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Old Feb 11th, 2002, 02:58 PM   #16
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Fav Natasha match has to one against Steffi at wimbledon 1998, then she beat Monica Seles two rds later.

can't ever recall her being so serious out on court.

Wondering what could have been achieved IF she had played like that all her career.
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Old Mar 6th, 2002, 01:11 PM   #17
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Hopefully with her comeback in the doubles we can put of her retirement to rest for a few years yet

Welcome back Z Woman !!!!!
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Old Mar 10th, 2002, 11:11 PM   #18
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I recall Natasha winning Eastbourne in '99. Her semi win over Amanda Coetzer went on forever. In the final I think she was down something like 0-6 0-3 when she finally decided to play! If only she applied herself throughout her career like she did at Eastbourne that year.

The year she lost to Graf in the RG Final I think just knoocked the stuffing out of her. To her credit though she got on a plane to England and reached the final at Eastbourne.

She's a character. No doubt about it. She is so talented I think sometimes she just doesn't know which shot to hit. She can play ANY type of game on ANY surface.

She looks so fragile too. I hope she comes roaring back. The game needs her.
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Old Mar 12th, 2002, 11:51 AM   #19
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That win over Coetzer was a damn mini-classic!

As much as I love Natasha (she without any doubt my favourite player EVER), I hope that she restricts her comeback to doubles. If she's right she can still play doubles for maybe 4 more years with good results.

That horrific 6-0 6-0 in Paris robbed us of what could have been. Even if she'd lost but by a more respectable score, I'm sure she would have won at least one major title.

Love Ya Nat!
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Old Apr 16th, 2002, 02:22 PM   #20
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATASHA
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Old Jul 25th, 2003, 12:00 PM   #21
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this has been gone a long time mainly due to Natasha playing last yr
now that she's officially retired its back
she got tired of touring and said it wasn't fun any more.

here we post some of Natasha's classic interviews
some great one replies

THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS'94
Key Biscayne, FL


March 19, 1994


S. GRAF/N. Zvereva

4-6, 6-1, 6-2


AN INTERVIEW WITH



NATASHA ZVEREVA

Q. Natasha, you expended a lot of energy in the first set, did you tire later in the match?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Sort of like in the middle of the second set. I knew, you know, I knew she would get better, eventually, you know, and she did. She stopped making any unforced errors and she was more aggressive.


Q. You played extremely well in the first set, you have to have some satisfaction coming out of this?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Yes, I'm a hundred percent satisfied with this match.


Q. You knew you were the first one to take a set from her this year, did you have anything to -- say anything to yourself after the first set was over?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: I said, yes. No, not really. I did not say anything; it was pretty emotional, though.


Q. Did you feel any sort of -- a little bit of a let down after the first set and the crowd reaction?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: No, it wasn't a let down, but I thought the crowd started expecting me to win or something this match, you know, just like win it, you know. But it wasn't a major deal, didn't really bother me or anything.


Q. Is there anything wrong with that, though, them expecting you to win this?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: I can't say anything about that. I'm not -- I wasn't out there watching. If I was out there watching, I probably would, you know, give you a comment on the question.


Q. You, yourself, after you won the first set, did you feel inside that perhaps you could have won the match; did you believe that you could win?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: No, that was too early. I mean, I always believe in myself and my ability, but I was not particularly saying, oh, I'm going to win this match.


Q. Seeing how the match went along, you had a little problem hitting your first serve in and it was harder to put pressure on her?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Yeah, right. I didn't think my percentage of my serve was very good today in the whole match cause I knew I should have gone for it, and then I started mixing it a little with my first serve and she got aggressive.


Q. Did you plan to do and have the success of hitting backhand approaches to her backhand and coming right up to the net, and was that part of the strategy?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Yeah, that was major, that was a major part, very important.


Q. Did you think -- you did a little bit of a wiggle one time when you brought it up to a breakpoint to get back in the second set; do you think maybe you did that a little too early in your mind, from that moment on she really took charge? You hit a backhand down the line winner, then you did a little bit of a boogy dance?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: So?


Q. I said, do you think you may --

NATASHA ZVEREVA: What's the problem with that?


Q. No, I -- I just asked maybe it came a little too early?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: For what? For what?


Q. Well --

NATASHA ZVEREVA: A little too early for what?


Q. A little too overconfident that you could take her?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Oh, please. That's the most ridiculous question I've ever heard.


