Pebbles' 2nd Round Interview -
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 2003, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Pebbles' 2nd Round Interview

Q. How big is that one for you in terms of your career?

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: That's actually my biggest win so far. I think she's ranked like 15 or something, and you know, I think before that it was like Kremer. She was ranked like 23. So that one was my biggest win. So it's pretty exciting.

Q. The unforced error numbers kind of jumped out on the score sheet. What was the key to that for you? What was kind of the swing element of the match?

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: About my unforced errors?

Q. No. Looking at the score sheet, she had 27. You had 2.

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Yeah. Today I wasn't missing much. So I was pretty happy about that. I just played a really good match today, and I think that the conditions kind of went on my favor a little bit more. You know, the courts were a little bit slower, and I know, it slowed down the balls a little bit, so I think basically everything kind of fell into place.

Q. How much are you guys keeping an eye on the weather and worrying about weather?

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I mean I try not to worry about that much. I don't really -- you know, it can be annoying, you know, to get delayed, you know, and because you want to try and make everything on time and not rush, but not be sitting around all day, so I went back to the hotel after my first hit this morning because I saw that my court was delayed. But there's nothing that you can do about it, you know. Just have to be fine with whatever happens.

Q. You've got -- at least in the United States, you've received a fair bit of media attention recently, USTA cover, and I understand Florida Tennis did a piece. Are you feeling sort of a lot of expectations and pressure or, you know, are you fine either way?

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: You know, like about a year and a half ago or two careers ago I was getting a lot and I really wasn't doing anything. I mean I was okay. I was like 15 years old and I was like 250, you know, and I was getting a lot, and I felt a lot of expectations, but you know, I think it's just maturity, and I just kind of grew up and I just play for myself, and I just try and enjoy it, and I try not to think about all that other stuff.

Q. Do you feel there's a lot of -- for the junior players coming up, maybe especially the girls seems to happen a little earlier. Do you think there's too much pressure in our society?

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I think in America, you know, there can be like a lot of pressure that comes from a lot of different things. You know, they want to have a lot of Americans coming up obviously. You know, you want your Americans to do well. But there can be. I mean I know I have a friend that she's coming up and she's getting a lot of attention, and she's feeling a little bit like that. But I try and tell her how I felt, because it's nice to be able to have somebody help you out who's already been through it.

Q. You kind of alluded to it, you've sort of helped her out, maybe been a mentor. Do you think that's something that would help if there was something in place for juniors?

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: They actually do have mentors. You have mentors on the WTA, but you have to be in the top 100 to get it. So I have actually a mentor.

Q. Okay. I'm sorry. I meant it more like for juniors -- I mean I know their mentor program, but in the juniors, before that period.

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Yeah. I think it would be nice, you know, for these young juniors who are coming up and who are doing really well. It would probably be really good for them. You know, anybody that can be there to help you through all the pressures and stuff, but I guess that's kind of what your support system is, you know, your family and everything, so it all kind of falls into place.

Q. Who is your mentor?

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Tracy Austin. I just got her a week ago. So we haven't really talked on the phone yet.

Q. What kind of things does the mentor program help you with? Is it personal issues? Is it tennis issues?

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: It can be anything. It can be anything. Whether it's dealing with family or pressures or, you know, things on the tennis court or off the tennis court or just, you know, guys or whatever, you can talk to her about anything. So from what I gathered with the whole thing, you can talk to her about anything. I picked her, though. I thought it was pretty cool to have her as a mentor.

Q. I guess the last thing, what do you know of your next opponent here?


Q. Yeah.

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: She's a very good player, and she's had really good results these past few months, I think. I mean I know she did really well at the Australian, and I'm just going to try and go out there tomorrow like I did today and just kind of like, you know, enjoy it and try and play my best tennis and fight, fight until the end.

Q. Do you feel like you've -- I don't know how to phrase this right, but do you feel like you've already met some goals here?

ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: You know, I was going into this tournament, you know, hoping to -- I've been sick for like the last week. I had the flu. It's kind of going around, but this is my last tournament until I turn 18, which is going to be in two and a half weeks, and this is my last tournament. So I got a wild card, my last wild card. I was coming in here just kind of going to come out here and enjoy it, try and do the best that I can.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2003, 01:27 AM
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She sounds sweet. Good luck Ashley. Keep a good mind about you.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 2003, 02:30 AM
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Thanks for posting the interview Seles. She is sweet.
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