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January 21, 2007

Lucie Safarova


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. What was the best part of your game today?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Best part? Uhm, I think the end of the first set and the beginning of the second set did I really believed in myself. So I try to do -- I try to pushing her, make winners.

Q. Did you feel any nerves at all?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Maybe a little bit in the beginning because I didn't know what to expect. I never played against her. Yeah, first time in the Rod Laver Arena. So I was like little bit like not feeling so well on the court. But then it was getting better and better.

Q. What was it like when you walked out there, defending champion, Rod Laver Arena, crowd full of people?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: It was like for me amazing. Even the warmup in the morning on such a big court.
The day that I won against Yakimova, I was still like really excited about it to go. When I saw it's Rod Laver, it's first match, I was like, Yeah. Well, I was so looking forward. I really wanted to play there.

Q. What was your match plan before you went out?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: My plan was like really concentrate on my game and try to do best what I can there. First I was thinking that I should not so hurry on the court, that I have to look how it will go. Then when I was 1-4 down, I was thinking like I should start to like play more power tennis. It was going well, so...

Q. Was it aggression that won it for you?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I was trying to be more aggressive, yeah. When I was playing against big player before, I was still like very hurrying too much on the court and doing so many mistakes. So I wanted to be better now.
It was going well.

Q. Was it the end of '05, you won in the Gold Coast?

Q. At that point you looked like you were going to make a big jump. Last year it didn't really happen. What has changed?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I was injured after Gold Coast with a leg. Then when I lost here last year first round I had problems with my shoulder. It was like really didn't getting better any.
I had this problem through all the tournaments. It was still paining. Then I didn't play Wimbledon. It was still like up and down. I was still injured, not injured, don't really have a chance to practice and prepare for the tournaments.
Then I lost the confidence on the court. It wasn't going well, the season, for me. So in the end of the season, I was like really -- I wasn't playing for like one month, just rest. Then I started to do exercising, really preparation, conditionally and tennis as well.
So I was thinking that really I'm really good prepared for the new season, which gives me a little bit like support to begin it.
In the Hopman Cup, I had great chances to play there great matches. Yeah, I feel that I start really well.

Q. Did the win against Schiavone help you a lot the other day, because she's a top player, or not?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah, of course. I think the toughest match for me, for my psyche, was the first round, because that's the toughest match always on the Grand Slams.
When I won against Schiavone, of course she was seeded. Yeah, it helped me. Every match what you win helps you.

Q. When did you hurt your leg?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: It was against Medina in Hopman Cup. I get a little bit strain. Well, since then I'm taping it. It's not that bad. I don't feel any pain now. But I still want to be sure to don't injure it again.

Q. What does beating the defending champion here at a Grand Slam tell you about your game, about where you are?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, I'm exciting about it. I'm so happy to win. Still like one side I can't believe it I did it. It's just great, yeah.

Q. Going in, did you think it would pan out how it did? Pretty convincing in the end, how you won.
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah, I know if the match will be going longer and longer, it will not be advantage for me, but for her, because she's more experienced. So I really like tried to concentrate on each point that I could make, to win the match in two sets.
So, yeah, it goes well.

Q. Did you sense Amélie's frustration or did you continue to focus with your own game?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I was trying to focus just on my game. But that's normal. If one player is up, the other one is down. I just really try to concentrate on my game, to do the thing well what I should, try to like make the points alone. Don't wait for her mistake.

Q. Did you start to play tennis because of something or somebody in your family?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: My sister already played tennis. But she start tennis very late, like with 11 years. My father was like really excited about tennis, so he wanted me that I will be the better one. He start with me already with like three years. I was going with my sister on the tournaments.
Yeah, he helped me when I was small. Until 10 years I was practicing with him. He really wanted that I be the top player, yeah.

Q. Did you feel going in against Mauresmo if you came out aggressively you could unsettle her, you could make her mentally fragile if you came out and hit hard early on?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I don't understand what you mean.

Q. Was it part of your game plan to come out really hard against Mauresmo and unbalance her mentally, get her on the back foot mentally early on in the game?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, yeah, I was trying to like make the points, to pushing her because if I was just playing with and don't really hard hit the ball, I knew that she will win the point, so yeah.

Q. Your match finished in almost the same minute as Tomas. Have you caught up with him?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah, I heard about it. That's amazing we finish in the same time. I saw him. We are both really happy. Before the Open, we was like, yeah, speak together. We was like, Okay, now together we can do it.
I was starting the matches, and he was following the next day. Now he has match tomorrow. I hope he will do well.

Q. When did you meet? How long ago?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: We grow up together in the same club in Prostejov. We practicing still there. So since small kids we know each other.

Q. How long have you been boyfriend and girlfriend?

Q. Any wedding plans?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Not yet. We are still too young.

Q. Being together so long, do you have a profile in the Czech Republic as boyfriend and girlfriend?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah, I think that everybody knows.

Q. Is tennis big in your home country?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I think the biggest sport is ice hockey or football, then it's tennis.

Q. You two are known as tennis players?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah, I think.

Q. How do you think this will be received at home?

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