April 14 2002 Interviews
JENNIFER CAPRIATI
April 16 2002 Interviews
MONICA SELES
MARY PIERCE
CONCHITA MARTINEZ
ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO
ANNA KOURNIKOVA
SERENA WILLIAMS
April 17 2002 Interviews
JENNIFER CAPRIATI
CONCHITA MARTINEZ
JILL CRAYBAS
STEPHANIE FORETZ
SERENA WILLIAMS
April 18 2002 Interviews
AMANDA COETZER
STEPHANIE FORETZ
MONICA SELES
FRANKIE WHELAN AND MIKE FINLEY
April 19 2002 Interviews
SERENA WILLIAMS
PATTY SCHNYDER
STEPHANIE FORETZ
April 20 2002 Interviews
JENNIFER CAPRIATI
PATTY SCHNYDER
SANDRINE TESTUD
IVA MAJOLI
April 21 2002 Interviews
PATTY SCHNYDER
IVA MAJOLI
Sunday April 14, 2002

AN INTERVIEW WITH:
THE 2001 DEFENDING CHAMPION: JENNIFER CAPRIATI

Q. Can you start with your pseudo match yesterday in practice?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: My what? What does that mean?

Q. One of your friends told me that you were playing with Toby yesterday in practice, and you won. So that's what I was asking.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Oh, for my practice partner? Yeah. Usually that's what I do at tournaments is just find a few guys, and yesterday it was somebody else in the morning, and it's nice to get the guys around here and try to beat up on them.

Q. Which you did.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Uh?huh.

Q. Jennifer, coming back to a tournament where you're the defending champion must be a nice feeling wherever it is. Can you talk about coming back here and maybe the memories and the feeling?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. I mean I remember it was great for me. It was great for me last year, new site, new facility and everything, and started off well for me. I played really well in the finals. I had a great match against Martina, and it was really the start of my clay court season. So and from here, you know, I went on to the Euro Open, and I played well there. And so it's a good starting point to see how I'm going to play on the clay and get used to it. And the people here are great, and the fans are really supportive. It's a great stadium.

Q. How are you feeling on the clay in practice, at least?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I've had the past couple weeks to practice on it, so no matches yet, but you know, I'm just ?? I think I'm getting accustomed to it again.

Q. You've had the experience of defending a title successfully. How do you look forward to the French being it's a different surface and one that I think you probably don't think is your better surface?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I used to think that. Maybe I don't think that anymore. I think I can play well on all surfaces, and you know, this is where it starts for me now. It's just to gear up for the French and hopefully peak by then. And I did it earlier this year, tried to defend a title, so that part, you know, I won't be kind of nervous about.
But still, I mean it's going to be exciting, so there will be some nerves probably for me going into the French, but you know, I'm not trying to think about that too much right now. I'm just trying to concentrate on here and the next tournament.

Q. Jennifer, with the comeback that you've had, the fact that you've obtained the ranking that you have, are you putting a lot more expectations on yourself, a lot more pressure to go out and win all the time?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. I don't put more pressure on myself. Maybe, you know, there's more ?? I expect myself to do well at every tournament, just because that's the way I've been going, you know, for the last year and a half or so. And so you know, that's what I work for, and I feel confident about my game, and I don't think there's a reason why I shouldn't do otherwise. But I mean it's okay if I don't win every tournament or whatever, don't make the finals. But I expect myself to at least give a good performance, yeah.

Q. Saying that, though, do you step on the court expecting it or are you just hoping?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I expect myself to give a good performance. You know, I don't know if I'm going to win or whatever. Win or lose, I mean I just try my best, and hopefully that turns out the way I like.

Q. Now that you're comfortable with your game, have you learned to be comfortable also with being a celebrity? Has that become easier as you've gone on?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. I mean I don't think it's changed really, the way I used to think before and think now. I never really looked at myself as that or paid much attention if I'm a celebrity or not. So if there's more hype and more attention, I mean I know there is now, but I mean I really ?? I don't think about it, and I don't look at myself as being like that. I don't live like that.

Q. Do you like being surrounded by the kids, though?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: By the what?

Q. The kids who are saying "autograph, autograph, autograph."
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Oh. Yeah, I mean they're great, and I mean they're my fans, and you know, that's why I do this and why I have fun playing. It's just to see their reactions and see how much joy they get out of just watching me play. So that makes me feel good.

Q. "Happy" seems like another happy member of the household. Is this a rarity, because he's such a big dog, you don't get to travel with him too much?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Right.

Q. How did you kind of get into that habit?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I brought him last year, and all the other dogs were here, too, but I guess this year somebody thought about putting a doggie park, and it's a very good idea, and I think they should have it at more tournaments. Obviously it's difficult with the hotels. That's the main reason why I probably don't bring my big dog around.

