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January 19, 2015

Jarmila Gajdosova


J. GAJDOSOVA/A. Dulgheru
6-3, 6-4
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you ever think this day would come?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: If I didn't, I wouldn't be playing, would I? Yeah, I thought it would, I thought I been playing well, so one of these years it had to come. As I said on the court, I guess I was fortunate for the first time I actually had a draw that I didn't have a seed in the first round. As much as it was difficult match and every match is hard to win, doesn't matter if there is a seed or not, at least I had a big opportunity to get through. As I say, it was my ten-year anniversary, so there was going to be celebration or one for the sadness. I'm glad it's a celebration.

Q. Despite not being a seed, tennis is much better than it has been, don't you think?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: I think so. I think it's been the best I played for a few years for sure, especially here in Australia. Obviously I been playing well to get to 25 in the world, but in Australia I think it was the best tennis so far I been playing the last couple weeks. And even today I thought, you know, even if I was going to lose that match, I really thought I played well and I did all the right things. I was patient, I moved well, worked the ball, everything I could. So just glad it was good enough for me to win.

Q. What was the overriding emotion when you finally clinched the match?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: I was talking to my coach and I told him I actually did feel like I won Australian Open. It was just first round. It's been such a long time coming. Not to be able to do it in your home Grand Slam was very devastating for me. I was very happy and relieved that I got this monkey off my back. I do love playing in Australia and I played well the last couple weeks. Mixed here, made semis in doubles, won Hobart, made quarters in Brisbane. So I play well here and I can play well here. I definitely enjoy it. I'm just very happy that one tournament in my whole career I couldn't break I finally did. Whatever is going to happen from now on I'm just going to enjoy it and play the best I can.

Q. You seemed to keep your emotions very well in check.
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: A little bit. Mainly the first match point I got a little bit frozen, to be honest, and then send one came and I thought, I'm going to play better the second match point. Then I ended up losing that game. In a way it helped me because it kind of calmed me down like, okay, you already had the match points, what's the worse can happen? Maybe it's 5-All and you have to play one more set. There is nothing else. You already went through the emotions, that excitement, oh, my God, it's going to happen, it's going to happen. Then I played really well the last game I thought and ended up playing the points the way I wanted and hold my serve on love. It was very good to the end.

Q. You talked about having to play a lot of seeds here. Was that all it was, the quality of your position or was there something else holding you back?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: As I say, this year I played probably the best I have played here. In those ten years, I did play seeded players all the time, Serena, Kirilenko, Wickmayer, Kerber last year. There was few injuries coming with it. Like my ankle last year. When I played Serena I was coming off two months with shin splints. Always something was happening. Last year I not only sprained my ankle, I was coming back from mono after a year, so it was never the best preparation, I guess, prior to the tournament. But I think over the years as well I was trying to win so badly the first round that it made me really tight and nervous. I was trying to break it and I was working so hard that I think I worked up everything too high and I couldn't settle in the matches. I went for too much, made few errors that I shouldn't have. If you play the seeded players, they're not going to give you anything. I think I must've lost like five matches, or four, in the third here where in the end I just miss or they just held their nerves better. This year I was going into the match to play the way I was the last couple weeks. Tried to play the game that I played, and it worked and was good enough today. I'm happy with that.

Q. You've never faced Simona Halep.
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: No, never played her, as well as never played Dulgheru; never played Kvitova. Actually I played her in Fed Cup once. No, I never have. I don't think we even practiced together before. I have no idea. Watched her play on TV and other tournaments, but I'm sure my coach will have some insights on that.

Q. She says she doesn't know much about your game. Could be that an advantage?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: Could be. It will be very open match, I think. Obviously she's been playing well. She's 3 in the world. As I said, I been playing lately seems like all the top 10ers the last three weeks, so it's just another person on the other side of the net. I'm going to go to play the way I played today, the way I played last week, and I will fight and do my best. We'll see who comes on top.

Q. What's the feeling in Australian tennis in general? There are 18 Aussies in the singles draw. Obviously that's a high number. Is there more confident in the locker room? What are you owing to that?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: I think everybody is playing better, pushing each other to play better. We train together a lot. We train let's say in Brisbane, my, Ajla, James Duckworth, John Millman. There were a few of us playing and training together. We kind of get along well and push each other. Everybody is happy and working hard, and eventually has to pay off somewhere. I think we have 11 or 12 playing today, and we must have another 6, 7 tomorrow. Hopefully few of us are going to make it through the first round. I think there are a lot of young players who are playing really well and starting to build their confidence in their games and improving their rankings. I'm sure we going to have more people in top 100 soon.

Q. So you think this might free you up?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: Well, it may. You know, as I say, I felt really relieved and happy after the match point. I did feel like I won the Australian Open because I did try so hard for all these years to make it through. It meant so much to finally me to do it in front of my home crowd. They been cheering for so long and so well it was really important. It meant the world to me. As I said, whatever is going to happen now, I can just forget about that. There is no more ten year anniversary. I can just play and be better.

Q. You mentioned your injury concerns. Do you feel this is the fittest you've been in a long, long time?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: Yes, I do. I really feel like my health went back on track. I had enough time to work on my fitness and work on my game in the off-season. I think for the first time in few years everything was at peace, everything was ready, prepared, and I had enough time to work on everything. My off-season in Brisbane was fantastic. My trainers, my coach, everybody from TA, Tennis Australia, they helped me heaps. I really do feel that I'm finally healthy and my body is recovering the way it should. I don't have to worry about many things. I'm happy and everything seems to be working well.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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