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August 29, 2003

Daniela Hantuchova


MODERATOR: Questions for Daniela, please.

Q. (Question regarding Tamarine's celebration at the end of the match)?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, that happens sometimes when you are focused on your game, you don't really realize what the score is. That just showed that she was really there in the match and she was fighting hard and being really focused. You know, that sometimes happens. But, yeah, was a funny situation.

Q. Overall, what didn't go so well for you tonight?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I was just not good enough on the day. I mean, she played pretty well. She was moving well and she hit a lot of winners. I just didn't really, you know, get any rhythm out there. Didn't hit my ground strokes properly - nowhere near how I did it in the practice. It was nowhere near that. But, you know, that's tennis. Sometimes that happens. You know, I felt like I had a couple of chances in the second set which I haven't used. But she played well and she deserved to win.

Q. How disappointed are you? Results lately perhaps haven't been where you would like them to be.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, of course. I mean, I'm disappointing to lose so early at the US Open. But I just have to keep working hard and try to learn from the things I haven't done well today and to move on. And, I mean, that's tennis. Sometimes you are up; sometimes you are down.

Q. Did she say anything to you when you shook hands? Did she say anything to you about the premature celebration on the court?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Not really. I haven't spoken to her. I will ask her what she was thinking, what score it was. It was funny.

Q. Can you chalk it up to her inexperience, beating a No. 9 seed, getting overjoyed? Can you say to yourself, "She beat the No. 9 seed. Her inexperience on the court let her do that"?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I don't know what was going through her mind, so it's hard to tell.

Q. Do you think she can beat Mauresmo?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I think it will be pretty tough for her because Amelie's playing really well and she's got a lot of confidence. You know, she's a great player. Especially at the Grand Slams, she really knows what to do on the court. She really is a very tough player to beat, so she will have to play really well to beat Amelie.

Q. This was your second game with Tamarine. What are the differences you notice between the two games?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, in Sydney I played much, much better. I was more aggressive. I was more confident. That's the difference. At the beginning of the year, I felt like, you know, my game was right there. Now, you know, I didn't really play the way I wanted. She used her chances and kept fighting, and she deserved to win tonight.

Q. Do you think there was any differences in the way Tamarine was playing as well?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah. I mean, she played today pretty well. At the first set she wasn't almost missing at all. It was really tough to play against. But, yeah, definitely she played much better than in Sydney.

Q. Now that you are through the last Slam of the season, what do you think you need to do to get back to where you want to be?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, to keep working hard, to get my confident back. Just to, you know, do my best every day. And, you know, just keep fighting. Definitely, I will work as hard as I can to be ready for the next year.

Q. Has it been tough, though? When you keep getting results where you're losing to players who you feel you ought to beat, does it start to depress you after a while?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, definitely it's tough. Sometimes it can be really frustrating. But, you know, tennis is a very tough competition, and, you know, that's the way it is. I can't change anything about the matches I have lost in the past, and I just have to learn from them not to do it again in the future.

Q. But it's not much fun to have to go through, is it?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, not at all. But still, I mean, tennis is what I always love to do. As long as I can have fun on the court, that's the most important thing. I really enjoy what I'm doing.

Q. Has your confidence been low for a while? Has that been caused purely by results, or is there any reason your confidence has...?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I would say it has been caused by the results, because I have lost to players that I shouldn't. Most of the time it was because, you know, I was not playing well, and most of the time I beat myself. That's really frustrating sometimes. So, you know, when you start losing matches, your confidence gets low. So it's just a matter of getting it back.

Q. When players go through spots, one of the things people start talking about is changing a coach, getting a new voice in. Is that something you'd consider?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Not really, because it's really up to me what I do on the court. I'm the one that is responsible for my results. Of course it's important to have the right people around you, and I feel like I really do have the right ones. I'm so thankful for my family being the biggest support for me, also my coach. So I wouldn't change anything about it at all.

Q. You work a lot. Don't you think maybe you have to take holidays?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, maybe that's what I should do. But sometimes I do work maybe too much and that's maybe not very good sometimes. But that's the way I am. I just, you know, can't really relax and sit around and not do anything. I always love to do something.

Q. Are you looking forward to next year at the end of the season?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, first of all, there is an indoor season coming up soon. I'm really looking forward for that because I always enjoy playing indoors and I have had very good results in the past. So I will look to do well there, and then definitely next year will be a big motivation for me to, you know, to start to play my proper tennis.

Q. Would you consider taking one, two, three months off?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I haven't really thought about what I will do after the season and how much rest I will take. I will start to think about that a little bit later.

Q. But it's something you'd consider?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, definitely I will take some holidays and some kind of break after the season, for sure.

Q. What has Nigel been saying to you? How has he been working with you since Wimbledon to try and build your confidence coming into this Slam?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, we have worked really hard in trying to get as much ready as possible for this Slam because we knew it was the last one of the year. So I just try to do my best. And, you know, we are talking a lot about playing little bit smarter on the court. Also, mentally being stronger. I think I have done pretty good job in the summer, and I feel like I'm on the right way back and I just have to continue the way we have been working in the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, the results will come back soon.

Q. Do you feel physically as though you're moving in the right direction as well?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Oh, yeah, definitely. Physically, I'm feeling great. You know, working hard. And, yeah, I just have to keep doing the things I'm doing. We'll see what happens next.

Q. Tamarine said in the first round that she wanted to meet you again for a rematch from Sydney. Do you think you'll be expecting to see her again soon?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, it's tough to say. I mean, you never know. I'm not doing the draws of the tournament, so...

Q. Would you want to meet her again as a rematch?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Oh, yeah, sure. I would like that, definitely.

Q. You were saying after your last match, when things were not going particularly well at points during that match, your mind hopped back to what happened at Wimbledon. As this match progressed, what was your mindset through that? Were you able to put it behind you?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. I'm over that match. I have moved on. Today I just was not good enough on the day, and that's -- it's as simple as that. I mean, she deserved to win because she was the better player tonight.

End of FastScripts….

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