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September 10, 1998

Max Mirnyi

Serena Williams


Q. You said over the television that your father was the matchmaker.


Q. What is his name?

MAX MIRNYI: His name? Nikolai.

Q. N-i-c-o-l-a-i?

MAX MIRNYI: N-i-k-o-l-a-i. The reason for that, I'm too shy of a guy to come up and speak to Serena. He did that part for me at Wimbledon. Before the deadline sign-in, he came up to Serena and asked if she wants to play. I was definitely ready for that, so. It was just a matter of her saying yes.

Q. How would you behave generally with other girls?

MAX MIRNYI: Very shy. Very shy. Still undeveloped (laughter).

Q. They also said on TV that you didn't really talk strategy on the court. Does that mean that strategy really isn't an important part of mixed doubles or you just didn't talk about it on the court?

MAX MIRNYI: No, I guess it is important. But Serena is a good player, and she knows best what to do. She's just a better player all the time on the court than the other girl. With me, sometimes I know what to do on the doubles court, as well. We just try to bond together, just being friends, you know, try to speak about different things. Just try to be focused and positive there.

Q. What kinds of things did you talk about today? You weren't talking strategy.

MAX MIRNYI: I don't know. Today we had something --

SERENA WILLIAMS: We can't remember.

MAX MIRNYI: Just every changeover, we had something new we had to talk about.

Q. Was it like movies?

MAX MIRNYI: Movies, I don't know. Music, food.

Q. When his father came up to you, did you have any idea who Max was?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I've known who Max was since the Australian.

Q. How did you discover, how did you find him?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, actually I was -- I've seen him at Bollettieri's before. Sometimes I'd go over there.

Q. Is that why your English is so good?

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah. I was there in school for two years, my junior and senior year in school at Nick's camp. I trained there for three years. It was a good learning process for me.

Q. Were you surprised at how it was over in two sets? Galbraith and Raymond had played two years ago, they were the champs here. They play a lot together. They just seemed to wing it today. Were you surprised how easy it was?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I would think on my behalf that we felt very confident going into the finals because we had tough matches up to the finals, three-set matches against Bhupathi-Lucic, and last night against Stolle and Graham. We just knew that even if we would be down in the match, we would find a way to come back. We just stuck to our plan, you know, being aggressive, let the result speak for itself. But just in general, it didn't really feel great on the court today, even though we won. It was a little bit off rhythm. It was windy. They didn't play a great match. It's good that we won. It's good that we won, but I didn't feel that we played our best match.

Q. What is your best singles results, Max?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I've qualified for several ATP tournaments over the last two years I was on the tour. New Haven was my last event where I qualified before US Open. My singles ranking now is the highest as it has ever been. It's 234, I think. But I am, you know, working on my singles game as much as I do on my doubles game. It's taking a bit longer. I'm going to do whatever it takes to be a good singles player, as well.

Q. Did you lose in the quallies here?

MAX MIRNYI: Yes. I lost to Karbacher 6-4 in the third.

Q. Have you ever qualified at a major?

MAX MIRNYI: I've lost several times in the last round of qualifying at Wimbledon. That's it, actually. Never qualified for Grand Slam.

Q. He paid you a very high compliment, almost saying you were the one who carried the match today.

MAX MIRNYI: She always does.

Q. Serena, you have a great smile, but I'd like to hear some words.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Are you finished? Well, generally we both play very well throughout the match. Sometimes I have to admit I'm really off, usually in the first set, then I try to pick it up at the end of the second. I was encouraged not to do that today, because that's happened in the last couple matches. He usually carries me through the first, throughout the second. It just depends. We just were having a great day today, that's just how things were.

Q. What do you guys have in common?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We both like reggae.

Q. What happened to Luis Lobo?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, he was a great partner. I really loved Luis. He didn't come to Wimbledon. I had to find a new partner. It's been fait accompli ever since.

Q. Maybe he'll have to duel Max for your hand.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe you guys can have a wrestling battle. I'll be the referee.


Q. Do you argue at all on the court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we've never had any arguments on the court, no.