Q. All right. What were your thoughts in the third set when you got it back to 4-2 and you had a couple of game points to make it 4-3 and it just kind of got away?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Yeah, I had a lot of chances. I was coming in with my forehand, I think, in a bit of the wrong direction. She returned short and I thought she would go the other way, she'd be running the other way, and she just stood there and I missed the ball. I should have come in on her backhand.


Q. Natasha, two days ago, after Lindsay played Steffi, she said she got tired and you got tired today. What is it about Steffi that, you know, exhausts people?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Well, her constant ability of moving an opponent around very, you know, she moves opponents around very well, and it just, you know, wears people out.


Q. She said one of the things that may set her apart from everybody else is that she works harder than everybody else on the tour. Do you think that's true, and did you, maybe, learn something from today?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: If she says that she's working better than anybody, then I guess she is. I mean, I don't know, but I did learn -- but I don't think I would do anything differently anywise. I don't think I would spend more time on the practice court because there is no point in it. I've learned a lot, and I don't think there is a point for me to just, you know, practice a lot more than I do right now. I have my own little routine and I go through it every day, you know, unless I'm really relaxing or vacation or something, so --


Q. Where would you put -- where would you measure your performance today, the way you played, and where would you put Steffi's performance in the previous matches she's played against you?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Well, there was a couple of pretty close matches, like three-setters before, and if you want me to give you a percent standing, I can't do that.


Q. Just sort of vague, how you felt?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Yeah, I thought it was a good match, yeah, I've given my best.


Q. Did you receive any unsolicited advice in the last 24 hours on how to play Steffi Graff today?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Give me a clue on unsolicited.


Q. You know, players come in and say, why don't you work on this or try this; things you didn't ask for, but people just wanted you to beat Steffi?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Not a lot, no. Just a few close friends, yeah, just a couple.


Q. Will you share some of the tips they gave you?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: I can. You really want to know?


Q. That's why I asked.

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Okay. Well, I've been told I should play twice to the backhand, then go really sharp to the forehand.


Q. You're being serious now?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Yeah. And then I was talking to the person and he said, twice to the backhand, then one sharp to the forehand, and I go, and then what? He goes, well, then you have your situation, it's open. I'm like, oh, really? That was funny.


Q. Did you go and do it?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: I was not particularly focusing on two to the backhand and one to the forehand, no. I go with what I feel naturally on the court, and there are sometimes I have to push myself to do some certain things that I don't really -- like I am used to do, I don't do usually, but not a lot of times.


Q. Was today one of the best times the public was behind you? Do you think it happened to you, that the public was really backing you up?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: That was --


Q. You really felt that?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: That was huge, that was so great. I appreciated it so much, yeah. They were very loud and a lot of them behind me, I don't know what's the reason, you know, but I liked it a lot.


Q. Did you at all notice that you kind of won them over because it didn't start that way. I distinctly remember they came on Steffi in the first set, then finally you made it clear you were in control of that set, you ended up winning that set, then they went to your side; did you notice it wasn't instantaneous?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Well, I was not expecting them to be -- to root for me at the beginning because, obviously, you know, Steffi is a great player and she's a great personality, and she's the number 1 tennis player in the world, but as the match came along, you were right, I think they started rooting a little bit more for me; sometimes because -- obviously, they -- I guess they wanted me to win, at least the first set or at least some set.


Q. Davenport came close to taking a set off her in the previous round; did you talk with her much before this match to get her opinions or views?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Not at all, no. We went out two nights ago to Coconut Grove and we had a great time, but we didn't talk about tennis.


Q. Did you go to the Hardrock last night?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: To where?


Q. Hardrock?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Yeah, that was a few days ago.


Q. Not last night?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Last night, no, we went to South Beach last night.


Q. Natasha, we've all seen in matches where someone has two or three or sometimes even four set points in a row and can't convert them; there is a feeling that you've blown your opportunity and now you're not going to win the set, but you did hang on to win the first set. Was that particularly a confidence booster for you, that on the fifth set point you did get it; you didn't relinquish?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Well, it's really tough to overcome the feelings and emotions that are inside you, you know, that you have to go for it. But still there is a little bit of this, you know, a little bit of afraidness creeps in, and that's where you start to, you know, kind of tense up a little bit. But the main thing is just hanging in there and see what happens. But it did give me confidence, just, you know, obviously, if I win the first set I can see my ability to win a set or a match, you know, like Jana Novotna here who is top ten, so, yeah.


