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October 30, 2011

Liezel Huber

Lisa Raymond


6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I was wondering if whatever timeline you had in your mind about when you would stop playing, you know, publicly or privately, has that changed because of the last three months?
LISA RAYMOND: When I would stop playing? Not really. I think for me I've always kind of said I'm gonna wake up one day and I'm gonna know. And, you know, I think for us, I mean, we have our goals as a team. You know, certainly one of them was to, you know, win slams, you know, win year-end Championships, be the No. 1 team in the world.
And I feel like if we can, you know, accomplish those goals and have fun doing it, stay healthy, knock on wood, I'm not putting a timeline on when I'm gonna stop.
You know, it would be great to, you know, maybe play the Olympics next year with Liezel, play through then, and hopefully, you know, just keep going. We'll see how it goes. But no timeline.

Q. So this success has no bearing on when you're going to stop?
LISA RAYMOND: Well, no. I mean, obviously success does have bearing. I'm out here because, like I said, I want to win slams. I want to be the No. 1 team in the world. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think that we could accomplish those goals.
You know, I mean, I have had too good of a career to kind of just be mediocre, and, you know, I think that I kind of let myself slide a little bit over the past couple of years with my fitness and, you know, how I was playing.
You know, I finally got back on track and got the right partner, and, you know, I don't think there's -- you know, I don't see an end right now.

Q. I don't know what iteration this is for you two, but what's working now chemistry-wise or otherwise?
LIEZEL HUBER: Well, I think just the way that we kind of came together, it's just -- it's amazing that we're at this stage in our career that we got together. I think it's kind of like in dating, when somebody -- you like somebody but they're not available, and then when they are available you're not available.
And that's kind of been the thing I think with Lisa. And I have always thought Lisa was the best doubles player. You know, like if you're gonna say like Martina was the best doubles player, Lisa, I think is right with Martina or...
LISA RAYMOND: With you, obviously.
LIEZEL HUBER: Well, I don't look at myself like that. But always somebody that I wanted to play with.
And it's just amazing that it's actually worked out now. We both actually play on the deuce side of the court, so I think that's actually something that kind of, if you will, deterred us to play together. Oh, no, you play on the deuce side.
And there was going to be a time in 2005, I believe, that we were going to play one tournament together because my partner at the time wasn't playing. But then I actually blew out my knew.
So it's kind of just amazing in life how things work out. And I think the chemistry now is that we really want to play together, and we'll do anything to make it work.
Hey, we've had a lot of first-round losses, and the way that I look at it is you learn from the bad times and you actually appreciate the bad times. I mean, we appreciate the good times, but you actually learn from the bad times.
So Lisa and I learned a lot this year, and we can all sit back and say, You know what? We're going to enjoy this moment because there will be tough times ahead.

Q. When you originally got together, was the Olympics in the back of your mind?
LISA RAYMOND: Well, I think, you know, it's definitely there. I mean, it's kind of like one of those things where it's the elephant in the room. Obviously it would be unbelievable if we were able to play together.
You know, given obviously No. 1 in the world, if I can keep my ranking up, you know, stay top 10 or whatever it ends up being, you know, hopefully we'll get a chance.
LIEZEL HUBER: I don't think that was the main goal for us when we said, Let's play together. Our main goal was, Well, Lisa, I think you're the best doubles player. Do you want to play? Ill play on the ad side.
And then she's saying, Okay, yeah. I mean, I'm looking for a partner. Let's do this.
And so now it's kind of like, Okay, what other goals? What have we not done in our careers?
LIEZEL HUBER: So this is, I would say, in the forefront of our minds.
LISA RAYMOND: I think she said it. I think we've pretty much accomplished everything you can accomplish: Been No. 1, won slams, team of the year, whatever.
I think there's one last thing that neither one of us have is a medal, and that would certainly be, you know, a nice little thing to put in the trophy cabinet.

