The interviews thread
THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS'94
Key Biscayne, FL
March 13, 1994
G. SABATINI/C. Rubin
AN INTERVIEW WITH
CHANDA RUBIN: Hello.
Q. Were you nervous?
CHANDA RUBIN: Still thinking about it, really. I think I was. I think I was more today, but I just didn't know. I wasn't even sure what I was doing; just disappointed but I am still thinking about it. I haven't really gone through the whole match.
Q. Was it the largeness of the stadium, the crowd?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, no, I don't think it was that. I played on center court a few times and I played before crowds. I just think it was me. Didn't have anything to do with the crowd, I don't think.
Q. How did you prepare for the match today; anything different than you normally do?
CHANDA RUBIN: No.
Q. Just didn't bring any tools today to work with?
CHANDA RUBIN: Just wasn't quite there.
Q. Would it have been to your advantage to try to get into some long rallies just to get into to feel the ball a bit better?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think we did. I think I lost most of them. I was definitely-- towards the second set I was thinking, trying to keep a few balls in play, just hit with her a little bit, but I just felt like even when I started doing that, just wasn't hitting my shots and just, you know, didn't really have anything, anything to hurt her with. I just felt like I was just out there trying to rally and keep a few balls in play, so.
Q. What did your coach say to you after the match?
CHANDA RUBIN: Basically, just came off, so --
Q. Did you learn anything out there today?
CHANDA RUBIN: I hope so. I mean, you are always learning, I think. I mean, I just -- I definitely think I just need to keep playing these matches and going out, going after the player and I don't think I did that today, just what you have to do against top players. I think I definitely need to keep playing a few more when I get into these rounds, so --
Q. Thank you.
End of FastScripts...
1995 FAMILY CIRCLE MAGAZINE CUP
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA
March 29, 1995
C. RUBIN / A. Smashnova
5-7, 6-3, 6-4
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. Chanda, what went through your mind when you were serving 5-4 for the first set and all of a sudden it's 7-5 you've lost and you're down Love-1 in the first set, what went through your mind?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I recognized that I started rushing quite a bit, especially at the end of the first set and, you know, I just wanted to start taking it one point at time, relax a little bit and start working the point a little bit more and try to get in a little bit more on her.
Q. It was a match of comebacks for you today; several times you had to come back.
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah.
Q. Did you count them?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, it's kind of hard not to notice. But yeah, I mean, it was -- I definitely was a little disappointed with that but I was also happy about the fact that I started getting in a little bit more in the match and I recognized the fact that I needed to get in on her because she was standing so far back the baseline and, you know, I was getting a lot of opportunities to move forward and hit out on my shots, but I needed to also close the points and end them, so I started doing that a lot better and I was pretty happy about that.
Q. In the last game of the match she's serving and you're up Love 30 and all of a sudden you missed two overheads. What went through your mind? The adrenaline start rushing?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, I think I let it drop a little bit. I think she hit a couple of really high lobs and I was really thinking about wanting to win the point and having the shot and, you know, I always like hitting overheads and I usually hit that shot pretty well. So I think I got ahead of myself a little bit, but I think the third time is a charm so I was pretty happy when I made the third one to get a match point.
Q. But that was a pretty tough match.
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, she's a tough clay court player and she gets a lot of balls back and it's always tough when you're hitting shots that normally would be a winner or would get you a really sharp ball and she's hitting good lobs and getting back on the point on them. So I think I really needed to come in and I think I did that pretty well. And you can always do that a lot more. And I think I started doing that a lot better in the end of the second and end of the first set.
Q. And you think that was the difference?
CHANDA RUBIN: Definitely, yes, that was the difference.
Q. You play Maleeva next.
CHANDA RUBIN: I'm sorry?
Q. How have you done against Maleeva?
CHANDA RUBIN: I didn't know who I played that's why I'm asking.
I played her twice -- three times. I beat her once and I've lost to her twice.
Q. So you beat her on the hard court?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, I've lost to her on hard court and beat her on hard court so...
Q. When you're at this level of play do you notice a whole lot of difference between the first seed, top speed and those on down the line? Is everybody playing competitive?
CHANDA RUBIN: I definitely think there's a lot of depth and everybody wants to win. And, I mean, sometimes, you know, the matches where the player is not ranked as high can be tougher than somebody that's ranked a little higher because you know what to expect. I definitely think there's a lot of depth in the game and every match is a tough match and you've got to try to start right off the bat playing well and competing well.
Q. So there shouldn't be any sure wins. In basketball you may have a laugher.
CHANDA RUBIN: I mean, there are very few sure wins.
Q. Do you sometimes avoid clay court tournaments; preference the hard courts?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean I've played on hard court more. I mean, I grew up on it. I only play a few clay court tournaments a year but I definitely have got to try to start playing more clay court tournaments in this year and I want to get a good start on clay and I'm going into Europe on the tour so I definitely want to try to concentrate more on the clay as well as the hard court and grass court. But it's tough when you don't play on it as much so I'll try to do a little bit more on it.
Q. At a tournament like this where people are just getting ready for the clay court season, is there more of a chance of a surprise here and there because people aren't accustomed to it yet?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, maybe. I mean I don't think of it too much that way, I try to concentrate more on how I'm playing and what I want to do. But, you know, I mean I guess maybe there is a little advantage if someone is coming off of hard court and straight into the clay courts and the other player has been playing on the clay for a while, I definitely think there is a little bit of an advantage. But I think everybody plays well, you know, on every surface and, you know, if a players is good they're going to be able to adapt, so you've got to make sure you're focused on what you want to do.
Q. Since Zina's closing out do you feel more pressure on you as a player because Zina is leaving and you're going to probably be, I guess, maybe the top black player?
CHANDA RUBIN: No. I mean I haven't thought about it that way at all. I mean, you're the first person to put it to me that way. I mean, I definitely hope --
Q. Now, you'll start thinking about it.
CHANDA RUBIN: I just think, you know, each player has their own identity and, you know, I definitely want to play well and I think this is definitely, you know, a time where I'm improving a lot and I definitely have a shot at it, but I haven't thought about it in those terms.
Q. Let's put it in different terms then. As an American, what is it going to take to get you or Lisa Raymond to put more pressure on the top?
CHANDA RUBIN: I definitely think America right now has, you know, some good players and some good players coming up, you know, Lindsay has certainly done well in the last year or so and, you know, Lisa and I I think are kind of on the heels of players like her and Mary Joe and other Americans. But I definitely think it's a good time for American women and, you know, I think, you know, if Lisa and I just keep working at it and keep playing hard and I think we have a shot at it.
Q. Do you miss not playing college tennis?
CHANDA RUBIN: No. I mean, I guess you can't miss what you never knew. I don't know. I'm just happy with the decision I made to turn pro and I'm enjoying playing on the tour and I'm happy to finish high school, which for me was kind of the main thing for me when I turned pro. And college tennis was never really a thought for me so. ..
Q. How did you develop your game -- who was the person helped develop your short vollies and, you know, good power game, who was the person that put more influence on that?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean when I first started, I mean, I had a coach for a pretty long time in Louisiana and I mean that's how I kind of developed the fundamentals of the game. And I mean, it's kind of my own thing, it's what I enjoy doing and it is the way I like to play so it wasn't so much someone told me I have to play this way. You know, I like hitting big shots and I like going fast and hard, so I mean, it's -- now it's just, you know, working on controlling it a little bit more, knowing went to hit out and when to pull back a little bit, and I think I'm getting the hang of that a lot better and I'm improving a lot in that area.
Q. Before Ruxandra Dragomir mentioned that some officials sometimes, maybe not on purpose, but they can kind of lean towards the top players when making the calls and things like that. Have you noticed that at all?
CHANDA RUBIN: I have never thought about that. I mean, you know, I think there's always tough breaks but I think it happens both ways and it just depends on the day it is and, you know, how you take it and how you respond to, you know, one call and, you know, I think, you know -- I don't think it's one official leaning towards one player more than the other, but sometimes I think maybe they can't see and it's both sides. So, you know, I mean, it happens and you just have to work through it and everybody makes mistakes
End of FastScripts….
UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION
1995 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York
August 30, 1995
C. RUBIN/H. Sukova
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. Do you consider that an upset or do you consider that as it should have been?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, personally, I think it is the way it should have been. But I guess technically, because she was seeded, it is an upset. But I mean, I think we are really close in ranking, maybe a couple of spots separating us, so I think it was anyone's match today. I happened to come out and play a solid match.
Q. What is a solid match for Chanda Rubin?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I think playing the right shots at the right time; trying to be aggressive and trying to close off points at the net whenever I have control of the point and trying to get a lot of first serves in. I think I could have done that a little bit better today. So it will definitely give me something to work on for my next match.
Q. She is obviously, in the past, known for having a great serve. You seemed to have been handling it pretty easily. Is that because of your return, or her serve lost a little bit of what it used to be?
CHANDA RUBIN: I don't know. It has been a little while since I played her. I didn't play her when -- I am not sure how long you are talking about.
Q. At her peak that was considered her strength.
CHANDA RUBIN: I am not exactly sure when her peak was, or if I played her then. I think I am returning a lot better and think I returned well today. Maybe she didn't get as many first serves in as she maybe needed to or should have, but I definitely think I returned pretty well today. That has been one of the strong points in my game.
