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March 11, 2003

Daniela Hantuchova


MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Your match today, do you credit your opponent or do you feel like you were sort of off of your form today?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I have to give all the credit to Amanda, the way she was playing today. I mean, she was almost not missing a ball at all. You know, at the moment she's very confident, she won a tournament last week. You know, it's very tough against her because she's so fast and she gets to everything. I just haven't used my chances, especially in the first set. I had so many. Instead of being 4-5 down, I could have been maybe 6-2 up. That was a bit frustrating. I just had so many chances and haven't used them. That decided the match.

Q. You won here last year. Did that give you a lot of confidence coming into this year?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. I was so much be looking forward to this tournament. I knew exactly what to expect. As I said, I really enjoyed, you know, playing out there on the same court where I finished so great last year. It's just a shame that this time it didn't work out.

Q. Having had so much success here, does that make the loss doubly hard to take?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, obviously it's disappointing that I have lost today. But, you know, that's tennis. I just have to move on and, you know, try to learn from the mistakes I made today, but, you know, try to forget about the match as soon as possible and concentrate for the next tournament.

Q. How frustrating is it to play someone like Amanda that just keeps running balls down she shouldn't get to?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I mean, it's amazing how, even though she's a little girl, how fast she is. I mean, she gets to almost every single ball. It's not over till it bounce twice with her. You know, with my game, I'm always trying to go for it. Against her, it's tough when it's not working. Today I felt like, you know, at the important points I just didn't finish it properly. Maybe I gave away too much. But, I mean, as I said, she was playing very well and she deserved to win today.

Q. It seemed like you set the points up really well, then especially on your forehand it was like you were rushing it. Did you have that same feeling?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, exactly. On the finishing, I was not aggressive enough. I always started the point well. Then when I had chances to close it up, I just didn't finish it properly. A couple of times I missed it maybe by, you know, few inches. You know, that made the difference, that when I had the chance, I didn't just take it.

Q. You say aggressive. It seems like this point fails or makes it. Instead of maybe being not as aggressive, give it a chance to put it away the next time.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: With Amanda, you can't do that. You going to get the same thing the next time. You have to go for it because with her she just gets every ball back, so you have to risk more. I mean, the two times I played her before, everything was working for me. When I needed to, I finish it. Today it just wasn't my day, so...

Q. I know you're coming off a tough loss. I'd like to ask a question about the Williams sisters. They obviously have been dominating the game for a while. Do you think you have the game to soon be able to consistently beat them?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Definitely for the moment, they are really dominating the game. They deserve to be No. 1 and 2 in the world, the way they are playing. They've raised the level of tennis so much. You know, I think it's really up to me to keep working hard, you know. There are still so many things that I have to improve and work hard on. But I feel like I'm on the right way, it's just a matter of time, getting more experience, getting even stronger. Hopefully one day I going to start to challenge them.

Q. Of the other players, Kim, Jennifer, Justine, if you had to pick one who has the best chance to emerge?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, I think they all are great players, and they all have a good chance against the Williams. I mean, in tennis you never know. Every match is different. You never know when it's going to happen that one of them is going to beat the Williams. Kim proved it at The Masters, she beat both of them. It's really hard to pick one. I think Jennifer, Kim, Justine, Lindsay, they all are such a great players that I really can't pick one. I mean, all of them are really good, so I can't tell you which one.

Q. In the second set you came back from 4-2 to 4-4, you were serving. It seemed like you had a lot of momentum. She broke your serve. Was that a key part of the whole match?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Again, it was the same thing like in the first set. I had the point for 5-4. In the first set, I had almost like every game gamepoint and I just haven't used the chances. I felt like I had my chances when I hit the net. I almost thought it bounced twice. But she's so fast, she got there and put the ball back. I thought at that point the game was mine, but it was not over yet. I was glad, you know, that I came back in the second set, even though I was 3-Love down. At the 4-All game, I felt like I had my chances again, but I just haven't used them today.

Q. Last year here obviously was your big breakthrough, a dream. You were so happy. Today how do you deal with the flipside?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: The great thing, what happened here last year, nobody going to take that away from me. Still my first win in such a big event. That means still so much to me. I will remember that always. I mean, you know, first tournament win is always special. It still remains a great place for me, Indian Wells. Even from this year, I going to take many nice memories back with me. It's just today that it didn't work out. But I'm really happy that I can be here. I really enjoy, you know, this place. Already now I'm looking forward for next year to be back here.

End of FastScripts….

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