September 4, 2002
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. You seemed to get upset when she wasn't ready for your serve. Do you think she was trying to get into your head? Was she successful?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I have no idea. I mean, I think she was just taking her time.
Q. Was that annoying to you, though?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I've already answered it.
Q. What is it about her that makes it such a difficult matchup for you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, she has a different style of game. She mixes things up, she's a good mover around the court. But I think today, I mean, I definitely -- I think I should have come out and won that match. I don't know. Right now I can't comment a lot about what happened in the match. I haven't had enough time to really think about it. It's something that I got to go and look at and really think about and see what happened out there. You know, that's a match that I shouldn't have lost.
Q. How frustrating, disappointing is it for you? You had a good run here. Things were going well. How disappointing is this loss?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, of course it's very disappointing, especially when, you know, I had my chances. But what can you do? I mean, yeah, it hurts. Definitely hurts. I definitely think I should have -- I had that match. You know, just a lot of expectation, a lot of pressure put on myself maybe. You know, it's just something that I got to go and look at.
Q. Talking about expectations and pressure, is it you want to be back up in the semis, finals, so badly, winning Slams, that when you're up there, it's bearing down on you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, of course I want to. But there's a difference between wanting to and then expecting yourself to and thinking that you should be up there. Of course a lot of other people think I should be up there. You know, so it plays a part. It's something that, you know, I haven't really felt in a while and maybe I've been feeling it more lately.
Q. How do those expectations make you feel?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, just, I mean, no one is gonna put expectations on me except myself.
Q. More your own, I'm asking.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. Well, it just -- I think, you know, I had the chance to close out the set -- the match there, and I didn't. I don't know, I think even just from the beginning, I wasn't playing with the same kind of loose shots that I was playing, you know, the whole time. I think I came out and I was pretty nervous. I felt kind of tight out there throughout the whole match - even though I won the first set and, you know, still in the second set was serving for it.
Q. Did you want the pace of this match to go little quicker than it was? She certainly was taking her time between your serves. Putting her hand up, walking around.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I kind of answered that a little bit before. I think you missed it. I don't know, I have no comment about that.
Q. She was able to hit some winners because she disguised -- she changed the rhythm of the play. Was it because she disguised it so well or because you didn't focus at this moment?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't know what you're talking about.
Q. There were times it seemed like you were going for your shots. Others were pretty big points and it seemed like you backed off. Is it because she was playing great defense, or you weren't sure of the shots?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think I was just -- she was playing great defense, but just like I said, I was just tight, you know, in the whole match. And really, I had confidence in the first and second set, but I still felt that kind of lingering. So any time I kind of really thought about it or let it get in my head, then, you know, that's when I just didn't play aggressively. Sometimes I over -- I played too aggressively, probably. But she was making great shots. You know, I also didn't know what to do in certain moments, too. But, you know, she was just -- it was a tough match.
Q. Was there a problem with your strings? You were changing racquets a bunch.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: That's probably something that just -- it was more mental than anything.
Q. How frustrating is it to feel it's not the real you out there, when you're just not playing as well as you know you can?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: It's very frustrating because you try to do everything you can to just kind of relax out there. You know, there was a moment where I relaxed when I got ahead. But, you know, just when I was serving for it, I felt like all of a sudden, I just got really nervous and just really tight. Like, again, I said, I think it's probably just a lot of expectation, pressure that I put on myself. You know, it just came through, so...
Q. Shouldn't you have those expectations of yourself, though, given your record of winning a match like that?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, to a certain point. But, I mean, I don't think it should be like, you know, live-or-die and it's like, "You have to win." You know, you just got to look at also, I mean -- you just got to go out there and play your game, play your tennis. I mean, that's what you should expect. But, I mean, sometimes the opponent's gonna play well also, and it's like, even if that happens, you know, I should win. So it's, I don't know... It's just a lot of stuff going on maybe.
Q. Does fear increase with age and wisdom? We all watched the other day, I don't know if you watched the match against Monica on television the other day. Did you watch that at all?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No.
Q. You talk about fear. You played so fearlessly back then. I'm wondering with age and knowledge, does fear sort of creep in more?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I think you become more aware, for sure, of what's going on and, yeah, you think about things more than when you're at that age. Probably all that stuff was still there, but it's just I didn't -- I wasn't aware of it. So, you know, I think it comes in, but then the wisdom part should also help you overcome it, too.
Q. Is she one of the better athletes on tour? If you could talk about her athleticism a little bit.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I would say that. She's one of the better ones.
Q. Is it just speed or her ability to move? Her movement is so good.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think she's fast around the court and she just has good footwork. She has a good sense of -- good instinct on how to move around the court and when to come in and, you know, reacts well, anticipates well. She's natural.
Q. You had a lot of shoulder-high balls to deal with today because of the topspin. How do you think you handled that today?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think I handled it all right. I mean, you know, I didn't sit in the baseline and just, you know, play her game. I mean, I don't want to get into that kind of rally, either. Just playing her game. I'm playing my game, which is to be aggressive. For the most part, it worked, you know. Like I said, I'm still like thinking about the -- I haven't had enough time to think about it. I don't know really, you know, what happened. I just, you know, don't think I should have lost the match, so...
Q. You certainly had the life experience to know that if you do lose matches and you're not winning Grand Slams anymore, life will still go on. That happened with you, then you were able to come back and start winning again. You've known that. If that hasn't been able to relieve this pressure that you feel, what do you think is going to be able to take that off for you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, this has kind of been a new pressure that I've felt, I mean, it's just, you know, coming off being No. 1 and having such a great run. So, I mean, human beings are the only ones that go over and over and do the same mistakes over and over. I mean, we never learn, you know... So, yeah. I mean, it's something that -- it still is a different kind of pressure, so that's something that I have to, you know, go back and figure out.
Q. When you first came back, you were talking about your joy and love for the game and all that. Do you still, with all the expectations you're talking about, the pressure, how is your love for the game at this point?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Oh, it's there. I mean, otherwise, I wouldn't be so mad. I wouldn't be so mad that I lost, you know? That's why I care so much. You know, but there's a fine line, there's a balance, you know. I mean, that's not good either, to just want it so bad and, you know, want to win so bad that it just, you know, puts too much pressure on yourself. So you got to find the right balance.
Q. Are you enjoying yourself still?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Absolutely.
Q. Not right this minute, but...
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. Of course I don't enjoy losing, so...
Q. When you replay this match over and over in your mind, and I suspect you will, is there one or two points that will stand out and you'll say, "That's where I needed it?"
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't think there's one or two points. Maybe just the service game where I was serving for it.
Q. American players have talked all week about how this is the tournament they want to win most. This is the one that's the most special. When you're on the end where you lose in this tournament, is this the toughest one to handle? Does this one hurt the most when you lose?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, in the past, I mean, they all feel the same to me. Maybe this one, because I just -- I really felt like I had been playing good tennis and really felt I had a great chance to win, you know, just because I was working really hard on my fitness. And it's just like you got to give the opponent credit. But also it's like, you know, you got to go back to the drawing board I guess and see, "Why didn't I win this match?"
Q. Do you give her any real chance against Venus should she play her? Does she just kind of have a small chance?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: If she plays her best tennis, I think she has a great chance. But that's something you can't predict, so I don't know. I mean, if she plays, you know, to her potential, I think she'll have a good chance.
Q. Pete Sampras is not afraid to say certain things that other players have a tough time saying. When he says he tightens up at a certain time, he's not afraid to say he choked. Do you feel you choked in that game when you weren't able to serve it out for the match?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I think getting tight is basically saying you choked, so... (Laughter)... Basically...
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.