Friday, 26th June 1998 Miss N Zvereva bt Miss S Graf 6-4 7-5 Interview with Miss N Zvereva: Q. Eighteenth time, how did you do it? A. Well, first of all, I don't know if it was eighteenth or twenty, or twenty-five, but, yes, I've done it, wow! How, I don't know, but I've done it. It's really good for me. It felt great. Q. What was your plan going into the match? A. Go with the flow. I don't particularly have plans to go in any match. I tend to be positive every match and today it's worked out really well. I thought I was extremely concentrating on every point. It never happened before, never, ever. Everybody was in the locker room laughing at me. They're like "What happened? You concentrated every point. What's wrong with you? Are you sick?", touching my forehead. Q. Who said that? A. All the players. But, you know, I'm tough. I can take some jokes. That's fine. Q. Can you tell us something about your feeling when you had first match point and then second match point? A. I can't hear you very well. Q. Can you tell us something about your feeling when you had first match point and then when you had second match point? A. I had none, no feelings at all. I told myself "You'd better not think because, if you start to think, even about points or where you're going to put the ball, it's not going to work out". I think I was in a kind of mechanical mood, just try to get the ball over the net and as much as possible to the backhand. That's it. Q. Many players and many cultures advise going into a match with some kind of plan or scheme for the match, and yet you say you've never done that. Why? Do you find it difficult to make the plan happen, or it doesn't work for you? A. Well, I came up with it myself, really. I don't really have a coach this week with me. So it's basically me, but I think as I get into a match and a match goes on, I figure out what to do during the match. It doesn't matter what situation I'm in, winning or losing or even, tight match. So I do -- that's what I do. I go with the flow. Q. Were you confident going into this match, given the fact that she's been off for a long time, she hasn't played that many games on grass? Did you think "This could be a chance for me"? A. I'm never confident against top people, because -- especially certain people, like Steffi, or hard hitting people, because my game doesn't really match up that well, you know. I don't move that great, so it's hard to get to the balls. Q. You said you were going with the flow. What did the flow feel like? Did you feel like you were in rhythm? Did you feel like you were in a kind of zone, or what was your feeling? A. Well, I got a lot of balls back. That was the key. And also I think I served an extremely high percentage of first serves in the first set. I might be mistaken, but that's what I felt, because I felt like -- Q. 78 per cent. A. That's pretty high for me. I mean, that's probably the highest, or maybe close to it. And that was important as well, and when I served, I didn't just go for it. I just put like a solid good serve to her backhand mostly, and then also a couple of serves to the forehand worked out really well, down the T in the end court. Q. Was there one point in the match where you thought, "I can win this"? Was there one point where you thought, "This is winnable"? A. Probably 3-3, 4-4 in the second set. Then I tried to get that thought out of my head. Q. Were you surprised at how tight and nervous she was? A. I think it's never easy when you wait around. I did the same thing. I think last year I lost first round, just waited a whole day, you know, sitting around the locker room, and coming up to play from the second or first match on, coming on at 7.30 at night -- today it wasn't the case, but it was still a little bit frustrating and distracting for both of us. Q. Did you tell yourself anything after the first set, after you won the first set? Did you have to calm yourself down? Did you have to pump yourself up? What was your reaction? A. I was pretty calm throughout the whole match, except one point when she missed her forehand on her game point and they called it in, and I said "I'd better just shut up and play", because this is what I do, I tend to distract myself, which is easy to do. It's so frustrating when they miss such a big call, an important point as well. Q. Is this not only a great win obviously over Steffi but also a learning experience maybe for you in the future, not to keep on getting distracted? A. I think it's by far the best match of my life, not even just the playability of it. Mind-wise I was mentally tough on every point. I don't think that ever happened before. You know, I can drift in or drift out of matches easily. But this time I stayed with it. Q. Not even when you beat Martina in Paris? A. I was in and out like you've never seen. No, I mean, it was completely different. I was so nervous then. I got tight about 20,000 times during the whole match, and, no, it was completely different matches. Q. If this win over Steffi was the best match of your career, was that loss you had to Steffi in the final, was that the worst of your career? A. Physically, yes. I mean, 6-0, 6-0 is pretty bad. Come on! But I was so nervous, you couldn't even describe it, and I put an extreme amount of pressure on myself, unnecessary, unjustified completely, and that's what happened. I beat myself to it, before she even did. Q. Did you have that match on your mind today? A. Today? No. I've played her 18 times, give me a break! I thought, okay, should I think about match number 5 or number 9? No, 11 was nice. That was a three-setter, it was close, yes. Q. When everybody started teasing you afterwards, did you say anything back, or did you just kind of smile in the locker room afterwards? A. I had a little cubical, I had to go down on my knees and crawl into it, because they were giving me so much funny looks and stuff. It was really quite embarrassing. Q. Did Steffi say anything to you? A. After the match? Q. Yes. A. Yes, she said "By the way, very nice match", you know, which was to me -- coming from her, right away from the match, it was very important, yes. Plus she looked into my eyes, which is never better. That's what I do, I do it all the time, I shake my opponent's hand and I look into their eyes and say "Well played" or "Bad luck", or something like that. That meant a lot to me. Q. What did you tell Steffi when you shook hands? A. "Well played". Q. So many players these days go around with coaches and advisers and parents, and so forth. Do you like the feeling of travelling a circuit without a coach? A. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't, and when I don't, I have a hitting partner or, you know, a person that I work with most of the time travel with me. So it's -- you know, again, you go with the flow, either a little bit lonely, and you need a little bit of company, and sometimes I don't. But I think I'm a loner. (INTERVIEW CONCLUDED)