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August 27, 2002

Jennifer Capriati


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You played like you were in a hurry. Plane to catch, train to catch? Hot date?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I felt good out there, so... Just played like I was on a mission. I was on a mission to hit my shots, to play well, to move well, to move fast. You know, I was in a good rhythm. So I really didn't think about my pace at all, you know.

Q. In terms of your movement, do you think you're moving better now than you ever have in your career?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Than I ever have? I don't know if I ever have. I mean, maybe I've never -- I don't know -- felt as fit as I have now. There could be some other times where, you know, where I felt the same, but it's pretty close, yeah.

Q. In terms of overall fitness, though, you feel like you're as good as you've ever been?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, yeah. Maybe it's because I haven't been like this for a little while, so it really seems like I'm really fit now, you know.

Q. How would you compare your game first round here versus first round at the Australian this year?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't remember Australia the first round.

Q. You know, the tournament you won (laughter)?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah (smiling). I mean, I felt good there, but maybe not as well. You know, as physically fit or on my game as I was tonight. But you can't go by those things. Every tournament's different. You just, yeah, I mean, you never know, like, maybe you wouldn't have expected me to go on to win and kind of from my performances early on in Australia. Hopefully, it doesn't work the other way here, where it's good in the beginning then ends up...

Q. Was there anything in particular different that you did in training fitness-wise?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I just worked with a trainer while I was home, really hard, and changed some things in my diet, you know, tried to lose some weight. Not weight, I mean, just try to get leaner and fitter. You know, different training stuff to just try to make me a little bit faster out there.

Q. Did you feel bad for her at all tonight? It was like target practice there in the second set. Did you think, "Oh, God, here's this 17-year-old, I'm double-bageling her. Maybe I should give her a game?"

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. I'm not out there to feel sorry for anybody. Once you start that, then you never know. It could turn into one game, two games, three games. You just never know. You know, it's got to be a lesson, too. She's got to learn. She's got to experience it out there. I mean, it will make her tougher.

Q. You stepped it up for this one. I don't know if you're aware, Mr. Williams has offered you advice. He said to stop cursing on court and feels you should listen to your father more. Do you understand where that's coming from?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, those are quotes from him or...?

Q. Yeah, from Inside Tennis, yeah.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I really have no comment. I have nothing to say about what he says. I mean, it's just a waste of time. I mean, you can see how ignorant that sounds and how disrespectful that sounds. I mean, he should just, you know, concentrate on his daughters and he's doing a good job. So, you know, I don't need his advice. I mean...

Q. He's often talked about respect. It doesn't appear to be coming the other way, does it, when he says something like this out of leftfield?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. And he gets away with it. It's too bad. It's no class. I've never taken personal remark s -- I've never said anything personal, just about the game itself. But, you know, I could say things about them, but I'm not going to because I'm not going to lower myself to that.

Q. If you were going to lower yourself, what would you say (laughter)?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah... That's the whole point, yeah.

Q. In terms of the Williamses, though, do you see yourself as -- I mean, in the women's draw right now, let's switch around, people will say, "Jennifer Capriati has the best chance to disrupt an all-Williams final here." What's your reaction when you hear that kind of thing?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I mean, I think I like hearing that. It's a good thing to hear it. Maybe I'm not the only one. There's a lot of other players that have come back. I mean, Lindsay's back and she's playing well. It's a lot of pressure to bear, too. My goal is to try to win the tournament and try to play my best and win matches. My goal is not to disrupt a Williams final, you know. That's taking away from the actual game, and it's like, you know, they're owning the game and I'm trying to stop them from owning it. I mean, taking away, there's a lot of other things that make this game besides them.

Q. Are you happy with this summer? You seem to be happy with your play tonight. You had three tournaments coming in on hardcourts. I know you reached the final in Montreal. You didn't get a title. Are you gradually progressing? Are you upset you didn't finish better in those tournaments?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I'm gradually progressing. I'm not upset because I feel good right now. I played good in Montreal. I think it's coming together for me now. I just really feel good about my game. You know, it's a process. I knew it wasn't gonna, you know, come right away, to get these results. But, you know, I'm aiming for the big one, so...

Q. So you kind of prepare yourself to peak for the Slam? Everything else is an in-between for you?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't say it's, like, intentionally. But, you know, it's a long season, it's a long year. It's hard for me to gear up for every tournament and to play well every tournament. You know, for me to play well, I have to be in great shape. Sometimes I can't -- I mean, I have to work hard. Sometimes I can't always work hard. You know, for me, the way the games are these days, that's the way you have to be, and you have to train. Unless I come 100 percent prepared and ready then, you know, I'm not going to be winning those tournaments. I do my best to try to do that, but it's hard to maintain that level constantly.

Q. Does a result like this just add that confirmation to your own mental attitude, that you are absolutely fine-tuned for this one?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. I mean, I'd be able to really gauge where I am, you know, when I have a tougher opponent or I have a tougher match.

Q. But the feel?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I feel good. I feel like I'm moving well. Yeah, my shots, I feel confident so...

Q. There's been talk about the increasing depth of women's tennis. Today we see Venus beating Lucic 0-0. You beat Mattek 0-0. Is there still a large gap between the Top 5 players and players ranked 80 to 100, 100 to 120?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, yeah. I would have to say that's true. It's not as bad as how everyone makes it seem or how it seems. You know, I even said when I was asked out there, Patrick asked me the same question, or whoever asked me. It doesn't happen that often. It happens on the men's side, too. You have easy rounds, also, here. You know, that's gonna happen. I mean, can't have, like, every match to be like a thrilling three-setter, a thrilling five-setter. So, you know, maybe this one was easy for me. But, you know, the next one could be a lot tougher. You just never know.

End of FastScripts….

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