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November 6, 2010

Coco Vandeweghe


F. SCHIAVONE/C. Vandeweghe
6-2, 6-4

Q. It seemed like it took you a long time to find your game, get your rhythm, almost too late at the end.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: It's never too late. But, you know, it's a big occasion, the Fed Cup. You know, I've never played Francesca before. I had game points in every single one of my serves to be able to hold.
It just took me a little bit more time to kind of find the rhythm on the return-of-serve games more than anything. In the rallies, you know, I was getting in the rallies pretty well. Of course, there's going to be nerves in the beginning of the match, stuff like that. I think that was part of the reason why I double-faulted those two points to give her the ad and give her the game in that first game.
But, you know, the second set was definitely a lot better played by me. I felt more comfortable with her game and her patterns and the matchup to my game a little bit more. Kind of found a bit more of a rhythm on the return-of-serve games. I was in a lot of the service games.
But she was also serving very well. She had a very high percentage of first serves in the first set. That definitely helped her keep her momentum going. In the second set, I got a few more looks at a second serve. I tried to take advantage of it as much as I could.

Q. Do you want to talk about the last couple games.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, I broke at 4-3. I had an unlucky point at deuce, the inside-out forehand that clipped the net and just bounced wide. Then, you know, we had another good rally where she won the point. Then the final game, you know, I just didn't make her play enough on those return-of-serve games, which Mary Joe and I were talking more about in the second set, making her play, making her earn those points like she was making me earn my points on my serve.

Q. What did she do the way you expected going in and what didn't she do the way you expected?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I expected her to have the spins, to have the slices, all that stuff. But to find my own rhythm within her repertoire of shots was kind of the key thing in the match. You know, that did take me a little bit of time to kind of figure out her patterns a little bit, to execute my plays.
In the beginning I was going to her forehand approaching a little bit too much, and she had that nice little angle pass. We talked about that play, Mary Joe and I, to go a little bit more to her backhand, make her pass me on the backhand instead. Keep pushing her back, finding the range on that heavy ball, to keep her back and give me the shorter ball so I could execute the short balls.

Q. Liezel said yesterday to you that you better serve an ace on the first point. Was there a moment where you thought, This is going to be a good day?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, I started off the match with two aces. You know, it's always nice to start out and just hit a big serve, if it's an ace, just to kind of get the nerves out. If it's an ace, it's an ace. If it's not, it's not.
I was feeling good in the warmup. I was feeling good playing the match. It was just a little bit of nerves, a little rookie nerves and stuff like that in the first set. But I had game points on every single one of my service games. So I was in my service games every single time. I just wasn't in her return-of-serve games in the first set as much as Mary Joe and I would like.
But I definitely improved on that a lot in the second set.

Q. How did you sleep last night?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I slept fine. Why, was I yawning on the court or something (smiling)?

Q. The obvious question as far as your nerves, what was going on inside your head, your stomach, as you're walking out there in the first game or two?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, I mean, it's a pretty cool atmosphere out there, walking out for a Fed Cup final to play my debut match the first time ever. You know, we had the ceremony and everything like that. So, I mean, of course there's butterflies in your stomach. Like I said yesterday, if I wasn't nervous, there would be something wrong. Everyone gets nervous before a match, whether it's first round or finals, or Fed Cup final.
I'm always, you know, a little bit nervous before the match.

Q. In a nutshell, how do you feel you played?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: You know, Mary Joe and I talked about it a little bit. We're going to talk about it a little bit more, the logistics of the match a little bit later.
But, you know, I thought the first set, like I said before, I could have been more in her service games. I competed well out there. I kept fighting throughout the whole match. I fought my way to get that break in the second set. I got a little unlucky in my next service game to try and consolidate that break back.

Q. You said you and Mary Joe expected spins from Francesca. What did you talk about in preparing to play her? Bethanie likes to watch players on YouTube. How did you prepare to face her?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, I've seen her play, of course. It was more implementing my game on her. That's what we talked about a lot. It was finding my rhythm, you know, finding her patterns of what she liked to do off what I like to do. That was kind of the key in the first set, where I struggled a little bit, I was a little bit slow catching on to that. In the second set, I did a lot better doing that.

Q. Do you have any sense of whether you'll play tomorrow? Did Mary Joe say anything about that?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: No, we haven't talked about anything yet. Bethanie is playing next, so I'm going to go out there and cheer for her and hopefully she can pull out a win.

