August 29, 2002
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jennifer, please.
Q. How difficult is it to deal with all those slices and dices?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Oh, it's not the game that I'd prefer to play against, but under these conditions it's pretty tough. But I think I handled it very well.
Q. Anybody hit it with such an extreme grip on the forehand side as she does?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, I don't think there's too many players that have that. I mean, for her, on a windy day like this, and a day like today, is not good for that kind of grip I don't think. She was missing quite a lot, shanking a lot.
Q. Can you take us through your day, how early you were out here, what you did for five hours.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, if I was gonna play at 11, I'd wake up at 8:30, or have to leave around 8:30. I still woke up, I saw it was pouring. So just tried to get the forecast a little bit. So I didn't rush to come out here. I just kind of was on the standby. Didn't get out here till about 1 o'clock. So it's actually -- worked out well that I didn't have to get here so early and hang out. I pretty much know, you know, when it's gonna clear up, just being a veteran. So I didn't -- I mean, to tell you the truth, I wasn't sure I was going to get the match in today, but...
Q. What did you do all morning when you were hanging out?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I just stayed in my room and I mean maybe I walked outside just to get some fresh air.
Q. Pete Sampras was talking about his future. Do you think about your life after tennis or are you still focused on what's going on right now that you don't think about it much?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I'm starting to think about it a little bit, like what I could do. I probably just don't want to do anything for right after I'm done. And just kind of, you know, whatever comes to me, just kind of spur of the moment, just be spontaneous and whatever I feel like doing I'm gonna do. I don't think that's going to be for a little while yet, so hopefully...
Q. You're starting to get to an age where you're projecting further out?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. I mean, I realize that, you know, tennis is just, you know, a small part. I mean, I'm not gonna be playing that much longer, so what am I gonna do after? Can't wait (winking). No, I'm kidding.
Q. Double-faults, it's easy to forget them on a day like this because you won. Are they an annoyance to you? What have you been doing to eliminate them?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think it's obvious they're an annoyance. But, you know, I've been practicing a lot more on them just every day, you know, just trying to just practice serves, 20, 30 minutes, just so it just becomes automatic. But, you know, I think I can get it right back. I mean, if my concentration goes off or my rhythm goes off, I mean, that's the first place that it affects, is just my serve. You know, I think it's gotten a lot better. It's just something that I just have to keep working on and keep going for it and, you know, just hopefully it will change. I mean, I don't -- you know, if it's just gonna continue to get me in trouble like in tough matches, tight matches, on those important matches, that's what lets me down, I don't know. We'll have to see if maybe there's somebody else, you know, to talk to who maybe specializes in the serve or something and can really help me out.
Q. Critical times in the second week against Venus or Serena, that can be lethal, can't it?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. But I think that's improved a lot. I think because I know it's really an important point, I don't do it as much. It's more when it's okay to do it. That's when I just throw them in, when I'm just really not that -- when I just rush through it. I find, you know, the less I rush, you know... These are things I've got to realize on my own anyways.
Q. You think your toss is part of the problem?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Sometimes, yeah. I mean, still, it could look perfect and I could still double-fault so...
Q. Who has the toughest serve in the game now and why?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: The toughest serve, I always thought Lindsay had the toughest serve for me. She just placed it so well, doesn't matter how hard you hit it, it's just where you hit it. She would just get the angles and, you know, just really hard to read. I mean, the power I don't have a problem with.
Q. So it's tougher than Venus', who's often said to be the best?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I haven't played Venus in like -- in so long. So, I mean, it looks to be tough, that's for sure. But, you know, I mean, there's a big difference I think between a first and a second serve so...
Q. A lot of people think Lindsay has the best forehand, or maybe yourself. Would you put Serena in that category, too?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think no. I mean, she's never really -- maybe it's something she's improved on, but I think she can make a lot of mistakes off that. I think her backhand is more consistent.
Q. What about Lindsay's forehand?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think it's good, but I think her backhand is the better shot.
Q. You've got as many majors over the last year and a half as anybody. Why do you think it is that your name is not as prominent as maybe it should be?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean, I've been around but I haven't won that many (smiling). It's only three, so... I don't know. I mean, I think it's -- when you think about the majors, I think my name pops up, you know. So right now maybe it's the Williamses that are just, you know, the first one everyone thinks of.
Q. Do you like that better, that maybe you're not being counted? Does it take pressure off?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: It doesn't matter either way. I don't care.
