Transcripts of the chat with Martina
Chat simulcast on AOL and CBS Sportsline
July 18, 2000
Martina: Hello, I'm waiting and ready for your questions.
Q. Hi there, I think u are the best tennis player out there... Are you gonna retire soon?
Martina: I have retired, five years ago, I am just playing doubles here and there.
Q. Who, in your mind, is the greatest tennis player ever (man) or woman?
Martina: Rod Laver
Q. Martina, how did it feel to be back playing at Wimbledon? You must have been so excited!
Martina: Excited I was. It was great to be back competing, and down on the court. I was having a blast. It was even more fun that I thought it would be.
Q. Would you consider tennis play or work?
Martina: Right now it's work, but when I'm on the court it's play.
Q. How do you compare yourself to Pete Sampras or John McEnroe???
Martina: Neither, a combination of both I guess. I don't know, why would you compare them to me.
We're both serve and volleyers, I think that is where the comparison ends. We all play the way it should be played in my opinion.
Q. Martina, are you going to play doubles at the U.S. Open?
Martina: I would like to, but I'm not sure if my body is going to hold up, playing on the hard courts. And also, I don't have a partner yet.
Q. Do you think that there is a rivalry on the tour today that could possibly match the one between yourself and Chris Evert?
Martina: No, because I don't see anybody playing each other 80 times.
But I think there are potential rivalries. Lindsay and Hingis, Seles and Graf, but unfortunately that was cut short and we now have the Williams sisters so there are a lot of potentially intriguing rivalries.
Q. Do you feel womens tennis is growing? How do you feel about the Williams sisters and their great competition?
Martina: Well it's extremely interesting for lots of reasons: where they came from, and the fact that they are sisters, African-American, and potentially they could bring the game of women's tennis to new dimensions.
Q. What helps your concentrate?
Martina: Staying in the moment, concentrate on what I need to do. And that goes for life not just tennis.
Staying in the solution, not in the problem.
Q. Have you ever considered an acting career?
Martina: I have not been asked. I think all athletes are actors.
Except, you never know what's going to happen.
Q. Do you think that the game has changed much over the years? And if so, for the better or worse?
Martina: In some ways better, in some ways worse.
We have much more pay, more big hitters, but less creativity, less variety.
Q. What is your most embarassing moment on the court?
Martina: Well, I think I have two, and they both happened at Wimbledon. In the finals against Chris in '78, I completely missed the overhead, missed the ball completely.
In the finals in 82, against Andrea Jaeger, my skirt fell off.
Q. Why did you stop playing singles?
Martina: Because it wasn't fun anymore, my heart said to stop, and I stopped.
I had done it for 22 years and I figured that was enough.
Thank you for having me on tonight, and thank you for your interest.
Don't forget to check out World TeamTennis' 2000 Season. You can find out more at www.wtt.com. Thank you.