Q. You sound sort of very matter-of-fact about this kind of victory and through this far in the tournament.
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, it is exciting. I felt really good when I won the match. It is great to be in the tournament. It is great to win matches and it is fun to be out there competing, but, you know, I mean, I really wanted to come out today and play a good match. I really felt like I could win the match, and that I was maybe the favorite going into it. Because, you know, the way I have been playing and, you know, I am just feeling good about my game and so going into the match I really felt like I could win the match. Maybe that is why I sound a little bit like that. But it is still exciting, regardless, to just come off the court with a victory at the U.S. Open.
Q. If you answered this, tell me, I will get it off the sheets. What did the victory over Jana do for you emotionally or have you already discussed that?
CHANDA RUBIN: No, I think it definitely gave me a lot of confidence. It was the first top-five win I have had, and definitely showed me what I can do and how well I can play, and that I can, you know, hopefully play even better and improve more. But it definitely gave me confidence and started, I guess, the good feelings that I have been getting and the confidence I have been feeling on the court. I definitely think that was a major part of it. And, you know, even the matches since then, I think each match in each tournament I have gotten better and I have taken a lot out of it.
Q. As far as the specific situation, like today, she could have broken you; it might have been a match, as far as being in that exact type of situation where the person losing has an opening. Do you ever look back at it, use it, or is it out of your mind --
CHANDA RUBIN: I think about it every now and then. I definitely think that anything is possible at any time during the match now, and I think that makes me a little bit tougher when I get ahead, and it is always something I think that I will need to work on is I need to consolidate my leads and breakpoints and when I am up 40-15 that I need to consolidate those games; it is always something I want to work on. That match showed me anything can happen; that I really need to stay tough in those situations.
Q. Are you a title contender in your mind here?
CHANDA RUBIN: I definitely so. But at this point, I mean, I will just take it one match at a time. It is not really the main thought in my mind. It is kind of in the back, that I think I can, you know, go all the way in the tournament. Any tournament I enter into, I try to think that way and I try to believe that I can, you know, be the winner on the last day, but it is one match at a time and everybody is out there playing well and there is a lot of depth in the game and I am going to have to play some good tennis.
Q. Do you get the feeling that the public or maybe even some of the other players associated you now with that match against Jana to some degree; do you hear a lot about it from your peers?
CHANDA RUBIN: I hear some comments about it. A lot of times if I see someone French or someone, you know, who maybe was at the French or something like that, they will make a reference to the match because, you know, I think it got a lot of coverage there. It was something that no one had really seen before, and so I think the people who saw it kind of feel like they were a part of it, and, you know, I feel good about it whenever they come up to me and make mention to it, say, hey, we watched you. We wish you all the best. I think that is great. I felt really great during that match and the tournament and the court. It is such a tight court. The feeling is unbelievable. It is nice to hear comments after the fact that the people kind of remember a little bit.
Q. Ever talk to Jana since then?
CHANDA RUBIN: No.
Q. Your lob today was working and your crosscourt shots.
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I think my passing shots were working pretty well. The cross courts, and I hit that one lob on matchpoint, so, you know, I definitely think that was a good shot and something I am trying to hit a little bit more when I can, just to mix up my game and have a lot of different options.
Q. Chanda, a lot of players say it takes them a while in their career to get used to playing the U.S. Open. You, as I remember had a really good run right off the bat. Do you draw on that at all? Did it make you always feel comfortable with this tournament?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I definitely think I am comfortable with it, and I had a great year a couple of years ago, two -- three years ago.
Q. Was that your first one?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think that was my second one. I had a great run. It is just nice to play here because it is in the states because I have a lot of support. A lot of people come from my hometown and watch; you get a great feeling here; maybe the main reason is because I am American, but I am really enjoying coming here. Courts are great, hard court; it's what I grew up on. I feel comfortable. For me all I think about doing is playing good tennis and competing and when that thought is the only thought in my mind, I play well.
Q. You have a following coming from Lafayette?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, there is a group of people. I know some of them pretty well and some of them I just know from sight, but they come up, you know, different years, every other year something like that. There is usually 10, or maybe 20 people from Lafayette and maybe some that I don't know from Louisiana, from the surrounding area. It is nice.
Q. You said you understood the decision that was made with Monica. But is there any inspiration at all when you are playing a seed and you aren't seeded when you would have been normally?
CHANDA RUBIN: I just think of it something that I knew before this tournament and, you know, just because I became the next one, no reason for me to, you know, get upset about it or anything like that. And, you know, it is just something that regardless of whether I am seeded or not, I still have to go out and play. I still have to win my first round and second round and beat whoever is in my draw, so regardless of the seeding, I have to go out and play. That is the way I think of it.
Q. Are you America's next great woman tennis player?
CHANDA RUBIN: I don't know. You tell me. I mean, I don't know if I can answer that. But, you know, I am just going to give it my best shot go out and do my best, try to play, you know, well, and that is all anyone can expect of me. That is all I can really expect of myself.
End of FastScripts….
1995 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York
September 1, 1995
C. RUBIN/G. Fernandez
7-6 (5), 6-1
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. Have you had time to think about playing Steffi?
CHANDA RUBIN: I haven't really thought too much about it. I was just thinking about this round.
Q. If you had to throw out some thoughts on Steffi, what would work?
CHANDA RUBIN: I am just going to go out -- try to play aggressively and do all the things I have been doing; trying to keep a lot of balls in play, but still looking to get in whenever I can.
Q. Other players have said this is a time to get her, that she is struggling with her serve and her mind is distracted. Do you buy into any of that; is there ever a good time to get Steffi?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I just think I have to go out in the match when we play on Sunday - whatever, I think I have to go out, start out tough and try to just play aggressively, play my game. I am not going to really think about what she is not doing well right now or whatever. But I am just going to go out there and do whatever I do well and try to go out and take it.
Q. You talked the other day about what this summer did for you. But I didn't ask you about having a new coach. Has that had any impact on your development?
CHANDA RUBIN: I definitely think it has helped and it has been a good relationship since the beginning of the year. I think I have learned a lot and I have improved quite a bit and definitely have made some improvements in my game so I think it has been good all-around and I am definitely enjoying the game and it has been a real good relationship.
Q. Do you know how many people followed you from Lafayette?
CHANDA RUBIN: Not yet. I mean, there has to be quite a few, just that -- probably looked like there was 20 or 30 out there, but I am not sure exactly. I am sure -- there is some that I don't even know who they are, so I think that is great.
Q. How big of a match is it in your mind to play somebody like Graf here at the Open compared to another tournament?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, it is a Grand Slam. These are the tournaments that you want to get up for and that you always want to play well at and, you know, peak for and so I think it is going to be a big match for me, but it is also just going to still be another tennis match regardless of the occasion. I am still going to have to go out and play like I have been playing the last few months and, you know, just go out and try to play some good competitive tennis, but it is still going to be a nice thing to do and to be a part of just because it is at the U.S. Open, it is one of the biggest Grand Slams of the year. The biggest, I think, and, you know, just it will be a big occasion.
Q. Were you surprised that Mary lost and do you have any thoughts on your draw clearing out a little?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, when I first saw the match start, I mean I hadn't thought about who had won before -- I think it was a good matchup because Amy likes to hit the ball and Mary does the same thing and so I knew it would be kind of a battle. Watching it on television, I wasn't surprised, but, you know, it is kind of nice to see somebody take advantage of a situation like that and just go out and play well, you know, who people maybe don't expect to win, so I think that is always nice. But that was definitely a good match.
Q. Will you go out there when you play Graf in your mind thinking that you can win or that you expect to win?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I definitely think I can win. I mean, it is-- I think it is going to be a battle. I am going to have to go out and play well, but, you know, I definitely think it is possible.
Q. Definitely think it is possible?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes.
End of FastScripts….
1995 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York
September 3, 1995
S. GRAF/C. Rubin
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. Chanda, is the problem that your power just sort of plays right into Steffi's hands a little bit?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I kind of feel right now like I just played it wrong, you know, tried to overpower her. But I think also I mean, I made a few too many errors, and she made way less errors trying to do basically the same thing. And so I feel like that is why I really came out short.
Q. Were you nervous at all coming out? You think that might have counted for some of the errors?
CHANDA RUBIN: No. I felt pretty good coming out. Served a pretty good first game and started off well, you know, both sets. When we were on serve at 2-1, you know, I kind of folded little bit and I think made me -- maybe missed a few many returns. For the most part, I didn't feel like I started out nervous.
Q. You said your approach was wrong. What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?
CHANDA RUBIN: It is kind of hard to say. Kind of thinking about it right now, but I mean, I just think I need to cut down on the errors for the most part. Maybe if I get in a little bit more, but it is pretty tough. Her shots are pretty penetrating and, you know, I was kind of on the defensive just about most of the match. So it is kind of tough to try to get in more, but, you know, I need to change that up, just a little bit.
Q. Chanda, what was your coach's advice before you got on the court? What was he recommending you do?
CHANDA RUBIN: You know, just try to be aggressive. I need a lot of first serves and pretty much try to be aggressive, you know, hitting it to her backhand trying to get in a little bit.
