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August 27, 2008

Anne Keothavong


A. KEOTHAVONG/F. Schiavone
6-2, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was impressive.
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah. I'm pretty pleased about that.

Q. What do you put it down as?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Well, before the match, I really believed I had a chance to win, and I knew if I could hang in there and, you know, just get stuck in, I'd be in with a good shot.
Yeah, I came away with the win, so I'm pretty pleased about it.

Q. You didn't look at all nervous in the start, whereas you had a bit in the first match.
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, I guess had got that match under my belt, and today's match was totally different. Schiavone is ranked a lot higher than me, she's a seeded player, and I wanted to go out there and just give it my best shot.
In the first set, you know, she may have been a little bit scrappy, but I felt I did a good job there.

Q. She showed a lot of character in the third set, which you have must be pleased about. You stayed patient.
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, that's the way I am on court. I definitely felt even though I lost my serve there and went 4-2 down, I never felt -- you know, I never felt at that point I lost the match.
I felt if I just kept fighting and hanging in there my chance would come, and, yeah, I got there.

Q. On reflection, how important was the experience and the way you played against Venus at Wimbledon this year in terms of building your confidence levels up?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Oh, I definitely came away from that match against Venus with a lot more confidence, and just being out there on the big stage against someone like her and, you know, not feeling too phased about it.
Today's match here, you know, is totally different. But, you know, I'm just -- right now I'm just pleased to have got through that.

Q. At the end of Wimbledon, with Laura Robson winning, there were a lot of people talking about her being the next hope. Did that inspire you, fire you up at all, to maybe prove someone else is around, too?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: I don't know about inspiring me, but she has a great future ahead of her. Laura Robson did an unbelievable job to win the junior title at 14. She's so young. She's got years ahead of her, and for her, you know, it's completely different situation.

Q. Maybe you're proving that it's not just about the future, you're doing well.
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, you know, I'm just out for my own tennis. For me, it's been a long year, and there have been a few ups and downs, but I'm finally -- well, I'm not where I want to be, because I just want to keep climbing up in the rankings.
But this year, you know, it was quite significant for me to finally break into the top 100. Like I said before, it had been a goal of mine for so long, and now I'm just looking ahead and, you know, working on the next goal.

Q. Judging by the way things are going, looks like you might see the Olympic champion in the next round?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, I just saw the end of her match.

Q. How do you feel about that?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, she's the Olympic gold medalist. Not many people can say they have a gold medal. She's someone I've never played against before. I've practiced with her in the past, and it will definitely be, you know, another tough match for me.
But I've got nothing to lose. I feel confident, I feel fit, and, you know, who knows?

Q. What do you think when she went off for that what looked like a change of clothes? That not actually legal to do that, is it?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Well, the umpire told me she -- it was an emergency toilet break, and those kind of situations, there's not really a lot you can do. If she needed a toilet, she needed a toilet. I don't think I let it affect me too much.

Q. Do you think she was intending for it to affect you? Seems a bit strange before you're serving.
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Who knows? I don't know, you know. I'd like to think not. But, you know, you just have to focus on your own game and try not to let those kind of things distract you.

Q. Were there times where you were worried that this year you're enjoying now wouldn't come along, you wouldn't get that break?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Breaking into the top 100, that goal that kept me -- that's what kept me going. I never -- I always felt I could do it. It was just a matter of time. It just took me a little longer than others.
Now, you know, now that that's kind of off my back, I can just look ahead and keep working on other things.

Q. You said you felt it was a matter of time and confidence. But at the same time, have there been things in your game that have changed that you've improved in the last year or two, do you think?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: If you're talking forehands and backhands, I don't necessarily think -- I haven't changed anything technically. I think mentally I'm a lot stronger.
I do have more confidence in my game, and I do believe in myself more, and I think that's the main thing.

Q. I suppose because of the nature of the tournaments they tend to play in, British women tend to kind of fly under the radar in terms of publicity. They might get the results in every once in a while, but this is going to be big headlines, back page, maybe, who knows? Do you like that thought, that it's actually going to be a surprise element and here you are on the back pages rather than just a line...
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: I'm not home, so I don't really know what's going on. But, you know, I guess that's your guys' -- that's your job. I don't know what you do. You know.

Q. Most of what you've done in your career has been as it were small print. This is going to be big print. Is that nice?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, I guess it's a nice feeling, you know, just to get women's tennis out there. You know, there are -- there are women out there who are doing things in British tennis, and it's nice to know it's -- well, that it's just not Andy Murray out there.
It's nice to kind of be with him at these events and share it with him.

Q. Do you think in the past that British women haven't had the profile they deserve, or do you feel that that's just been a reflection of results?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: I guess it's one of those things, you know. You need results to back it up further if you want the publicity, if you want, you know, to kind of be out there a bit more.
Hopefully, you know, for me, reaching the third round, that's something I've never achieved before. You know, it's not -- I don't stop now. I've still got another match to think about. Like I said, I'm feeling good, and, you know, who knows what can happen?
I definitely feel I have a chance in the next round, too.

Q. Are you having to pick up the tab every night for your family's...
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: It's nice to have my family around, but we don't spend every minute together. I have friends and other people I like to go out for dinner with, as well. We like to do our own things.

Q. Have you got a particular favorite place you like to go out here in New York?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Umm, well, the night before my first match we had to go to a French restaurant, and last night I had to go back there again, but it was just with my coaches.
I'm not very -- I'm not usually superstitious, but they had to sit in the same place and had to order similar kind of things.

Q. How about for tonight?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Well, if I play my singles tomorrow it's early night before the match.

Q. What is your dinner of choice before you play then?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Fish of day with me.

Q. Is that with Nigel, then?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Nigel and Claire.

Q. What was the fish of the day?
ANNE KEOTHAVONG: For me, not for them. For them, they can do what they want, as long as we have a creme brulee for dessert.

End of FastScripts

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