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May 14, 2003

Daniela Hantuchova


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Daniela, tough match, tough third set. You fought all the way and you won.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely.

Q. Is it a very pleasant victory for you?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. Always matches like this are worth another five matches, and especially when I win this match as it gives me a lot of confidence. Today was really tough because Magui was playing well. I'm just glad how I fought in the third set and I just hang in there and waited for my chances and then when they came, I used them.

Q. Where did you find that strength in the heat today? Because in the second set, it was gone away from you so fast.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I have to say at the end of the match I felt very good physically and that's what I was really happy about, that even though I spend there quite a while - I guess two and a half hour - I still felt really fit and fresh at the end. I think that made the difference, that I sort of felt that Magui was getting a bit tired, and that gave me a bit more confidence. And I was just trying to go for my shots, and it paid off in the end.

Q. The last five, six weeks you have been struggling. Is it important for you to win a match like this one?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, I wouldn't say I was struggling. I won two important matches for the Fed Cup, we won that. And then it was just bad luck in Warsaw. I did quarterfinals in Berlin and I had a really, really close match there with Mikaelian, which I won 7-6 in the third. Today was similar. As I said, these matches are worth another five matches. You know, I feel like I'm, you know, starting to play well on the clay and that's important for the French Open.

Q. Has anybody played as many dropshots against you?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I mean, she's very good at it. She's got really great hands. I was expecting it. A couple of times I just couldn't believe that she hit those from positions that I would never expected. I mean, all the credit to her the way she was hitting those.

Q. You looked crazy for a minute.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I mean... but that's what she does, and she's very good at it.

Q. How is your confidence at the moment?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Oh, great. I mean, especially after winning a match like this. I love clay, and I love being here in Europe. I'm really enjoying my time here in Rome and looking forward for the French Open. I think I'm doing fine so far this year, and I just have to keep going and hopefully get higher and higher.

Q. Do you have a favorite restaurant here that you might be visiting tonight?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Here in Rome there is just so many. Anywhere we go, I mean, was great. I just love being here so much because this is, for me, my most favorite city in the world. So I just really enjoy being this week here in Rome.

Q. What about your Roman fans? Did you see them?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, yeah, I saw them. I think it's great, you know, when I know they are supporting me. At the end, in the third set, the atmosphere was great. You know, I really enjoy playing in front of them.

Q. You said you like very much Italian food. Where do you put the food? You look a little thinner.

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, as you saw today, I mean, I spend there three hours almost on the court. I practiced for another hour-and-something in the morning, and yesterday we practice and train. So, I mean, I guess I'm burning it off. But, you know, I'm eating, eating well. It's just that in the last couple of months, weeks, I have played a lot, and a lot of matches like this. So, you know, it's good that I can eat whatever I want so...

Q. Do you have a favorite food from the Italian kitchen?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, in the last couple of nights we have been in really nice places and whatever we have eaten was great. I mean, I like, you know, the prosciutto and melon and all the different pastas. I mean, I really like Italian kitchens - and ice cream for sure (smiling).

Q. Can you speak a little Italian?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Poco, poco. I'm trying and learning. Still I have to improve. But hopefully next year by this time it will be better.

End of FastScripts….

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