UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION

1992 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York, NY

September 9, 1992

MANUELA MALEEVA-FRAGNIERE/Magdalena Maleeva

6-2, 5-3 (Ret.)

INTERVIEW WITH

MANUELA MALEEVA-FRAGNIERE AND MAGDALENA MALEEVA:

Q. Tell us what the nature of your injury is and when it developed?

MAGDALENA: It started maybe after my second match, after Martina. And after this match, I started feeling the pain. I played a very long match against Chanda Rubin, 4-1. If we hadn't played three sets, probably I would have been healthier today, but I got a little bit tired after that match, but it started maybe four days ago.

Q. What is it?

MAGDALENA: Just a sore muscle.

Q. Where?

MAGDALENA: Here.

Q. Thigh. How difficult was it to play each other, and especially in such an important match?

MAGDALENA: It is very difficult, but I am getting more and more experienced and I think next time I will beat her.

Q. Can you answer the same question, please?

MANUELA: It was also difficult for me. Especially that we have really not played against each other, any matches except once. And I kind of got used to playing my other sister Katerina, so at the end it got a bit easier. But Maggie was my -- is my baby sister, and it was -- it wasn't very much fun, but we had to look at the positive side and I think at least one of us was going to advance. And we decided that we would just try to do the best we can under those circumstances.

Q. Did you know about her injury and how she was going to be affected, and sort of take that into consideration?

MANUELA: Well, I knew that she had other injuries, and the morning before the match with Chanda Rubin, she could hardly walk. Her back was so sore and I was hoping that she would not make it worse and obviously this is what she did during the match.

Q. Did the two of you eat together today? I mean, before the match, did you stay away from each other?

MAGDALENA: I warmed up with her husband. Now that he is married, he needs a girlfriend.

Q. Please, continue.

MAGDALENA: No, that is all.

MANUELA: We had lunch together.

Q. Was it strange? Did you talk about playing or did you not talk about it at all, or how was it?

MANUELA: I think we talked very little yesterday and this was all. We just tried to avoid it.

Q. How does your mother express herself about your playing together in this important a match? What has she said? Whom does she root for, if anyone?

MANUELA: She didn't say anything--

MAGDALENA: To any of us.

MANUELA: -- To any of us. We didn't talk at all about that match and she didn't watch it. She was somewhere outside and she didn't want to come, because she couldn't root for either one.

Q. Maggie, the oldest sister almost always wins when the Maleevas play each other. You say you wouldn't feel strange if you were able to beat one of them?

MAGDALENA: No, I am telling you, next time.

Q. When you practice, do you ever practice together and are the practice matches that you might play taken very seriously?

MANUELA: We practice often together, but we rarely play practice matches. What we will do sometimes is just try to play some points, counting some points, tiebreaks or so, but we never play games, even -- we don't like it really, even during practices. So if we play games, it is with somebody else.

Q. If it had been anybody else but your older sister, would you have tried to continue or was the injury that bad?

MAGDALENA: No, the injury was very bad. I couldn't continue.

Q. Manuela, what about lost among the sister/sister for you -- forgetting the sister/sister, now that is over, what about being in the Grand Slam semi-final? Is that something --

MANUELA: No, not really. It is not the way I would imagine it would happen. First of all, I imagine my first Grand Slam, jumping on the court of joy and happiness, and it was really impossible to do that today. I think I will start thinking about it in a little while.

Q. Are you sad that you had to beat your--

MAGDALENA: No, she is not.

Q. I mean, are you sad? You said you wanted to jump for joy, but you can't.

MANUELA: I am both, you know, I am happy that I am in the semi-final, and I am sad that my sister lost.

Q. What are your thoughts about playing Arantxa in the semis?

MANUELA: I was supposed to play her in another Grand Slam in the Australia Open when I got injured. So I hope nothing will happen tomorrow and I will be able to go out on the court -- is it on Friday, the semi-finals?

Q. Yes.

MANUELA: Yes, I thought maybe tomorrow. So I am really looking forward to it very much. We have had some very good matches, close three set matches, and the last two or three times I think I won against her. So it is an opportunity that I would rarely have again, so I need to play well.

