1996 THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
Key Biscayne, FL
March 30, 1996
S. GRAF\C. Rubin
AN INTERVIEW WITH
DEBBIE EDWARDS: Can we start with questions for Chanda.
Q. Chanda, you had a point for 4-3 in the second set. Did you feel if you had won that point that you might have turned it around?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I felt like that definitely, that game, you know, could have been made a huge difference. I kind of had a little run there and I started playing a little bit better and was trying to get in and be a little more aggressive and that was working, you know, that game a couple of points where, you know, still doing the same things, miss a couple of balls, I think that could have turned the match a little bit, but, you know, it was still going to be a battle regardless, so...
Q. Chanda, did nerves play part in your performance in the first set?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, I think I was a little bit nervous starting out, but, you know, I think that wasn't really the major thing. I think, you know, her game is definitely kind of oppressive and it forces you to try to do a little too much and I think maybe -- I tried to do that a little bit in the first set, go for a little too much, I think towards the second set I started kind of finding my game a little bit, trying to get in a little bit. Towards the end, I missed a few volleys, that cost me, but I think I was still doing the right thing.
Q. Just how difficult is she to play, Chanda, because she makes the odd mistake then comes back with the most outstanding winners as if nothing has ever gone wrong?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I mean, she's a difficult player to play, I mean, she is the best player in the world. I mean, I think everybody is beatable, but you have to be ready to go out and play good tennis to do it and, you know, I came up quite a bit short today, you know, that was kind of the story of the match.
Q. Is going on court against her more daunting than even going on court against Seles for you?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, kind of at first, you know, playing Seles I was a bit nervous. I think, you know, that's natural, but, you know, I kind of found my rhythm a little bit better. I got to hit a few more balls I think with Monica, maybe got a few more opportunities, but, you know, she certainly hadn't been playing as much as Steffi had, you know, I think it's just the match up is a little bit different. Steffi has a slice and can run around, hit the forehand. I think sometimes I try to do just a little too much because I wanted to get away from the slice and hitting balls up off my angles, so, you know, it's hard to say.
Q. Does that mean you were trying to hit it to her forehand?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think that's a good place a lot of times. I think it worked for me to open up the court and, you know, when I was winning points I was able to do that and then maybe get in on the backhand, you know, and be aggressive on that side, but, you know, things certainly missing it up and getting her out in the forehand because she loves to run around it, you know, if you can get it out there, it kind of maybe throws her off a little bit because she has a good forehand. She has a great slice. It is tough to really do anything with it.
Q. What was the lesson learned out here today?
CHANDA RUBIN: I'm still thinking about it, but, you know, definitely got to be aggressive, definitely got to get in. I gotta keep doing it even though, you know, towards the end, you know, missed a few, but still, it is still the game plan that, you know, if anything will work, I think that will. So, it is just something I will have to keep working on and keep doing. Just keep staying positive because even though I am very disappointed with this match and, you know, I think I've had a great week, great tournament and, you know, a lot of positives, I can take that home with me and into the next week.
Q. What is your schedule between now and the French Open?
CHANDA RUBIN: I am playing Amelia Island then I'm playing in Rome and Berlin.
Q. Chanda, is there less fear now of players like Steffi?
CHANDA RUBIN: Certainly. I think, you know, I just have to keep working at it. I think, you know, I am really progressing and, you know, improving every day and every tournament and I just have to keep working on it. I think I saw a little bit today, kind of a little window where I had a little bit of an opportunity and, you know, just came up a little bit short, but it is something that I can really build on and keep working on, so...
Q. Chanda, what is it you think that sets her apart, is it the mental strength? You started to be able to handle almost anybody except her, what is it that sets her apart from everybody?
CHANDA RUBIN: I definitely think she is mentally tough. She has some big shots, she has weapons and she really makes you play. I mean, you have to -- you go out and you have to set up the point and you have to go out and take it to her. I think that's kind of the hardest part. If you kind of sit back and let her control the points, it is really tough. I think that's probably the biggest thing that, you know, toughest thing about her when you are playing against her.
Q. Being a good doubles player, it almost doubles the number of matches you have to play in a tournament like this. Do you think the number of matches you had to play entered, at all, into your condition going into the finals, being tired?
