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January 20, 2005

Alicia Molik


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Alicia.

Q. Things are rolling along quite nicely out there.

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. I felt like I started off pretty aggressively, on my front foot. I was serving well, I was returning very aggressively. You know, that's the mindset that I went out with, so I was pretty pleased that I played the match the way I intended to. Probably the second set, I had a few chances to make it a more convincing score line. I probably was disappointed that I probably didn't shut her out a little bit sooner, let her get back in the match with an early break in the second set.

Q. How much of the early rounds, though, is just about getting the job done? Is that the mentality you take out there?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I think it's important to get the job done. But at the same time it's very important to play a style and play a way that is hopefully going to help you in the later rounds, which is what I've been doing.

Q. So do you think you can switch on further then?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. I still feel I can step it up a few gears, definitely. But I played aggressively. I probably could have gone to net a little bit more today. I hit the ball pretty heavy. You know, I was definitely getting her right into the corners, which is what I hoped. I got the ball up around her ears, out of her hitting zone. There was a lot of things I was trying to do out there. And still, you know, again, I just spoke with my coach David Taylor, and there are still a couple things I probably could have done a little bit better today, as well. But I'm pretty happy with my win.

Q. Do you fight with your head at all, like in the second set today, you were cruising, you know you got it covered, do you sometimes fight with your head, trying not to be complacent a little bit?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. I mean, after you win a first set with a convincing score line, I think it's very important to stay focused and probably be that little bit extra focused coming out in the second set. But, you know, I probably played a bit of a lazy game, a couple of unforced errors. You know, no doubt I was feeling so confident out there, I wanted to belt the ball and I wanted to, you know, give it a real whack. So there was probably times where I probably should have held back a little bit, maybe made some different choices. But, you know, when you're confident, it's hard to hold back. You want to get out there and you want to play so many different shots and you want to use it all. But I guess there's always a time and a place.

Q. Is it easy to get in bad habits when you're playing someone like that?

ALICIA MOLIK: I'm not sure. I don't think I got in any bad habits during that match. But I think what's important is that you choose a game style and you stick to it regardless - regardless of the score, whether you're winning or losing, you persevere with it throughout the match. But I think I did pretty well.

Q. Do you peek ahead in your draw at all, or do you just look one match?

ALICIA MOLIK: One match.

Q. So you don't know what's ahead or you do?

ALICIA MOLIK: No. Because I only look one match ahead.

Q. What about when people tell you, like Craig did on the court tonight.

ALICIA MOLIK: Oh, he just mentioned names. He didn't really talk about rounds. Of course, there's seeds. Of course there's great players in the draw. But I guess it's just easier to concentrate on the next job at hand. For me that's playing Panova. We played a couple times before. It really isn't a big deal. But I guess it just makes things easier, I guess, as far as thought processes go, to concentrate on what your next task is.

Q. What are you expecting from Panova?

ALICIA MOLIK: She's a good runner. She gets to a lot of balls. She's a small girl, so probably her best assets are getting around the court and really getting a lot of balls back. But I feel like I'm going to need to use my weapons, I'm going to need to use my big serve, try and get into the net a bit. I'll try and hit a few heavy forehands. I think that will set me up well for the match.

Q. Having hit the good form that you hit right now, have there been any changes to your preparation and your schedule that you can attribute that to? Is there anything different?

ALICIA MOLIK: No. No. You know, I've been playing good the last sort of year. There's no -- I've just been going about my business. I've been treating every match the same really.

Q. No secret at all?

ALICIA MOLIK: No magical formula, no. No, I have the same routine here as I do at any other Grand Slam. Not just talking within Grand Slams here, but I keep the same routine regardless, whether it's a Tier I event, a Tier IV, a Tier V. So I think if you keep that consistency with matches and in tournaments, it really feels very much the same out there no matter what match you're playing, who your opponent is, what arena you're playing, what court you're playing on. You know, the emotions and everything's very consistent for me because I do as I normally do.

Q. Do you run your own race or does it involve your parents and your friends and people around you? Do they keep a distance during tournaments?

ALICIA MOLIK: I just -- you know, I do my thing. If I feel like eating dinner by myself, I eat dinner by myself. If I feel like eating dinner with one mate, I eat dinner with one mate. If I feel like eating dinner with just my family. I do what makes me feel happy and I do what is ideal for my preparation and match play. Tonight, it's getting late. It's 10:30, won't be going to dinner. I'll probably go home and have a couple of Weet Bix. My parents normally walk home from the tennis so they probably won't get home till about quarter past 11 or 11:30. So I see them in the morning and then see them at the end of the day. I guess that answers your question.

Q. Is there any outright favorite in the women's event?


Q. Really wide open?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. Yep, as wide open as any other tournament, I think.

Q. You're down 30-40 in the eighth game of the second set. You responded with two aces. How different do you approach those points now compared to even two years ago?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I mean, I stepped up to that particular point wanting to hit an ace. I guess that's an indication of I guess what I was feeling out there, how much I believed or how much confidence I had. Because I was pretty frustrated from the point before. I believed the ball was in. It was called out. You know, normally when you get a bad line call, you get pretty fiery. So no doubt I was feeling a little bit like I needed to release. I did plan an ace that point and it came off. Probably not the way you should go about things really. Probably should maybe serve percentage sometimes. But I think the bottom line is that, you know, if you have the weapons and if you have the ability, I believe I have the ability to step up and serve an ace, then I'm going to try and do that. And I did. I served an ace then. I served an ace the next point. I guess it comes down to belief in what you can do out on the court.

Q. You talked about feeling the same way in every match you play emotionally. Surely there's a bit of an extra buzz out there, centre court in Melbourne.

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. I mean, I haven't played too many night matches, so it was fantastic out there. I mean, the arena I think was to capacity. The crowd's always fantastic, you know, when each and every Australian play. They've been wonderful to me. So there's definitely a buzz. You know, I enjoyed every single second out there. I probably sometimes enjoyed it too much. But, you know, at the end of the day, you take a step away, and you take it for what it is. You know, I'm playing someone who I should be beating. I don't know what Nakamura's ranking is around, 150, 200. As much as it's fun out there, I take a step back and I understand that -- I feel that I'm a player that I should be beating her out there. So as much as I enjoy it, there's always a job to do out there. But, I mean, it's been fantastic. I hope I have a couple more night matches.

End of FastScripts….

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