Q. How do you feel about your progress in this tournament?
CHANDA RUBIN: I feel like I had a pretty good week. I played some pretty good matches, but it is a little bit disappointing, you know. I mean, these are the matches that I really want to win, and I just have to go back home, get back to it.
Q. Chanda, what point did you say to yourself"I am playing this all wrong?" You came in and you kind of knew what you did wrong. Was it out on the court or in the walk from the court to here?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, no, I mean, I had to realize that -- realize it on the court losing the first set 6-2 and being down, you know. I kind of realized that I needed to do something a little bit differently, but it was tough, you know, with her shots being so deep and, you know, I just felt like I had to just work the points and try to move well and just try to look for any kind of opening I can get. But, you know, it was pretty hard just to change up and try to do something drastically different. I just felt maybe I had to move a little bit better in order to get some control of some of these points.
Q. The way she plays, the pace, it looks like it almost creates a full-court press, that she is always ready, and she is always coming. Does it seem that way when you are out there, that things are just happening really fast and hard to get in control of things?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, it is definitely a pretty fast pace, and I was trying to kind of match that pace and, you know, it was all moving pretty fast, and it was definitely, you know, under a little bit of pressure. But I mean, that is something that, you know, I knew walking out there, and I just have to try to work on improving my game.
Q. Do you think that is the thing to do against her is to play at her pace or do you try and slow her down or...
CHANDA RUBIN: I try to slow it down just a little bit, some of the points, working, getting in the backhand rallies until I could get a slot that I could hit out on. Even some of those, I was still being put on the defensive on quite a few of those points. I feel like you definitely have to slow her down a little bit, but it is something I need to work on.
Q. How big or small do you think the gap is between yourself and, say, the top four players right now? Do you think it is a gap you can close in the next year or two?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I definitely think that. I think it is possible. I have had some really good matches over the past summer and past few weeks, and I think I have made a lot of improvements, and this is just kind of one more step, you know, to improve a little bit more in certain things to kind of close the gap. And definitely, I think that is possible in the next year or whatever, but, you know, hopefully I just feel like I can improve regardless of the results, just keep getting better at it.
Q. Did you think coming in that she might be a little bit vulnerable this week?
CHANDA RUBIN: You mean this match?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I definitely thought that I had a shot at it and, you know, the opportunity was there, but I still knew that I had to come out and play some really good tennis and, you know, I had to play two good sets of it in order to win and I just came up a little bit short today.
Q. Could you sense the hype that was starting to surround about this match, a lot of people were talking about you versus Steffi, when the draw first came out and do you think that she played inspired tennis as a result of it?
CHANDA RUBIN: I don't know. I didn't really -- I wasn't really into all the hype around the match, you know, I heard a few comments from maybe a couple of people that I talked to, but for the most part, I wasn't really into all the hype. I just wanted to come out and play a good solid match and keep doing what I had been doing the whole week and a little disappointed that I didn't feel like I didn't play as well as I needed to do and as I felt that I could, but, you know, it is just something that I have to go back to the drawing board and, you know, hopefully keep getting shots at matches like this, these kind of opportunities and sometimes it will happen. But I just really wasn't into the hype and I didn't feel like, you know, I had to do anything or that, you know, it was a lot of pressure for me, but I mean, she came out and played well.
Q. How powerful is she despite the back problems, despite the emotional problems and is she your pick now to win this tournament?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I think she definitely hasn't lost any power. I don't know about how bad her back is or whatever, but I definitely think she is playing some good tennis and she is one of the favorites for it.
Q. First in terms of American stars recently Jennifer made her big splash a number of years ago and then Lindsay came on the season and had a good run. Within yourself, do you have any feeling that now is your turn to really make a strong move?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I don't think of it in terms of making a big splash, you know, about anything. I am just looking at it from my perspective and things that I want to improve upon and whenever I do something well and I accomplish something, it makes me feel good and it makes me feel like, you know, I keep getting better. And I really don't think about other peoples' expectations or what, you know, the whole thing might be, like a huge splash, or I am finally coming into my own or whatever. I just think that right now I am playing some really good tennis. I am improving and I want to keep that going and I am feeling good. I am feeling confident about my game and I just want to run with that.
Q. Does this kind of spoil what has been a very good tournament for you? I mean, will it be easy to get over this and say, I am playing good tennis?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, I still feel like I am playing good tennis and I don't think one match will just totally demolish that feeling. You know, I mean, it is disappointing. It is a Grand Slam. I felt like I was playing well and I don't think I played as well as I did today, you know, I still think that I also think that I was under quite a bit of pressure. I think she played well, and, you know, something I just have to get back to the basics and to everything that I have been doing that has been working for me and I definitely feel that I can keep the confidence level up and keep that going into the end of the year.
Q. What does Althea Gibson mean to you?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I think she was a great woman tennis player. The first black woman to win Wimbledon. I thought that was a great accomplishment. Just kind of paved the way and I think that will last forever. I mean, that was something unbelievable and I would love to be able to go out and do the same and just working towards being the best that I can be and take it from there.
Q. Does a match like this make you feel like you'd like to go right back out and play her now and fix whatever is fixed or does it make you want to regroup and --
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, I wish I had another shot at it, obviously. You know, it is over. But I just think I need to take a breather and just think about it a little bit and, you know, come out with, I guess, kind of a different game plan next time I play her; do something a little bit differently, but I definitely wish I had another shot at it.
End of FastScripts….
1995 WTA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK
November 14, 1995
M. FERNANDEZ/ C. Rubin
3-6, 6-2, 6-3
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. Congratulations on your award?
CHANDA RUBIN: Thank you.
Q. Well deserving. How do you feel about your improvement this far?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think I've improved a lot this year, and had some really great weeks, some great wins. And it's all been going up for me. And I can't say I'm too disappointed with the way the year has gone. So there's a lot to be thankful for.
Q. Chanda, do you look at this more of a match that got away from you or did Mary Joe do some things in the third set and take it?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think it definitely got away from me a little bit. I had chances. A few points here and there. I think especially on her service game, I had some break opportunities that I didn't take advantage of. But I think she played better the second and third set also. I have to give her a little bit of credit. But it's still disappointing that I didn't take advantage of a few of the opportunities when I had a chance. And she came out on top.
Q. Is playing Mary Joe a mental challenge, because you played with her on the Fed team, do you put that aside when you get on the court with her?
CHANDA RUBIN: It didn't enter my mind when I was playing with her. Basically that was it, once I was out there, I was there to compete and, you know, just go out and play tennis. And that's how I treated the match. I could have done a few things a little bit better. But I think she played pretty well, and she deserved it. So I just have to go back and work hard for the next match, next year, and maybe Fed Cup I'll get the chance to play, but if not, just work towards next year.
Q. You seemed to hit it off with the New York fans.
CHANDA RUBIN: Definitely. They were behind me all the way. Especially my first time here. It was a great experience to be here at the Garden in New York. I'm looking forward to coming back. So I have to work twice as hard. So I'll be back next year.
Q. Chanda, there hasn't been an African American No. 1 player for a while, is that something you think about, in your own goals?
CHANDA RUBIN: Not really. My goal was just to be the best player that I can be. And if that's No. 1, great. But I just want to go out every time I'm on the court and give 110 percent and try to compete well. And basically, that's all I think about. And as far as being the No. 1 black player, I mean it's great. I wish there were more black players out there. But there's been some great ones who have been before me and kind of paved the way. And hopefully, I can do that for other players. But I'm mainly concentrating on my game and on doing things the right way and trying to be the best I can be. So hopefully that will be enough.
Q. Chanda, how do you place this match against Mary Joe in your overall career?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean I don't see it as, you know, the match to end all. There's always another tournament. I think that's the great part about this sport. It's disappointing because it was a big match, because it's here at the championships. It would have been great to come out on top in that match. But it's still a match that I have to look at as an experience and learn from and try to come back and use that next time I play her or any other player. I'm sure I'll get plenty of opportunities. Hopefully I'll take this opportunity to my advantage and do well the next one.
Q. What are you going to play the rest of the year?
CHANDA RUBIN: Just Fed Cup. I'm going to Spain, and after it that I'll be home until Australia. I'll be playing in Sidney and then Melbourne.
Q. Do you think Steffi Graf made a fashion statement with the dress she wore on the court today?
CHANDA RUBIN: I thought it's a nice look. I like the dresses. I think it brings back a little tradition to the sport. And there's been a few other players who have been wearing them with Nike. But I thought it was a nice look. Maybe it could have been a little shorter. I thought it's a nice look. And I've never personally tried it, but I wouldn't be reluctant to. So I think it's definitely a fashion statement.
Q. Chanda, have you given any thought to what the WTA, for example, might be able to do to get more African American girls interested in the sport?
CHANDA RUBIN: I haven't really given it a whole lot of thought. I think it's really a question of exposure. And you really have to put it out there for kids to pick up and try and just have fun with. I mean you can't really -- I don't think you can say for sure if this is going to work or that's going to work. But I think a lot of the under city areas could use exposure to the game. And just having it there. Have clinics here, clinics there. I think we do some of those at tournaments. I remember specific tournaments we have kids come and just kind of introduce them to the sport. If they've been playing, play a little bit with them. And talk with them and things like that. So I think those really help a lot and hopefully we can do more of that.