CHANDA RUBIN: I don't think so. I don't think I was tired at all and this was a pretty quick match, so, you know, I can't really use that as an excuse. I think doubles has helped my game quite a bit. It's helped my volleys and my aggressiveness, you know, I think it's good to play doubles. Sometimes it's tough when you want to do well in both events to have matches, you know, pretty much every day, you know, with singles and doubles, it's not so bad, you know, a two-week events or 10-day event where it is spread out.
Q. Had you ever struck three aces in a row? What was your feeling after you did that?
CHANDA RUBIN: It felt pretty good. I mean, I don't think I'd ever done that before. I think my serve was kind of a key today and kind of in the second a little bit, I started to get a rhythm on it and really go up and go after it. That's really the only way. Because I am so short, I can't just, you know, swing, swing down at the ball. I have to go up and after it, I really started doing that kind of in that space and, you know, kind of at the end, I guess the last game, you know, I got away from it just a little bit. I think overall, I thought I've been serving well all week, you know, definitely I think my serve is improving, so --
Q. Did you know that she lost her first six finals that she was in, can you take heart from that?
CHANDA RUBIN: I didn't know that, but, yes, I guess I can. I mean, it's something that I think -- I mean, after the match, I was just thinking, you know, that regardless of, you know, how things go or how disappointed I am, just rebound and go after it. That's part of the game, you know, as long as I stay positive. I am feeling pretty confident, so, you know, there has got to be more opportunities for me. I mean, that's what I worked for, it's getting in the semis and finals and, you know, having the opportunities in these matches. If I keep working towards that, eventually, you know, I am bound to get one, so...
Q. Have you come to grips emotionally with the fact that you are now a top 10 player, when you go into a championship match like this you belong there in your mind, you are not just Chanda Rubin, up and coming star?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I did he have a feeling of more confidence. I definitely feel like, you know, when I walk on to the court, when I walk onto center court, you know, I can go out and play and I can go out and entertain the crowd and like I belong there and, you know, like I am supposed to win or I can win. I mean, every match I go out to play, it's tough. I am going to have to fight some out, you know, there are a lot of good players that maybe their rankings don't do their games justice, but regardless of that fact, I feel every time I go out on to the court, that I can compete with the person I'm up against.
Q. Chanda, you had an easier time or at least you pressed Monica much more than you did Steffi, is that a reflection that Steffi's own game presents certain problems for you, or do you find that Steffi is a superior player?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think definitely her game, you know, like I mentioned earlier, like match-ups, I think her game maybe presents a few more problems for me. I mean, Monica is a little bit more straight up. She hits the ball, but, you know, it's not really the low slices and things like that. I think they're both great players in their own right, but, you know, I definitely had a few more problems with Steffi than I've had with Monica, but I've only played Monica once also. Only time will tell. I definitely feel like this match was quite a bit better than even the previous matches that I've had against her. So, that certainly is something positive, need more opportunities, so...
Q. If you can compare this match with the Seles match, is this more disappointing to lose if you really had a chance to win or just today you had no chance and just say, okay, it's okay, but --
CHANDA RUBIN: I think it's disappointing either way. I mean, I'd much rather have a chance, you know, and, you know, be in there and kind of, you know, in the crunch times, maybe something went wrong, just didn't get it, a little bad luck, whatever, but I'd much rather have the opportunities, but regardless it's disappointing, you know, no matter what the score is. You just have to try to rebound and come right back out.
Q. Chanda, there is some talk regarding Fed Cup, that if U.S. has to play Germany at Germany with Monica, that Billie Jean doesn't want to take the team into Germany. What are your thoughts about that?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I haven't heard. I really haven't heard too much about it. I haven't made any of the meetings and I haven't really talked to Billie because, you know, I've been kind of busy this week, but, you know, I think whatever is decided I think we will stick together as a team. That's what Fed Cup is all about and, you know, we'll see, see what happens.
Q. Would you object to playing in Germany?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, I don't object to playing in Germany at this point in time for any reason personally. Nothing has happened to me there, but I think it's a tough situation for Monica and, you know, it is a tough situation for everybody. I don't think anybody in the tennis world liked what happened and it is a scary thought, so, you know, it's definitely not something I've experienced, so I just have to say, you know, as a team, I think we'd all, you know beings stick together regardless.
DEBBIE EDWARDS: Okay. Thank you.
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