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January 15, 2003

Daniela Hantuchova


MODERATOR: Questions for Daniela.

Q. Does it worry you that so many young tennis players these days seem to have problems with injuries? Is this something you're trying to counter one way or another?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I wouldn't say it worries me because I'm working pretty hard on my physical training, you know, always trying to be strong and ready for every single match, always trying to do the right stuff. It's maybe because, you know, they play too much. I don't know why it is. Of course, I have to be careful myself, too. But I think, you know, to prevent these things, you just have to be careful what you do, how many tournaments you play. Yeah, so far I have to say I'm doing fine. Hopefully it will not scare me in the next couple of months and years.

Q. Do you have any idea how long you expect to be playing tennis?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I'm just at my beginning of my career, so I'm not thinking about it yet. Hopefully it's going to be, you know, a successful one. I mean, it's really hard to say how many years I'm going to play. But, you know, as long as I will have fun on the court and enjoy my tennis, I don't see any reasons to quit.

Q. From Love-4 in the second set today, suddenly everything went right.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I started to play much better. At the beginning of the second set I just made too many errors. I just was thinking, you know, to stay calm, to get my game together, you know, to went for my shots. It paid off. I mean, I have to give her all the credit. She was playing today. I mean, she was hitting the ball really well. It was very tough against her. But I'm glad that I got through in two sets.

Q. Were you watching yesterday when Serena was in trouble? A top player like you when you're watching her, she might lose, how do you feel?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I watched a couple games of her match yesterday. It seems like, you know, quite a few of the top players are having problems in the first rounds. But I think it's good for the women's tennis. It just shows how, you know, difficult, how tough the players are at the moment, that it's on a very high level, the women's tennis, I think. I think it's great for the tennis that you can see such a good tennis from the first rounds.

Q. How do you feel about having two fairly tough matches your first two matches?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think, you know, it's a good experience for me. It shows me what I have to work hard on. It's good to be tested in the first few rounds because then it makes me sharper for the important matches.

Q. You've come a long way in a year. Do you feel like you're one of the contenders, one of the big players on the women's circuit now, or do you still feel like you're on a bit of an adventure?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, you know, there are still many things that I have to improve and work on, and especially get more experience, because all the players that are in front of me are much longer on the tour. But I feel like I'm on the right way. I just have to keep working hard and hopefully one day I will get to the top.

Q. People admire you more for your tennis skills. Is that flattering to you?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I just think it's something that people are always going to talk about. As long as they can talk about my tennis as much as they do about these things, I will be happy. I think I'm proving it with my results, that tennis remains for me my No. 1 priority.

Q. Some media may try to make as much of the hype of you as they do of Anna Kournikova. What do you think about that?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think I'm totally different person to her. As I said, for me tennis is the most important thing. That's what I'm focusing on at the moment. You know, I mean, I understand that people come to watch the tennis not only because of the game. They want to see us, too. I think it's great for women's tennis.

Q. The way Anna's game has gone off over the last two years, is it a warning to you to concentrate on the tennis rather than thinking about other things like endorsements?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think I would prefer to, you know, talk about my tennis and about my match.

Q. Did you expect your match to be that hard? Did you expect her to give you so much?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: You know, Adriana is a very experienced player. She played here very well last year, too, so I expected a tough match. Especially on Grand Slam, you never know what's going to happen the next day. You know, I'm just real glad that I got through in two sets, that was important.

Q. Compared to last year, do you feel this year you are one of the favorites?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, definitely I feel very confident at the moment, especially the way I'm hitting the ball in the practice, it's great. I just hope to, you know, bring it into the matches. I'm trying not to look too far in the tournament, and take it match by match. But hopefully I will get as far as possible.

End of FastScripts….

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