Q. Now you're going to finish the year No. 1 for the fourth time and looks like pass Cara, second all-time weeks. So is Martina's record attainable?
LISA RAYMOND: What's Martina's?
LIEZEL HUBER: Oh, no. It's a joke. It's a joke. My husband said, Oh, Liezel, yeah, just play until 2013 or something like that.
You know what? This time around being No. 1 is different. I think the first time you're No. 1 it's like, wow, you're No. 1. You go buy yourself something special. Wow, special, awesome.
Then when you lose it, it's kind of like, well, you and No. 1 is not the same thing. It doesn't define you. But somehow when you lose it, you kind of, wow, you know, it's like you took it for granted.
So now kind of this time around, it's not -- I mean, it's great, but don't get me wrong. It's like, okay, that's just what the number is. But there's so many -- and for me probably this time around, being No. 1, the cool thing is about the record. You know, being the second all-time -- I come from, you know, South Africa. I come from a country where I didn't have much opportunity. The opportunity that was there I took advantage of.
You know, here I am competing on, you know, the biggest platform ever. So I go, Wow, you know, I was really -- um, it's just me, me. You know, it's not like I'm this special person that have reached No. 1. If I can do it, I feel like anybody can reach No. 1.
But I think getting back to your question about No. 1, I think the greatest moment for me would be is the day that Lisa and I would be No. 1. I think that would be the greatest moment, because Lisa deserves it more than me and more than anyone I know. Really.

Q. Just a question about the tournament. You guys are veterans. You've been around for a while. What's your take on how this event came off?
LISA RAYMOND: Well, I think, you know, first and foremost the crowds have been phenomenal. I have said it earlier. I have never played a doubles match in front of that many people, you know, even at a slam. You know, a final. That was awesome.
So I think that, you know, they love their tennis here. They're proving that. So, I mean, that's a very important aspect of when you put a year-end Championships on. You know, that was probably definitely the highlight for me.
LIEZEL HUBER: I think, you know, the earthquake -- I mean, we're looking at it as, you know, some things got changed in the agenda of the tournament, and it definitely put a damper on the tournament. But, you know, in the scheme of things, really, who cares? So many people lost their lives.
So I think a good initiative of the WTA and the players was to donate a percentage of our prize money. That's the least we could do. I think there was some glitches, you know, I think, on the insides.
Any time there's a tournament run for the first time, it's not ideal, and hopefully with the feedback that the players give that this is the tournament that it can be, and it should be with such crowds coming out there. This is the tournament that the players should say, This is what I want to come to. This is what I want to get to at the end of the year. I want to, you know, enjoy every second of it.

Q. Can you elaborate on the glitches even in a general way?
LIEZEL HUBER: You know, like any tournament, you know. I mean, any tournament --

Q. Was it the transport or...
LIEZEL HUBER: Yeah, little things like that, whether it's booking the practice or transport or maybe the practice balls, those little things. It was nothing major. It was just little things that, Wow, this is the Championships, and we shouldn't deal with it.
So that's what I mean. It wasn't a bad experience. It's just like, well, you guys can share that outside. Let's have that all around. And I think they can do that next year.

Q. Your perception, when they chose to move here and then having been here, are you surprised that -- were you worried at all about how it would come off, or were you surprised how the crowds have come out? What's your reaction?
LISA RAYMOND: I guess I'm a little surprised at the crowds just because I didn't know what to expect. It's just been phenomenal.
Istanbul is an absolutely beautiful city. I went out one afternoon and one night and saw some things and had dinner on the water. It was absolutely gorgeous. It's a place I definitely would like to come back to, spend time, and, you know, and I think that -- but again, I think the highlight was the fact that we were able to pack this place for every session, singles and doubles.

Q. The issue of grunting has come to life again.
LIEZEL HUBER: What? Grunting? What did you say, grunting?

Q. I was wondering, since you guys have been around a long time, do you feel like it's worse than it used to be? Has it gotten to a point where the WTA needs to step in and do something about it? What's your feeling?
LIEZEL HUBER: Well, I grunt. I mean, I grunt and I don't know when I grunt, but I know I hit the ball better when I do grunt.
If somebody, my opponent or the umpire told me to quiet down, I would do it. But I tell you, in my shoes, if I played against Azarenka and she grunted, it's my responsibility to tell the umpire. It's not the umpire's responsibility. It's my responsibility to tell the umpire, and I would.
I would say, You need to quiet down. Then the umpire would. And then you go to the next step where you get the point penalty and all that that comes into effect.

Q. It is the umpire's responsibility. It's a hindrance.
LISA RAYMOND: The player needs to say something.
LIEZEL HUBER: And as long as the players don't stand up and say, Hey, this bugs me, then it's the player's fault.
So if I play against that player, whether it's out of bad sportsmanship or whether I'm just having a bad day or if it's really bugging me -- because I have played with Martina Navratilova before and we played against Schiavone, and she complained on the very first point about Schiavone. She kind of grunts, and when you're just about to hit, then she does the grunt and it is distracting.
I think, if anything, the WTA needs to tell the umpire, If a player complains about it, then you've got to enforce it. But I truly believe it's the player's responsibility to say something about it.

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