Q. You have a big doubles semi-finals coming up in a little bit. I guess, after a three set match it's got to be tough not to play there, but with all the importance and emotion of this one you just finished, it's got to take quite a bit out of you?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: It probably will. There is nothing I can do about that, but I'm looking forward to any match in the future, every single match, and that's what I'm going to do because I'm just going to try to do my best.


Q. What do you do for the next hour or so to get you prepared?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: First of all, I would love to finish that apple. There's sort of like three quarters left of it, then I'll see what I can eat some more.


Q. Has doubles made you a better singles player?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Maybe, I'm not sure -- probably, yes.


Q. In what respect?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: In what respect? If just -- it gives me confidence and, you know, the more you play, you get fitter and fitter, and that's good for physical preparation. And even if you get a little bit tired or it's hard to get up for every match, it doesn't seem, like, to bother me, get up for every match.


Q. Where are your next three tournaments, Natasha?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: I'm playing Lively next week.


Q. And after that?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Hilton Head.


Q. Amelia Island?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: No, just Hilton Head.


Q. Natasha, you've always had an awful lot of talent, there is no question about it. You were in the finals in the French in '88, two Grand Slams quarterfinals last year; how close do you think you are to possibly getting where you think you ought to be on a more consistent basis in the singles?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: I ought to be? Where I ought to be, tell me?


Q. Well, I think a lot of us think your ranking does not reflect your ability, you should be higher. And I'm just wondering how close you are to getting there?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Well, I can say about the ranking, it's pretty tough, you know, to get back where I was a few years ago just because of the ranking system, it's pretty tough. Even, like, with being a runner-up, which last year I think I lost third round, I would probably move only one spot. So I'll be number 13 instead of number 14. So that gives me an idea how hard it is mathematically. But it does not worry me, you know, I just wish I could play some great tennis out there and see what happens, maybe I'll move one more spot or two or three, you know.


Q. Where do you think you ought to be, not necessarily ranking, but just playing-wise; do you think you should be winning Grand Slams?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: I would be really happy if I can do the Grand Slam-wise, maybe quarterfinals. Yeah, I would be very happy.


Q. Even after beating the players you have this week and the prior couple of months, it appears you can play with any player out there. You pushed Steffi further than anyone has pushed her in a long time. You don't think a semi or final round appearance in a Grand Slam is a possibility for you?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: It is a possibility. I didn't say it's not, but you have to realize how tough it is. And if I can get into the semifinals of the Grand Slam, I would be even more happier than the quarterfinals, but I won't expect myself to do that every time.


Q. There has been a lot in the news about the fact once the Soviet Empire crumbled, a lot of the athletes would never be as good. I want to know, do you feel a sense of pride because the Soviet won the world figure skating championship and the fact you've done so well today is maybe representative of the fact Soviet athletes can survive without the empire being there?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Well, I think, yeah, the ex-Soviet athletes are more independent right now and it is, in a way, their responsibility how they want to do. If they have goals and -- it's pretty much, pretty equal right now, I would think, not maybe financially-wise because, say, a teenager tennis player is used to travel on the money from the federation, from the tennis federation, and now there is no money, so it is very hard to come out and play some -- any tournaments, but I mean, we have a lot of talent, we do, as a nation, as an ex-Soviet nation and now broken up in little countries, it does not mean that it's going to die or anything, you know.


Q. What about in Belarus itself; there a tennis federation?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: There is, Belarus Tennis Federation and we are going to be -- I'm going to be in the team who is going to compete in the qualies for a fed 6 cup, which is two weeks after Hilton Head and I'll be there representing my country.


Q. Who else is on the team?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Tatiana Ignatieva and another girl that you wouldn't really know, I don't think she's on computer. Probably just three of us, I think.


Q. What are your goals now, Natalia?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: What are my goals? To finish that apple.


Q. Apart from that, in the next two or three years tennis-wise and have they changed from the last three or four years?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Just enjoy it, enjoy it, really, and my goal is to play at least for another two or three years. I can't say what it's going to happen to me afterwards, but I would love to stay for two or three more years, play some great tennis, if I can.


Q. What about after tennis, have you thought about what you want to do when you retire, two, three, five, ten years down the line? Family?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Not to do anything.


Q. Not do anything, just lie on the beach?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: No, just enjoy my life, basically, go places, see things, have fun.


Q. Natalia, you are all about fun, you said that a couple of days ago, it's easy to see on the court and in here, how fun has this week been for you?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Tremendous, big amount, I can't even say how much.