MAX MIRNYI: Always staying positive and just sticking up for each other. Because when I do something, she's always there for me saying that "It's all right, we'll get the next point." I try to do the same for her.

Q. I think you guys have a family Grand Slam this year, don't you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, we do. It was very exciting for the Williams family.

Q. Were you guys talking about it last night?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, we were. We were talking about it ever since the Wimbledon. We were really working hard.

Q. Are you guys going to share the trophies?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She won the Australian and the French. We won Wimbledon and US Open. So I don't think there's no need to share. Even though she beat me in the finals of the French, that's okay.

Q. Serena, what happened when Mr. Mirnyi came to you? What was your reaction?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't even remember. It was such a long time ago. I just remember he came to me. I really wasn't -- Luis wasn't there, so I wasn't going to play with Luis. I guess that was the only option available. It was a good choice.

Q. Will this be big news in Minsk?

MAX MIRNYI: I would say so. Still hasn't come back home. Hasn't been home after Wimbledon. So I don't know how big it is. But I would think so.

Q. What does your father do?

MAX MIRNYI: My father was a professor in the University, taught geography. But he quit that job since I became serious with tennis. And that was maybe six, seven years ago. And he's dedicated his life to my tennis. And I want to thank him for that.

Q. Do you live in the United States?

MAX MIRNYI: Yes. We have a place in Sarasota, Florida. We spend some time there.

Q. How did you come to the United States?

MAX MIRNYI: How? Just on one of the junior trips, I came to play, in fact, here to New York, Port Washington, junior tournament in December. It happened to be so that I stayed afterwards.

Q. How old are you?

MAX MIRNYI: I'm 21 now.

Q. How would you assess the education at Bollettieri?

MAX MIRNYI: The education?

Q. Your father is a University professor. Do you think about going on to college?

MAX MIRNYI: I don't consider this now. I would always keep this option open for myself. As far as education there at the academy, I don't know, I haven't been to many different high schools, but it's just -- I went to private school there. It's called Bradenton Academy. It seemed like it was good education. Just a regular school with a regular program.

SERENA WILLIAMS: With a uniform requirement.

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah, that's true. You got to know that. But as far as just the program, it's just like any other high school.

Q. Are you going to have a celebration, doing something fun, or just finish here like this?

MAX MIRNYI: We'll probably work something out. Maybe we would like to do that when Venus takes the singles trophy. So maybe we do something together.


Q. Did you do anything to celebrate at Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I stood him up.

MAX MIRNYI: It's on our agenda now.

Q. Where were you supposed to be?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Things got mixed up, let's just say, and I couldn't make it. There's a Wimbledon Ball that the champions go to. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it. You went, did you not?

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah. I went and I couldn't find you there (laughter). We're going to have to celebrate the Wimbledon victory here in New York, as well.

Q. To save a lazy guy from looking it up, how much money did you win today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: 60,000 apiece.

Q. Even split?


Q. Have you guys ever gone reggae dancing together?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never been anywhere with reggae. I just got into reggae at the French Open, and I really love it, though. It's really great.

Q. You wouldn't have introduced her?

MAX MIRNYI: No. I like reggae, Bob Marley, I like his albums. Just the other day, I was trying to sing it. Serena heard it. She said, "I like reggae, too."

Q. In the middle of a match?


SERENA WILLIAMS: We were going to the match.

MAX MIRNYI: We were going to a match.

Q. Did she like your singing or the music?


SERENA WILLIAMS: I liked the singing.

Q. Can we have an example?

MAX MIRNYI: No, no, I wouldn't do that. I'm actually learning how to play music, playing guitar. I'm just taking classes wherever I have time to learn how to sing, just proper breathing and all of that. I wouldn't want to say it now; I wouldn't want to sing now.

Q. What was the song?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I like all of his songs.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's Bob Marley. He was singing particularly "We're Jammin'." I like to jam.

Q. You got into it for the first time at the French?


Q. Someone gave you a CD?


Q. Someone?


Q. Do you want to say who?


End of FastScripts….

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