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April 20, 2007

Sabine Appelmans

Kristen Flipkens

Caroline Maes


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Kirsten, what would have to happen tomorrow for you to beat Venus? What would be the things that would have to take place?
KIRSTEN FLIPKENS: That's a good question. You know, as long as I give myself a hundred percent, then I'm happy after the tie. No matter if I win or lose, I'll just go out there, give myself a hundred percent and we'll see what the score brings.

Q. Sabine, it's your first week as a Fed Cup coach. How difficult is it to prepare a match with very little chance to win and what do you tell the girls, how do you prepare?
CAPTAIN APPELMANS: Well, in a way it's not very different from any other match. Of course, I mean, we know it's very difficult for us. But I think if we would have played another team, the preparation would have been the same and I would have said the same to the girls.
I don't think it's much different. We've gotten ready this week. We've practiced hard. We're ready to play the match either against who we play.

Q. Sabine, can you talk about the Williams sisters and how they seem to, whenever people start to write them off, win the Australian Open. Can you from your vantage point, what they've done, talk about that.
CAPTAIN APPELMANS: Well, I think players with this talent and this will to do well, any time if they want to, they just give themselves a hundred percent, they're going to come back. We've seen Jennifer Capriati coming back, Monica Seles coming back, Kim Clijsters coming back after long injuries. When they're fit and they really want to play and they're motivated, they're always going to come back because they're just so good.
That's the same thing I think with Serena and Venus. If they really want to, they're just so talented, so gifted tennis players, they're going to come back and they're going to be top players.

Q. Sabine, you often hear about Davis Cup matches where the crowd is so rowdy and raucous, even throwing things on the court, cheering double-faults. Have you ever been involved in a Fed Cup match that the crowd was so unruly, you thought you were in the middle of a war zone?
CAPTAIN APPELMANS: Not really. I think in the last couple of years the Belgian team has done really well. People are getting more behind the team. I think the girls all like the fact that there's so many people behind the team and that they're rooting. We haven't had any problems.
I see it more as a positive thing, people getting involved. As long as I don't get anything on my head, I'm fine (laughter).

Q. Caroline, what mental attitude will you have when you face the Williams sisters? It's a very special match for you because you usually don't play those kind of players.
CAROLINE MAES: It's not that I get the opportunity to play them every week. I'm used to playing the challenger tournaments. I'm going to try to have fun. It will be a great experience for me. I'm going to enjoy it.

Q. Sabine, I asked Zina also. There are very few women who are Fed Cup captains, maybe two or three in the top 16. Is that something that you would like to see change?
CAPTAIN APPELMANS: Well, I'm very happy to be a Fed Cup captain. But to me, what the other countries do doesn't really matter. I think the country, if they want to do it, that's fine. I think it's nice to get the opportunity to do it. But I don't think it has anything to do with being male or female. I just think the Federation has to choose the right person, the person that wants to do it.
I'm really happy to be here.

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