Q. Obvious question. How disappointed are you? If you are disappointed, do you feel like you let the team down a bit or that you weren't able to show your best stuff consistently throughout the day?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I am disappointed in myself. I'm disappointed, like you said, that I let the team down a little bit. Of course, I'd like to start out with a win in the first tie. That I didn't do that, of course I was upset. I had my time to kind of vent a little bit, just to kind of let out my emotions a little bit.
You know, we realize it's a team thing. Bethanie's got to play next. Go out there and support Bethanie now. My match is over. We've got to focus on the next one.

Q. What did you do to vent?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I cried (smiling).

Q. How do you evaluate your performance compared to your expectations?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I definitely would have liked to play a lot better in the first set. You know, to kind of have that first game under my belt definitely would have released some of the kind of tension I was feeling. You know, I thought definitely the second set is how I like to play, how I like to compete, how I like to feel on the court.
You know, she's top 10 in the world for a reason. She plays well. She competes well. She has variety, lots and lots of variety, to her game, different looks. That's what took me a little bit of time. That's why there's two-out-of-three sets. Too bad I couldn't get the second set to make it a little bit competitive in the third set.
But, you know, it's all a learning experience.

Q. You talked about consistently getting to 40-30 against her in your service games. What happened to you at that point in your analysis?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: In the first game?

Q. The first game on your service games.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, I got up 30-Love real easy, real quick. Felt good. You know, anyone would feel good if you pop two aces right off the bat. Then we got into some rallies in the next two points, as well as the other points. Then I threw in the double-faults, got a little nervous. Having that game point, I was, you know, nervous for sure. Nerves are still out there.
But she played well and did the right things. I had to find the rhythm a little bit quicker to kind of execute that game and win that game.

Q. I know it hasn't been very long, but what advice would you give someone playing their first Fed Cup match?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I mean, it's going to be a whole different experience for everyone. You know, Mary Joe said to me I handled it beautifully, my first experience. She was really proud of me, of how I handled my first time out on the court and everything like that. Really happy about the way I competed and the way I composed myself and the way I played.
Like I said, we're going to talk a little bit later about, you know, the little things that happened in the match. So I feel really good about how I kind of composed myself out there.

Q. I know you're disappointed with the loss, but can you talk a little bit about making that debut at home, being able to share it with so many family and friends here.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, it's great that we have this home-court advantage out there, and I definitely felt it. I was pumped up when I broke back. You know, it's give-and-take with the crowd and with your teammates out there. They pump you up when you're down. They stay with you throughout the whole match. That's great about having this home-court advantage.

Q. How big of a task was this for you, making your Fed Cup debut against the reigning French Open champion and a woman who played 30 something Fed Cup matches?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: You know, like I said yesterday, Mary Joe didn't put me out there thinking I'd lose. She put me out there thinking I'd win. So did my teammates. So, you know, I went out there with confidence, competed as best I could.

Q. Can you just talk about playing against her variety. Does she have more variety than anyone you've ever faced? Is the quality of her variety at such a high level?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, I mean, she's top 10 in the world because she executes her game plan, which is variety, mixing up the spins, giving you different looks, everything like that.
I don't mind it as much as maybe somebody else might because she plays more like a guy with the spin. You know, it's not so surprising to me like I've never seen that ball before.
But, I mean, she's a tough player, that's for sure. I had to kind of start a little quicker implementing my game on her in the first set, and I didn't. She took advantage of it, won that set. Second set was a lot closer in that way where I was implementing, dictating with the forehand, pushing her back on the backhand to get the short balls and stuff like that.

Q. Along those lines with Francesca, she is such a fighter out on the court. She was running down points when you thought they were over. Can you talk about facing her mentally, the tenacity that she plays with.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, I mean, she's a fighter. All of us at this kind of competition, we're playing for our countries, we're all going to fight as hard as we can. You know, she gets to a lot of balls because she's quick. I mean, when I thought points were over, she would run to it, it didn't really affect me. You know, I was ready for the next ball because I knew the next ball would be an easier ball. It wasn't really a big deal.
I think mentally I was not pressured by her, like her standing in the rankings, reigning French Open champion, anything like that. I was more focused on myself playing for my team, playing for my country.

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