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September 8, 2005

Mahesh Bhupathi

Daniela Hantuchova


THE MODERATOR: Questions for our mixed doubles champions.

Q. How do you feel, Daniela?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Oh, I feel fantastic. It's something really special. It means a lot to me. Now I guess I can concentrate on my singles career, especially having a partner like Mahesh, it makes it even more special.

Q. For both of you, how was the experience playing for the first time together?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Oh, it was fantastic. I really enjoyed every minute of it. I mean, I've learned so much in the last week, I mean, just the way to play a real, real doubles. It was a great experience for me, and we had a lot of fun.

Q. Daniela, is this your first Grand Slam title?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: Just won a career Grand. Fourth. She won the career Grand Slam.

Q. Mahesh, how many for you?


Q. And your...


Q. What do you remember about the first one?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, they all are very special to me, probably the same. Definitely, you know, to have one of each, it's great.

Q. You've really had a very good year, you had a very tough draw here, but you played very well, actually. The work you've done with Nigel over the last year, is there any way for you to describe how important it's been in advancing your game back to where people expected it would be three years ago?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I had a great summer. Just finishing the way we did today, it makes it even more special. It was a great time here in the States this year, and definitely I feel like I'm playing well again. I gained a lot of confidence in the last couple of weeks, and I just have to, you know, keep going and keep the momentum now. Definitely I feel like I'm getting back where I want to be.

Q. What do you expect out of yourself in 2006?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: As I said this year, I didn't try to put any pressure on me by setting high goals or anything, I just want to make sure that every single time I'm out there on the court I do my best, I give 100%, and see where it's going to end up next year.

Q. Mahesh, how is your back? Was it hurting today?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: Yeah, it's been fine last couple days.

Q. Daniela, you said you learned a lot in doubles.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, just covering the court the right way, going for the right shots at the right time. I mean, every single time I was there with Mahesh, I just tried to learn something of his game, because he's, you know, one of the best doubles players that's been around ever. So it was a great experience and a big honor for me, obviously, to play with him.

Q. Mahesh, how long did it take for you playing together for the first time, how long did it take for you to realize you are a good partnership? At what stage in the championship or in practice or whatever, and how long did it take for you to think that you could win the championship?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: Well, honestly, I played against her a couple times in mixed. I think I've lost every time. So I've been trying to play with her for a long time, but unfortunately it never worked out. You know, first match we were down matchpoint in the super tiebreaker. The fact that we fought hard and came out of that, we knew we were a good team. Winning matches like that is what makes it special. You know, ever since then I think we raised our level. We had a very tough draw. We played Jonas and Raymond in the first round. Since then we got better with every match. We kept our level, and if they played better, they would beat us, but I don't think anyone was up to the task.

Q. Is it your understanding, Mahesh, that the doubles problem is pretty much solved right now, or at least on the right track?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: I don't think so. I mean, you know what we did last week, I think we're waiting for a response. After we get the response, I think we'll try and take it forward from there.

Q. Have you had some indications, though, that the new Chairman of the Board is willing to work with you?

MAHESH BHUPATHI: I don't think, you know, I'm allowed to comment on that because someone got in trouble for something that came out in a Florida newspaper yesterday.

End of FastScriptsâ?¦.

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