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August 27, 2003

Daniela Hantuchova


MODERATOR: Questions for Daniela, please.

Q. Got a little tighter at the end of the second set than you probably expected?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, exactly. Was very difficult for me at the end of the second set because she started to play very strange tennis, something that I haven't been used to for a couple of years. I think last time I play against somebody like that was maybe when I was 12. So it was very strange, but, I mean, still, I think I should have, you know, shouldn't have been in that situation at all; should have won much easier. But, you know, in the first set I think I played well and I was really pleased the way things were going. Then I just start -- stop to play my proper game and that's where I got into trouble little bit. But then I fought my way back, and I'm really glad that I got through in two sets.

Q. The match seemed to be in your control, but you seemed to be on the verge of tears every time you made a mistake. What was going through your mind at that point?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: You know, I just felt like I should have been already out of the court much earlier. And because I started to do more mistakes, I felt like, you know, I was giving her another chance. I just, you know, I just wanted to finish it as soon as I could. And maybe at times I got really tight and that's why I made it so difficult at the end.

Q. How long did it take you to remember how you used to beat players in the Juniors?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, it took me by surprise because I haven't seen many girls doing that, that's for sure. But, you know, I mean, it was, as I said, very, very strange. But I just try to, you know, to stay focused on my game and try to do my things the best way I could. And I'm really glad how I got on top of her at the beginning of the tiebreaker and then that I won in two sets.

Q. Besides from being taken aback from the way she was playing, you seemed to be frustrated. You threw your racquet at one point. Were you shocked or angry at the way she started to change the game?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I was not angry on her. I mean, I was a little bit angry with myself that, you know, I haven't finished the match in an easier way. And, in a way, it started to remind me little bit of my Wimbledon match where I was 6-love up and then I just screwed the things up. That's why I got little bit tight, because I suddenly had that feeling again. I just wanted to finish this match in two sets, no matter how difficult it was going to get. I'm really glad that I did it.

Q. How disconcerting has the non tennis court press attention been on you? You lost your temper about being portrayed as a babe in the media. The non-sports media attention on this - I won't mention the name of your very famous countryman who's also had a lot of attention in the past - but is it something you've gotten used to? Does it affect your game? Do you wish it would go away? Do you welcome it?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think it's something that I already got used to. And I think I'm trying to prove it with my results and with my tennis racquet that, you know, tennis remains for me the No. 1 priority. But at the same time I understand that when people come to watch our matches, they don't only want to see us as tennis players but they are also interested in many other ways in what we do off the court. I think that's what makes women's tennis so interesting, that you've got many different personalties not only on the court but off the court at the moment. I think it's great for today's tennis.

Q. You look physically stronger since, say, the French Open. Are you lifting? Are you doing anything like that?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, I've been working really hard for the last couple of months and trying to get to my proper shape. I'm really pleased the way things has been going in the last few days, and I'm really happy with the way I'm hitting the ball. So I just hope to continue on the same way.

Q. You were down against Harkleroad back at the French. Did that fire you up to work harder on your strength and endurance?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, I've been working hard before that already. So I wouldn't say that that match has changed something in my physical preparation or something. I think more than anything else, the match at Wimbledon really hurt me. Since that time I just try to work as hard as I possibly could and try to be prepared not only, you know, technically but also physically and mentally as good as I can be.

Q. Are you doing different kinds of training at all?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, I mean, I'm still doing the same kinds of things - working even harder I would say. And trying to have a good balance and also rest a little bit more. And, you know, most important thing is to have fun on the court, which I really do at the moment.

Q. Mentally, what are you doing off court to make sure that when you get on court you won't get nervous when you get leads?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I'm trying to work really hard mentally as well and trying to make sure that I'm ready for the things that might happen on the court before they already happen, so... And trying to learn from the mistakes I have made in the past.

Q. Next opponent is Tamarine Tanasugarn. How confident are you against her?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I played Tamarine once already in Sydney this year. It was a very tough first set, but I won in two sets. I'm really looking forward for this match. She's a great player. She has been on the tour for many years, so she definitely knows the game. She has beat Patty Schnyder, so she must be playing good. I'm expecting a tough match, and I will try to do my best.

Q. You had some success here last year before losing to Serena. With Serena and Venus not being here, does that mean anything to you? Do you think about that, or just go out to win?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, definitely the draw is wide open this year. I will try, for sure, to do my best to get as far as I can. But I'm trying not to look too far ahead of myself and just, you know, take it match by match and try to do my best on the day and see what happens this year.

Q. When you're way ahead and you're getting thoughts like today in your head, you're thinking of the Asagoe match at Wimbledon, do you tell yourself, "Okay, don't think about that, let's think about one of my great victories in the past where I was able to close out a match"?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Actually, I just try to think about the next point because that's what really matters, and just to be focused on the next ball and give my best. And, yes, if I start to think about, you know, the past, I just try to stay calm and think about what's happening now in the present.

Q. You said before this is wide open. We've heard this term "wide open" in the women's game. Does that mean if one of the Williams sisters shows up at a tournament, players are intimidated?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Not at all. I think women's tennis at the moment is such a high level. Any tournament can win almost anyone. You've got so many great players, so it's very tough. Even though the Williams sisters are not here, the draw is still strong. I think it will be very interesting this year. Personally, myself, I will do my best to get as far as I can, so we'll see.

Q. Is it really wide open when Kim and Justine have won the last four tournaments that they've played in and pretty much beaten all the other players without Venus and Serena around?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, at the moment, I think they really deserve to be the No. 1 seed and number second for what they have done in the last couple of months. You know, Kim deserves -- really deserves to be No. 1. Justine has won her first Grand Slam. So they are the two players to beat, and it will be very tough against them. But you've got Jennifer here that has won already a few Grand Slams, Lindsay Davenport, Amelie. So there are many other great players, too, so it's very hard to say.

Q. You said that you were trying to do a little bit more balance in your training. Were you training, like, how many hours before? Are you training less now? Are you doing it a little bit different?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I'm just trying to sometimes take it little bit easier maybe, because maybe before I used to train too much. And at the moment, I think I really got the balance right and I feel great.

Q. Do you think that affected your weight, then, the training too much?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I think there has been many questions already about it, so...

End of FastScripts….

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