Q. You're someone that gives back to the game constantly, is that something that came from your family or from tennis mentors?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I definitely think from my family early on. Because when I was a little bit younger I was reluctant to spend the extra time, my free time going to schools and talking. And it was a bit nerve racking to have to get up and talk. And they definitely encouraged me to do it. And now it's just something that I feel a responsibility to do and that I like doing, especially when the kids are really involved. And they get such a kick out of it. It's nice to see them interested in it. And if I can do that and try to influence a few kids positively, I think it's great. So it's definitely something that I try to incorporate when I get some free time.
Q. Chanda, your dad is a judge. And your mom is an educator. At some point do you intend to merge another career with your tennis profession?
CHANDA RUBIN: At some point, I think. I haven't given it much thought. I don't know if I would go into either one of those professions. But it would definitely be an option. And I don't know if I would just like -- decide to go back to school afterwards or what. Hopefully I'll have a long career and I'll be setup so I can do pretty much anything I want. That's basically the goal. It's definitely an option, I feel.
Q. What are you going to be doing with your unfortunate free time in New York for the next couple of days?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I haven't decided if I'm going to stay or go home. Maybe I'll stay a few days. I enjoy New York. Maybe go to a play or something. I've been wanting to go down to the Apollo, amateur night. I don't know if they're filming or what. I'm not sure. But there's definitely a lot to do here. And if I stay for a few days, I'm sure I'll be able to fill it up with just about anything.
Q. I hear Eddie Murphy is your favorite actor. Who is your favorite actress?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I like Hallie Berry, of course, and Angela Basset. She's a really great actress. There's a few others, besides Eddie Murphy that I like. I like Wesley Snipes and Val Kilmer, there's a few. But I just like movies. When I get free time, especially during tournaments it's easy to go and relax.
Q. Have you met any of these people at all?
CHANDA RUBIN: I haven't. I met Angela Basset. But that's it.
Q. About your defeat of Novotna in the French Open, is that something that sticks in your mind for the year? Is that something --
CHANDA RUBIN: I think it's definitely a win. That gave me a lot of confidence early on in the year, especially making a comeback during the course of the match. It was a great experience for me and I think a few players go through something that extreme and turn the match around. So I think it was really a learning experience and it definitely gave me a lot of confidence going into the later part of the year.
End of FastScripts....
STATE FARM EVERT CUP'96
Indian Wells, CA
March 13, 1996
L. DAVENPORT/C. Rubin
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. Would I be correct in saying this was not one of your better performances?
CHANDA RUBIN: That would be true. I mean, I made it tough on myself from the start and I wasn't able to win my serve early on and I was just on the defensive pretty much the whole time.
Q. Can you look at anything that might have caused it, rain delays, or waiting around or --
CHANDA RUBIN: No, I mean, I don't think so. I felt like when I walked out that I was ready to play and, you know, tried to go out pretty warm even though we have been waiting around for a while. You know, just from the start I was just on the defensive and she hits a heavy ball and she played a good match and I wasn't able to match that.
Q. When you started saving all those matchpoints, did you think, here we go again, Paris, Wimbledon, Australian Open?
CHANDA RUBIN: No. I mean, I was just a little bit frustrated because I was never able to get on top of anything. And I mean, at that point I was just kind of battling and, you know, just kind of reacting to everything and just trying to stay in the match. I mean, you know, at that point I was just a little bit frustrated, but I just thought I'd stay in the match and see if I can work it out. A little too late, though.
Q. She was saying that you are someone who can play very, very well or not so good. Are you conscious of that fact, that opponents are sort of trying to assess you out in the first few games and that you need to get greater consistency?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I mean, I felt like I have improved on that quite a bit. I feel like I can play a very good match and then here and there, I don't play so well and, you know, I just feel like nothing is going right. It is just something -- I mean, I don't feel I can play perfectly every day, but, you know, it is still disappointing to feel like I went out and I was in the match and had my chances and didn't capitalize, it is just frustrating to come off the court feeling that way and hopefully just cut that down and be able to play more consistently and, you know, every time I walk on the court and give myself a chance to win.
Q. Chanda, did you have a different feeling playing? I know you have played her a number of times, but this time were you feeling differently in terms of "this is a big match," an important match; a semifinal coming up?
CHANDA RUBIN: No, I mean, I didn't feel like it was any bigger than any other match; any bigger than playing her in a Grand Slam or any bigger than playing letter in an eight hundred thousand dollar tournament. I felt like it was another match; that I had a shot at going out and winning the match. That I knew I had to play aggressively, and, you know, get her on the run, and I didn't do that. I didn't attack enough, and I didn't put myself in a position to attack enough the whole match, but I didn't feel like it was any bigger an occasion.
Q. Do you think it is possible there was a let-down after last night being a fairly emotional match?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, I really don't think so. I mean, obviously, I didn't play well tonight and, you know, waited around quite a bit in the day, and you just didn't go out there like I wanted to, but I didn't feel like I it had anything to do with last night's match. Last night, I guess, it was a big match. Beforehand I wasn't thinking of it as big a match as I guess everyone else did, but, you know, I just tried to take this today as another match and go out and play, and regardless, and I mean, Lindsay is, you know, higher ranked than Jennifer right now; has been playing a lot more, you know, to me, I mean, you know, I saw that as, you know, this as being a match on par with that one, so I can't say that you know, it was a huge let-down because last night was so big.
Q. Notice any difference in Lindsay's game? Is she moving better or anything?
CHANDA RUBIN: It is hard to say. I didn't really do enough. I think she played a good match. I think she moved pretty well, but I mean, it is hard to say because I don't feel like I did enough. I did as much as I could, so.....
End of FastScripts........
1996 THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
Key Biscayne, FL
March 24, 1996
C. RUBIN/M. McGrath
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. Another good day?
CHANDA RUBIN: Pretty good. I mean, it was tough out there, you know, wind and everything. But, you know, it's nice to come off the court with a win, fairly convincingly, so.
Q. Do you prefer the stadium court or the smaller?
CHANDA RUBIN: I like stadium. I've had some really good results on stadium courts. You know, it's really nice when you can come out and play well and have the crowd behind you, a lot of the atmosphere, you can feel it. It's great to go out and compete, you know, play some good tennis.
Q. Do you know who you play next?
CHANDA RUBIN: Tauziat, I think.
Q. Have you played her before?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes. I lost to her the last time we played on grass, so --
Q. What about overall, do you know?
CHANDA RUBIN: That's it. That's the only time I've played her.
Q. Was that at Eastbourne?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes.
Q. You were injured then?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes. During the middle of the match, kind of towards the end. I don't feel like that affected me too much because of the adrenaline and everything. Few points here and there, close match.
Q. What was wrong?
CHANDA RUBIN: I pulled a stomach muscle during the match. Actually bothered me more afterwards, so I can't say that made any difference.
Q. What would you consider in this tournament a benchmark for you that would mean that you'd really raised your game?
CHANDA RUBIN: Winning it.
Q. Is that the level you're at now?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I think, you know, at this point I have to feel every tournament I go into I have a shot at winning, and I have to give myself every chance to go out and play every match, compete hard. If somebody is going to beat me, you know, make them go out and take the match. I feel like if I go out with that attitude, being aggressive, you know, I can play with just about anybody. It's definitely setting my sights, but I have to take one match at a time. I've had some tough matches with a lot of the players. I'm not really taking anybody for granted. I definitely think anything's possible.
Q. It's different than you felt at this time last year?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I think so. I think I have more confidence and I'm playing better. You know, my game has evolved a little bit more, I think it's all been very positive.
Q. Does that match with Seles at the Australian haunt you?
CHANDA RUBIN: It doesn't, only when I get asked questions about it do I think about it. Thank you. (laughter) I mean, it was a very disappointing match. Even when I think about it, talk about it, there were still a lot of positive things about the match that I learned. Hopefully, next time I'll be in that situation again, giving myself the chance to win the match, and hopefully next time I'll be able to pull it out. There's always something positive, even though it was a very disappointing loss.
Q. It should have added to your confidence?
CHANDA RUBIN: Definitely, definitely. It showed me I can go out and play with anybody. I went out and did exactly what I needed to do, it was a great feeling.
Q. Do you know yet if you're going to play in the Olympics?
CHANDA RUBIN: I don't know yet. They will decide I think the 29th of next month, so we'll see.
Q. Something you want to do, though?
CHANDA RUBIN: Definitely.
Q. Where do you go from here?
CHANDA RUBIN: Playing Amelia Island a couple weeks after this, then head over to Europe, playing a couple on the clay before the French.
Q. Will you play in Germany, Hamburg or Berlin?
CHANDA RUBIN: I don't know. I don't think so. I think actually I might be playing Berlin, but I'm not sure.
Q. Hamburg is nice, too?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes.
Q. Nice city.
CHANDA RUBIN: I've heard they were all nice, Rome, Hamburg, Berlin. It will be my first year playing any of those, so I'm going to be looking forward to it.
End of FastScripts....
