Anna Kournikova 1997 US Open 2nd-Round Interview ( Sports - Women's Tennis )  

USTA 1997 US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York, on Wednesday, August 27, 1997
Irina Spirlea defeated Anna Kournikova, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

An Interview With Anna Kournikova

Q. How was the experience playing on the big court?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, certainly it was exciting playing on it. It felt real big and I mean, it is a great stadium. It was fun.

Q. It seemed that you played pretty well overall?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, I did play pretty well, yeah.

Q. How disappointing is going out in the second round? You played in maybe a tough draw?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, you know, you can't really blame it on the draw, because you get a seed anyway sooner or later. I really wish that I had more experience playing, but I felt that I played pretty good. I got a little bit to a late start and played well second set. And then at the end she started off good and so -- it is just another learning match for me.

Q. Were you bothered at all by the article in one of the local papers about your relationship with Sergei Fedorov?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I learned my lesson at Wimbledon that I don't read any papers, because they distract you. So I haven't read anything.

Q. Does it bother you that people focus on that instead of the tennis?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I mean, nobody talks to me about it, so I don't really know what is going on.

Q. Your opponent said that, you know, she seems to get motivated to play because you get a lot of attention and do you sense that?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Definitely against -- like if I would play against Steffi, I would be really going on because really have nothing to lose. So, I am sure they are ready to play me more than like anybody else.

Q. Were you hurting out there, any muscle pains?


Q. Do you just, in general, feel maybe less sharp than during Wimbledon, just because you haven't played a lot of matches?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Yeah, definitely I haven't played anything so I just felt a little bit new kind of on the court. But it didn't -- I mean, I played the first round match, but it was like I played very well. So I didn't get much practice for my second round. So, it was kind of new.

Q. You hinted the other day about the rule, you know, for women in tournaments. Is that something that you feel strongly about, the amount of tournaments that you are allowed to play?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I didn't have a warmup tournament here before the Open, so I couldn't have gotten any matches. That was pretty hard. I had to play just practice, practice, practice.

Q. Spirlea, Anna, said that some of the women players resent the fact that you get so much publicity. Do you sense that there is this feeling toward you from some of the other players?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, it is not my fault, you know, that people write about me, so, I mean, I don't want them to think that I am doing it on purpose or something like that. I am just trying to play tennis and play for the fans. And I really enjoy being on the court.

Q. You mentioned that no one talks to you about it. I assume you are talking about your private life. If they did talk to you, what would you tell them?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, they never talk to me, so I don't know what I would tell them.

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