was feeling it also. But, you know, I had the advantage of just being able to hit more winners, you know, than her. So she's probably working, you know, twice as hard. So, you know, it's not that she's in less shape. I think she just probably had to work a little bit harder.

Q. Do you take a lot of pride in winning these three-set matches, gutting them out like you've been able to do since you've been here?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I think winning the match last night gave me a lot of confidence. You know, I came out definitely playing a lot better today. Yeah, you know, these type of matches, you know, these ones I usually win against maybe the lower-ranked players. But it's just when I get up against someone higher ranked, you know, maybe I'm not always winning those matches. So, you know, I'll just learn how to close them out and just learn by playing these kind of matches and getting through them.

Q. You talked about feeling the heat out there. Did you think about calling for the heat rule at all after the second set?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean, we took a shirt change and just a bathroom break, not the full 10 minutes. I mean, I didn't need the full 10 minutes. I don't think she did either. Sometimes I don't like to do that because, you know, you have to come back, then you kind of stiffen up. It takes too long to get back into it.

Q. How much did the back-to-back three-setters, how much has it taken out of you not only for tomorrow, but going into The Open? Are you confident your body can bounce back to where you want it to be?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. You know, I still have a few days. Even if I play Saturday, there still will be a day. You know, for me, I just look at it as, you know, a really long practice session anyways, that I would really need a good workout. For me it's good. I think this is helping me get into a little bit better shape going into The Open with my lack of match practice.

Q. Does it put any more pressure on you when you're out there knowing you're helping fill the stands this weekend? Do you think about that at all when you're out there?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, not really. Not at all (smiling).

Q. How is the pec muscle injury from two weeks ago?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: It's doing fine. Actually, I've been serving pretty good. I'm pleased with the way it's been feeling. Yeah, it's almost good. Sometimes something like that happens because then it makes you go back, you know, work on the things that are not strong. In return, you just get stronger muscles there, and maybe it will just help with my serve in the long run, so.

Q. You say you're not tired.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean, I'm a little drained right now, but... (smiling).

Q. The way you got that last point, that answers a lot of people who say you would be tired. That was a great finish.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Thank you (laughter). Yeah, most people, I don't think they really expected it to go in or me to make it, so... Yeah, I mean, the last two weeks, just remember doing a lot of stuff in the gym and fitness stuff that, you know, I've had to do that kind of running. I guess it paid off.

Q. It took amazing effort to get back on top. You haven't won in a while. How hard is it to maintain that and stay there?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think that's almost more difficult than getting back. You had to, you know, fight so hard to get back. You know, definitely it doesn't come easy to stay on top. It's like a double-whammy there. You know, just takes a pretty head-strong person, someone who's able to really deal with the pressure - I guess with the pressure they put on themselves more than anything. You know, it's hard not to, you know, not feel the expectations I guess when you're No. 1 and on top.

Q. Would you categorize yourself as head-strong?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I would definitely say that. I mean, I just got to change the motivation. You know, the motivation's been to get to the top; now it has to be to stay on the top.

Q. Do you want to get there as much as ever or is it different now that you've been there a couple times?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. I think I definitely miss being, you know, on the top. Still, it's not like, you know, I'm way down. I still think I'm pretty close. So it's definitely realistic. It's just a matter of a few things here and there I think for me.

Q. Do you have a preference on who you might play next, Sugiyama or Mauresmo?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, not really.

Q. You had a lot of success this year aside from not winning tournaments. What is it that is going to allow you to get to the next level and start winning some matches and be more consistent in that regard, what with your game?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: You know, it's hard to say. You think you're doing everything right, and then you get in the situation, and certain things, you know, just don't go your way. You know, I've had some maybe bad luck here and there, getting some injuries or being out for a while, and also just mentally maybe being tired, not being able to go through with it, as you say. You know, it's just a matter I think of going out there and just playing, just not really thinking about anything else at all, just playing, and finish - finish it off.

Q. Did you hit a wall any time today? You won the first set handily. Did you hit a wall during that second set especially?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, not really. I mean, there were maybe a few times here and there where I felt my legs really didn't move that well, just felt a little bit winded. But not really. I mean, I was able to regain it I think pretty quick.

Q. How hot was it out there? Certainly wasn't as hot as the Australian Open 2002, was it?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, not even close (smiling). No, it's pretty hot. It's very humid out there. You know, just no shade out there at all, so it's just kind of like you're out there and the sun's constantly beating on you, you know, the heat from the ground is coming up. You know, but that's like Florida. I should be used to it, yeah.

Q. When you were off because of injury, did you have time to reflect on how you want to come back mentally as much as physically, what you want to be able to accomplish from the mental aspect of the game?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I try to just make the most of my time if I'm out with an injury, just take that time to make myself stronger physically, you know, also to relax a little bit, kind of let my mind relax, not think about, you know, what's going on on the tour, what I'm missing, all that. I think the rest would benefit me.

Q. Do you feel recharged, more energy now than you had?


Q. You have some diamond barrettes flashing in the light.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, they're not diamonds (laughter).

Q. Thought you were Venus Williams for a second.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Does she wear real diamonds?

Q. When she comes in for her press conferences.

THE MODERATOR: I don't think they're real either.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I lost one on the court. Some ball kid will be pretty happy, I guess (smiling).

Q. After two tough matches, what do you do tonight?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: What time is it? Go shopping (laughter). Go to dinner, probably dinner, maybe a movie, yeah, because I don't play -- well, I don't know.

THE MODERATOR: She's playing tomorrow night against the winner of this match.

Q. Do you need a victory to get your confidence going or are you pretty confident right now?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I'm confident. I mean, I'm not going to put in my head that I need a victory, I mean, because maybe that victory's never going to happen. You know, just take it one at a time and get confidence from each match that I play.


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