Beatrice Capra Interview - US Open, Sept 2Posted on September 2, 2010
Beatrice Capra Interview
US Open - Thursday, September 2, 2010
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Congratulations, and tell us your life story, please. (Laughter.)
BEATRICE CAPRA: I'm excited, yeah.
Q. You must have been pretty proud of how tough you played out there with her coming back and putting you in some tight spots.
BEATRICE CAPRA: Yeah, I knew she was a really tough player. I had a good win first round, and that gave me a lot of confidence. So, you know, like me being able to like compete with her in the first couple games gave me the confidence that I knew I could do well in my match. That really helped me a lot.
Q. You were not feeling too great apparently after you lost the 18 Nationals. Tell us what's happened in the past couple of days or weeks?
BEATRICE CAPRA: It was crazy. I went home thinking like back to Maryland thinking I was going to take a week off, and, you know, just calm down and chill with my family. Three days into my week off the USTA called me and asked if I wanted to play the wildcard playoff.You know, I kind of went in there thinking, well, it will be another match before the Junior US Open, and, you know, it will just be no pressure. I've already lost my chance to get a wildcard, so this is just a bonus. You know, I went in there and I just played so freely. You know, each match that I won, it gave me more confidence. So after I won that I was pretty excited, but I never would have thought I would be in the third round here today.
Q. What are your thoughts on the possibility of playing Maria Sharapova?
BEATRICE CAPRA: I'm really excited. I think it will be an amazing experience. I know she's just such a tough competitor. You know, when I was younger I used to always look up to her, and so I think it will be a really, you know, good match for me to see where I am compared to that kind of level.
Q. What was it that you looked up to?
BEATRICE CAPRA: I thought she was just so mentally tough. You know, she just always went for her shots, and you can never tell any of her emotions. You know, that really inspired me. One of my great assets is I'm really I like to think that I'm mentally tough, and I'll always stay in the match until the end.
Q. What connection have you had with her personally?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Oh, I've never -- no connection. I've never talked to her or like whatever.
Q. Have you talked to Chris Evert yet?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Not today, but, yeah, I talked to her yesterday and the day before. She's really helped me a lot.
Q. She was glued to the TV, she said.
BEATRICE CAPRA: Sorry?
Q. She said she was glued to the TV.
BEATRICE CAPRA: Oh, really? Yeah, I haven't talked to her yet. I am sure I will call her later.
Q. I guess you met yesterday with Billie Jean and Martina for a meeting. Could you just tell us about that, and what, if anything, you took from that conversation.
BEATRICE CAPRA: Yeah, it was -- it was a Power Hour meeting, and it was with Billie Jean, Martina, and Andrea Jeager. You know, Billie Jean is -- all of them, they're just such inspirational people. Whenever you are just in their presence, like they get you so pumped up and so inspired. You know, I really think going in to my match today, you know, anything's possible. I really think it helped me a lot to go to that meeting.
Q. What's a Power Hour meeting? I'm not familiar with that phrase.
BEATRICE CAPRA: Um, it was one of the things the ProU set up for the players. I think it was just an opportunity to sit down and hear like these great mentors talk.
Q. I mean, do you ask them questions, or do they just try to pump the younger players up?
BEATRICE CAPRA: I mean, we could ask questions and they answered all of our questions. You know, but mostly, you know, they were just talking about, you know...
Q. Which question you would like to ask Maria Sharapova?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Which question?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Would I like to ask her?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Um, I'm not sure. I mean... I really don't know. I haven't thought about that.
Q. Who were other players at that meeting?
BEATRICE CAPRA: It was me, Nicole Gibbs who was in quallies, Shelby Rogers, who was another wildcard, and some of the European players, Petra Martic, and then Jennifer Elie, who is another American. It was just all kinds of players.
Q. Do you have anything inscribed on your sneakers?
BEATRICE CAPRA: (Laughter.) Not yet, but maybe I should. No, I don't.
Q. Which part of Italy come your parents or grandparents?
BEATRICE CAPRA: They're from Monza.
Q. Have you been there?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Yeah, I go there at least three times a year.
Q. Do you speak any Italian?
BEATRICE CAPRA: I understand it, but I don't speak any. I mean, I'm learning, so hopefully by the end of the year I'll be good.
Q. Your parents, father and mother both?
BEATRICE CAPRA: My father, uh huh.
Q. Which name is?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Giovanni Capra.
Q. How much did you follow Melanie Oudin's run here last year?
BEATRICE CAPRA: I watched every second of it, yeah.
