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June 24, 2008

Naomi Cavaday


V. WILLIAMS/N. Cavaday
7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Naomi Cavaday.

Q. Can you give us your thoughts on that match, in particular the first four games when you were leading the defending champion 3-1?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, obviously it was a great experience for me. I got off to a great start. I really just went at her. I had to give it everything I got. I gave it my best crack.
Yeah, I got the lead in the first, and, you know, I was watching her well shot for shot. You know, I really enjoyed it. It was a shame that she just [] put me to the first set.
Then, you know, the second set got away from me a little bit. I think she started to relax. Yeah, I didn't make enough first serves. I didn't go at her as much. But she definitely upped in the second.

Q. What was going through your mind when you're looking at the scoreboard and it shows 3-1 in that set?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Actually, at that point I was pretty relaxed. As soon as I walked on court I was pretty relaxed. I was comfortable. I was happy.
You know, I was just [] raring to go. I have been ever since the draw came out. I've just been excited. I've been hitting it great. I've been hitting a big ball. I think that showed today.
I've worked hard, I hope it worked a bit today.

Q. Venus has just advised you to get Richard Williams as a coach to get you up to her level. What do you think of that?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Well, I've never had a conversation with Richard actually before, so I don't know what he's like.
But, of course, he's had great success with both the Williamses. She plays -- you know, obviously she plays a great game, and one fit for grass. That's a good compliment. I guess she thinks I can get there. She thinks there's a way, so that's great.

Q. Why were you so relaxed?
NAOMI CAVADAY: I have no idea, honestly. I was pretty nervous before I went on, and as soon as the doors opened, I walked on, and I was just happy. I was comfortable. I felt like I belonged there.
You know, even playing against Venus really just, you know, felt comfortable. I just wanted to fight. I wanted to compete. It's just what I love. I love to get stuck into matches. I gave it my best.

Q. What do you think you'd have to do if you drew Venus here next year better to beat her?
NAOMI CAVADAY: I think the main thing would be that I would have a bit more confidence from this year. I'd take it into the next match if I were to play her again, or another player of that level.
And, you know, just go at her again. Obviously, she's a fantastic player and she played some good tennis. You know, but I think I did, too.
So just a lot of confidence would be the main thing.

Q. You did produce an amazing level of tennis in that first set. It was really, really good. Why do you think your results on the tour don't reflect that level of tennis?
NAOMI CAVADAY: I think it's pretty difficult. I mean, this is just one match. I think, if I'm being pretty honest, uhm, the biggest thing for me is consistency with my performances. I can play great matches, and then my level can drop quite a lot.
But, you know, I'm working really hard on that. That hasn't been helped with, you know, injury and illness over the last few months. It's been kind of a bit up and down this year and the end of last year. I haven't really had, you know, a good run of matches.
I haven't won any events or made finals. That would obviously give me help, but this is going to be a huge boost, and I'm just going to hopefully take it into the rest of my matches for the rest of the summer.

Q. At the last minute you thought you better give a wave to the crowd. They really responded to that.
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, it was fantastic. I'm glad they enjoyed it. That is what tennis is about. Tennis is about the fans and giving them a show. It's entertainment at the end of the day. I'm just so glad that everybody seemed to enjoy the match and it wasn't boring and people weren't leaving.
People seemed to take to it and take to me a little bit, so I wanted to show my appreciation.

Q. Will you talk to Anne now before she plays Venus in the second round?
NAOMI CAVADAY: If she asks me, for sure I'll tell her what I know. But I think I know as much as anybody else, because, you know, Venus plays a lot on TV. There's hundreds of DVDs you can get. I think she'll be fine.
But if she wants some information, I'll give her what I got.

Q. What was the major difference between the two sets?
NAOMI CAVADAY: I think from Venus' side, I think she relaxed in the second. She obviously just won the first. You know, I was coming at her in the first. I think she was a little bit surprised.
Then for me, I felt like I didn't get enough first serves in at all. That really, really made it difficult for me to hold my serve and stay in the set. Because I felt like I had another, you know, good few hours in me. I wasn't tired at all. I felt very fresh. I felt like I could maintain that tennis.
My serve kind of went away from me a little bit, so that was difficult for me.

Q. Venus said she always plays her best tennis as the match progresses. Do you think you play your best tennis at the beginning of a match, or is there not really a rule of thumb?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, it's kind of different for everyone, I guess. No, I don't know. It comes and goes. It's the same with everybody. You fall into form and you fall out. That's just kind of life on the tennis tour.
Yeah, she definitely loosens up as she goes, especially first round of an event. I think for the first round of Wimbledon, you know, her defending champion, all the pressure's on her, so she's definitely going to loosen up as she gets into it and as she starts to take the lead.
For me, wild card, you know, nothing to lose. I think I'm pretty much, you know, one of the lowest ranked in the event. You know, I think I started off on fire because I've got nothing, so I think that's kind of how it went.

