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March 14, 2008

Daniela Hantuchova


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did that feel out there today, starting the defense of your title?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: It felt great. Really, it was an incredible feeling to be back on the Center Court. I definitely feel like it's my home out there. Really feels like it's the best court in the world for me.
Yeah, I was really having a lot of fun, even though the conditions were tough. It was very windy, but I'm very glad how I handled the conditions.

Q. Do you feel the same way about any other court in the world?

Q. Do you feel the same way about any other court in the world?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, definitely not. This is the court for me. I wish could I play every match of the year on this court. I don't know what it is. I guess it's the bounce. Just not too slow, not too fast.
It was just perfect. I feel like I can hit it every time in the middle of my racquet. Yeah, it feels great to be playing out there.

Q. You mention the conditions. How difficult were they?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: It was very, very tough. Actually, I was little bit worried before the match. In a wind like this you never know what to expect. It evens the match, really, because, you know, even though you might hit a good shot it can still go out or can be too short.
So I was concerned about that, but, you know, that's why I was maybe that much more focused, and I just tried to do the right things.

Q. Are you pretty used to the wind? It gets very windy here. I know two years ago it was very, very windy. Are you comfortable with it here, or at least used to it?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I mean, there's not too much to do other than, you know, just trying to hit the ball inside the court, not going for too many crazy shots. You are never going to have incredible rallies, and, you know, beautiful shot-making shots. It's just about putting it inside the court no matter how.
And actually last week we were practicing in Barstow and it was pretty windy, too, so I guess it was a good practice before coming here.
But I think, you know, nobody likes the wind.

Q. When you feel like you say out here it's like you can do no wrong, you know, do you worry that maybe it will give you too much confidence or a false sense of confidence or something?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Not really, because, I mean, I had the years when I lost here, so it's not like I'm going to win every single match I play here.
No, it's just a nice feeling to -- it's nice to have in the back of my mind that I just love the court and I love the bounce, and I feel like when I need to I'm going to hit a good shot.
At the same time, I need to be careful I don't get overconfident. Like I said, again, this year the field is very, very strong. Everybody is playing well, so it's going to be tough.

Q. Is it just the Stadium Court, or do you feel that way on all the courts?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: The Stadium Courts. Not the outside courts.

Q. This year you seem much more relaxed compared to a couple years ago when you came back as the defending champion. Can you kind of compare and contrast what it's like to be the defending champion this year than last time?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Definitely I learned my lesson that time, because I came back and I wanted so much to do so well again. You can't really expect that. It's again a new tournament. We are starting from zero. Everybody's starting from the first round, so it's not like I'm put into the finals straightaway.
So, you know, yeah, I was taking it completely in the wrong way. You know, this time coming back, I just really told myself, Go ahead and enjoy it like I did last year. Really no pressure at all. I take it as a big honor to be defending a title like this.
Reminds me so much of the wonderful time I had last year, and absolutely no pressure, no pressure at all.

Q. How long does it take to get that ponytail prepared before each match, and do you do that yourself?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: 10 seconds. Of course, I do it myself (Laughter.)

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