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martinafan
Oct 19th, 2004, 04:08 AM
Sorry if this has been posted before...

Myskina looks to Fed Cup to erase Olympic 'nightmare'

Anastasia Myskina says she still has nightmares following her dramatic Olympic collapse against Justine Henin-Hardenne.

In Athens, Myskina was leading the then world number one 5-1 in the third set of their semi-final, but crumbled and allowed the Belgian, who had just returned to competition after a lengthy absence with a virus, to win the set 8-6 and take the match on her way to the Olympic gold medal.

"It was a nightmare. I couldn't sleep, waking up in the middle of the night for several days just thinking about that match," Myskina told Reuters.

Now, almost two months later, the Russian still has vivid memories from that match.

"I don't think I'll ever forget it, simply because it was my life-long dream to win the Olympic gold medal," she said.

"The Olympics mean more to me than even the grand slams," said Myskina, who became the first Russian woman to win a grand slam when she crushed Elena Dementieva in the French Open final in June.

"The Olympics come only once every four years while we have the grand slam tournaments four times in a year.

"That's why the Athens Games were the biggest thing for me this year and I was preparing for it more than anything else."

Dry Spell



Myskina suffered a slump in form after Athens and was surprisingly knocked out of last month's US Open in the second round, losing to 17-year-old Russian qualifier Anna Chakvetadze.

"Yes, my form definitely suffered after Athens," she said.

"But more than anything it was my mental state as I was still coming to terms with my Olympic failure.

"I wanted to win the gold medal so badly for myself and for my country because I don't know if I will be around to compete in the Beijing Games in 2008.

"But time heals any wounds, so I think eventually I'll be able to recover, although now I still have those nightmares from time to time."

Myskina, who is the world number three, said that winning tournaments will also help her overcome her Athens nightmares.

"Yes, winning definitely helps," she said after trouncing Dementieva again on Sunday to win the Moscow final, her first singles title since Athens.

"It helps you forget those painful memories."

Russian tennis chief Shamil Tarpishchev said his main concern is Myskina's psychological well-being as Russia begin their preparations for next month's Fed Cup semi-final against Austria in Moscow.

"She is still Russia's number one and her form could be the key to our chances to win the title," said Tarpishchev.

The Russian women, who now occupy four of the top-eight places in the latest WTA rankings, have never won the Fed Cup.

The final will also be held in Moscow, beginning two days after the semi-finals.

Holders France will play Spain in the other match.




Source: http://www.abc.net.au/sport/content/200410/s1223085.htm

martinafan
Oct 19th, 2004, 04:09 AM
I don't really like this quote:

"I wanted to win the gold medal so badly for myself and for my country because I don't know if I will be around to compete in the Beijing Games in 2008"
She better be here in 2008 still!!!!

tenn_ace
Oct 19th, 2004, 04:17 AM
I'm sure she'll be around... she just has to give it a shot one more time.

sabandborg
Oct 19th, 2004, 04:21 AM
If Mysinka is still agonizing over this, she's got a ways to go!

Believe!
Let the critics work on the rest.