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June 22, 2009

Daniela Hantuchova


3-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think of her?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Uhm, yeah, obviously she's got talent. I mean, she seems like a very nice girl. You know, it's important now that she has the right people around her.
You know, it's still a long way for her to go. But definitely she's got a potential. And it's important she just keeps working, you know, on the right things and goes the right direction.

Q. What particularly impressed you about her today?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I thought -- well, obviously because she's left-handed it makes it a bit tougher, but her serve is very good. You know, she was hitting couple of aces a game, and also she was very smart how she was using it. So I think the serve was working very well for her.
And, you know, I mean, obviously she still has many things to improve, but I think she's on the right way, for sure.

Q. It was a tough situation for her, but potentially a tough situation for you as well, wasn't it?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely. It was so tough. I just tried to, you know, keep focused and think about my game. But obviously, you know, it didn't feel very good being a set down and a couple games down and getting kicked by, you know, a girl 11 years younger than me, so...
I just tried to make sure that whatever happens, I win this match somehow (smiling).

Q. Did you think she was going to beat you at one point?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, I never go on the court thinking the other is going to beat you.

Q. During the game?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No. I always believe in myself. Yeah, I mean, if I go on the court not believing in myself, I think I shouldn't be there.

Q. I wanted to ask how you felt last night? I mean, she's obviously never played a women's tournament here. Did you feel quite confident? She's only 15.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Absolutely not. Actually, last night I was very relaxed. I was thinking more about, you know, first round of a Grand Slam than actually who I was playing.
I think, you know, doesn't matter if it's No. 1 in the world on the other side or somebody 15 years old. I think I still had to go out there, do my things right and correct, and just focus on my game.
I've said this many times: with my kind of game I play, I think it's most of the time about me. If I did the right things, I think I can beat anybody. If I play badly, I can lose to anyone.
I was more concerned about what I was gonna do on the court.

Q. What did you think of the atmosphere of the court?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, it's very nice, actually. I really enjoyed it. Of course, I mean, they told me it's like 4,000 people, but it doesn't feel like that at all.
Yeah, the atmosphere was very nice. Actually, I thought the crowd was pretty fair. I mean, obviously they were rooting for her, but it was nothing beyond fair play. So, you know, they were very kind.
I guess, you know, all the years I've played here, you know, I deserved also a little support. It was very nice to play there.

Q. You seemed to be taking a lot of time between points, particularly in the third set. Was that a deliberate tactic?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, I think I do that all the time. If you've seen me, all my matches during my career, you know, some people, they like to play point by point with a fast rhythm. Some people like to take more time.
Probably because I think so much on the court. Sometimes I have to make my mind clear before I play every point, and I don't want to start before I'm not ready.

Q. Can you remember what you were like as a 15-year-old?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Actually, she reminded me a lot of myself. You know, she's got a great feel in the hands. She's not afraid to do whatever she feels like on the court.
Obviously, now it's much easier for her because, you know, she has nothing to lose and she can just swing at the ball. So I was thinking, gosh, that felt so good when I was at her age (smiling).
Yeah, at some points of the match, I was like, Oh, I think I'm playing myself. So, yeah, it was nice to see.

Q. How do you think you would have coped with the situation at 15, playing in a match like that?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Probably the same (laughter). You know, you don't have the experience. Sometimes maybe not go for crazy shots at important points, just trying to be patient.
But it's so tough to think like that when you are that young. You think more about how to hit the shot, that it feels good to be on the court and going for it. Yeah, sometimes you got to be patient, but I think that just comes with age.

Q. What age did you start to feel the pressure?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think once I came up after winning Indian Wells and having that great year. You know, it's always easy to play when nobody knows you. Also today it took me a while to get used to her game. I never seen her before.
So the first year to come up, it's always -- it's not easy, of course. It's tough, but then to stay there, that's the tough part.

Q. Was it strange seeing Nigel up in the other player's box?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I haven't even seen him. He was there?

Q. He was there.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, sorry, I didn't see him.

Q. Have you spoken to him about Laura?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: No, not at all. I haven't seen him here, so no.

Q. Did you change your coach, Larri Passos?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, a while ago.

Q. Why did you choose him?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Obviously, he had the experience. He worked with Guga. Brought him to No. 1 in the world. There's something he can bring into my game. He's a fighter. He has an upbeat spirit. Very positive person. Very nice to be around him.

Q. How far do you think you can go?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Oh, gosh, I just try to take it one match at a time, not to look too ahead of myself, give my best in the next match.
I think if I play Zheng, it's going to be tough. She made semifinals here last year. Again, I got to be ready, think of my game, do the right things, and we'll see.

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