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January 20, 2011

Alicia Molik


6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk us through what went wrong for you today.
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, uhm, look, I had a great start to the match. I needed to make sure I kept that scoreboard pressure on. Nadia got back to 3-All. I could sense a real difference in the way she was carrying herself on the court. She became a lot more confident.
Look, big difference today, unforced errors. I felt like I served pretty horribly today. Against a player like Nadia that returns very well, she always has, that was a given, that was just essential today and it wasn't there.

Q. If it was unforced errors and things like that, you're not disappointed in the structure of your game, just the execution?
ALICIA MOLIK: No, there's a few areas that I was disappointed in. Look, she hit the ball quite deep particularly off her returns. Rather than staying down on the ball, I think I lifted or lofted the ball so many times deep where I really pulled off. Those are the times I need to knuckle down and beat pace with pace and spin.
I knew she returned well. It was a matter of reacting quickly to get the ball back in play. Too many free points after her return definitely.

Q. What can you take out of this tournament?
ALICIA MOLIK: Look, I had a great first-round victory. I came back from a match that was almost impossible to get out of. That's certainly something that I'll take out of this, showing that I do have the belief that when I am down and almost down and out that I can come back.
I played some great tennis last match. Really, I sustained it for the majority of today's first set. There are a few positives.

Q. An extension of that is confidence. Do you think with confidence slowly the game will click together?
ALICIA MOLIK: Oh, confidence is huge because I guess confidence, belief and trusting yourself I think are the three things that come hand-in-hand. If one of those is slightly out, the others don't fall into play.
That's why we do so many hours on the practice court. It's a matter of trusting it. If you don't believe it, forcing yourself to believe it on the match court, that you're good enough to make particular shots, you're good enough to run wide and hit the ball heavy back through the middle...
It's just sticking to what we do day in, day out, not straying too far away from it.

Q. What sort of priority is tennis going to continue to be for you in 2011?
ALICIA MOLIK: I think no different to what it's been. It's my job. It's my work, to maximize the benefits of my job and to earn an income. I give a hundred percent on the court every single day, as you probably all do here with your media work.
I'm fortunate that I love my job, I love what I do. You know, I'm pretty good at focusing, not letting too many distractions go in the way. The fact that you're a professional tennis player certainly doesn't mean that there aren't other aspects, very important aspects, to your life as well.

Q. How much do you plan to play? Where are you going to settle after you get married?
ALICIA MOLIK: My first tournament is Indian Wells and Miami. They're two of the hard court tournaments in the States. February is the big day for us. I have a short break after that. I've certainly highlighted those two to begin my campaign this year. So that's where we'll begin. I won't head over and play any of the indoor tournaments, but begin from there.

Q. Where do you plan to be based?
ALICIA MOLIK: Melbourne. Plan to be based in Melbourne. This is where, certainly for my job, it's made easy to train here at Melbourne Park facilities, hitting partners, coaches. Tennis Australia is based here. It's a perfect place.

Q. Will you be watching Sam tonight?
ALICIA MOLIK: I'll definitely be watching Sam, if not live at home, most certainly that's what I do every single night during the Australian Open is be a tennis tragic and sit on the couch for hours and hours and hours and watch tennis. There's no question I'll be watching Sam. I think it's her first night match here for a while. At the same time I think it's something she's been looking forward to.
Sam now really enjoys the crowd behind her. She's really embracing it at the moment. I think she's had a great preparation. I read in the paper this morning she's had a very low-key approach. I guess that's the reason why I haven't seen her around the traps too much is because she has been keeping a low profile. Bobbing her head up when she has a match to play is a way to go about it. That's what Agassi did for many years. He only came to Melbourne Park to play matches. She's got a big game, if not the biggest on the women's tour. She no doubt should go all the way.

Q. On paper she should get past tonight. Do you think she might be there come the weekend next weekend?
ALICIA MOLIK: She's shown all of us that she can beat anyone. I mean, during the French Open, you have to play good tennis to beat Henin. Who else did she beat? Gosh, Serena Williams. Came very close in the finals. You have to be playing some pretty amazing tennis to beat players like that.
Sam is not hot and cold anymore. She's a very solid player. Day in and day out she plays at an incredibly high level. I've seen it during the weeks we train together at Fed Cup. It's quite amazing, her level, each and every day on the practice court and then on the match court.
You know, she's lifted a lot of levels over the last couple years. It's fantastic to see.

Q. You seem really composed. Can you say what sort of role what's happening with Tim and what's happening off the court has played in how you want to attach your tennis now? Has it given you sort of a new release a little bit too?
ALICIA MOLIK: Look, I think tennis and your personal life are very strongly related. If anyone's stressed in your personal life, it transcends to the tennis court. If you have issues in your personal life, it's tough to keep a calm composure on the court. I feel like I have stability off the court and on the court.
For me, even when Tim and I weren't a partnership, that's something that I always made sure of, was that I had a stable group of friends and family around me, you know, to keep you grounded, to make sure there are other priorities in your life, that life goes on.
Believe you me, I'm disappointed about today because especially after playing Vinci, I really thought that I could beat Nadia. I think I beat her last time we played. She got me the time before that. From that perspective, it's very disappointing.

Q. Did your performance here over both matches change anything with a view to your future, coming into the tournament, having played it, in terms of how long you might continue or even what tournaments you might target this year? Have you changed anything as a result of your play here?
ALICIA MOLIK: No. I've kept my schedule particularly the same. You know, I've known that I've had my Australian summer on the cards. The next few weeks, we have a few important events coming up, particularly the Fed Cup as well. That's something that I've been pushing for. We have an amazing team or squad actually. That will be difficult to break into.
But, no, the results here haven't changed my plans for the next few months or the next year, what I plan to play, the sections I plan to be away this year competing.

Q. The four slams and future Fed Cup ties this year?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, absolutely. That would be fantastic. You know, tennis is difficult to plan a 12-month period. Rankings fluctuate so much. You know, entries are due six weeks before. They'll be the highlighted tournaments along the road. I'll build in a lot of hard court events and grass events through the year.

Q. Will you play qualifying in the Grand Slams if you had to?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, absolutely. Gosh, it's a Grand Slam. I haven't had to play too many in the past. But I think the last qualifying event I played was at Wimbledon a few years ago.

Q. Will we still see you playing as Alicia Molik?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. That's the plan at this stage. Look, it's who I am. It's what I've been. It's all I know. It's what I respond to. Yeah, it's just me.

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