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September 3, 2004

Daniela Hantuchova


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. You had two match points in the final set. What happened? Did you have more pressure?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: What happened? Well, I just lost the last point. That's all that happened. I mean, I went for it and I was trying to be aggressive all the way till the end. She hit some great shots at the end. But I thought like, you know, I was -- in the third set, I was always the one that had the momentum. In the tiebreaker, I think I was little unlucky. I should have finished it on the 5-3 game when I was 30-15 and I missed that easy smash. I think that was the main point of the match.

Q. I thought you showed some guts serving and volleying 5-3 in the tiebreak. What problems does she present?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, especially that point you mentioned, I don't think I did anything wrong. I served, I hit quite a good volley, then she shanked it on the forehand and hit it on the frame and made a lob out of that point. So, I mean, I was a little unlucky there. But I think that's part of my game that I'm trying to improve all the time. And I think here at the US Open I proved that, you know, I can do it, and I have to come in even more in the matches.

Q. Did you feel you tightened up at all on your last match point or you just missed the shot?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I missed the shot. I mean, I was going for a forehand down the line, and it was quite a long rally. I mean, she didn't give me anything. I had to fight for every single point, and it was very tense at the end. But, you know, I felt like I was little unlucky in the tiebreaker, but I still think she played a very good match, as usual, against me.

Q. Do you see Serena as being a bit vulnerable and are you disappointed you didn't have a chance to play against her in the next round?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, exactly, I was really looking forward for that match. I thought I had a pretty good chance. Yeah, would have been a very good experience for me to, you know, see where I am at the moment. It's really a shame that I can't play her.

Q. How do you feel about your game compared to a year ago? It seems like you've made quite a few strides.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Oh, yeah, it feels so much better, I can't tell what a difference it is. I'm more aware of what I'm doing on the court and I'm enjoying myself even though there are some tough moments on the court. I feel like if I keep going and if I keep working hard that the results will come.

Q. How do you see your game evolving over the next year? You really seem like you dictated play much of the last set.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: That's the type of game that I always try to play. I look forward to be aggressive and to come in and do all different things on the court. You know, there is still plenty of room to improve, and that's exciting.

Q. I think at the start of today there were eight Russian women in the draw. I'm wondering what your feelings on that are?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, they are tough. I mean, obviously I think -- I don't know how many in the Top 20. I mean, everyone knows about them now. Everyone was saying that, you know, they were coming out and they were going to do well, and now they are doing really well. I think it's because, you know, they're prepared to work hard and they take all the chances they have because, you know, coming from that country, it's not easy. And I think they just try to do their best, and that's why they're so good.

End of FastScripts….

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