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March 13, 2007

Sybille Bammer


THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions.

Q. So how do you explain this great tennis this year for you? It seems like your game's getting better and better.
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah, it's getting better and better. And the last two years I'm working very hard, and I get better every day a little bit. And I think I improved everything: mentally, fitness, and also my tennis is better now. I can play also fast, where in the past, I just was running and put the ball into the court.

Q. So now you're playing more aggressive and trying to hit more winners?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah. I'm not the one who is going on the first or the second ball on the win, I try to go and wait for the chance and make it to winner.

Q. Why in the last couple years? The last few years did you decide to work harder?
SYBILLE BAMMER: After Tina was born, I -- we said, "Okay. I'm still young, and I like tennis, and I want to try one more time." And I knew that it was, for sure, the last time, because if I don't play good, I have to stop and have to do something else.

Q. It's not easy to have a child, though, and play tennis. So how long did it take you physically to get to the point where you could start playing well?
SYBILLE BAMMER: I think it takes me one year and a half to get fit after she was born.

Q. Yeah. And she's two?

Q. She 3?
SYBILLE BAMMER: She's five and a half.

Q. You're five and a half? Wow. Kindergarten?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah, she is.

Q. Talk about traveling with a child, especially as she gets older.
SYBILLE BAMMER: Now it's getting easy, very easy, because now, she knows what's going on when we travel, and she knows the rules, and the playing and when the fasten seat belt sign is on, she has to fasten it. And she knows in the car, she has to always have to fasten the seat belts. I think she doesn't like to travel, but she's a good girl.
I think kids, like, which never travel, they have more problems than she.

Q. And you bring her to almost every tournament?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah, till September I can take her to almost all tournaments, and then she will go to school, and then she can come only in the holidays.

Q. It must be difficult, those long plane flights and going to Australia. Those are very long for children, no?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah, it's very long. We have a lot of games on the plane, and we do a lot of things that the time is running faster.

Q. But also to focus, to be a mother and then focusing on the tennis so well, that must be hard for you, too, no?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah, it's hard, but I like it, and the hard thing is I don't have so much time to relax, but I like how it is, so I don't think 24 hours on tennis. After tennis, it's like I go out of the door and the next life is -- I don't know how to say.

Q. Because she won't let you think about tennis, right, all the time. You can't?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah. That's good.

Q. So does she come with you on practice courts and does she understand how the game is played?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah, she understands. She's also playing a little bit already. And she wants to watch more in the practice, but I think if she stays the whole day, she gets bored, and I try that she stay also a little bit in the hotel, to go swimming with my boyfriend.

Q. Have you thought about maybe a professional career for her or is that something --
SYBILLE BAMMER: I would like that she play tennis for fun, and then we will see how she improve. I don't know if she likes to do it or not.

Q. When you knew you were pregnant, when you decided to have the baby, did you think maybe my tennis career may never go to where I want it? Do you understand?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah. When I decided to get the baby, I was not sure if I should start again or not. But my boyfriend, he said I'm still very young and he believes in me and he wants me to try one more time. And he said he will give up his job and he makes everything that I can play again.

Q. Do you know the last woman who won a Grand Slam, who was a mother?

Q. Goolagong.
SYBILLE BAMMER: Oh, Goolagong. When was that?

Q. That was, what was it, '76, '70s sometimes. But it can be done, huh? Did your career expectations change before and after having a child? Are your expectations now different than they were before you became a mother?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah, before I had her, my best ranking was only 205, I think. And I believed that I could come to the top 100, and it was always my big goal to get into the top 100. And I did that two years ago, I think. I'm not sure. And, yeah, it's going -- now, I don't know, my team is getting always better and better, and I'm working very professional now, and everyone wants the best for me, and we work really good.

Q. So now you could get top 20 in next three, four months?
SYBILLE BAMMER: I say step by step. My next goal is to reach the top 30, and when I reached it, I see my next goal.

Q. When you play against players like Ivanovic, I mean, you beat Serena this year, right, before she won Australia; you beat Ivanovic, who is close to a top 10 player. Do you say to yourself, "My game is very close to the top women now"?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah, I think I can beat everyone, but I need to play consistent, and I need to work on everything in my game, and mentally. I need to work on everything.

Q. Serena spoke very highly of you at the Australian Open when she talked about the loss at Hobart, did you hear that, and was it a confidence boost at all?
SYBILLE BAMMER: Yeah, I hear that when we was playing. I think it was a very good match. She played also very good, and it was a very close match, and I was happy that I won it.

Q. But did that tell you anything about how high you could go or how good a year you could have?
SYBILLE BAMMER: I think that she said that I -- I heard her interview when she said I'm able to make more wins, something like that, yeah.
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