Q. But have the parties been more fun than what's going on court?

NATASHA ZVEREVA: Not necessary, no, depends where your mind is.


End of FastScripts....
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Old Jul 25th, 2003, 12:02 PM   #22
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10 QUESTIONS...NATASHA ZVEREVA
(Dutch Tennis Magazine, May 1998)

1 - Who is your most feared opponent?
That would have to be me.

2 - What is your favorite tournament?
Filderstadt, the bar in the player's lounge is great there.

3 - What player do you prefer to watch yourself?
Miloslav Mecir, even today on the practice courts with Kucera.

4 - What is your favorite CD?
Anything by Led Zeppelin. I'm not that young anymore, you know.

5 - Who is your favorite actor or actress?
I love Jack Nicholson...and not because I go for older men!

6 - What 3 things would you take with you to a deserted island?
Water, food and a gorgeous guy.

7 - What do you hate most?
People who are not real.

8 - What are your favorite hobbies?
Cooking, music, reading...especially the Russian classics.

9 - What result gives you the most satisfaction?
My Grand Slam titles.

10 - What would you be if you had not become a tennis pro?
I would probably be the biggest loser on earth.
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Old Jul 25th, 2003, 12:12 PM   #23
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Friday, 26th June 1998

Miss N Zvereva bt Miss S Graf 6-4 7-5

Interview with Miss N Zvereva:

Q. Eighteenth time, how did you do it?

A. Well, first of all, I don't know if it was eighteenth or twenty, or twenty-five, but, yes, I've done it, wow! How, I don't know, but I've done it. It's really good for me. It felt great.

Q. What was your plan going into the match?

A. Go with the flow. I don't particularly have plans to go in any match. I tend to be positive every match and today it's worked out really well. I thought I was extremely concentrating on every point. It never happened before, never, ever. Everybody was in the locker room laughing at me. They're like "What happened? You concentrated every point. What's wrong with you? Are you sick?", touching my forehead.

Q. Who said that?

A. All the players. But, you know, I'm tough. I can take some jokes. That's fine.

Q. Can you tell us something about your feeling when you had first match point and then second match point?

A. I can't hear you very well.

Q. Can you tell us something about your feeling when you had first match point and then when you had second match point?

A. I had none, no feelings at all. I told myself "You'd better not think because, if you start to think, even about points or where you're going to put the ball, it's not going to work out". I think I was in a kind of mechanical mood, just try to get the ball over the net and as much as possible to the backhand. That's it.

Q. Many players and many cultures advise going into a match with some kind of plan or scheme for the match, and yet you say you've never done that. Why? Do you find it difficult to make the plan happen, or it doesn't work for you?

A. Well, I came up with it myself, really. I don't really have a coach this week with me. So it's basically me, but I think as I get into a match and a match goes on, I figure out what to do during the match. It doesn't matter what situation I'm in, winning or losing or even, tight match. So I do -- that's what I do. I go with the flow.

Q. Were you confident going into this match, given the fact that she's been off for a long time, she hasn't played that many games on grass? Did you think "This could be a chance for me"?

A. I'm never confident against top people, because -- especially certain people, like Steffi, or hard hitting people, because my game doesn't really match up that well, you know. I don't move that great, so it's hard to get to the balls.

Q. You said you were going with the flow. What did the flow feel like? Did you feel like you were in rhythm? Did you feel like you were in a kind of zone, or what was your feeling?

A. Well, I got a lot of balls back. That was the key. And also I think I served an extremely high percentage of first serves in the first set. I might be mistaken, but that's what I felt, because I felt like --

Q. 78 per cent.

A. That's pretty high for me. I mean, that's probably the highest, or maybe close to it. And that was important as well, and when I served, I didn't just go for it. I just put like a solid good serve to her backhand mostly, and then also a couple of serves to the forehand worked out really well, down the T in the end court.

Q. Was there one point in the match where you thought, "I can win this"? Was there one point where you thought, "This is winnable"?

A. Probably 3-3, 4-4 in the second set. Then I tried to get that thought out of my head.

Q. Were you surprised at how tight and nervous she was?

A. I think it's never easy when you wait around. I did the same thing. I think last year I lost first round, just waited a whole day, you know, sitting around the locker room, and coming up to play from the second or first match on, coming on at 7.30 at night -- today it wasn't the case, but it was still a little bit frustrating and distracting for both of us.