Q. You drove obviously?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, he flew.

Q. Is it nice coming into tournaments as the defending champ? Do you like that label?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. I do. That means that, you know, I won it last year and I played well, and you know, I like the fact that the stakes are high and that makes me be more determined to come back and play well and kind of put in my own mind that I have to play well. And you know, I don't want to lose all the points and everything that goes behind it, but without like putting too much pressure.

Q. Do you find it hard not getting complacent about your game at times?
A. Yeah. You mean ??

Q. Yeah. You constantly want to improve. I mean when you're at the top, it's tough to improve from being the best. You know what I mean?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think there's always room for improvement. You know, I mean it's almost good to not win every match and ?? I mean no one can do that, I don't think. And you know, it's just every day, I mean, you never know, even if you're playing your best, someone else can come out and play better. But I think it's good to have a few setbacks and then, you know, you keep having goals and keep trying to go forward.

Q. What's the biggest adjustment you need to make in your game when you change to the clay?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think mentally it's a big change from the hard court. I mean you just have to be more patient and be willing to ?? you know, you gotta know the points are going to be longer and it's just not going to end in two or three shots like it is on hard court. And so obviously to do that, you have to be in good shape. And so that's a big thing is being in shape, and obviously you've just gotta put more spin on the ball and not hit so flat.

Q. Jennifer, can you talk about the draw, your side of the bracket and how it's a difficult run to the finals?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. But I think both sides are pretty tough. You know, I just take it one match at a time. I mean now it's like every match, even the first round is tough. So you just gotta look at that, and you know, I really am not looking ahead too much anyway in the draw. Just kind of take it one at a time.

Q. How does No. 1 equal up say to either winning the U. S. open or Wimbledon?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean they're both very important to me. I mean without winning those Grand Slams I wouldn't be No. 1. So it's like they just go together, and being No. 1 is just proof of my accomplishments, and that's just what I think about. And I mean with the point system, and it's kind of changing back and forth a lot anyway. You know, there's a couple players, between me and Venus, it changes sometimes. It was going from week to week. So I guess the results is more important to me right now.

Q. You've had marginal success with Venus and Serena. Do you feel like you're on the verge of kind of ?? every other player you pretty much dominate. Are you on the verge of kind of getting the answer to them as well?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't think I dominate every other player. I mean I still ?? you know, when Lindsay was playing, I had a tough time with her; and even Monica, I won the last time, but I mean it was a tough match. So I think there's a few. And yeah, once I get over a certain hump in my game and kind of really look at what doesn't take me over and make me win those matches, once I can get past that, I think I'll have better success and maybe more consistency.

Q. Do you know what that hump is yet or you haven't figured that out? You're not telling anybody?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. I mean it's something that I look at in my own game, and I can't really explain it anyway.

Q. Jennifer, the hype we talked about in women's tennis, we saw earlier today Anna Kournikova practicing and hundreds of people there maybe not to watch tennis, but to watch her. What are your thoughts on that?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I'd rather only comment about myself right now.

Q. Jennifer, at Scottsdale, a couple of your matches, it looks like you almost try to let somebody get ahead of you. Is that your philosophy?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, not at all. I mean I really don't want to do that because definitely I mean I don't think I'm that good to be able to do that and think I'm always going to come back and win or whatever. You know, it's just sometimes you start off slow and the other player, I mean they're going to be really ?? you're always more determined to beat the higher ranked player. So sometimes I come out and I'm not ready for them or you know, so that definitely is not something I want to get into a habit with. But you know, I do play better when it gets tougher and when I feel like I really have to play well, but I'm not doing it on purpose, no.

Q. What's your schedule into the French after here?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Pretty much the same, just playing in Berlin and then Rome and then taking the week off.

Q. You'll stay over there, though?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah.

Q. Jennifer, how do you like playing Fed Cup? Is that important to you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I haven't played for a long time, and you know, I played in the past when I was younger and it was a good time. I mean it was a different experience for me, and you know, just playing in the whole team event. And maybe the last couple years I really haven't been serious about it or doesn't seem like everyone else is really serious about it. But I don't know.

I think, you know, the format, you know, as long as it's easier for the players to play and fit it in the schedule, then you know, I'm all for playing it. But it's tough when we're playing so much all year and playing for ourselves, it's like it's tough to really give it much importance because you gotta reserve for your singles career.

Q. What do you think would be the best format, going back to that everything in one week or?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I like it that way. I mean, you know, it's tough, especially at the end of the year to come back after the Championships. Is that still how it is, the Fed Cup?
JIM FUHSE: After. You play the Championships the week before this year.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Oh, the week before?

Q. It's worse.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't know if that's much better. Yeah. I mean I don't really know. There's something that has to be better about it.

Q. When are you going to Charlotte?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: When I'm done here, I guess.

END OF INTERVIEW