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June 24, 2002

Daniela Hantuchova


MODERATOR: Daniela Hantuchova. First question, please.

Q. Little bit of a wobble at the start of the second set. What happened there?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think I just lost a little bit of concentration after winning the first set. But overall, I think I'm really happy the way I played, especially the beginning. I started much better than I did in Eastbourne. I think I was in the control of the whole match except those few games in the second set. I felt quite good on the court, so I'm happy I got through this one so easy.

Q. How comfortable do you feel on grass?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, I love playing in grass. I really enjoy it. You know, I have always looked forward for playing on grass. I just love being here in Wimbledon. I'm enjoying every minute here. I just hope to do well here.

Q. Do you have a favorite surface?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, the thing is that I really don't care on which surface I play. I really like all the surfaces. So I think I can do whatever I want on the court. It doesn't matter which surface it is. But I love grass definitely.

Q. How did you come to get a British coach?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Around this time last year, I was looking for a coach. IMG recommended me Nigel. We tried for a couple of weeks. I was very happy the way things worked out, really enjoying to work with him. I think especially here in England, playing on grass, it's a really big advantage for me to have an English coach.

Q. What is the biggest improvement he's helped you with?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: He's helped me a lot in many different ways, especially mentally and tactically he made me much stronger, physically, too. He always tells me what to do in the important points. That makes the difference.

Q. How do you feel about the attention being paid to your appearance, the length of your legs, things like that? Are you comfortable with that?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I guess that's something that belongs to tennis, too. I'm just trying to be focused on my tennis because that's for me the most important thing. But, you know, I mean, people like to talk about these things, too. But I'm glad that they can talk a lot about my tennis, too.

Q. How do you feel about your comparisons with Anna Kournikova?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, as I said, the most important thing for me is what people write about my tennis. I think I'm doing pretty well. I mean, she's totally different person. But, I mean, you know, as I said, the people like the attention around the players. That's just something that belongs to today's tennis, too.

Q. Do you think it's easy to get distracted by all the non-tennis activities?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, definitely there are so many other things that I could do. But, I mean, as I said, for me, at the moment, tennis is the most important thing. I'm just focusing on that, trying to do my best.

Q. What are your first memories of Wimbledon? You watched it on television, I presume.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I remember watching Wimbledon a lot of the times on TV. Wimbledon has been always something very special to me. First time I came here, I remember this special feeling that I'm getting every year I arrive here. It just means so much to me that I can't explain it.

Q. Any games that inspired you in your youth?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely, watching all the biggest players winning Wimbledon inspired me a lot. I'm just really glad to be here.

Q. Do you think other players have suffered because of the attention on other issues? Can it be detrimental to a career?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, I think I was very good prepared for this, you know, getting so much attention. You know, I think I know how to handle it. You know, most important thing is to not lose my mind and just, you know, to work hard every day and just to be focused on the tennis.

Q. You say you were very well-prepared. What do you mean? Have you experienced it before?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well-prepared. I think in the practice I'm hitting the ball really well, and that makes me confident. The thing is just to bring it to the matches, too. You know, I think it's something that is coming with experience, especially the matches I have played against the top players gave me a lot of experience. Now I think mentally I'm much stronger than I used to be.

Q. Have you had a lot of offers for endorsements, magazine covers?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, there's a lot of stuff around me. But, you know, tennis is for me right now the most important thing, as I said.

Q. Does that mean that you'll turn that down, you'll put that to one side?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, those things are decided by my managers and agents and the people around me. I think it's very good that they care about this stuff, and I can be just focused on my game.

Q. What's the most unusual thing you've been asked to do?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Today I think was all right.

Q. No strange requests? You haven't been offered a movie role or anything like that?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, there was a lot of stuff in the last few weeks, and I've got a lot of requests. But, I mean, not something, you know, that I would say was something incredible. I mean, just I think normal stuff.

Q. Have you had a lot of attention from the boys, have you noticed?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think so. I think that's just something that it's coming with the success, too. Obviously, you know, the people come to tennis and they just don't want to see a good game, but also a good show, and they want to have a good entertainment. Maybe that's what they see when they come to watch me, I don't know. It feels like I'm getting a lot of attention.

Q. Are you flattered by that attention?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, I mean, I'm getting used to it. As I said, that's something that belongs to my tennis. As I get better and better, I think it's going to be even bigger. So that means that I'm doing well.

Q. The more attention you get, the better it is for endorsements?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Definitely, definitely, yeah.

Q. You were introduced to tennis by your grandma. Can you tell me how much of an inspiration she was for you?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: She was one of the best players in Slovakia. She was my first coach. She just has helped me so much because she was the one that teach me all my, you know, technical stuff. So it was very important for me. You know, she just has helped me so much and I'm real thankful for what she's done for me.

Q. Are you wearing anything that's endorsed at the moment? Is your watch endorsed?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: The watch is not.

Q. Your necklace?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No. That's my favorite thing. That's something that I can still pick up, so...

End of FastScripts….

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