1996 THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
Key Biscayne, FL
March 25, 1996
C. RUBIN/N. Tauziat
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. You have really sort of jumped into the top 10; you're really starting to make some progress. What do you attribute that to, the development of your game, how has it developed?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think I'm competing a lot better. I've made improvements in my game, being a little more aggressive; being a little bit more solid. I think all around, I've made improvements in my game, but definitely I've gotten a lot of confidence over the last year or so. Everything is kind of positive. I really feel like anything's possible if I'm playing well, I can go out and play with anybody.
Q. Do you feel you're getting the attention, the respect that a top 10 player deserves? I mean, I know it's going to be packed for Capriati this afternoon. Everybody has this thing for Jennifer, but you're a top 10 player. Do you feel you're getting the respect and attention?
CHANDA RUBIN: I don't know what kind of attention a top 10 player is supposed to get. I've never really thought too much about it. I think Jennifer has certainly made a lot more noise than I have over the years, and she's a great player; has accomplished a lot. I have yet to accomplish a lot of the things that she has. I can't really compare myself to her. I think the fans want to see certain players. It's great, it's great for tennis, great for women's tennis.
Q. Do you feel you're building a fan base?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I think certainly there are quite a few people following me, supporting me, and enjoying watching me play. I definitely think it's getting a little bit bigger. It's not really something that I try to be concerned about. I just want to go out and play; entertain the fans; go out and play good, solid tennis.
Q. I don't mean to make this a comparison of you and her. You're basically the same age. Do you feel you've been helped by the fact that maybe you weren't out there at 14, didn't have that kind of pressure on you at 14 or 15?
CHANDA RUBIN: I've always felt pleased with the way I've done things with my progress, slowly gotten better, made improvements over the years. I've been very happy with the way things have been going. Over the last year, year and a half, I think I've really made a jump. It's a solid improvement. You know, I can't say I regret anything I've done.
Q. You look like you're going to be playing in the Olympics the way you're ranked right now. Would that be exciting for you?
CHANDA RUBIN: Definitely, definitely. It's definitely a goal of mine, to be able to make the team and play - see how it goes. It would be, I think, a great achievement.
Q. You did real well, I think, at the Australian Open. You got real close. Was that sort of an indicator to you that, "Yeah, even in a big tournament, I'm real close to winning a big one"?
CHANDA RUBIN: It definitely showed me I could play with anybody. She's at the top of the game. Certainly I gave myself chances. I played the way I wanted to play; played some solid tennis and was aggressive pretty much straight through. I really was pleased with the way I went out and fought and competed. Definitely showed me I could play with just about anybody. The chance was there for me at the Australian. Hopefully I'll keep giving myself more shots at it.
Q. Are you satisfied with today's game, with your match today?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think I played a pretty good match. Started off really well.
Q. You seemed to lose concentration at the end of the first set, I think, a little bit.
CHANDA RUBIN: Maybe a little bit. I think she started attacking me a little bit more and I started rushing a little bit because she was coming in. That's definitely something I want to work on, still just hitting my shots, placing the ball where I want to place it and not really worrying about the other player. I think, overall, I played a pretty solid match. She started playing a bit better in the second set.
Q. When you were growing up, who did you look up to as a tennis player?
CHANDA RUBIN: I just liked to watch a lot of tennis. I didn't really have anybody who I tried to model my game after or who I just, you know, had to see, mentor, so to speak. I just liked watching a lot of different match-ups; of course, Chris and Martina, Zina Garrison someone I could relate to. I liked watching Ivan Lendl, a few of the men. I just liked watching good tennis.
Q. Are you considered the tournament's favorite now, instead of Graf? In your half there are only the easier players, the next will be Sabatini or Capriati.
CHANDA RUBIN: I haven't thought too much about the rest of the draw.
Q. But the draw is good for you, I think?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think I definitely have an opportunity. Everybody can play and I'm going to have to go out every match and compete and play some good tennis. I mean, I haven't really beat anyone like 0 and 0 or anything. I think it only gets tougher. Definitely I'm going to have to go out and play. I'm feeling pretty good about the way things are going.
Q. Would you like at some point in your career to say, for example, when Lipton comes out and says Graf is going to be here, Seles was going to be here, they announce she's committed, she's committed, she's committed. Do you look forward to the day when they say, "Chanda Rubin is committed to the tournament"?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think some of the tournaments I am even now. It just comes with it when you're playing well, you're doing well, people want to see you, people want to have you at their tournaments. I think it's a great feeling, but it doesn't really change my focus or the way I want to go out and play.
End of FastScripts....
1996 THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
Key Biscayne, FL
March 27, 1996
C. RUBIN/G. Sabatini
6-3, 5-7, 6-3
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. You like the epochs; don't you?
CHANDA RUBIN: No.
CHANDA RUBIN: No. I had my chances in the second set. You know, a couple balls that I hit that were just out. I tried to keep going for it. It was disappointing when I lost the second, but my main goal was just to come out back in the third and take the third. The second set was over with. I had to forget about it.
Q. Do you have any awareness of her and her leg, how much it affected her?
CHANDA RUBIN: No. I wasn't ever really sure. I thought after the trainer came, she was moving a little bit slower. After that, I didn't really think it had much of an affect. I don't know.
Q. But in the third set, did you know she didn't go for the net? Were you surprised?
CHANDA RUBIN: It had been a long match. I was a little bit tired. She was a little bit tired. You know, I don't know if it was her leg or what. I just felt like, hey, whatever I had to do to win was going to do it.
Q. The delay in the second set, when she went off and came back, you were down, you had not won a game in the second set. It seemed to rejuvenate you. The rest seemed to do well for you?
CHANDA RUBIN: It kind of made me think a little bit, what my objectives were, what my focus was, keep being aggressive. I think at certain times during the match, I maybe wasn't as aggressive as I needed to be. I didn't keep taking it to her. I felt like I got back to it, you know, when I needed to. I was happy with the outcome.
Q. Did you feel disrupted or unnerved by the men's match going so long?
CHANDA RUBIN: No, not really. You know, you get used to that. You just have to wait. I mean, that's part of the schedule. You never know when the match is going to end. The same thing with us, the women's match following us. That's just part of it. You have to be ready to play regardless. I felt like I was ready to play.
Q. What's the most satisfying part of that match for you?
CHANDA RUBIN: Winning. I felt like at the end when I needed to, I was aggressive. I kept putting pressure on her. I kept coming in. She takes the pace off a lot of shots. Sometimes that's a little bit difficult because I have to generate pace. I'm not sure when to move in or when not to. I felt like, you know, overall I did it pretty well throughout the match.
Q. What was going through your mind being you're an American playing against a player who is not American and having almost all the crowd against you?
CHANDA RUBIN: I didn't feel like the crowd was against me. I felt like when I hit good shots, they were appreciative. I felt like it was a great crowd. Of course, she lives here. I think a lot of people love her down here. That's understandable. She's really done well at this tournament over the years. I felt like when I came out and played well, the crowd was very appreciative. That's a good feeling.
Q. Do you feel like more people in the United States are learning who you are, more people down here learn who you are as the year goes on.
CHANDA RUBIN: Definitely so. I've gotten a little bit more press from some of my previous matches. I've been doing better, having some better results. That certainly puts your name out in the public eye. Definitely when I do well in tournaments in the States, people really recognize me, especially during the tournament, around that area. I think it's definitely --
Q. Along the lines of what he asked about the crowd, did you notice when you were serving for the match, I mean there was like a chant for her to the point where they had to ask them to stop and let you play? Were you aware of it?
CHANDA RUBIN: I heard a few people calling out her name and saying things, but other than that, I really didn't -- I wasn't really aware of it. It didn't really affect me at all. It was more thinking of what I wanted to do, maybe thinking a little bit too much towards the end, really wanting this point, after all I had been through in the second set. I was just focused on playing and being aggressive, playing the point out the way I wanted to play it.
Q. What were you saying on the court? I couldn't hear. You said something about wanting to focus on your serve instead of the score.
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes.
Q. Can you elaborate?
CHANDA RUBIN: That was a big key, especially at 40-15 in that last game. I double-faulted the first point, the second point I missed a forehand. I think I got a little bit tight on it. I didn't hit through the ball. The next couple points, I just wanted to come right back and keep hitting and moving forward and being aggressive, keep that focus instead of thinking about the score.
Q. The match had so many up and downs, breaks back and forth. Even after set point you thought you had it won, the call went her way. Of the matches you've played over the past year and a half or so, tight matches you played, you would have been prepared to win this match under the circumstances you had today?
CHANDA RUBIN: I don't think you're ever prepared for a match to go back and forth, back and forth, really emotional. Towards the end, you know, especially the end of the second and into the third set, a few times I got a little bit discouraged because I missed balls by a little bit, set the points up great, didn't execute the shots properly. I just wanted to keep coming right back and stay in focus and keep trying to win the match, keep trying to play as hard as I could regardless. The match ended up coming in my favor. I deserved it definitely. That was what kind of kept me going into the third set, you know, through all the up and downs.
Q. Are you playing at the same level you were at the Australian?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah. I can't -- it's hard to really compare. I think I actually played her in Australia. I think she played better here. I feel like I'm understanding the game even better than I did in Australia. I'm coming in a little bit better, at the right times. I think I've definitely had some improvements, even from the last month or so. I definitely feel I'm improving, not regressing.
