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February 7, 2009

Mary Joe Fernandez

Melanie Oudin


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Melanie, how did you feel going into the match? Did nerves play a part in it? How did you feel to start the match?
MELANIE OUDIN: I definitely was a little nervous in the beginning. I mean, I didn't really have any pressure. Jill did such a good job, getting us up 1-0. Really nothing to lose.
But I still felt pretty nervous in the beginning. Gisela got right on top of me from the very beginning, trying to show me who's boss out there right away. She played really well in the beginning.
I finally started to get a groove after getting down 3-0, but it was a little bit too late.

Q. Talk about the game when you brought it back to 5-5. It seemed like you spent almost everything you had to get there.
MELANIE OUDIN: Yeah. When I was down 5-4, I was just thinking, Keep fighting as hard as I can. She started to get a little tight, started to hit a couple balls shorter. I definitely was trying to take advantage of that, just making her play a lot of balls, making her beat me.

Q. The last two games, was it a concentration thing? What happened?
MELANIE OUDIN: Well, at 5-All, I didn't play a good service game. But she didn't let me either. She got me on the run, you know, right after my serve. Then the last game she hit like three aces. I mean, you can't do anything about that. That was just a good game, so... Well done for her.

Q. The weather was obviously different than the first match today. It even changed during yours. Did that affect your play at all?
MELANIE OUDIN: No, no, no, not at all. There was a little bit of wind in the beginning, but not really. I mean, the weather was fine. Neither of us really I don't think were affected, so...

Q. Melanie, it definitely seemed in the second set you were matching her groundstrokes. Heard you yell 'c'mon' a couple times. Does that help boost your confidence, especially going into tomorrow?
MELANIE OUDIN: Yes. I mean, in the second I started -- I mean, we had some really good points and I knew I was right there with her. The second was just a few points difference. I could have done something better here, I shouldn't have missed that shot, whatever.
But, you know, all in all, it was a good second set, so...

Q. Watching Jill's match, did you pick up a few things for possibly tomorrow, what you need to do to win?
MELANIE OUDIN: Yeah, I mean, Jozami is a good player as well. I'm just going to play my game and hopefully it matches up well against hers.

Q. Mary Joe, Jill was saying she felt a few nerves early on. She obviously was playing a little tight to begin with. What were some things you were trying to tell her?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: I think the key when you're nervous is you have to move your feet. My mom used to always say, Happy feet, then your brain's thinking. I got her to really start focusing on her footwork. If she was moving up to the ball, I think that loosened her up a bit.
But it's normal. I mean, playing Fed Cup, there's no comparison, and you do feel the pressure, you feel the nerves. I was really proud of Jill, how she worked through it. After the first, you know, four games, she really started to play well.

Q. How big was winning the first match, having the 1-0 lead psychologically?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: Oh, yeah, no. I mean, the first match, you know, sets the tone. It was great. I mean, it was a closer match than the score indicated. There were a lot of close games. Jill really fought hard, stayed with it on the big points. She played the big points well. That's where her experience really came through for her to come through and win 6-2, 6-1. But it helps for the second match.
Melanie was definitely the underdog in the second match. I was really proud of her because she tried to do the right things out there. Gisela played I thought a great match. She really attacked whenever possible. Melanie fended her off as much as she could, hit well. What she said was right. I mean, the second set, a couple points, we're in a third.
You know, I'm proud of how she fought. I love her attitude.

Q. Can you assess what we should look at tomorrow in terms of how things look.
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ: Tomorrow's going to be a long day. Starting with the first match, each match is going to be huge. There's no other way to cut it. It's going to come down probably to a couple points. It's going to be who plays a little bit more aggressive when needed.
Again, I mean, Gisela is the favorite in the first match, but Jill's played her well in the past. But that will really set the tone. If we can get an upset in that first one, then that's going to help a lot.
I have a lot of confidence in Melanie. I really thought she finished strong, even though she lost at the end. If it comes down to the doubles, we'll be ready for the doubles. Liezel has been practicing great. But each match is going to be close.

End of FastScripts

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