January 23, 2006
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. You must be happy with the way you competed out there.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, definitely. The first set she was just playing a little bit too good for me out there. And as the match went on, I kind of found what I needed to be doing a bit better. I think she started getting a little bit tired. Obviously the crowd was behind me all the way. I just started grinding it out and just fighting for every point and came within two points of getting the set. So, I mean, it's disappointing but I'm also really happy with the way I fought out there and in the end played the match.
Q. Did you get a sense if you got through that second set you would have had a pretty good show in the third because of your fitness?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Definitely. If I could have got that, then I think third set could have gone either way. Obviously I'm going to back myself to get through it and hopefully win. I think I was on the right track to doing that. So, but didn't quite get there.
Q. Everyone talks about power game. What did you learn tonight about positional play and how clever she is with the ball?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I mean, she's just an unbelievable player. She hasn't got a huge serve, she hasn't got big groundies, but she's got everything mentally and just anticipates really well. She just knows what's going on out there. She can hit lob winners on the line and reflex volleys back when she needs to. That's what she did to me tonight. I mean, she's just an awesome player. Now playing her, I know why she's won all these Grand Slams and why she's probably going to go down as one of the greats ever.
Q. You said you reminded yourself in the second set what you needed to do. What did you remind yourself to keep doing?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I just think in the first set she was just playing too good. I think I was trying to end the points a little too quickly and thought if we got into long rallies I wasn't going to be in any sort of chance to win them. Then as the second set happened, I started to win some of those long rallies, hit a couple winners, she started making a few errors. I needed to be patient to some degree but also stay aggressive, try and work my way forward, go for my shots. I couldn't grind out there all day with her because, I mean, she's just too good at that. So I think I still had to be aggressive, but I also didn't have to rush myself maybe quite so much.
Q. Apart from the fact that you must be very disappointed at losing, is there any consolation at all in knowing that you had been part of this amazing comeback on her part?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Uhm, I guess being part of a comeback, I mean, she's going to play a lot of people along the way. You know, she's going to do well. But as far as I'm concerned, I'm just glad with the way I fought out there and got myself back into the match and had a chance at winning that second set. That's just really what I'm going to take out of it, is just how I competed out there and just do whatever I could.
Q. Seemed like whoever was serving for much of that second set was losing games and losing points in the tiebreak. Is there any reason for that, that you were scoring less on your serve, she was scoring less on her serve?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don't know. She's just got great returns. I didn't think that banging my first serve like I sometimes do was going to win me any free points. If I missed it, she'd get a chance at a second serve. I wanted to make a lot of first serves and get my percentage up there so she couldn't attack the second serve. Then having said that, I wasn't getting any free points and had to work for everything. Uhm, I don't know. I guess maybe when she was serving, on the return I could kind of do something with my return and get her running first, just like she was doing with me. So, I don't know. I guess it is hard playing a good returner because you never get anything for free on your serve.
Q. Were there shots in the tiebreak you wish you could play again?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, a couple of them I wish I kind of just stood up the court a little bit more and maybe tried to push it a little bit more rather than just rallying it back. Then I don't know what it was, late in the tiebreak, she hit a deep lob, and I -- when it was coming I was in two minds whether to take it out of the air and drive-volley it or let it bounce. In the end I let it bounce and we kind of got back into a long rally. I don't know. It's just what happens out there. I don't really want to second-guess what I did, it's just the way it goes.
Q. How much is it for an Aussie to play in front of a packed Rod Laver Arena at night?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: It's just awesome. I don't think I ever played in front of a crowd like that before. Every match I played here has been unreal, but tonight it was just something else. It just -- it's just a great feeling. I don't really know how to describe it, playing at home, on a center court with, I don't know, however many people Rod Laver fits. But it's just a feeling I'll never forget.
Q. Takes your game to another level?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Definitely. That's what you play for. You want to be out there with matches like that. You want to go out there as many times as you can. That's what we play for, to play in front of a crowd like that and entertain them and have fun along the way.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.