Q. How did you and Marcel get together? Did you go to him? Did he go to you?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, at the end of '93, the guy I had been working with for the past three years wasn't able to travel anymore. I knew Marcel from working with another player on the Tour. He wasn't working with her anymore so it was kind of a good situation for me. I asked him, the coach I was working with at the time also, got with him, asked him if he would be interested in working with me. I thought it was a great idea. Went from there.
Q. How has he helped you?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think he's helped me a lot. I think I've improved fundamentally in my game, a little bit more consistent, understanding the game a little bit better, understanding -- being aggressive, when and why, you know, why I'm doing it. It's just been a really good relationship.
Q. Someone who wins matches like that, normally you're considered being psychologically very strong. At the same time you missed a lot of match points and opportunities. How do you rate yourself from a mental point of view?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think I definitely can get a little bit better mentally. You know, it's great to be able to stick those matches out and win them and battle. I think sometimes it's even tougher just to close out matches. You have top players. I know from experience, too, that I play better when I'm down, and a lot of players do that because they have nothing to lose. I have to keep remembering what got me there, keep that focus, keep going aggressive. I can certainly get better mentally. It's good -- I have improvements to make. I'm still doing well, so that says a lot, I guess.
Q. You mentioned playing against top players. That means to play a match point against a top player is different than to play a match point against someone else?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think a lot of times against top players, you have to go out and win the match, they're not going to give it to you. They're not going to say. She's beat me every other point, I'll give her this last one. They're going to battle to the end. You have to go out and take the match. I've experienced that over the past few tournaments, certainly over the last year, year and a half. I think I'm doing that a lot better, closing out matches in the way right way. Hopefully in the future I won't need that many match points, but it's nice to be able to finally close it out being aggressive.
Q. What would surprise you? Would winning a major tournament like this or a Grand Slam surprise you or would it depend who it was against? Like, would beating Graf surprise you?
CHANDA RUBIN: No. I mean, I really haven't thought that far in the tournament. I certainly think it's possible if I go out and play a good, solid match that I can play with anybody and keep that focus all the way through. I definitely think it's possible. I'm going to have to go out and battle. It's anybody's match.
Q. I know when you guys get in tournaments, all of you say you don't like to look too far ahead. More in general, if I were to tell you you're going to beat Steffi Graf in a Grand Slam final or Monica Seles in a Grand Slam final, would that concept seem surprising?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think definitely at this point I have to start thinking it's possible. I definitely think it is possible. If I go out and play good tennis, I can play with anybody. I've played some matches and I've had some really bad losses, had some really good wins. At any given day, I feel like I can beat anybody. I'm certainly thinking along those lines, regardless if it's Steffi or Monica or whoever. Still you have to go out and play and battle. Everybody is good and can play. Definitely it's in my mind as being a possibility. It would be a pleasant surprise. It's hard to play through a tournament and win it, but it's certainly within my capabilities, I think.
Q. Do you feel like one would be a breakthrough? Like if you were to win one, do you think it makes you that much better?
CHANDA RUBIN: I definitely think it's just another level that I'll move up. It's certainly a goal of mine to win a tournament on the Tour. I have yet to do that. It would be great to win a big one like this. If not, I'm going to come back next week and try to play just as hard. It's always a process, regardless of how I do here. I still have to come back the next week and build on that and keep improving.
Q. Have you always been this confident or is this something that in the last couple years has built up? Have you been always someone who felt pretty sure of what you could do?
CHANDA RUBIN: I've always felt pretty assured of where I wanted to go, how I wanted to get there. It takes a lot of hard work. Over the years I think I've improved and worked harder, certainly gotten more confidence from having the wins I've had over the past year, year and a half on the court. That confidence is certainly huge when you're walking out there against a player. It's been gradual. I've gotten a lot of experience on the Tour. Hopefully getting more confident.
Q. Chanda, was the match at the French last year against Jana Novotna, was that the realization you could play with top girls?
CHANDA RUBIN: The match at the French was certainly a breakthrough for me because it was my first top 10 win. In the past I had opportunities that let slip by. Even that match was kind of sliding away from me, sliding out of my grasp. It was great to win that match and come back from being down, a lot of positives about that that I think carried over to the rest of the year.
Q. Is it still hard for you to play against lower ranked players or do you prefer to have matches against top 10 players?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think it's sometimes tough the first few rounds after tournament for me. It's certainly great to get into the quarters and semis and have shots at the big matches, so to speak. The first matches of the tournament are kind of the stepping stones. If you don't get through those, you never get to the big matches. I think everything is important. Sometimes those first few can be even tougher. It just depends. You always have to be ready to go out and play.
Q. Chanda, you were one of the few players attending the players' party the other night. That means that you are still a little different from the other, let's say, champs or big names in women's tennis, you're still young, you still enjoy life. What kind of explanation do you give to us?
CHANDA RUBIN: I always enjoy going to those when I have the chance, when I have the time, when my schedule permits. It's not always possible. I think for a lot of other players it's not always possible, whether you're still in the tournament or you're not. I always have a great time just kind of hanging out just a little bit, take your mind off of the tennis for just a while and have a good time. I like to have a good time. It's still kind of has to fit into my schedule for the day, for the week. It was possible to go to the party at the Hard Rock, so I said sure, meet a couple friends there, had a great time.
Q. Chanda, since your last win against Gaby in Australia, how do you think she improved in her game for today?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think she hit out on the ball quite a bit better. Certainly I could have capitalized a little bit better on the opportunities that I had, but I think when she needed to, she was aggressive and stayed in the points, made me hit one more shot. That kind of made the difference I think in the second set. I had to come right back and try to be aggressive, but still be consistent. Sometimes that's hard when you're getting a lot of off-pace shots, slices and things like that. I thought she mixed me up pretty well.
Q. What are your experiences with Habsudova and Spirlea?
CHANDA RUBIN: I have played both of them over the past years. I think I've played them both one time years ago. I guess they're going to be new opponents for me because I haven't played them recently.
Q. Do you remember if you won those matches?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think I won those. I think it was a couple tough -- one of them I think was a tough match. I don't know. I know they hit the ball very well and solid from the ground. I'm going to have to hopefully be consistent from the ground and try to get opportunities to come in, so.
Q. Does Habsudova's victory or Sanchez Vicario make you more aware of her when you meet up with her?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think at this point she's still in the tournament, she's playing some good tennis, I'm going to have to go out and play regardless of who it is. I certainly think that she's done well over the past years and maybe I think she's had an injury that kept her out of the game for a little bit. I'm going to have to be able to go out and be ready to play regardless.
End of FastScripts...
1996 THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
Key Biscayne, FL
March 28, 1996
C. RUBIN/K. Habsudova
4-6, 6-4, 6-2
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Q. Chanda, a one-on-one interview with me. How did you feel about tonight's match?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I thought I made a few too many errors, especially at the beginning, you know, she hits the ball well, you know, a lot of times when she was on the run when I thought I had control of the point, she put me on the defense. I think I was trying to force play because of that a little too much. I think I played a little more solid in the second and third sets and, you know, I was just happy to come out with a win.
Q. Am I right in thinking your quality of play, like your shots and error number or total was lower in Australia, you were playing a higher level, but you are still getting through these matches so you have learned how to win as well, is that how you are looking at it?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I mean, I think, you know, I had -- I think, in a lot of matches my errors are pretty high, you know, I have quite a few winners, just because of the way that I play. Hopefully at the end of a match, I can look back and say I hit more winners than errors and, you know, that carried me through the match. I still think to win and be successful, I still have to be aggressive and keep going for it and keep working to cut down the errors.
Q. Did you come out of the match satisfied or did you want to get it over in two?
CHANDA RUBIN: I wish I had played a little better in the first and closeout the second a little bit easier, you know, I guess tomorrow is another day and Saturday is another day and hopefully, you know, I can pick up my level a little bit and cut down on the errors. I think also, I mean, this was kind of the first match where I played somebody who really hit the ball, you know, continuously, so I think, you know, towards the last couple of sets, you know, I started getting a little more used to the pace. I think I am probably going to need that for Saturday.
Q. You have Steffi for Saturday. What are your feelings on just going into it? Does it suddenly become a big match for you, obviously?
CHANDA RUBIN: You know, I think it is a big match, but, you know, it is also another match, I just want to go out and play well, play some solid tennis, you know, I definitely think I am the underdog in the match. I think anything is possible, if I play aggressive and play good, solid tennis, I can win the match, but I definitely think I am going to have to be aggressive, you know, and hopefully cut down on my errors a little bit, you know, from today, and, you know, keep trying to closeout points at the net because, I mean, she hits the ball well, so--
Q. In the past two or three months or so, seemed to be not intimidated by anybody you go up against, is Steffi included in that or is there still an aura of she's Steffi Graff or do you feel like you are just facing her like just another player at this point?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think she is a great player. She's been at the top of the game for a long time and, you know, certainly it's going to be tough to beat, but, you know, I definitely think I've been playing better over the past, you know, months and year and, you know, I definitely think if I play solid tennis. I can play with anybody, including her, you know, definitely it is not going to be easy. I am going to have to go in mentally sound and, you know, with a game plan. I am going to have to stick to it regardless of what the score is and what's going on in the match, but, you know, I am just trying to look at it as another match and just go out and play solid.
