April 20, 2002
A POST-MATCH INTERVIEW WITH: IVA MAJOLI
FINALS WIN OVER PATTY SCHNYDER
7-6 (5), 6-4
Q. Looks like you'll have one of those big posters on stadium now
IVA MAJOLI: Yeah. It's exciting. I can't wait to be back next year to
Q. How satisfying was it to win here?
IVA MAJOLI: I don't think I can even explain. It's been so long that I
won a tournament, and I always won like a big tournament, never Tier III
or Tier IV. It was Tier I or Tier II or French Open, and I really hope
I can keep going with the big wins.
I think we were both nervous today. We both started very, very tight.
I mean I knew I was, and I could feel she was very tight, too, but I think
I was just going for my shots a little bit more maybe than Patty did.
And in matches like this you get more tight than you usually do, and I
also think she had a few good wins this week against Mauresmo and Jennifer
and Serena where she had nothing to lose. So today in the final, I think
there was a lot more pressure on her after beating all the top seeds to
win. And it's a very big difference to play under that pressure.
Q. The is the first unseeded final in Tier I history. Talk about sort
of making history and also becoming the lowest ranked player to win.
IVA MAJOLI: Well, I think it just tells you how much the women's game
has improved that it doesn't have to be first and second seed to be in
the finals. It tells us that all the girls are playing great tennis like
Patty did this week. Maybe next week it's going somebody else. I'm just
happy I played a great week, and I've really been working hard, and I'm
going to continue and hope my ranking will climb even higher soon.
Q. She surprised a lot of people this week. It seemed like you knew,
after talking to you yesterday, what to expect today, you knew that you
had your hands full.
IVA MAJOLI: Yeah. And I mean I never beat Patty before, and I really don't
like to play lefties too much, and she's one of the difficult ones to
play. I mean she really gives you wide serves and lots of angles, puts
you out of the court, so I think I played pretty smart today. I was trying
to really put pressure on her backhand, which is her weaker side, and
mix it up with the higher balls with my forehand, be aggressive on her
backhand and then change it every once in a while.
So I had to be ?? I had to play smart. Otherwise I would probably start
making mistakes and she would make winners and it would be the other way
around. So I'm really happy the way things went for me today.
Q. You've had an up?and?down comeback since the shoulder surgery.
Does this kind of give you some kind of feeling like it was all worth
IVA MAJOLI: Yeah. I mean, of course, it's all worth it, and like I said
yesterday, it's only been like one or two months that I really were able
to work hard after all these injuries, so I guess it's really paying off,
and I'm going to continue. It's a tough schedule. I already have to be
with the Fed Cup team leaving Tuesday morning and playing for Croatia
against Czech in the weekend and then I'm playing Rome that next week,
but most of the girls are doing that. We all have it the same at the end.
So it's very tough for all of us, but I'm just going to keep working,
get even in better shape. I think this week was so hot. I don't remember
it being this hot here. So it made it very, very difficult.
Q. How important was it to win that tiebreak in the first set?
IVA MAJOLI: Oh, it was ?? I think if I lost the tiebreak, she would probably
win the match. Most of the time it's like this in matches like this when
it's so hot and the players are very similar and the match is very close.
So when 5?1, I think she came back to 5?3 ?? I'm not sure was it 5?4 or
5?3? 5?4, and I was like, come on, you have to win this tiebreak. And
we took a little break, and I just put my head in the sink, just put water
for a little bit, and I was happy I was able to win in straight sets.
Q. Did that take some of the pressure off you, winning that tiebreak
in the first set, give you a little bit of a cushion and make you feel
a little more loose out there?
IVA MAJOLI: Well, it does give you advantage. I mean you won the first
set, but Patty can play long matches, too, so I really had to stay focused
and stay with her because if she went up 2 or 3?0 or something, you know,
it would be a different story. So the beginning of the second set was
really important to stay with her and to wait for my chance, and to break
Like we were breaking each other's serves a lot today, so just I really
tried to be aggressive as much as I could, because from the back with
the angles and the top spins, she's really difficult. So you have to be
aggressive. You can't make mistakes. Everything has to work pretty good.
Q. There was that one point in the tiebreaker when she started to
come back at you. Looked like you had to gather yourself a little bit.
What were you thinking right there?
