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March 25, 2007

Daniela Hantuchova


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please?

Q. Talk about the match a little bit. What happened
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: It was tough. The conditions were very difficult. You could see. I think in the other results that some of the top players were struggling a bit, too.
It's never easy to play here, so I was expecting a tough match. I have to give credit to the way she played. She played very, very good. She didn't miss too many balls, and she was very solid.

Q. Was there any sort of a let down coming into this tournament after your great result last week?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, not really. I was really looking forward to play again, even though I was a little bit tired and I just tried to get my energy back in the last few days.
Just tried to stay calm, even though it's a crazy tournament, there's a lot of happenings. I just tried to stay focused, and today just didn't work out. But it's just tennis.

Q. Going back to last week, have you had some time to absorb that?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Not really, not yet. I think I'm going to do it now. Once this tournament is over. I'm going to really enjoy it and get some rest.

Q. What were your feelings? Was it a feeling of elation, of relief?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Of relief, definitely. I had so many people telling me all the time that I only won one tournament and all this stuff. I think now I proved to everybody that I can do it again.
Just pure joy of -- you know, the moments I had on the court are just fantastic. Some beautiful memories.

Q. But if you're only going to win a few tournaments, I guess you picked the good ones to win.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, exactly, I much more prefer to win the big ones once in a while than having to win more of the little ones. I much more prefer this.

Q. The last few years you came up, you were highly touted, you rose up fast, you sort of plateaued, you fell a little bit. What have you learned about yourself through all these ups and downs?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Definitely I've learned so many lessons. In the beginning, it was just everything happening too fast. I don't think I was ready for it. Prepared.
But now I know much, much more how to deal with any kind of situation that comes my way. I understand that it's not always everything going to be perfect and it's okay, sometimes, to have a bad day and not to play well.
Not to be always expecting for myself to do everything 100%.

Q. Can you be easier on yourself, after a loss like today?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. I know it's part of the game, part of the life. You have your ups and downs. You know, as far as you give your best every single day, it's fine.

Q. What do you still like about being a professional tennis player?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I love the challenges. I love walking on the court every single day and knowing that there's still so much I can prove to myself and improve in my game.
Just at the moment I'm just enjoying the game so much, and I don't really care if I'm winning or losing, I'm just happy to be on the court.

Q. Did you put so much pressure on yourself when you were younger and coming up?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. I was expecting so much from myself. If everything was not going my way, I was not really ready to handle with that. Plus there was so much pressure from outside, and from all kinds of things. It was just too much.

Q. Media, sponsors?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely.

Q. Management, people like that?

Q. I think you've said in the past that could contend as a Top 20 player. But does a result like last week sort of make you feel like -- and maybe that's wrong. I think I read that you said that, but does a result like that make you sort of reassess where you think you'd like to be or what your goals are?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I definitely always believed I would be Top 10 at least. I know I can play against anyone and if I play well, that I can beat anyone. And right now I know that more than anything it's important that I just focus on my game. Don't really care who is on the other side of the court, and then the results will come.

Q. Do you think you're as good a thinker as Martina Hingis?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I don't know. I've always admired the way she plays. She's one of the few people that actually uses her brain on the court. So I'd really like to be compared to her, than to someone else.
Here, playing doubles with her, it is a lot of fun. There is so much I can learn from her. Maybe I can figure out if I'm at least at her level.

Q. Where are you living and training most of the time now?

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