May 26th, 2004, 08:32 PM
:) "I always watch the matches that are on before me. (Tuesday, Venus followed the Fabrice Santoro vs. Arnaud Clement match that lasted 6 hours, 33 minutes). With a match that dramatic, it was hard to refocus. After losing the first two games in my match, it became apparent to me that I was still thinking about Santoro and Clement. My opponent (Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand) did not waste any time in punishing me. I was able to get my focus back by telling myself, 'Hold your serve, Venus,' and then battle back for the break. Then I knew that it was time to pull out the notes, which I write to myself before the match to help me simplify. It worked like magic, because I won the next 10 games in a row making the score 6-2, 4-0. But then I became overconfident and went for shots that were not necessarily the right ones. My opponent won three straight games and was gaining momentum. I realized that I didn't want to be in the same situation as Santoro and Clement, so I strongly urged myself to close it out! (Venus won 6-2, 6-4).