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August 31, 1999

Jennifer Capriati


WTA: Questions for Jennifer.

Q. How important was it winning the AT&T Classic? How important was that to your confidence?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: It was very important. I mean, even if it wasn't a real tournament or anything like that, you know, it was a good test to see where I was at at that time. I hadn't played any tournaments for a while. To just get some matches in. I played well those matches. It was just maybe the beginning of kind of a roll I was going on, just continue the roll that had started maybe like by May or whenever the European tournaments were. I mean, it was good. Any win is good. It helps.

Q. Are you satisfied with your play today?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. It was hard to really kind of get into a groove, kind of a rhythm. I don't think Iva played that well. Especially with the wind, it was hard to get a really good groove going, so there wasn't a lot of rallies or anything. You know, despite all the conditions, I think I played well.

Q. How does it feel to be back here at The Open?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Good, great. I mean, this is the best I've felt in a long time here tennis-wise. I feel like I'm just ready to play some tennis.

Q. What are your expectations here? Are you taking it one match at a time, or do you feel you can compete now?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, kind of it's hard not to look ahead and see what your chances are, just kind of like think about, you know, the rounds ahead and stuff. I just try to keep focused on the next round .

Q. Are you confident you can compete with the top girls?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I am. I think I really believe that. I know I really believe that (laughter). We'll just take one match at a time. Hopefully with each match, I'll just get better and better.

Q. After your nice run at the French, has your confidence been building since then? Has it suffered any dips? Has it really gone up since Paris?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think it's just gone up. I don't think it could get any lower than where I was at. My game is just getting better and better. You know, with Harold, we just work on it every day, work on things every day. Just every day, I try just to stay positive about it and just am really looking forward to the matches, playing as much as I can.

Q. Do you feel like you're in better shape even now than you were in Paris?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, definitely.

Q. When we saw you at Mahwah, you said you were going to try to use that tournament as a springboard for the rest of the year. How is that working out?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: So far it's good. Maybe I didn't have the best results in the tournaments over in California, the summer tournaments after that. You know, this obviously is the one to do well at. I'm just concentrating on here now.

Q. How has your perspective changed now that you're older, wiser than when you first came here?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I was a lot younger then. I think obviously I would have a different kind of attitude - I would hope I do - ten years later. I don't know, it's just different.

Q. How?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, maybe I'm not as like goofy as I was before (laughter). That's changed. You know, I'm not going to go around saying I'm so excited after I win a match here.

Q. What has Harold brought to you? How has he helped you?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: He's helped a lot. Really, since the first time I talked to him, the first time he came up to see me, already from that moment on, we just had a long talk and went over everything. I really trust him and have a lot of faith in him. I believe he knows what he's talking about. He just helped me believe in myself.

Q. More of a technical thing?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Everything, everything, strategy, technical, mental, everything. I think that's what makes a good coach, is to be knowledgeable in every area.

Q. When you see the bubbly young girls like you used to be, like an Alexandra Stevenson, very close to her mom, do you think, "Oh, my God, I hope stuff doesn't happen to her like it's happened in the past"? How can she avoid it?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I basically don't even think about it, don't think like that, like, "Oh, God." That's kind of a negative frame of mind, thinking. I just see her as what she is, and that's it.

Q. Do you have any advice to the teenagers trying to deal with all the pressures on the tennis Tour?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. Probably not take the press too seriously.

Q. Speaking of the press, you made tabloid headlines a few years ago, does it bother you that people hear the name Jennifer Capriati and they're thinking of those tabloid headlines? Is that a cross that's difficult to bear?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I'm sure it's not the people thinking that. I think they're just victims of whatever they read. If the media keeps writing about it, always adds that line to my name, of course it's going to be refreshed in their heads.

Q. Does it bother you that it's still kind of a scarlet letter that looks like it's taking a while to fade? Does it bother you?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. I think I've come a long way from that. That's maybe been one of the obstacles I've had to come over. Maybe that's why it's taken me so long to get back. I think I've risen above it.

Q. How far do you think you are from really making a run at a title, and it might be here, at a Grand Slam? Do you think your game is in the shape to do that now?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, of course. I mean, whether I am or not, I mean, that's what I'm going to believe. Otherwise, there's no point of me being here if I'm going to think, "I'm going to win three or four rounds," then I don't even want to be here.

Q. What makes a good tennis parent?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: A good tennis parent?

Q. Yes.

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I just think to be a good parent, basically. I mean, if you're a good parent, no question that that's it, whether it be around the tennis or off the court, it all is the same.

Q. How have the other girls treated your comeback? Have they been sportive or ignored it or what?

JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, I think they've been really sportive. I've actually been a bit surprised of how supportive how everybody has been. It only makes me feel good, I feel that they're really sincere about it.

End of FastScripts….

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