IVA MAJOLI: Yeah. I was just, okay, put the first ball in the court and
then wait for a chance, and I really tried to put lots of pressure on
her backhand because she was breaking down, and she would start playing
more drop shots. And that drop shot that I missed at like 6?3, or I don't
even know, I was like, no, you can't miss this in a situation like this.
But I was able to win the set.
Q. She said it wasn't so hot out there and there was a breeze. Is
she kidding us or what?
IVA MAJOLI: Well, I think the breeze was so hot, too. There was no breeze.
It was windy, but the wind was really hot, I felt. So I think it was hot,
but maybe she loves to play in like really hot conditions.
Q. You guys broke each other three times and she held to go up 6?5,
and you came back, so it was like you were the one coming from behind
this time as opposed to her, with Serena and then Jennifer come from behind.
Can you talk a little about that?
IVA MAJOLI: Well, you don't really think about it that much because it's
just one game, you know. It's like 6?5 or 5?4. So you just try to focus
yourself each point because each point is so important, in games like
this. And I think those games are really like serve good and play good,
Q. Looked like you were getting on top of her. I don't recall whether
it was the first loops, she was hitting those soft lobs, semi lobs, and
you were driving them down and skidding them along right out of her range.
IVA MAJOLI: They look much easier than they really are because she gives
so much top spin, so if you are just a little bit late, the ball is going
to go behind you and you're going to miss. So you have to be aggressive
and really attack them because they're very difficult. I remember Gaby
used to play like this, too, and you think, oh, the balls are so easy.
They're just like just in the middle of the court, but they don't see
how much top spin there is in the ball, so it makes it really difficult.
Plus, she's a lefty, so you're always kind of running outside from the
court for those angles, but I think I gave her a few angles, too, so...
Q. It looked like at the end there the last few games she ran out
of energy, and you seemed to pick it up a notch. Looked like you were
going for the throat almost.
IVA MAJOLI: I knew I had to be aggressive, and I really wanted to finish
it in two sets. I didn't want it to go in the third, and I was putting
more pressure, yeah, being aggressive, trying to go for my shots because
just staying and playing from back with her, it's very difficult. So yeah,
I think I was ?? that's what helped me. I was a more aggressive player
Q. Patty said this was the best week of her life. How is this week
IVA MAJOLI: It's been a great week. I mean it feels so good to win again
after like a couple years, and I'm sure for her beating all these top
players it must feel very good and she must be very confident, but I had
a few really tough matches, too, I mean especially the one against Smashnova
who had a very good year so far and beat Dokic very easy, so that one
was a difficult match. And Amanda is always tough on clay, so it's hard
to play her.
And Sandrine and Patty my scores against them were just horrible, also
mentally, really hard to play against somebody you've never beaten, or
Sandrine I beat maybe like so long ago.
So I should be pretty happy with this week, and it shows me that when
I work hard and when everything is put together, that I'm playing great
tennis. So I'm just going to keep working hard and stay healthy and make
my shoulder even like stronger so it doesn't get hurt again, and the season
just started for clay courts, and you never know what can happen. Maybe
it's going to be another French.
Q. What happened in those couple games in the first set when you served
and you got broken two straight times at love and double faulted two straight
times in the third point?
IVA MAJOLI: Yeah. I think I was ?? I was tight, I think that's what happened
and then you start pushing and then it doesn't help you, so I just started
saying to myself, just hit the ball even if it goes in the fence, just
hit it, get your hand loose. So I think later on in the second set my
serve got better and I was more relaxed.
Q. The chair umpire had to announce like three times people to turn
cell phones off. Do you guys hear those out on the court at all?
IVA MAJOLI: You do if it really goes on and on, you hear it, but you're
so into your match that you hardly pay attention for anything else. You
just think what you're going to do the next point.
Q. Can you win the French Open?
IVA MAJOLI: I would love to. I mean, but I have a tournament first next
week, and I really want to take it step by step, but French is my favorite
tournament, and I always play good there, except last year. So hopefully
I'm going to keep playing good there. And you never know. I mean so many
girls are playing great at the moment, so it's all open, which makes it
even more fun.
Q. How big are you back in Croatia? I know you're not Goran, are you?
You're not as big as Goran?
IVA MAJOLI: Yeah. I think Goran is like big, but everyone knows me, and
it's pretty big. Everyone called already here, and my dad, and they're
all watching TV at home. It was live at home. So I think they like me.
Q. How could they not, right?
END OF INTERVIEW