Q. Take anything away from that? Would you like to seek some advice from her in playing Sharapova?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Melanie and I -- I really look up to Melanie. I watched all of her matches last year, and I was just so happy for her. You know, it was really inspiring to me because I played her a year before, and then she was getting to the quarters of a Grand Slam. It was just unbelievable, and I was so happy for her. You know, I think she's pushed all of the Americans to do better. I mean, for sure I talk to Melanie a lot, and I will for sure ask anything about Maria Sharapova.
Q. You mentioned before your parents. Can you tell us a little bit more on the background, because the Italians would be interested. When did you start? When they came here? What your father is doing? Why they left Italy?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Yeah, he's from Monza, and he came over to start his business in America, which it's called the Tenax Corporation. It's an Italian company, so he started it in America. While he was there in Maryland, my mom taught tennis lessons. He wanted to take tennis lessons, so they met up and here I am. (Laughter.)
Q. Can you go more into your story about leading up to this tournament? What were you doing, for instance, a year ago today?
BEATRICE CAPRA: A year ago today I was actually playing the juniors here. I've been playing mostly juniors tournaments the entire year and concentrating on that. I've played a couple of pro circuit events and done okay, but it's been mostly juniors. I played a couple of WTA events this year, and lost first round in the quallies in all of them. So, I mean, this is definitely the best I've done so far.
Q. What can you attribute to the sudden burst of like confidence, I guess? Why are you playing so well right now?
BEATRICE CAPRA: I think really it's the confidence that I had, you know, earning my way into this instead of them just giving me a wildcard. Every time I've just been given a wildcard I never do well. I like earning everything.You know, I just think playing against tougher players in the wildcard playoff helped me a lot.
Q. Where did your mom play college tennis, and at what age did she introduce you to the sport?
BEATRICE CAPRA: She played at South Florida. Yeah, thanks. When I was about eight years old she taught me.
Q. Is Frank Salazar still your coach, and could you explain just a bit about how much of your time these days you spend in Delray Beach and Ellicott City and how that works going back and forth?
BEATRICE CAPRA: No, Frank is not my coach right now. I'm training at the Evert Tennis Academy, so I'm kind of there all year round. Then when I want to go back and see my family, like, I mean, a couple weekends I'll go up and visit. But Frank and I are very close, and he'll always be a dear friend to me.
Q. Do you still have an Italian passport?
BEATRICE CAPRA: I don't know how to answer that. I do, yeah.
Q. Ellicott City, tell us about it. Big? Small? Dull?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Very small and dull, I think. (Laughter.) There's not much about that. I had to go down to Washington, which was about an hour drive for me every day. Yeah, it's a lot of farmland, and there's really not much around.
Q. You're at this crossroads with college. What will play into the decision of going to college, not going to college, especially having had a mom who played college tennis?
BEATRICE CAPRA: You know, I'm taking a year off, and, you know, I wanted to see how I was going to do this year. I'm always going to keep college an option. I don't think -- I mean, unless I win this tournament, which is a little extreme for now. (Smiling.) But, yeah, I'm definitely going to keep college open. I'm looking at Duke right now mostly, and just having that backup, you know. I really want to have an education, as well.
Q. How much did the crowd play a factor today?
BEATRICE CAPRA: They were awesome today. They really got me through. When I was down 4 2 in the first set, you know, I was thinking it was just going to go downhill. You know, they really helped me and supported me. So, yeah, they definitely helped me today.
Q. You're very good off both wings; played good defense. What do you think you're going to need to keep building on this and be able to compete at this level on a regular basis?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Yeah, my defense was really good today. But, um, I think for sure I am trying to be more aggressive and working my way up towards the net and closing out points at the net. I think that will help me a lot, developing a better serve and return. But I'm just going to, you know, go out there and do my best and see what happens.
Q. Are you playing the juniors, too?
BEATRICE CAPRA: My coach just asked me that. I'm not sure at the moment. I'm still going to sign up, and, you know, we'll see what happens. Yeah, I'm still signed up.
Q. Did you have any dreams or did you imagine any sort of success here before the tournament started, and how did it look in those dreams are what you envisioned?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Well, yeah. I mean, I always wanted to play in one of the Grand Slams. You know, I would be watching the Tennis Channel leading up. It's just like, you know, I always wanted that. Whenever I want something, you know, I do my best to get it. You know, every day I would be like, I want this, I want this, and I just can't, you know, believe that it's happening.
Q. I'm sure there has been a lot of firsts for you, being in the main draw this past week, the player party and the locker room, and, you know, hitting on the courts with all the top players. Is there one experience that's just kind of rocked your world or just has been memorable?
BEATRICE CAPRA: Winning today. I'd have to say that was probably one of the best moments of my life. This whole experience has been unreal, and I'm so happy, you know, I was able to, you know, go to the player party and be a part of this. I'm really excited.