Q. Do you sense there is a bit of a broader revival, albeit a fairly modest one, amongst the British women? How helpful is it a fact there are actually a number of you pushing together as opposed to the isolated person?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, I think we're doing absolutely fantastically well. You know, five of us in the top 200 is a great achievement. And Anne in the top hundred, she's pushing on a little bit now.
Yeah, I'm really happy to be part of it. I'm slightly doing my own thing, which I like. But I'm really happy for the girls. I like that they, you know, can do well.
But for me, they're just other players. I don't really see it as we work together, because I don't train with them or anything. They all train together, the four of them.
But obviously I only want good things for British tennis, and I think it's great that I'm 190 odd and I'm ranked No. 5 in Britain, where if you go back a year, I'd be 2.
So I think that's saying something. It's really good.

Q. Twelve months ago you had two match points against Martina Hingis. Are you a better player now than you were then, even if the rankings don't suggest as much?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, for sure. For sure I'm a better player. I've improved almost everything in my game, and I hope that shows.
But, you know, it's actually one thing that I did say to my coach straight after the match, it's just how much I've improved, playing on a stage like that.
Actually, my level of tennis was a lot better than it was last year against Hingis. Obviously I fall in the first round again, but I'm going to take a lot away from it.

Q. Is the hardest thing now going from in front of 15,000 to playing in front of 5,000 or whatever it is at your next tournament?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, 5 would be good (smiling). Yeah, pretty much. I have to go back on the challenger circuit. It's tough. I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me. As much as I'm going to take confidence and as much as I'm pretty buzzy about the match and about how I performed, there's a long way to go if I want to get up to anywhere near Venus' level.
You know, I have every confidence I can do it. I definitely think I can, and I know I will. But, you know, you've got to start somewhere. And, you know, in front of a couple people, that's how it goes.

Q. If you draw the Wimbledon champion in the first round next year, are you going to beat her?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Well, I don't know. I'm going to give it my best crack again. I don't see any reason why I can't. Anything can happen on the day. You know, I really had a big chance to take that first set today, and then you never know what will happen.
Again, last year, playing Hingis, a former champion, a couple of match points, didn't go my way again. At least I'm competing. I know I can compete with these players. You know, I'm just happy about that.

Q. Would you have taped the match from the BBC today? Did you have anybody to record it for you? Will you watch it again?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, well, I think IBM will give us the DVD and the stats and stuff. They're really helpful with that. I'm going to watch it back and see how it looks. Obviously I watch the pros on TV. I don't watch myself on TV. It's a very different perspective.
I'm going to see how I was hitting in comparison to her. I hope I could match her a little bit with that. I'm going to learn a lot. There's a lot to take from it and a lot to learn.

Q. The reason I ask, is I know Tracy Austin and John McEnroe were saying afterwards were very complimentary. They said there are areas to improve, but you will take a lot from that presumably when you listen to that.
NAOMI CAVADAY: Oh, definitely, definitely. I mean, both of those guys have obviously achieved a tremendous amount in tennis. Whatever they have to say I'll listen to and take on board.
But, you know, I'm going to watch it back with my coach. There are definitely big areas to improve. But, you know, that's exciting and that's my challenge.

Q. Would you say you raise your game when you play here? If so, would you put that down to the crowd or other factors?
NAOMI CAVADAY: I think you have to. I don't think I have much choice, especially when you're playing Venus or Hingis or Sugiyama. They've been my three draws. I have no choice but to play my best tennis.
You know, I definitely do, and I absolutely love the atmosphere. Playing on Centre Court was fantastic. The crowd was fantastic. Everybody was. I'm very appreciative to actually have the opportunity to play.
The All England Club gave me the wild card. They obviously didn't have to do that. But absolutely fantastic to get the chance to just give it a crack and see where I'm at.

Q. Do you feel like you're playing with a lot more people? Do you feel you have the country behind you a little bit more when you're on Centre Court?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, I thought I was going to feel pretty lonely out there and kind of want to dig a hole for myself if things weren't going my way.
But with the crowd behind me right from the start I didn't feel on my own at all. I felt really at home, really comfortable. I felt, you know, really strong.

Q. When you come back next year, would you be hopeful of getting where Anne is this year and get straight into the main draw?
NAOMI CAVADAY: Yeah, well, it's kind of difficult to really see where I'm going to be. I mean, definitely a goal is to be in the main draw direct on my own right. There's no reason why I can't achieve that.
But I am looking higher than that. It's just a case of I think everything in my game coming together for, you know, a lot of matches in a row. Then I think there's no reason why I can't be up where Anne is or even higher.

End of FastScripts

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