January 19, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You seem to be able to lift your game when you needed to today. Is that something that you're really good at?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, I think that's what it's all about, to raise your game when you need to. I was really glad how I played the important points, especially the serve, hold really good today. You know, that's what you need to, you know, to do when you want to be at the top, to always, you know, to raise your game when you need to.
Q. You've got Venus Williams next. You'll probably have to play like that for the whole match against her.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, I'm really looking forward for this match. I mean the last year it was very close. This time, you know, I'm in the same situation but it's already in the quarterfinals which is great. I think, you know, I have learned a lot since last year, and I've got more experience. So hopefully this time I will be able to go one step more than I did last year.
Q. How have you changed as a person and as a player in the last 12 months, since the tournament here?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, especially I got more experience from the big matches. I have learned a lot, and I think I have improved technically and physically more. But, you know, there are still more things I have to learn. But I feel like I'm on the right way, you know, feeling like this time I'm ready for Venus.
Q. Venus suggested that one of her goals this season is to come to the net more. Are you aware of that? Does that alter how you might play her?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: It's something that I'm trying to do, too, you know, to put more pressure on the opponents with coming in more. I understand that she wants to do the same because she's got big ground strokes. You know, I'll be definitely ready for that.
Q. What do you think of her as a player?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: She's one of the greatest players that has ever been around. You know, her and her sister are at the top of the game now, which they deserve. You know, it's gonna be very tough match, but I'm looking forward a lot. I just gonna try to do my best and see what happens.
Q. The fact that you've played a lot of close sets in the tournament, do you think that's a good thing?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely I think that has helped me a lot to be sharp, and especially the first two rounds were very close. Maybe that has helped me to be ready for today's match, which was also very tough, because, you know, Patty is a very tough competitor. I'm glad I got through this one in two sets.
Q. A year ago you had chances in the third. How do you look back on that match?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I was really, really close of beating her last year. Maybe I need more experience at that time. That's something what I feel I've got now. That's why I feel ready and very optimistic about this match.
Q. Did you use it as a platform for the great year you subsequently had?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Oh, yes. Definitely I think this is where it all started. Even though I didn't beat her, that match gave me a lot of confidence and made me realize that, you know, I'm right there with the top players. That was one of the most important moments of the -- of last year.
Q. Can you say a few words about Patty's game today?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Patty is a very experienced player, and she's a very tough competitor. With her, you know, you have to play really good to beat her, because she always makes you play a lot of balls. You know, she's got a great talent, so I'm really glad that I beat her today.
Q. What was the difference? Was it the breakpoints?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I wouldn't say it was the breakpoints. I mean, I think basically tactically I played very well today, which I was very happy with. You know, in the important points when I needed to, I raised my game a little. That made the difference.
Q. Do you think she might come closer to the Top 10 again?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, that's what she has achieved already once. Definitely with her game, I mean, I don't see any reason why she couldn't do it again, because she's got a great talent and she thinks on the court and she's very fast. So, I mean, if she keeps doing well, I don't see any reason why not.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.