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June 26, 2007

Anna-Lena Groenefeld


Q. Could you just talk about what's happened with your game during the past year?
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: Well, after -- yeah, it's now exactly one year that I'd say that I dropped my level a little bit, then there came the thing with my coach, and it's still going on, and he still thinks he's the man of the world. So it's not easy right now.
But yeah, so right now for me it's not so much about tennis, it's more about getting accustomed and feeling well on the court.

Q. But you have a new coach now?

Q. But Rafael is still in your head to the point where you're not playing the way you want to?
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: Yeah, he makes his way into it well when he goes up to my opponent and someone is coming up to me and telling me, yeah, he gave them all the tactics how she had to play me today. Yeah, when you know that, it's always in your head and you just can't throw it away.
But I think that's just his way of dealing with it. Maybe it's -- yeah, I don't know. I don't want to go down to his level. It's just sad to see a guy doing things like this.

Q. Now, I know that happened at the French Open. Did that also happen today with your opponent?
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: Well, today it was more that he gave the exact tactics how to play me. I mean, I could have stood on the forehand side of the court the whole match, it didn't matter, and at the French he was right at the court, so it was a little bit different. But today I think he was not right at the court because he had to warm up with his player.
But yeah, he's always trying to do some things so he can feel good about it. I guess he's having his time of his life right now, just disrupting other players, I don't know, but that's the way he is. I have to learn to deal with it. But it's not that easy.

Q. Why do you think he's so vindictive? Vindictive means someone who wants to get revenge because he feels bad about something that happened.
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: I wish I knew. I guess, I don't know, the whole three years I worked with him I had a good relationship with him. Yeah, it's sad to see that after such a long time that he's like this. I mean, maybe he cannot get over it that we don't practice anymore, whatever it is. I don't know, I don't want to get down to his level, I just try to forget about it, although it's not that easy right now.

Q. Have you asked him just to stop and say, listen, I've moved on, I have a different life, another career, you're with Meghan again, can you just leave me alone?
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: Actually I don't talk to him at all. And as I know him, I got to know him well, I think, and if I would go up to him and say something to him, it would just make him do it even more.

Q. Have you asked Meghan maybe, who is your friend and doubles partner, you've asked her maybe to ask him not to --
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: No, Meghan told me that when she started to work with him she doesn't want to know anything about it because she's a friend of mine. She doesn't talk to him at all about it. We are still good friends, and I think the worst of all is I can't play doubles anymore with her.

Q. At some point do you think you'll be able to separate yourself from the situation and play the tennis you're capable of playing?
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: Oh, yeah, for sure, it just depends how long it will be. I can't predict if it's going to be next week or -- I don't know, next month, but for sure at some point I'm going to separate it and for sure I'm going to be able to just play my game and forget about it.
But I can't -- well, like I said, I don't know when it is, but I'm working on it and we'll see what happens.

Q. Have you asked the WTA maybe to step in and talk to him for you?
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: I think there's not a point to talk about this right now, but I think I have to deal with it myself. It's in my head. I think everybody around knows what's going on, there is no question about that. But it's just that I have to deal with it and have to get over it. I know there are a lot of people out there who are on my side, for sure, and yeah, just that I will see what's happening in the future.

Q. Are there days when you wake up and say, you know, you can play, I can play top 20 tennis again? You were almost top 15, you were beating very good players?
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: Yeah, I mean, I think right now it's not about forehand and backhand; it's more about the mental part of the game. It's more dealing with the situation I'm in right now. For sure I think I will be able to play at top level again. It depends how long it will be or when it will be. But I've seen in the past I can do it, so why can't I do it in the future? I still have a lot of years ahead of me.

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