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January 10, 2011

Na Li


N. LI/A. Rodionova
6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So how did you feel about your match today?
NA LI: I was feeling easy. (Laughing.) Yeah, you know, because I just arrive yesterday, so, you know, they have like three hours different.
So I was early in the bed yesterday, and wake up like 11:00. I said, What, only 11:00? So like ever half hour I was wake up. So I mean, it's tough you know, until this morning. My husband was like, Wake up. I said No, no. Just ten minutes like , you know.
It's just tough to wake up because time change. And come to the court, yeah, on the way, we have the transportation, and I always sleep. So my team was like, Please wake up; you have the match next hour. I feel just like baby, you know, like cannot listen what other people say.
Yeah, also before the match, I was warm-up on center court and after half hour rain's coming. I said, Okay, maybe day off because of rain, and two minute later sunshine was coming. I was like, Okay, what's going on? Play or not. I was in the match, like play, stop, play again, stop.
But I was still happy how I'm play on the court, like focusing on the court. Yeah, nothing about win or lose, so, yeah.

Q. You didn't look sleepy on the court.
NA LI: Yeah, but right now I was feel a little bit tired. Yeah.

Q. You obviously had a fantastic time in Australia last year with the semifinal at the Australian Open. Does it give you hope for a similar result this year?
NA LI: I wish I can do better even this year. But, you know, I know - how do you say? Many people watch me to how is I am going for this year, because I change the team. Right now my husband is the coach. Yeah, husband and wife always fighting, doesn't matter on the court or out of the court. This is a problem.
Yeah, but, I mean, on the court I have to listen what he say; out of the court it's opposite. (Smiling.) So I would like to say I always try my best tennis on the court, so I never gave a lot pressure for myself. Like, Oh, I do good in last year; maybe I should do much better in this year.
I know tennis never easy. The opponent was on the court; maybe some days not your day. So tough to say how far I can go, but I always try far as I can.

Q. Did you have a good off-season? Do you feel prepared for this season?
NA LI: Yeah, because last year I was finish season 16 of November because we have Asia Games, so was late. After, I was take ten days totally off and then come to winter training.

Q. Do you will feel you're a better player this year than last year?
NA LI: You know, this year just started, so... (Smiling.)

Q. Are you better now going into the Australian Open than you were perhaps last year?
NA LI: Yeah, because last year I was just after finish the operation, so I didn't know how was I am going on the court. Right now I am feeling more confident because I have winter training also.
Right now I didn't have any injury. I can try 100% on court. I don't need to worry maybe some problem for my knee or something.

Q. Did it make a big difference to you in your mind reaching the semifinal at the Australian Open last year? Do you feel like, Yes I can win a very big tournament at some point? Is it confidence?
NA LI: Yeah, little bit confidence after Australian Open. But, you know, after Australian Open I did so badly in two big tournament because I always think about, Oh, maybe I can win big tournament. Just feeling like, Oh, like how do you say, I don't know where I am, because, you know, newspapers coming, you know, You are first top 10 player.
So after I was feeling like, Oh, maybe I'm good. But after I lose two big tournament I think about, Okay, right now I need hard working and back to normal.

Q. So you had to sort of get that out of your mind?
NA LI: Yeah.

Q. Just think about...
NA LI: Yeah, because like first time just come to the top 10, of course I was feeling like -- because my dream is top 10, and just beginning the year the dream is come true. So after I was feeling like, Oh, what I should do? I always think about a lot for out of tennis.
Yeah, but right now I'm back on tennis court.

Q. When you came back to Beijing last year after the Australian Open there was a big party. Do you feel pressure now from the Chinese people, expectations that you're going to do well again?
NA LI: That's why after Australian Open I only stay Beijing for 36 hours. Yeah, because I know the newspaper -- because federation make a big party because two Chinese player same time in the semifinal.
So I just arrived, and rest of the day I have the party and I leave same night. I know if I stay long time, for sure many newspapers ask me like good question or stupid question. So I didn't want to answer all the questions. I just say, Okay I'm leaving. Yeah.

Q. The Australian Open is called the Grand Slam of Asia and the Pacific. Does it feel like a home Grand Slam for you? Does it fell like it's the closest one for you?
NA LI: Yeah, of course, because for the Asia. And also I always do well in Australia. So, yeah, also last year after I come to semifinal the life was a little bit change, because I was walk the road, and, you know, next to the hotel was Chinatown. They were like, Oh, this is the tennis player.
Before they only say, Oh, it's her? Maybe not, because they not 100%. After semifinal, Oh, I know you. Yeah, they know exactly.

Q. Are you staying in the same place in year?
NA LI: Yeah, I want to keep it like -- if it's good one for me, I always keep going.

Q. You played Venus in Hong Kong.
NA LI: Yeah.

Q. How good do you think she was playing? I mean, obviously you beat her.
NA LI: Huge, big serve. (Smiling.)

Q. So no change?
NA LI: Yeah, yeah. I know she just come back after injury. I think she have some knee problem, so still feeling like -- like if I hit wide, the shots wide, you still can see like not 100% she trust the knee a lot. This is what I feeling.

Q. (Question and answer in Chinese.) Can you translate that?
NA LI: It's tough. (Smiling.) No, he was asking me -- because right now my husband is my coach, so before we always fighting on the court. How is it now?
I say, No -- I should change little bit, yeah, because he ask me it's first time working together. I say not, because last time in Birmingham also me and my husband go tournament. Yeah.

Q. Why did you change the coaching situation?
NA LI: The coach was like, how do you say? Like he was coaching me like two years; every tournament we are traveling together. Before he was coach Tommy Haas, but sometimes also he was coaching me. I think it's long time, so I think we need recover a little bit.
And also to see -- I need trust my husband also. He was traveling the tour like two, three years already, so I think he has a little bit experience. So he need to do something for the family, right? So, yeah.

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