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January 21, 2008

Daniela Hantuchova


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A few years since you've been to the quarterfinals. How are you feeling?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, it feels great. Definitely an exciting time. Yeah, I was very proud the way I fought today because it was not easy, I was not playing well, especially in the first set. But I just kept fighting. I eventually turned it around.

Q. The past couple of years, going out in the fourth round, has that been tough to take?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I feel like, you know, the last few years I always gave it my best in the Grand Slam. I was just sometimes a little bit unlucky with the draws. I played the Williams sisters a couple of times, Justine. So, yeah, the draws were quite tough.
So I was really glad for the opportunity I had here and really glad to be in the quarters.

Q. You fought to come back and get this win.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. I was losing, I mean, being a set down and a few breakers, doesn't really make it easy. Honestly, I didn't really see the way out of it.
I just tried to focus on every point at one time and just keep fighting. And, yeah, it paid off.

Q. For the last few years, have you ever thought you wouldn't get back to this point?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Absolutely not. I always believed I could do it. I thought it was just a matter of time, probably getting a little bit more mature and understanding myself better. And, you know, there was never a time that I thought I was not being able to do it again.

Q. What's the difference between you as a tennis player now and five years ago?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I guess being five years older (smiling). Just for sure being more mature. I think I realized that it's okay to make mistakes sometimes and it's okay not to be perfect all the time. And I think that made me much, much calmer and more relaxed on the court and off the court.

Q. You've played against Radwanska once. What are your thoughts about her?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, she's a very tough player, very talented. I think she's proved it here once again. I played her in Zurich; I lost. Obviously, I will have to change something and make sure I play my best tennis.
I think we both got a great opportunity to get to the semis, so it's going to be a very good match and I'm really looked forward to it.

Q. Apart from the two Williams and Justine Henin, there are five players coming from Eastern Europe. Do you think the reason is because you have more motivation there? Now even Poland is producing good players. Is it the country where you're born that pushes you to do your best?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think it was just a matter of time for more players to come from this part of the world I think, because we are prepared to work hard. Also in my country, I've seen so many talents around me.
You know, some players from Poland, a lot of Russian players, I think just proves that probably the way we are taught how to play, it's very good. I think all the players got very good techniques. Yeah, I think it was just a matter of time for more players to come.

Q. You've said you're calm and relaxed on the court. Anything you've done special to create this?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No. Like I said, I think I just realized that, you know, we are all humans. Not every match is going to be perfect, always going to be my way.
Once I understood that, I think that was the reason why I started to be more relaxed and much, much easier with myself.

Q. The fact that you have to play Radwanska instead of Kuznetsova, or instead of Petrova, does that make you more optimistic about your future in this tournament?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I think you have to watch out for every player that is in the quarters, so I cannot underestimate anybody. I have to make sure I go out there and play my best tennis, no matter who is on the other side.

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