Q. Did you tell yourself anything after the first set, after you won the first set? Did you have to calm yourself down? Did you have to pump yourself up? What was your reaction?

A. I was pretty calm throughout the whole match, except one point when she missed her forehand on her game point and they called it in, and I said "I'd better just shut up and play", because this is what I do, I tend to distract myself, which is easy to do. It's so frustrating when they miss such a big call, an important point as well.

Q. Is this not only a great win obviously over Steffi but also a learning experience maybe for you in the future, not to keep on getting distracted?

A. I think it's by far the best match of my life, not even just the playability of it. Mind-wise I was mentally tough on every point. I don't think that ever happened before. You know, I can drift in or drift out of matches easily. But this time I stayed with it.

Q. Not even when you beat Martina in Paris?

A. I was in and out like you've never seen. No, I mean, it was completely different. I was so nervous then. I got tight about 20,000 times during the whole match, and, no, it was completely different matches.

Q. If this win over Steffi was the best match of your career, was that loss you had to Steffi in the final, was that the worst of your career?

A. Physically, yes. I mean, 6-0, 6-0 is pretty bad. Come on! But I was so nervous, you couldn't even describe it, and I put an extreme amount of pressure on myself, unnecessary, unjustified completely, and that's what happened. I beat myself to it, before she even did.

Q. Did you have that match on your mind today?

A. Today? No. I've played her 18 times, give me a break! I thought, okay, should I think about match number 5 or number 9? No, 11 was nice. That was a three-setter, it was close, yes.

Q. When everybody started teasing you afterwards, did you say anything back, or did you just kind of smile in the locker room afterwards?

A. I had a little cubical, I had to go down on my knees and crawl into it, because they were giving me so much funny looks and stuff. It was really quite embarrassing.

Q. Did Steffi say anything to you?

A. After the match?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes, she said "By the way, very nice match", you know, which was to me -- coming from her, right away from the match, it was very important, yes. Plus she looked into my eyes, which is never better. That's what I do, I do it all the time, I shake my opponent's hand and I look into their eyes and say "Well played" or "Bad luck", or something like that. That meant a lot to me.

Q. What did you tell Steffi when you shook hands?

A. "Well played".

Q. So many players these days go around with coaches and advisers and parents, and so forth. Do you like the feeling of travelling a circuit without a coach?

A. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't, and when I don't, I have a
hitting partner or, you know, a person that I work with most of the time travel with me. So it's -- you know, again, you go with the flow, either a little bit lonely, and you need a little bit of company, and sometimes I don't. But I think I'm a loner.
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Old Jul 25th, 2003, 02:25 PM   #24
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I would probably be the biggest loser on earth."

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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 02:32 AM   #25
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Thanks for the trip down memory lane Egg.

There will never be another like Natasha.

So sad she slipped out so quietly. She deserves a big ceremony at the year end championships.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 05:00 PM   #26
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i got the interviews from here, no longer updated (since May 2002)

http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Court/3137/

some of the links dont work
but the pics are there.

true there won't be another Natasha

she was unique
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Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 01:16 PM   #27
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*sigh*...

i want to get her singles and doubles matches on DVD...
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Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 03:46 PM   #28
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Natasha's #63 in the doubles ranking this week
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 08:51 AM   #29
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watched Wimbledon 98 doubles finals again...

such a heartbreaker - Natasha played really well - poaching well, smashing/lobbing beautifully...

leading 2-0/4-2/6-5 in the final set...

only for NZ to double fault on matchpoint
only the second time her serve was broken the whole match... *sound of heart-cracking*

let's not even talk about her match with Nathalie...
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 09:29 PM   #30
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thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice thegoose is just really nice
Hey everyone
I'm quite young but one of my earliest tennis memories was watchin wimbledon with my parents and brother who loved tennis. We always used to watch Natasha ans Gigi play but i neva knew their names until later as we always called them the the 'gigglies' because they seemd to hav so much fun on court and laugh a lot compared to their competitors like Jana/Arantxa.
I always thought they were great and wantesd them to win even tho i was little and didnt really understand much about the game then
Also i remember seein on tv once the 99 eastborne final she played against Tauziat possibly wen she lost the first set 6/0 but came back and won. She also had a mammoth semi too against either Coetzer or Kournikova.
Neway just wonderin if neone remebered.
Also has neone seen the Wimbledon video bout doubles teams because theirs a good section on Natasha and Gigi and they show the point with her lying on the ground! Amazing!
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