Q. Do you prefer not to play doubles tomorrow and have a day off or is it okay maybe to have to play two double matches tomorrow?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think it is okay, you know, get a good solid day, I'll hit a little bit in the morning and go out and try to, you know, win our doubles match tomorrow and see how that goes. It is -- I think it is great to play doubles, it helps my singles game and volleys quite a bit and, you know, it's something that I've enjoyed doing, you know, in the last, I guess in the last year I think I've played quite a bit more and, you know, it's nice to be in the singles and doubles and, you know, I think Friday will be hopefully a good day.
Q. Chanda, do you know how have you done against Graff in the past?
CHANDA RUBIN: I've lost to her every time. I don't remember how many times I played her.
Q. Was there ever a feeling, I don't know, what was the most recent time you played her?
CHANDA RUBIN: The U.S. Open.
Q. How close was that?
CHANDA RUBIN: It wasn't close, no.
Q. So you don't really take -- you really can't take much from those matches, you have to really go on basically how you've been playing?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I'm going to try to take a little bit from those matches, I think, you know, especially the last time I played her, you know, I mean I guess it was close at one all and then start to do a little too much because she moves well and hits the ball well. I am just going to try to go and play solid, come in a little more, I don't think I did that enough last time I played her, certainly learned that, even though it was a pretty quick match. I am going to try and do that a little bit better on Saturday and see how it goes. Hopefully, you know beings just feel it out as the match goes along.
Q. This is going to be your biggest final that you've ever been in, your feelings on that?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I think it's great, you know, it would be even nicer to win that, I'm kind of setting my cites on that. I felt really good going into the week, you know, I feel like I'm playing, you know, solid ball and, you know, it's great to see the results and you know have a shot at the title, so go for it.
DEBBIE EDWARDS: Anything else?
End of FastScripts....
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.
End of FastScripts..
THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS - 1998
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
March 19, 1998
C. RUBIN/L. Nemeckova
An interview with
Q. This tournament means something special to you because a few years back, '96, you reached the Finals against Steffi. I think that is when your career rank was 6th. Then, boom, you had your hand problems.
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, definitely. I started off with a good year in 1996, and '95 kind of started it off. So it was a really good feeling coming here and getting to the Finals after only playing for a few years. But the injury did happen pretty soon --
Q. Didn't happen here, though?
CHANDA RUBIN: I have no idea where exactly it happened. But just kind of one of those things that came at a bad time. But I don't think injury ever comes at a good time. So I had to kind of regroup and learn from it.
Q. Last year you also had a pretty good tournament, four rounds, I guess, and then a tough tiebreaker?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, it was disappointing last year. I was playing pretty good tennis. I felt like I was getting back into match play and fought through a couple of tough matches, and the round of 16, ended up losing that one.
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah. So it was a really close match. I had some matchpoints. Just disappointing to go through that. But it happens.
Q. Seems like this tournament almost is like your turning point every year. How about this year, bring us to the present, where are you at in your game? Last week you had some nice matches against Kournikova?
CHANDA RUBIN: I feel like I have been hitting the ball well the last month or so, last few weeks. And playing Indian Wells I felt like I really played some solid tennis. Mentally I think I can definitely improve. And that is where the biggest improvement is going to come from in the next few tournaments and going into Europe. And I feel good, though, about my game, and I am looking forward to just competing well this week and seeing where that takes me. It is one week at a time for me.
Q. When you were in the Top-10 before the injury, what is missing in your game today that you had then?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, right now I think just now getting back into just hitting the ball well and playing solid. I think the last -- I've had some ups and downs in the last year. Started off playing pretty good tennis and had some tough matches in there. Up until I guess Europe of last year. I was always losing to Top-10 players. I just hadn't had that breakthrough after the injury. So, I think now it is just getting back to basics and competing well. I think I am doing that and playing a lot better and feel pretty good right now about playing.
Q. You were in Martina's side. Has it changed since the --
CHANDA RUBIN: I am still there.
Q. You are going to play her next?
CHANDA RUBIN: I believe so.
Q. Talk about that and, I mean, pretty dangerous floater.
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, I mean, for me, I am just trying to look at it as another match; to go out and compete hard in. Of course, she is the No. 1 player in the world, so, I mean, for me it is -- I am just going to go out and play and try to let my shots flow, and just pay attention to the ball and nothing else. And I think if I do that and I come out aggressively we will have a good match and I will have some chances. But, win or lose, I want to take something good away from that match. So in order to do that I definitely want to be aggressive and try to take control of the points, not let her dictate, because then she is awfully tough when she is doing that.
Q. Some players, when they get that close to the top of their tennis and they have a fall through, whatever reason, they don't get back up as quickly as they want to. It could be an emotional thing. Has it been emotional for you?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, I think every player is different. If you have been through an injury, I am sure it was tough for you. It is tough for everybody. For me, I am just trying to get back into playing and competing and doing what I enjoy. This is still just a game, and regardless of where I end up, I want to look back and say I gave it everything I had. That is what I did before and during, that is what I want to continue to do.
Q. Why did you make a change from Marcel --
CHANDA RUBIN: It was just time to change. It was a mutual agreement, and we just parted ways. So, started working with Ashley, who I have worked with for years. And even through working with Marcel, still involved with him, so --
Q. A lot of players seem to be going back to original coaches. Is there, like, a comfort zone for them?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think a lot of times there is. Once you know someone for such a long time, you know, you have a good relationship, and sometimes it is good to take a break, and you realize, you go back to that person and, you know, do it again. So, I think it is definitely when the relationship is good it is a comfort zone, and also a person who knows your game.
Q. Is the biggest difference between you and, say, Martina now confidence?
CHANDA RUBIN: For me, right now, it has definitely been confidence. She is very confident and is winning events, and I am not even quite close to that point. But I feel like I am getting the confidence back. And all it takes is one match. And you just have to keep plugging away at it, and that is what I am going to keep doing.
Q. Who is your favorite tennis player growing up, male or female, and why?
CHANDA RUBIN: I always liked watching Ivan Lendl. He was pretty even-mannered on the court. He never really got emotional. He had kind of a dry sense of humor. I always liked when he got upset with the umpires, because he would always make some kind of sarcastic remark. You could tell he was upset. But he wouldn't throw his racket or anything. He was always pretty calm. It was the dry sense of humor. He was solid.
End of FastScripts....
1998 PILOT PEN INTERNATIONAL
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
August 25, 1998
C. RUBIN/E. Likhovtseva
3-6, 6-3, 6-1
An interview with:
Q. Could you contrast the first set with the following two?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think I started off a little bit tight on some shots. Felt pretty good early on, got the early break and didn't -- had an opportunity on my serve and didn't hold it. It was just kind of the story of the first set where I had a few opportunities that I didn't take advantage of. She got rolling and she hits the ball real deep and can keep you on the baseline. I felt I wasn't aggressive enough early on, so I started doing that better in the second and third.
Q. When did you exactly feel that it turned around or in your mind at least?
CHANDA RUBIN: At the end of the match. I mean, you never know. I felt good starting the second set and getting the break after winning my serve in the first game and then played kind of a crazy game at 2-0 and really tried to just stay tough and stay mentally tough in the match and keep fighting regardless of what happened. I feel like I really started moving the ball well towards the end of the second set and into the third, I really started feeling better about how I was hitting.
Q. You've got Jana Novotna next. What do you think about that?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, I mean, I know how she plays. I have played her a few times. I think she is obviously playing very well, coming off one of the biggest wins or the biggest win of her career at Wimbledon. She had a string of match wins. I just feel like I have to go out and play a solid match and stay in there and just keep fighting, try to be aggressive, because I know she is going to be trying to come in, go from there and we will see.
Q. You are 22. Certainly not old at all by any stretch of the imagination. What is your opinion of these teenagers, Kournikovas the Hingis's, the William sisters?
CHANDA RUBIN: I think there is certainly a number of young players who are very good and I think the biggest thing is not so much the tennis, but that they are young and personality - I think you really see a lot of that in the younger players now. I think it is good for the game and it adds a little bit more excitement for the fans, and they can come out and see some different names, some different faces and really get behind certain players that they like. So I think it is all good. Everybody right now is tough and you have to come out ready to play and they are playing some great, great tennis, but so are some of the older players as well, I guess you can call them. But I think it is -- women's tennis is definitely looking good right now.
Q. Where is your game right now?
CHANDA RUBIN: I mean, I think I am kind of feeling it out still. I feel good about how I am striking the ball; how I am moving. I think the biggest thing is getting the matches in and going into the Open that is what I am going to try to do, being match-tough and playing the big points better, so that is what I want to work on improving, as well as working on other things, like coming in a little bit more and try to be a little bit more aggressive. But overall, I feel pretty good about how I am hitting the ball.
Q. How does one play the big points better?
CHANDA RUBIN: It just comes from playing matches and being in the match situation and, of course, against top players, Top-10 players, especially, you have to play those points very well. You don't get a whole lot of opportunities every match. You have to capitalize when you do get it, so I think that has been a weak point for me over the last few weeks, but I have improved over the European swing and I feel like even the hard court swinging, I have improved as well, the tournaments are just a little bit tougher, but that is what everybody has to work with.
