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January 24, 2008

Daniela Hantuchova


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Have you ever played as well as you did in that first eight games?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think so, yeah. I wasn't really surprised. I did just like yesterday tactically, whatever I had to do to get to that point of the match. I was just really pleased the way I was doing things until that point.

Q. How did it get away from you?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Good question. If I knew that I think I would have changed it while I was still on the court. You know, that's tennis. Sometimes you can do I think all the right things, all the best things. Maybe you just need a little more luck to get through.
Honestly I thought I was very close. I had a great opportunity but it just didn't happen for me today.

Q. How hard is it to accept a defeat after you started so well and you were up 8-0.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I was up 2-0. Yeah, it's tough. It's very disappointing at the moment, but I think with days to come, I think I will go back and look at the tournament as a very positive thing. I think it gives me a lot of hope for the whole year.
I think I proved once again, myself, that if I play my game I can beat anybody. Just a matter of doing it for the whole match.

Q. You've said before that you're very, very hard on yourself, you're a perfectionist. So have you gotten better at not being so hard on yourself, and will this be the hardest one of all to get over?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. I think I got much better in that. I mean, obviously right after match, especially match like this, you are going to be disappointed no matter if you are perfectionist or not.
But I think now I'm much more aware of how to take things and how to learn from them. Definitely this match today, it's going to be great experience for me in order to learn something new, and hopefully I can improve that in the matches to come this year.

Q. Do you think Ana's experience to get to the French Open's final last year came into play at all?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, definitely she had experience being in the semifinal of a Grand Slam. Obviously it was a new situation for me, but I think considering that situation I came up playing pretty well, I thought, especially the beginning of the match. There was nothing wrong with that.
So I wasn't really afraid of the situation. I think I did the right things. And, yes, just one of those days.

Q. After such a long match, you had a very cursory handshake there at the end. Was that the disappointment, or had she done something to displease you?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, no, no, absolutely. It's just tough, tough to accept that you lose. So I just, you know, wanted to get off the court as soon as possible.

Q. Did you have any issues with the double bounce or the...
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I thought it was a double bounce, but maybe it was just my mistake. I should have played the point anyway.

Q. So you actually saw it double bounce, though?

Q. Did you raise that with the umpire?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, but she told me it was just the one bounce, so there was no point to argue at that time.

Q. What about the way she squeaks her feet when she returns?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, that's ridiculous, I think. I was really surprised with that. I think it's unfair. It's a distraction to the server. Yeah, we played before and she never did it.

Q. Did you say anything to the umpire?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, in the first or second service game, but she didn't do anything about it. I don't think that was very nice.

Q. Is that something you've come across anyone else doing, or that's the first time that's happened?

Q. When she had the last challenge and she stopped the ball and she didn't play the last point, then you had made the point. Instead you replayed, and then you didn't say anything at this moment.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Talking about luck today, I think there was no point. I think I saw also a couple of net cords that really the ball was going so much out, and it came back up to my side.
It was just one of those days that everything was going against me, but I felt like I still, you know, kept trying, kept fighting. You know, I mean, what was I supposed to do? It was over. It was no point of fighting with the umpire or whatever.

Q. How do you break down the final with Maria?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: It's going to be interesting. I mean, you know, it's tennis, so it can go either way. It's going to be interesting. I can't predict anybody.

Q. Do you still think you look at this tournament as a breakthrough?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, definitely I think it's been a great experience. I had a wonderful time here. And, once again, it just showed me that if I do the right things I really belong to the top, and right now I think it's just a matter of time, doing more work, consistent basis, and hopefully I'll get more chances in a Grand Slam to break even further.

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