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September 2, 1999

Jennifer Capriati


Q. What changed in the second set?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I think I just raised the level of my game a little bit. And I think I came out there, and I really knew how she was going to play because I had just played her not too long ago. So I was expecting her to just come out the way she did. But I guess my game was off, you know, I was missing a lot of shots, making a lot of errors. And then I just -- I raised the level of my game. I just started playing better and she started making some errors. I just got more confident, as the match went on.

Q. There was a little exchange between, I think, the fifth -- at 6-5 or something, about the pace of the serve. Did that make you angry?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. Not -- you know, I was just pretty much pumped up before that, and, you know, I just tried to like, I mean, I try to thrive off anything, anything that will just get my adrenaline going more. And, yeah, I guess that did, you know.

Q. In that first set, you got down, and then you came back and then you got down set and came back. In the third game of that second set, you were down 15-40, and you came back and you held, and then you sort of were on your way. Something about perseverence, can you talk a little bit about perseverence in your game, in your life, what it means?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think I've just always had that, that, like, determination, just -- I've just always had that. I guess what's changed is maybe in the past -- the last few years, the last couple matches before I started doing better, I just maybe didn't have that, didn't fight as much, or just sort of, you know, after I would lose the first set, just see it as a losing battle. But now, you know, I got myself in much better shape, and that really has a lot to do with it because I feel like I can run all day. Then, you know, there's -- I enjoy being out there and hitting the ball. So even though there's no -- there's no reason for me to give up.

Q. What memories do you have of your last meeting -- (inaudible.)


Q. Yes.


Q. How was the match?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: It was a good match. I lost the first set. She came out and played strong, played better. But, you know, I just know at least -- I mean, I know her game pretty well, I think, now. And I think she's going play the same way. You know, she has a good serve, and it would be different than the girl I played today, that's for sure. I think I'll be hitting a lot more passing shots, or trying to, whatever.

Q. How do you feel about your tennis now? Do you feel like you're starting to play really, really well again?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I do. I feel more comfortable and confident out there and have a lot more trust in my game that, you know, it was more like before I didn't really know whether I would hit the ball and it would go in or out, you know. And now, I just have the confidence where I, like, know where I'm hitting it and know what I want to do, and believe that they're just going to go where I want them to.

Q. How difficult was it for you to be patient when you first came back to tennis? Did you have any insecurities that you might not come back?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: You know, maybe I had those doubts, but I just -- just kept going, and just kept trying not to give up on it. And, you know, I got a coach, and, you know, I put my mind to it. So now it's like I see that: Hey, I can do well, you know, better anyways, and just see where I go from here now.

Q. How did you get hooked up with Harold?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: It just came about that he wasn't working with anybody, and I was looking for somebody. And I've always known him from travelling with Mary Joe. I saw him all the time. So I knew him that way, and he's just nice. And, you know, somebody just mentioned it. Maybe even just my dad. I was like, "Well, why not?"

Q. So you contacted him?


Q. What has he helped you with most?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Just everything. Just that he's my -- I have a coach, you know, and that he's my coach. I feel better just having that because it's like more structure, more discipline, and I feel like professional again. And he just helps with every part of the game, you know, technical, the strategic part, the mental. I mean, he was a great player himself. I think he really knows the game, and more than anything, I guess, just confidence.

Q. Do you feel like you can make a run here? Do you feel like your game has come back to such a level that you can turn some heads and upset a couple people and get far?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I really am not looking at it like that. I'm just going to take it one match at a time.

Q. You looked very happy and relaxed after the match. The crowd cheered you on. Is this kind of a new chapter in your career, more enjoyment, more excitement is coming back? Is this a new stage of your career right now?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, definitely. This is the best results I've had in a long time, tennis results. And I think the New York crowd, they really love to cheer for the underdog, you know, they've just always been like that. Because I'm American, you know, just -- they're very supportive.

Q. What kind of preparation, mental and physical, did you do for this tournament?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, physical, just the stuff that I do with my trainer, and just practicing and working hard at home. And the mental, just, you know, just looking really looking forward to this tournament, to play in this tournament. Not putting any pressure on myself. I mean, you know, just really being eager, and just thinking to myself: "Whatever happens, happens, you just have to go for it."

Q. Is this your favorite tournament?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: One of my favorites, yes.

Q. How does the atmosphere here, particularly at night, compare to other tournaments when you play, say, a night match?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean, I think this is the only tournament that really, like, has so many people come out. That's where -- that's when the stuff really happens, is at night. So it's, I mean, very special.

Q. Any memorable matches that you've played here at night? Maybe you played Sabatini.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, at night.

Q. Anything you remember from that experience, just what it was like?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Oh, yeah. I remember, it was just a great match. And maybe the first time -- I don't know if I had beaten her, was that the first time? It was the second time. It was a Grand Slam I won to get into the semis. So it was just a great memory.

Q. Did getting a coach mean that you were willing to put more pressure on yourself to do more, better?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I wouldn't really call it pressure. I would just call it determination, really.

Q. Did it take a while to get there, to get to that point where you wanted a coach?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, it did. For a while there I thought, you know, I could be my own coach, you know. I didn't need anything, anybody. (Laughter.) But I guess it really wasn't working that way. So I got Harold.

Q. What was the last straw in making you decide to go to Harold?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Just I was just sick of losing, or just not knowing why I was losing, or just feeling just lost out there and not knowing really what to do, where to go, anything, you know. And I just needed an outside perspective, you know, someone from the outside looking in to help me to see what's going on. Because I guess I couldn't really see, you know, I was just in the middle of my own stuff, and so that was it.

Q. As a 14-year-old girl, the victories came pretty easy for you. Do they mean that much more to you now than they did then? Was it all kind of a whirlwind then?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: You know, I'm just -- I don't really want to go back to the past anymore and talk about it. I just want to talk about the now, and what I am now.

Q. I saw a little film clip of you on television. They asked you about the crowd and you said, "I really want to win for them." Who do you really want to win for? Do you really want to win for them? Or is it for you?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think obviously it's for me, yeah. I mean, really no one knows other than me how hard it's been, or how much work it's been to get here. And, you know, I'm not expecting myself to win. Just by winning is not going to be a thing that makes me happy. But I just, I feel their want for me to win, the crowd. Just so it would be like, you know, giving something to them. And, in turn, it would also be like for me, too.

Q. What is the goal now? Is there something out there that you want to reach?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: You know, I'm just enjoying myself. Enjoying my life, just living. And that's really it. You know.

Q. They're talking about Jennifer Capriati from today, from now. Did you change a lot? What is your life now all about, besides tennis? Do you have a lot of hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Now you're getting personal. (Laughter.)

Q. That's even worse.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I'd go on forever, you know. So, I mean I enjoy many things, whatever: Music, movies, friends, you know, family, love, whatever, you know.

End of FastScripts….

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