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August 20, 2009

Lucie Safarova


7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tell us about your match today and looking forward to playing Serena tomorrow.
LUCIE SAFAROVA: So today it's very tough condition outside, because the wind is changing and it was very tough to get used to it and get the rhythm on the court.
But I think that I did it pretty well, and it was of course tough match. Zheng is playing very well, and I'm very happy that I won.
Against Serena, I played her a couple times. It was always tough matches. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope I do good job there.

Q. Can you tell me about the time against Justine Henin you had to withdraw in January because of your bum? You strained your buttock, I believe?

Q. What happened?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Ah, it was actually two years ago I think already. I was in Sydney. I was playing the first round, and I won 7-6 in the third, but in the tiebreak of the third set, I got a tear of the buttock.
So then I went to the doctor, and MRI showed a tear so I couldn't play. I was struggling with that until February, so it was quite tough injury for me that time.

Q. How did you do it, though?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: It was on the court.

Q. Can you tell me how you rate your wins, your win over Ivanovic yesterday and Zheng today and how you're doing in this tournament?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah. I rate it very high against Ivanovic, because I lost to her a couple times before, so I really was concentrated this time. It's one of my best wins, of course.
Against Zheng today, as I said, she's a great player. Every match here -- this is a very strong tournament, so every match is very good.

Q. Going into your match against Serena, do you prepare differently than you do against most people, knowing she's so strong and powerful? Do you pull like a different game plan together?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: No, I don't think so. Um, I played her already couple times, and I know that I have to be aggressive, that I have to try to come first for the shot and push her, so that's my plan for the upcoming match. I'm looking forward to it.

Q. You had a very long match last night and a quick turnaround today. Can you talk about how you're feeling, especially having to qualify for this tournament, as well?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah. Of course, it's been fifth match already for me this time here, so the powers are going a little bit down. But now I have more than a half day to recover, so I do my best.
We have a great physios here, so I'm sure they will take care of me, and I hope I will be ready 100% tomorrow.

Q. You served 80% on your first serve percentage today. It was very impressive. Can you tell me what is your favorite stroke or where you feel strongest in your game?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, I'm trying to play aggressive from both sides, and today the percentage was so high of course because I wasn't going so much on first serve. I wasn't trying to serve so flat and fast as I do usually because it was so windy. It's very tough to serve flat and fast. So I was more using my rotation than that, yeah.

Q. Last night there was a lot of flags and a lot of support for your opponent, and tomorrow of course Williams will get a lot of the support. How do you feel about that? Does that make you play a little stronger? Does it intimidate you?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I like it, actually. There are many Czechs here, so it's very nice that they come to support us. I'm very happy about that, of course.
Yeah, I don't mind when there is crowd against me. Of course, I like when it's with me. (laughter.)
Yeah, I'm looking forward to it, really.

Q. Your career high ranking was No. 22?

Q. And it was actually two years ago today?

Q. Do you feel like you're on an upswing here, that you are, you know, gaining momentum and heading into a good phase of your career?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Last year I was struggling a little with injuries, and that's my problem, I would say, all the time. So I'm trying now to do everything right, so the exercising program and stuff like this, so I'm trying to do my best.
If you are not all the time in the competition, you don't follow the tournaments, you are of course losing your confidence, and it's very tough then to be with the top players.
So I'm feeling pretty good now, so I'm hoping my game will improve and that I can be in between the tops.

Q. Are you going to play at Forest Hills?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Ah, the Forest Hills tournament is canceled since last year, so I cannot play that.

Q. Can you just tell me about your T-shirt? Does it mean anything special?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: No. (laughter.)

End of FastScripts

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