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January 18, 2008

Nicole Vaidisova


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you assess your performance today?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: A little shaky, I guess. A little nervous. Really wanted to do well, play well. But she played good. Definitely very steady player. Made a lot of opportunities for herself.
So just happy I got through.

Q. The age you are now, do you feel much different to how you did two or three years ago, being a little older, a little bit more experienced?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yeah, I guess every match, every Grand Slam, every tough match you get more experience. You know how to handle the situations a little better. I think it helps obviously, especially when you play a top girl who has many more matches and many more tournaments under her belt.
You can try to use that now a little bit also.

Q. You served with a great deal of strength today. Is that something you've been working on in the off-season?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: No. Definitely this week I'm happy with the way I served, yeah. I've been working on that. Helped me out a lot of times these last couple matches, so happy with that.

Q. Can you talk about possibly playing Serena, who you played here last year in the semis.
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Obviously it doesn't get much tougher than that. She's a great champion, a great fighter. She definitely will fight till the end. You know, it's a Grand Slam; everybody wants to do their best.
I'll definitely have to have my A game on.

Q. What do you have to do differently against her?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I think move her more around than I did last year. I also had my chances last year, especially in the first set. You know, with those players you definitely have to use the first ones because you're not going to get much more.

Q. Do you feel you're moving better than you did last year?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: We'll see. I mean, Sunday's definitely going to be a big test. She's a hard hitter. Like I said, I'll have to have everything A level: my movement, my focus, my game, everything has to be together.

Q. You play the game with quite a lot of emotion. Serena is a player that can sometimes get under her opponent's skin. She can be quite intimidating. How do you deal with that?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yeah, I think we're both emotional players, though. I think once Serena gets out there she also, you know, uses emotions to her advantage a little bit.
That's the player I am, the person definitely I am. Very emotional. Sometimes it's my advantage. A lot of times my disadvantage. So will just have to, you know, put it in a more of positive way, I guess.

Q. What do you think you need to be like when you play her? Keep it in check or just be yourself?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I think more being myself. I can't be something I'm usually not. So I just have to try to more put the emotions in a positive way.

Q. You say you can't be something you're not. Is mental strength something you've been trying to work on?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I mean, I know I'm always gonna be an emotional player. That's nothing that's gonna change ever. I'm not gonna try to change that. It's just the way I am.
But, like I said, more in the positive way. That's something I still have to work on.

Q. Have you ever spoken to a sports psychologist?

Q. Would you ever?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I don't feel I need to, so no.

Q. What are the parts of your game that you think will worry Serena?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I don't know. I can't tell her like that, so (smiling). She has to figure out some things herself.
I think I just have to go and play my thing and not think who's on the other side of the net. Just play my game, focus on that. Obviously, I'm going to expect the ball to be coming at me much faster than it was so far.
So I think being ready and catching the ball early is going to be a big thing for me.

Q. Do you consider her to be an intimidating player?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Have you ever seen her play (smiling)?

Q. Yes I have.
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Yeah, then obviously she is for a lot of players. But, like I said, you have to focus on yourself and just do your thing. I've played her a couple times. Obviously the first time, you know, I admit, I was intimidated.
But, you know, you get to play those players more and more times. I think that goes also at the age. You them more, you have more experience with them, so you do respect them. But the intimidation I think goes to the side.

Q. A lot of players will say, I have to focus on my side of the net, not notice who is on the other side. When it's someone like Serena, got to be pretty difficult.
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Oh, definitely. I mean, that's what makes her such a great player also, you know, the mental part of it. But I think, I mean, last year when we played here I was able to do that. I was able to play my game, not look on the other side as much.
I think I just have to improve a little bit. I think I have a good chance.

Q. What's changed from then to now? Are you a different player? Do you have a different mindset now?
NICOLE VAIDISOVA: I don't think I'm a different player. I think just a lot of things happened also off the court: illnesses, some injuries.
So it kind of gives you a better perspective on what you're doing, really appreciating what you're doing. But I think as a player, obviously you improve a little bit. But I think, in general, you develop more as a person.

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