Q. Where did Katerina watch?

MANUELA: She went back to Bulgaria two days ago, after she lost.

Q. The family has accomplished a great deal, obviously, in tennis, all the different things you have accomplished and done, is this tournament, for the three of you, sort of going on with the height of what the accomplishments of the family are?

MANUELA: I think so, yes. Neither one of us has been in a semi-final

MAGDALENA: And I have never played a quarter-final.

MANUELA: She had never played a quarterfinal. She had never even been in the fourth round of a Grand Slam.

MAGDALENA: I have. I lost to Katerina then. You see, I always get one of these.

MANUELA: So, it was, overall, a good tournament for us. We played well. We won good matches, and-

Q. Maggie, is that true, did you feel like you were overlooked; forgotten little sister, as you were growing up?

MAGDALENA: Never, I was never forgotten. I am the most spoiled one. I think -- no, I wasn't never forgotten, always they paid attention to me, my mother, my father, my sisters, I was always the little baby, so I was never forgotten.

Q. Is your personality you think, similar to your sisters Katerina and Manuela

MAGDALENA: I think I have something from both of them and I have my own things, so, I have a little bit of both.

Q. Are you very assertive among your two sisters?

MAGDALENA: Am I very what?

Q. Assertive. Do you make your views known?

MAGDALENA: Yes. But -- yeah, I do. Usually people know what I think. I am not very quiet or anything.

Q. Manuela, when somebody says "I have a little Manuela and a little Katerina--"

MAGDALENA: A little Maggie.

Q. When Maggie says "I have a little Manuela and a little Katerina, something from both," what does that mean? What are the difference between you and Katerina?

MANUELA: Well, I am the more quiet one, and Katy is the one who always expresses her feelings, and sometimes I don't dare or I don't feel like, and I think Maggie is just in the middle.

Q. Maggie, did you want to beat your sister more than you wanted to beat Chanda Rubin? Did you want to meet her more than anybody or did you have mixed feelings?

MAGDALENA: I didn't think about this. I wanted to win today as any other match, honestly, but there was not much difference between my sister and Chanda Rubin. The difference was only that I played very bad today. This was the only difference.

Q. Manuela, can Maggie beat you?

MANUELA: I am sure she can, yes. I think she has improved a lot, and I think she needs to get just a little bit more experience and I think this tournament was really good for her because she won so many matches in a row, so many tough matches. She finally had a really big win, and, yeah, she said next time she will beat me.

Q. Who did you warm-up with if your husband was detained

MANUELA: I have a hitting partner, a hitting coach with me here this week.

Q. After she lost today, Steffi Graf was asked who she thought would win the tournament. She said Monica Seles, of course. I am wondering if you think that Steffi is correct that Monica will win the tournament?

MAGDALENA: Do you ask me or--

Q. I ask you since you are no -- since you are no longer in the tournament.

MAGDALENA: I think all four players that are in the semi-final are capable of winning the U.S. Open. I don't think -- Monica lost to Sanchez last time they played. Who is she playing?

MANUELA: Mary Joe.

MAGDALENA: Mary Joe, if she plays well, she can do well. I don't think -- I don't think the same as Graf.

Q. How about your sister, what do you think?

MAGDALENA: She can win the tournament.

Q. Anything else.

Q. Your sister says that she is happy and sad that she won today, but also that she had to beat you. How do you feel now? Are you happy and sad also?

MAGDALENA: This two weeks were too good for me, and deep down somewhere I am sad that I lost and that I am not playing the semi-final, but I would do everything possible not to feel sad and think only positive because these were the greatest two weeks so far of my tennis career, so I will try not to feel sad. I don't think there is anything sad now.

Q. Manuela, how do you say "baby sister" in Bulgarian?

MANUELA: : It is to complicated.

Q. You didn't talk to your mother before the match. I think all mother in the world, the mother is on the side of the youngest member of the family. Are you sure your mother didn't speak to Maggie before the match?

MANUELA: Maggie said she didn't --

MAGDALENA: It is a secret. I am not telling.

Q. Thank you.

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