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March 13, 2007

Daniela Hantuchova


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Daniela.

Q. Did today feel anything like 2002?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. I was thinking about it a lot. It was such a joy for me to be out there. I was enjoying it so much and can't tell you how many memories it was bringing back to me. And really, just being on the court, and with Martina, it was definitely something special.

Q. Exactly what were you thinking when she had break points on any of the second sets?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: You know what, I was not really thinking about the score too much. I was trying to be focused on my game, try to do the right things. And as I said, just enjoying every single second.

Q. Daniela, she says that you read her game very well. She knows your game, but you really know hers well, and you seem to anticipate the shots she's playing; is that true?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I think we both read each other's games very well, and I always enjoy playing Martina 'cause she really plays, I think, the way tennis should be played. And I have so much respect for that. And also, whenever we have a chance to practice, it's always great. So definitely she brings the best out of me.

Q. So it's hard to trick the other player. It's almost all about execution of shots?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. I mean, especially with someone like her, like you said, she reads it so well that you always basically have to come out with something extra that perhaps against the other players, you wouldn't really need to, but with her, you have to do it.

Q. She also said that she, when she plays against you, she feels that you're at the same level as the Williamses and Davenport and Capriati; how do you feel about that?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Great. I mean, it's nice to hear something like that, for sure. You know, the same goes with her. She's one of the greatest players around. So I think I've got the kind of game that can really hurt players like her, and, yeah, I'm proud of that.
But at the same time, you know, every day is different, every match different. So you have to, you know, keep your head down and keep work on the right things.

Q. She said one of the reasons why you haven't won titles and made the big push is just belief at the very end of some matches. Would you agree with that?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, exactly, I definitely agree with that. But it's something I feel it's coming now. You can't really force that. Unless you have the experiences of big matches, and I think by now, I've been through them, and through a lot, and I have learned my lessons. So I think now I'm more prepared to play the big matches well.

Q. Could you go a little bit more into depth on just what you were thinking out there on the court. It must have been pretty special.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, as I said, just now I was -- it was great feeling to be back out there, especially playing Martina. It brought so many great memories back, and I always enjoy playing her, and especially on court like that. It's one of my favorite courts. Definitely, I was enjoying every moment of it.

Q. How do you avoid the so-called natural letdown after a big win like this, meaning, in your next match against Peer, who's a very good player, she's obviously not Hingis?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Like I said, you just have to work on the same things tomorrow. It's another day. In tennis, you never know what's gonna happen, you know, that's why it's, I think, such interesting sport that you can be the No. 1 player in the world, like, here, Roger was beaten by Canas, then he loses the next day.
So you have to be always ready and prepared to give 100 percent, and sometimes it doesn't work. But it's okay. It's like in life.

Q. Outside of today's match, do you feel any similarities to 2002? If I remember right, there was a lot of upsets in 2002, as well.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. I feel like I'm slowly getting that same feel, so, you know, it would be great to go as far as I did a couple years ago. But like I said, I have to make sure I'm ready for tomorrow and take it one match at a time.

Q. Because you're the last player here who's won this tournament, how much of an advantage do you think experience like that is?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I don't think that makes any difference. As I said, every day is different, and all these players that are already this far can win it, and anything can happen. So as long as I give my best, I'll be happy with that.

Q. Is there any surprise, though, when this many seeds lose in one day, lots of the big players, I mean, one after another?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Not at all, 'cause I think it's very, very, actually, difficult to play here. Like I remember the year I won, in the first few days, I was struggling here. So much like in the practice, it's really hard. I think the balls fly a lot and the court is pretty tough to play on, so I'm not surprised with that at all.

Q. And the heat, too?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: That plays a role, too, and it's, I think, a very, very difficult tournament to win.

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