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June 25, 2007

Naomi Cavaday



Q. What was the experience like?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Mixed. A great start. Obviously to play that type of champion is obviously a great honor. I had a fantastic crowd, big buzz, loads of positives I can take from it.
But I'm incredibly gutted right now that I didn't take it. Yeah, mixed feelings really. So many positives to take from it as well as so much to go away and work on.

Q. Can you explain how somebody ranked 232 in the world can play that well against a former champion of considerable reputation and come that close to beating her when the gap looks as though it should be absolutely massive?
NAOMI CAVADAY: On paper, the rankings, 232 and 9, is a bit of a jump. But, you know, I think it depends who that 232 is. I'm here with a home crowd on a great court, nothing to lose as a wildcard into the tournament.
I knew that before the match I had to raise my game to a level that I've never played at before. I managed to do that. A lot of positives.

Q. Were you very nervous beforehand? You nip/tucked before the first point, didn't you.
NAOMI CAVADAY: No, actually I wasn't. I actually felt really comfortable out there this year. Last year nerves were a bit of a factor because I didn't have much preparation time up through coming through playoffs. I was just, Wow, I'm really playing Wimbledon. I didn't expect it.
This year I had a little bit of time to get my head round it once the wildcards came out, then obviously a few days to get around the fact I'm playing Martina Hingis. I gave it my best shot.

Q. How hard was it to get the loss of two match points out of your head?
NAOMI CAVADAY: It was tough. It comes and goes. It happens in matches. It's happened before against different players. It's just slightly different when you've got Hingis down the other end.
It's very tough. But I gave absolutely everything into staying into that second set. I nearly took it back to a tiebreak. I didn't bag it or roll over or anything. In the third, it was very, very tough.

Q. Will you be in the juniors?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, next week.

Q. The third set, was it tougher physically, mentally? What was going on you seemed to kind of tail off a little bit.
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, I found it tough mentally because she does come back at you and back at you and back at you. It's relentless. I don't do that day in, day out. She's done it day in, day out for years and years. That's why she's a champion.

Q. Did she say anything to you afterwards?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, she just said it was tough, that I was one point away, which I didn't need reminding of obviously (smiling). But, yeah, she said, Tough, one point away.
She said, Well, you took it away from me in the first when she had set points. I think it was a fair assessment of the match. It was very close.

Q. Do you specifically remember her winning here 10 years ago? You would have been eight years old. Did you watch that?
NAOMI CAVADAY: I don't really remember it, but she definitely was a big idol for me growing up. I watched her with interest. I loved the way she played.
When she came back to the game, I was really, really happy. I think she brings so much to the game of tennis. You know, she's just great.

Q. Was it hard to get that out of your head?
NAOMI CAVADAY: No, not at all. I actually was expecting it to be quite tough. I expected every so often to look up and see her and think, whoa, what am I doing?
But I didn't. I started playing well. I took a lead and I rolled with it. You know, nearly took it. But that's the way it goes.

Q. Did you have a lot of friends and family around?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, definitely huge support. A fantastic crowd. Such a big buzz, like I was saying. Loads of friends and family queued up, sat through the rain to watch me play. It was fantastic.

Q. Mom and dad were here?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, mom and dad were here and loads of relatives.

Q. Is your mom a sports psychologist?
NAOMI CAVADAY: She is a qualified sports psychologist, but right now she's teaching psychology at school.

Q. Is that handy for you?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah. I'm asked this question a lot. But I think that, I mean, it's difficult when it's your mom saying these things to you about tennis matches. But I know she's there if I need her, but I tend not to use her really.
But, you know, she's got great skills and it's a great resource to have. I've always got that if I need it. But, you know, I don't think many teenagers want to hear that type of thing from their parents.

Q. What has David Felgate done for you? Is that kind of an open-ended arrangement?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah. I've been working with David for about six or seven months now. The amount I've improved has been fantastic. He's given me so much confidence. We really work well together.
Absolutely nothing negative to say about anything we've been doing. Everything's going in the right direction, and I think that showed today.

Q. Apart from just the experience, what do you think it's going to take to push you up to perhaps the top 100?
NAOMI CAVADAY: There's a lot. I think that's a huge positive, is that I've got so much to work on and so much to improve, and I've got time to do it. That chills me out a little bit about the whole prospect of it.
I know I can compete at this level, I've proved that. I know I can win at this level, I've proved that. It's now just getting to the point where I can do it day in, day out, be on the tour and have that relentless pressure, and then I'll be coming through those matches.

Q. Is it right that one of your ambitions is to go into sports journalism or something like that?
NAOMI CAVADAY: No. I have started doing a course on journalism and creative writing, sports writing and things like that. I've always been interested in that field of things. I've always said if I wanted to study something, I'd always be doing that. But right now, that's kind of secondary.

Q. In 10 years' time, do you think you'll be sitting up there or down here?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Up here hopefully.

Q. For us writing the report, what headline would you put on?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Really, I think there's any number. I think it will be really interesting to see what you guys come up with.
I don't really want to put any ideas in your head, because I've got a couple of negative one and a couple of positive ones. I can just see no end of positives.
Yeah, nearly took it. But winning one match or losing one match, I don't think it makes or breaks you as a player.

Q. When you go through it like this, sort of the postmortem of the match, you look at things you did well in the first couple of sets. In terms of the last game, when Hingis really is on that roll, do you apply the blowtorch to those nine games?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously, like I said, I'm going to be thinking about those couple of match points, but that was two points out of a lot. It was a great match, great to play.
Obviously still incredibly gutted I didn't come through. From those first two sets, all those games and everything in the match, I think everything about it, there's so many positives to take. I mean, I am incredibly gutted.
I mean, nobody likes to lose, especially when you've had match points, especially playing a former champion in the first round of Wimbledon. I mean, there's so much, so many like kind of "what ifs" going around in my head. But what happened has happened.

Q. You've been playing a lot of challengers in far-flung places.
NAOMI CAVADAY: In some very far-flung places. I've been on the challenger circuit. Obviously the grass court circuit is a great opportunity to step up to the WTA Tour and see where you're at.

Q. What sort of places have you been to?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Recently I spent a lot of time in the States. Obviously I got my base there at Bollettieri's. I've done a few tournaments in Florida, a few in Alabama, Mississippi. I've been in Orange County. They've all been 25,000s and 50,000s. You know, it's been good.

Q. Can you do a decent Southern accent now?
NAOMI CAVADAY: A decent Southern accent? I don't know, I wasn't there for that long. It's definitely pretty different to the British one. I mean, they love the Brits coming out there. They love all our accents.

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