Q. On the billboard coming in, there's a huge American Express billboard. The slogan is, "American Express, Official Card of Girl Power." Your photo is there. What does that mean?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: "Girl Power"?
Q. No, the phrase "Official Card".
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Just because that's my card. I don't know (laughing).
Q. President Bush has been holding town meetings or starting to hold town meetings across the country about Title IX. He's considering changing this important legislation that's helped women get involved in sports. If you could say something to President Bush, what would you say?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I have no idea what Title IX is, sorry.
Q. Very possibly Meghann Shaughnessy next.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Oh, a tennis question.
Q. Does her game suit you more, the sort of whack it as hard as you can, go for the winners and get into a sort of hitting contest with another big hitter?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Is that what I prefer or is that what...?
Q. Yeah. Would you prefer more a Meghann Shaughnessy-type player?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Than Conchita? Yeah. I mean, I think I play better against those types of players, and that suits my game more. But, you know, either way, I like all kinds of games. You know, it's a challenge for me to try to play my tennis, my best tennis, against anything that's thrown at me. I don't know, I mean, you could look at the Williamses or Lindsay and you would say that I would like to play against those players because, you know, they hit the flat kind of hard balls. When you're playing against someone that's on, that type of tennis, I mean, that's almost the hardest game to play against.
Q. You made a reference a couple minutes ago to there were times in your career where No. 3 would have sounded good. Now that you're at this level, it's not so much what you like. Could you talk more about that.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think it still sounds pretty good. I think I'm really close and it just motivates me more to want to get higher and get even closer to moving up and maybe being No. 1 again.
Q. You spent some time this summer hitting with Martina Hingis at Saddlebrook. She's somebody who's been No. 1, who's fallen off. What can you say to help her kind of pull up back in her position?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think she can't expect too much too soon, that's for sure. She's got to have patience. I think it will eventually -- eventually, it will come. She's definitely young enough where she's got a lot of time left and I think she's definitely not out of it. She shouldn't be counted out. I think she just keeps working and improving on some things. I mean, she's still one of the toughest players out there to play.
Q. There was just this reference to Title IX, which is a government edict which basically equalizes men's and women's athletics in college sports. Do you have a sense of what the role, the pioneers of a couple of decades ago, Billie Jean King, Gladys Heldman, did for women's tennis? Is that something you have an awareness of or think about? Do you have a sense of that?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, sure. They've done a lot of things to get us on the board. I know that, and I definitely respect that. You know, they just started it, and we're just here to continue it.
Q. Have you ever spoken to Billie Jean about it? I know you had the conflict with her earlier so I don't want to go there. But have you spoken to her about this sort of continuation in terms of the tradition in women's tennis about promoting the game?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Not really. Not really had an in-depth conversation about it. But I think if -- what we can do is just keep working hard and doing what we're doing now. I mean, we fight out there and we try our best. I mean, we're always out there and trying to figure out ways to improve. I think that's the best that we could do.
Q. Clearly there are four top players here: Williams sisters, yourself, and Lindsay Davenport. Does Chanda Rubin have a serious chance to win this tournament, in your opinion?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think she's a serious threat. As far as if she can take it all the way, I mean, I think that's pretty difficult considering the amount of time she's played since her injury or since her comeback. She hasn't played all that much. Two weeks is a long time. Mentally and physically it's grueling. I mean, I think she could be -- have a few upsets here and there. But to be consistent, to take it all the way, that's tough.
Q. The Montreal loss was pretty disappointing for you. Is there any way you used that to get psyched up for here?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah.
Q. Have you used that to spur yourself on to try to do better here? How did that affect you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I wasn't -- to tell you the truth, I wasn't that disappointed. I mean, I did, I had a great tournament. I had three great wins there. You know, even though the final, you know, maybe wasn't as close as I would like, wasn't more of a battle out there, still it was positive for me - especially coming into this. The conditions, I was a little bit tired and the conditions were -- I mean, it's hard to even be able to play tennis out there. So I got to consider that and think maybe that's why I didn't play my best. Hopefully, just in a Grand Slam that happens, that comes up, you just got to get through it. That, you know, would make me want to stay out there a little bit more, try to find the way a little more.
Q. You said you were motivated to be No. 1. You said you're close. Are you doing anything specifically with looking at the Williams sisters and what you need to do to move up?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I just look at my game and the past matches and, you know, how I've lost some of the previous matches and why maybe I'm not as sharp, I wasn't as sharp moving around the court and physically. So I think I'm really trying to get back to that. I mean, that's a big key, important fact for me.
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