April 14 2002 Interviews
April 16 2002 Interviews
April 17 2002 Interviews
April 18 2002 Interviews
April 19 2002 Interviews
April 20 2002 Interviews
April 21 2002 Interviews
Saturday April 20, 2002

7-6 (5), 6-4

Q. Looks like you'll have one of those big posters on stadium now next year.
IVA MAJOLI: Yeah. It's exciting. I can't wait to be back next year to see.

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 it?
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 her.

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, be aggressive.

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 today.

Q. Patty said this was the best week of her life. How is this week for you?
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?