Sometimes my mouth gives me a few problems during matches, but I'm mostly just yelling at myself, releasing tension. Chris, however, doesn't understand that sort of emotional imperfection, so I always end up apologizing to her in the locker room. Then she gives me a little lecture on my character deficiency.
I always want to yell at Chris: "Hey, not everybody can appear to be as controlled on the court as you." The reason I say appear is that underneath that visible graciousness, there is the fiercest of competitors. Just once, I'd like her to scream out a dirty word on the court or snap back at a reporter or call an umpire an s.o.b. Just once. I know it's in her, but in public she's always the lady.
Fans even have the impression that Chris doesn't question calls. But she does. Only Chris will never lower herself to say anything. Just very discreetly, she'll stare at the linesman—and sometimes the umpire—freezing her movement for a couple of seconds. Her eyes say it all. Those eyes can really do quite a job on officials. Ultimately, the thing about Chris is that she always handles herself with class, but she has nastiness in just the right way. Classy nastiness—a terrific combination.
Martina gave me her new autobiography yesterday, and I just finished it. She reveals almost everything in her life—her bisexuality, all that. That will make it a lot easier on me, when people ask me personal questions about Martina. Now I can just politely say, "It's all in her book. Read it."
Something else is interesting on this subject. Chris brought out her autobiography a couple of years ago, and the two books are a fairly accurate reflection of the two personalities on the court—the one charging and open, the other playing it safe and solid.
Chris and Martina played their 65th match today, another Grand Slam final. Seldom do the rest of us even get into a final, and that creates a snowball effect. The more Chris and Martina play big matches against each other, the more experience they gain and the more experience is denied the rest of us. It has been almost seven years since I played Chris in the finals of the U.S. Open, the only time I ever made it to the singles finals of a Grand Slam championship. I'm sure Chris and Martina still get nervous before a final, but the rest of us would probably be throwing up. I would so much like the chance to throw up before a Grand Slam final.
Well, who knows? I spoke to Don on the phone in Baltimore, and I told him that, for the first time, I honestly believe I can win Wimbledon. But I'm not going to tell anyone else. It'll be our secret.