Q. It says in your media guide bio that you are a little superstitious, eating the same breakfast --
CHANDA RUBIN: That was about two years ago. I have moved on.
Q. Do you have other superstitions or have you overcome that?
CHANDA RUBIN: Not really. I try not to. I guess one superstition I have is I try not to be superstitious. Anytime I feel like I have done the same thing too many times where I am getting to think that is the way I need to do it, I change up just to mess it up, not to be superstitious. I don't know, it is crazy. Can't get away from it.
Q. Do you have a relationship with the Williams sisters?
CHANDA RUBIN: I know them just from tournaments and early on I met them before, you know, they started playing on the Tour and did a couple of events with them. So it is not a real close relationship, but definitely we see each other, you know, we are together. We talk and hang out just a little bit, but overall, they kind of have their own support group and their own support system and I have my own as well. But certainly, the more they play, the more we kind of learn about each other.
Q. You plan on playing doubles at the Open and with who?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I am playing with Irina Spirlea.
Q. How do you all match up? I mean, how do you get a doubles partner match?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, it is just -- it depends on who you want to play with and you approach a particular player that you feel might be a good match and you either try to start off playing a few tournaments to see how you click or you go for it and commit for any number of tournaments. So everybody does it a little bit differently, but I think there is a lot of established doubles players who consistently kind of swap here and there and each year you might see a little different team, but there are some really good teams that stick together and have played consistently over the years. It is just a matter of finding someone who you really feel good with.
Q. You were talking about sort of the personalities to help tennis like the Kournikovas and the Hingis's and stuff, somebody like Patty Schnyder basically unnoticed come out of nowhere, won five titles, in the Top-10. What do you know about her?
CHANDA RUBIN: Just kind of the same. I mean, knowing her in particular from playing her and also practicing with her, and she is a very nice person and whenever we are in each other vicinity we might talk or laugh a little bit about something in particular. Overall, I think she is definitely a personality on the Tour, I think a personality not many people know of, but she has her own style, and is a tenacious competitor and real feisty on the court, but also just kind of cool and calm and she strolls around like no care in the world. I think there is some players that necessarily don't get as much attention, but, you know, are really good players and personalities in their own right, so to speak.
Q. You mentioned you are superstitious of not having any superstitions. Did you do anything today to make sure that you didn't -- before the match --
CHANDA RUBIN: No, actually, I think it was a good day. No, there wasn't anything, I don't think.
End of FastScripts….
1999 EVERT CUP
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
March 10, 1999
C. RUBIN/M. Hingis
An interview with:
Q. Were you disappointed with your ability to not close her off faster?
CHANDA RUBIN: It's a good start (laughter). I mean, definitely I was getting a little -- kind of a little annoyed with myself towards the end there. But I just kept telling myself, "Keep going aggressive, get back to what you were doing, making her play, taking opportunities when they were there." I kind of battled through it. I definitely would have liked to close it out a little easier, but I feel good about the win regardless.
Q. What in her game did you hope to exploit going into this match?
CHANDA RUBIN: Well, she's a really great player. She's extremely good off the ground. I mean, she's solid, she's steady. She moves well. I wanted to take advantage of her second serves, take advantage on her serve, the opportunity to start the point off aggressively. I also wanted to get a lot of first serves in, in my service games. I did okay on my first serve percentage, that could be better. But overall, I feel like I did the things that I wanted to do going out there. Took a lot of aggressive hits at her serve.
Q. Do you feel like you have to get that jump on her because once you do, she starts to get frustrated? You can see it on her.
CHANDA RUBIN: I think there's a lot of players who aren't as comfortable playing from behind as they are when they're ahead. For me, sometimes I play better when I'm behind. It feels better when you win the first set, when you get that first set under your belt, you can kind of relax a little bit and go into the second and just play. I definitely wanted to go out and try to take the first set if it was there, and play from there. It worked out pretty well.
Q. Are you finally feeling like things are coming around for you; it's been a long time?
CHANDA RUBIN: I feel like everything has been coming together since the end of last year, and definitely the beginning of this year. I feel like I've had a really good start in Australia. This week I felt very good coming into the tournament and felt like I was hitting the ball well enough to play with anybody and to beat anybody. This is certainly great to actually reap the benefits of feeling that.
Q. In your career, if you could break it up preinjury, post-injury, you had some pretty good wins, but where would you place this one?
CHANDA RUBIN: I definitely would say this is the best win of my career. She's No. 1 in the world, and the best player, so to speak, out there, week-in and week-out. She's a tough player to play. It's definitely, I think, the best win to date.
Q. Would you regard this as a milestone result for the rest of the year?
CHANDA RUBIN: It's not so much a milestone. I mean, I feel like it gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of year. It's my goal this year to get into the later rounds of the tournaments, quarters, semis, finals, and win. I feel like I'm capable of that. This just really gives me, I guess, some more incentive. It's great to take these kinds of wins when they're there, and it was certainly there for me to take. Maybe the next week it won't be. Maybe she'll be better. Maybe other players will be playing a little better. It's just week-in and week-out, everybody's tough. I feel like this kind of proves to me that everything I've been doing has been paying off. I feel good going into next week, see where it takes me. I mean, I'm looking forward to the Grand Slams and knocking off players there. Those are going to be the real, I guess, telltale signs.
Q. How about the next round?
CHANDA RUBIN: I haven't quite thought too much about the next round. Every match I've played has been a top quality player. I'm just taking whoever comes and just playing. Jana or Steffi, I mean, either one. They're kind of different styles, but I think either one is going to be a tough match. But I'm looking forward to it. I feel good going into it.
Q. Hit some great shots.
CHANDA RUBIN: It's going to take a few more great shots. We'll see where I am.
Q. Your accuracy seemed to be the key today. Is that something you've been consciously focusing on?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes. Going into today's match especially because it's more important, a player of her caliber, for your placement, then power. To kind of have a good mix, sometimes you have to place the ball a little bit more to open up a particular shot. I feel like I did that pretty well most of the time, I guess.
Q. Did you practice together?
CHANDA RUBIN: We warmed up, yes.
Q. Is it something usual?
CHANDA RUBIN: No. We're starting a new trend, I think (laughter). We've practiced together a couple times during the week. This morning, we were going to share the court. We just decided, "Let's hit." It wasn't anything new that I was going to see from her, and vice versa. It was just a warm-up.
Q. Did you see something special in the way she was playing during practice?
CHANDA RUBIN: No. Like I said, we've practiced together a few times in the past. It wasn't anything new that I learned in the warm-up. I don't think she learned much new in the warm-up. It was just who was going to go out and compete better out there and put the shots together when it was all said and done.
Q. When you have a result like this, do you think back about the weeks and months that went by where you couldn't really play because of the injury and because of form, et cetera, and some of those matches you played at Grand Slam, like Sanchez at the Australian?
CHANDA RUBIN: Yes, I definitely thinking about some of those times, the times when it was a bit frustrating when I couldn't play, when I was going back and my game just wasn't quite there. I think about that before I go out onto the court in a match like this. This is the stage where I want to be playing, the people I want to be competing against, and the people I have to beat week-in and week-out. It makes you appreciate it when you are healthy and when you are able to play and compete and when you're playing well. I'm trying to take advantage of it every day. When I feel like I'm playing better on a given day, go out and win the match. It's simple.
Q. Is this the best patch you've been able to string together since the surgery?
CHANDA RUBIN: Definitely, definitely. I mean, I've beaten four quality players. The first round she wasn't seeded, but former Top 20 player, three seeds, today the No. 1 player. It's definitely the best string of matches that I've put together.
Q. And when you're asking yourself, "Why has it taken so long for me to," how have you maintained your patience?
CHANDA RUBIN: I haven't asked that. I appreciate it when it comes. I have that attitude that if it doesn't come right away, you just keep plugging away, you keep doing what you need to do, keep working hard, paying your dues, and eventually it does come. I've always felt that. Certainly it was tested the time that I was out injured, and the time since then when I've been trying to come back. But, you know, I still feel that way. You can't give up. I mean, if you're doing something that you enjoy, you believe in yourself, you just have to do what it takes, and eventually it does happen.
Q. So you're back?
CHANDA RUBIN: I'm back, I guess. That's so cliche, "I'm back."
Q. Did it feel good when the crowd started to get behind you there?
CHANDA RUBIN: It felt good. Definitely the whole match I felt like the crowd was behind me, supporting me. I felt like I've had a lot of support all week actually. It's always nice to get the support against a top player, a No. 1 player, who week-in and week-out the crowd is seeing and enjoying, but they're also out there pulling for me. It's a nice feeling.
Q. You've played her before. What was so different about her play today, or was it you elevating your game?
CHANDA RUBIN: I mean, I feel like I'm a much better player than the last time I played her, which I think was this time last year. I don't know if she would say she's playing her best tennis, but she certainly has been playing very well week-in and week-out. I just feel like I'm playing much better, I'm a much better playing, more solid, a little bit smarter out there. I think that paid off.
End of FastScripts....
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