Jennifer Capriati Semi-Final Interview
2002 HOME DEPOT CHAMPIONSHIPS
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
November 10, 2002
Lost to Serena Williams, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Q. Hi, Jennifer. Why do you think you have so many problems to capitalize break points versus Serena? That happens all the time. The last six matches you have so many opportunities, but you don't seem to capitalize.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I'm still asking myself the same question. I mean, it's pretty good that I get the break points anyway, so you know, I think she played tough on those points. That's right, I had so many chances. I really don't know. It's just a matter of a few points here and there.
Q. You took a little energy out on the net. Does that get a little frustrating on big points where they keep rolling one way and not the other?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, it's pretty unusual for so many net courts to go one way in one match. That's why I got so frustrated there.
Q. Is this the loosest net you've ever played at a tournament?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, it's pretty loose. I don't remember other ones, but for sure, I mean, that's why they were going like that.
Q. Jennifer, you had a (inaudible). How big was that point?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't think -- maybe on that point I should have gone for it. On other points, I went for it too and I missed it. I don't think I backed off on that, though.
Q. Why was she able to close and you weren't able to take advantage there, so it was up and back there at the end of the third set?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, you're asking a lot of questions why, why, why. I don't know. It's just the way a tennis match is. She was playing great tennis. That's why it was so close. When it's so close like that, you know, a few balls, a few net courts here and there, they make such a difference. When it's so close, every point is, like, standing out, so if you don't do one point the right way, then it's like, oh, you should have done it this way instead of looking at really how the whole match is going, to look overall how I played the whole match, so you know, there is just not much difference.
Q. How do you evaluate your year now that the tennis year is finished for you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think I had a pretty good year. I'm happy with the way I played this year, for the most part, and it was a tough year. There was a lot of good competition, so it just makes me motivated for the next year.
Q. Jennifer, is this the best you've played in recent weeks and months, this match?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yes, I think so, definitely.
Q. What do you attribute that to? Do you bring your best game against the higher level of competition?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I really wanted to play well, and just because I haven't played well, indoors is not my best surface and where I play my best tennis. You know, really, when I have been home practicing and training, I have been doing everything really well, and I wanted to bring it into the competition. I think even this tournament, it was just coming together, and considering that I didn't have any wins really coming into this tournament, you know, and for me to just kind of pull it together, I feel pretty good about it.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: She was there, yeah.
Q. How was that having her there?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: It was very fun. We did fitness together also, so I think that definitely helped, too. It was a good motivation, and she told me some things here and there. She probably would have thought I could have come to the net a little bit more.
Q. Jennifer, what was the best moment of the Australian Open and what was the worst, the biggest regret you have this year?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Not really much. All the matches I've lost, I guess, of course. Like I said, I mean, I think it's been a pretty good, okay, year. It's just been good competition, good matches and the highlight was the Australian for me, the final match.
Q. Jennifer, it kind of looked like Serena picked up her serve in the third set. Is that the main difference between you and her?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I would have to say a little bit of that, but you know, I was returning her serve pretty good. If I maybe would have done something else in other parts of the game, that's not something I would have had to worry about.
Q. Jennifer, after you became aware that Venus had withdrawn, did you ponder how this might affect Serena? Maybe she would be let down or perhaps even more motivated. Did you wonder about that and how do you think she reacted?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. I mean, when I go out there, I expect Serena is going to give it 100 percent, and that's what I expect. I'm not really thinking about what my opponents are thinking about. I just kind of concentrate on myself and play my game.
Q. Were you at all caught off-guard by having to come out so soon?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. Actually, it was probably better, because then it wasn't a real long match where you have to wait around. I warmed up pretty much before they went on. I still felt warm.
Q. You seemed like you were in pretty good shape at the end. You didn't look too tired. Were you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No.
Q. Do you think she was tired?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't know. That was a tough match, and I don't know. I think we were both still huffing and puffing, but, obviously, for her to come out with big serves like that, you know, you can't be tired and still hit those serves.
Q. Have you set up a goal for next year? I mean, do you think about some tournament in particular?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, not yet. I've already started looking at what my schedule will be so I'll know what tournaments I'll play.
Q. How about Indian Wells?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, I don't really want to say anything yet because there is this whole tour issue anyway. I haven't given out my commitments. I just haven't given out my schedule. There is no need to really give out the schedule yet.
Q. Jennifer, has there ever been another player who played so (inaudible.)?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No, not really. The only time I used to have those kinds of matches is Monica, I guess, back in the day. It sounds like so long ago.
Q. Jennifer, your quickness out there today was very impressive and especially returning the serve. Has that become sort of a cornerstone of your game, just really good footwork and stamina?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I think I can even improve a lot more too, and it's just the beginning. I almost feel like I'm back in that same kind of shape I was in last year, and today I actually think I moved better than that. I surprised myself on some shots.
Q. Jennifer, what makes Serena such a great player?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, obviously her serve is great. You know, she's strong off the ground and she can mix it up, and I think she plays -- well, sometimes she's erratic. That makes it difficult to play her because she can get on a roll and then miss a bunch of shots. You always have to be on your guard, and I don't think she's intentionally trying to do that. It just makes it tough. I think she's a smart player also. You know, just like in the last set, I can't remember what the game was, but she was just serving them hard, and I was getting them all back, and then one service came and she spun them in and it threw me off. She's very aware of what goes on out there also, and she's obviously a good mover.
Q. Jennifer, one tournament I'm sure we're going to see you at is Australia. You've got a chance to 3-peat. Is it still too early to start thinking about that?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Actually, I was going to skip it. Skip all the pressure altogether.
Q. If you had to play the dream match of your life, would you rather play against Serena or against Venus?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't know. I mean, I haven't played Venus in a really long time. You know, it's just me and Serena always have these unbelievable matches, so I don't know. I guess that's the rivalry right now.
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