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February 1, 2008

Lindsay Davenport

Zina Garrison

Ashley Harkleroad

Lisa Raymond


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Zina, how have preparations gone this week?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: Actually, I think preparations have gone extremely well. The girls have been hitting really well, very relaxed. Basically just, you know, kind of getting together.
It's been nice. It's been a great atmosphere. It's my first chance to be with Lindsay's beautiful little baby. Kind of nice to be around, kind of enjoy. It's been a real family atmosphere.

Q. Lindsay, almost three years since you were last in the Fed Cup fray. What does it mean to you to be returning so close to where you were born and where you still live?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, it's really exciting. When I decided to come back, definitely made a commitment to Fed Cup for hopefully the whole year and to be part of the Olympics. Representing my country is something I've always taken great pride in and enjoyed immensely.
I was very happy when they told me where the site was going to be. I've been down here before, but never played here in an official tournament, so I'm happy I get the opportunity to. Like Zina said, we've had a really great week. I'm really happy I'm a part of this team and look forward to a good weekend.

Q. Lindsay, the German team obviously is very young. How much do you know about your first-round opponent?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: About the same as I know about the second-round opponent, which isn't a lot (laughter).
I know that Lisicki did very well in Australia. She qualified and made it to the third round. I think she beat Safina and had some good wins. I did not get the opportunity to watch her play there, though, however.
So that's happened to me a lot recently. After taking a year off, there's been a lot of players I've come back that I haven't known much about. So for me that means I need to focus on my game and what I need to do well. I'll definitely go out there and watch Ashley play so I can get a sense of how my opponent will play first thing on Sunday.
But, you know, just going to take it that it's in my hands. It's up to me. I feel like if I play really well I'll be in control of the match. That's what I'm going to focus on. I have Zina there, give me tips after a few games. I'll be relying on her heavily.
CAPTAIN GARRISON: Get those feet moving (laughter).

Q. Ashley, you'll be playing singles. You don't do that very often for your country. Can you talk about your feelings going into this, nerves, what have you.
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Well, I'm just sort of excited, maybe a little nervous. But I feel ready to go. This is a great opportunity for me. This is gonna be something that I'm going to take away from and continue on with my career. I think it's a good experience for me to be able to play.
I have Zina. I think she'll be talking to me on the sideline. That will be nice. I'm just really enjoying being here. So I'm excited.

Q. Lisa, since we won't have a chance to probably talk to you for a while now after today because you don't play till the fifth rubber, you've played Fed Cup for a long time, and they he have struggled to find a winning formula for the Fed Cup, what are your thoughts being that you mostly play a lot of the doubles, having the doubles fifth? Do you think there would be a better spot for it? Just the general format of how -- because I think you might have played when they did it one week maybe.
LISA RAYMOND: I never did actually.

Q. But you've seen a few incarnations. If you could address that, that would be great.
LISA RAYMOND: Well, I think for me, now that obviously my job, being a part of this team now has been as a doubles player, being a part of the doubles team.
You know, I think I've actually been outspoken as far as I would love the format to be more like the Davis Cup. I'd love the doubles to count a little bit more.
I guess it's a matter of whether the girls want to start on Friday, make it a three-day event like the Davis Cup. Most of the people that I've spoken to, I think they probably would not be against that.
But, you know, I think that right now, for this weekend, if it comes down to the doubles, obviously I'll be ready. Hopefully a better result than in Vermont. But hopefully -- you know, we've got faith in Lindsay and Ashley, and hopefully it won't come down to that. But if it does, you know, I'll be ready.

Q. When do you settle on the lineup for this weekend, Zina? How did you make your final decisions?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: When did I settle up?

Q. Yes.
CAPTAIN GARRISON: For this one I actually did it a little bit earlier than I normally do. I decided this year I was going to try something just a little bit different.
I think it was very, very, very honorable, first of all, to know you have someone like Lindsay no matter what. So I knew that I had her. It was just kind of making the team around there and then having the opportunity to have someone like Lisa Raymond for doubles.
For Ashley and Laura, it's just great to go to them and ask them to want to be a part of team. When you do know you have someone like Lindsay that's firm, you know at least you have that singles players.

Q. Zina and Lindsay, what have you done as far as reconnaissance work to learn as much as you can about these young German players?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: Knowing me, probably not enough. I'm a lot like Lindsay (laughter). I really believe like, you know, you get your game together, you do what you can do, and you do it best.
But I know also I am a very good analyst. I pick up things very well, so like one or two games I normally know what's going on pretty quickly. I know I shouldn't rely on that, but I do. That's just me (laughter).
But I just like to get the players prepared and mentally ready. I say "mentally ready" because it is a situation where it's like playing for your country is like no other. You have a lot more people, staff, people around that are pulling for you. So it's a lot different.
I just try to motivate them.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No matter what event I'm at, I always feel like my job is to take care of myself and my game. Luckily I have someone that reports back to me on how other people play: my coach. Here obviously I have a whole team support of people that do that.
I'm going to be out there ready to go and listen to everyone else as a part of this team that knows about the players.

Q. Have you had any scouting report at all?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Of course (laughter).
CAPTAIN GARRISON: I'm sneaky also (laughter).
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Of course. I mean, we all play the tour on a full-time basis. We have coaches. It's not like we don't know who they are.

Q. Zina, can you address these two. Why did Venus and Serena decide not to play? I would assume it was probably their decision in a certain respect. Also, why is it your decision to have Liesel Huber on the team and rely on Lindsay for three matches?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: Actually, for Serena, Serena actually told me that it would be more likely for her to play for April because she was hard designated to play Paris. She told me early.
Venus actually had me wait probably till a week up until. She kept wanting to play. She was going back and forth, back and forth. She basically said she played five weeks straight and she couldn't do it. She was supportive of the team. Look for her more in April.
With Liesel, I just basically decided to go with Lisa in this particular tie because I just felt I kind of wanted to go with someone that had actually been on a team before. Lisa kind of has been around me.
Then also, like I say, I needed some wisdom behind me, as well. I rely on Lisa a lot. Just kind of one of those things.
Nothing against Liesel. She's played phenomenal doubles. And we have other Fed Cup matches, so.

Q. Why not Lisa and Liesel?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: Okay. It's very interesting. Normally when you have a situation in Fed Cup, one of the singles players is not always healthy, and neither one of them would be able to play singles. I did not want to be in that position because I was not going on the court to play singles (laughter). That's exactly what that one was.

Q. I know you brought Mary Joe on to be coach. What do you think Mary Joe is going to bring to everyone or to the team?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: I think first and foremost, Mary Joe's record holds within herself. All the great things that she's done.
You know, it's just a good added asset to have someone like Mary Joe for experience, but also just the fact of that camaraderie. Mary Joe has been on a lot of Fed Cup teams. We've played doubles for many years. We're just looking for all possible opportunities to bring that Cup home. It's really good.
Then also I'm leaving this year. Mary Joe is going to take over. It's another way basically for her to kind of get in the groove.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

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