January 25, 2004
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, A. MAURESMO/A. Molik 7-5, 7-5
THE MODERATOR: First question for Alicia, please.
Q. How do you summarize that in your own words?
ALICIA MOLIK: Probably a missed opportunity, really. You know, yeah, it's not fun. Amelie's in the quarters. That's where I'd like to be. She's hitting that swinging backhand down the line, and it would have been niece if it was me. No, I'm not happy.
Q. Where do you think the difference was?
ALICIA MOLIK: I guess today I think something that I've considered my strength let me down. So, you know, sometimes you can find reasons and weaknesses. But when your strength lets you down on an occasion like today, it's not a good feeling. I didn't put enough first serves in full stop.
Q. You can't find a reason?
ALICIA MOLIK: Oh, yeah, rushing, low ball toss. I should have probably stopped. Whatever reason. But, you know, that's something that normally I don't have to worry about. Today I did. It's a bit of a change.
Q. Can you get away with things like that for the lesser-ranked players?
ALICIA MOLIK: Sometimes. I think today was a great match because it's a perfect example of why probably Amelie is No. 4 and I'm 40. It's great to see that she does what she has to when she needs to. And she did that today. I guess the good thing is next time I'm in the position that I was in today, I won't let that happen again.
Q. Are you devastated by this loss?
ALICIA MOLIK: I'm not happy, yeah. Yeah, no, I'm definitely not. Like I said, she's in the quarters; I'm not. That's where I want to be.
Q. At the same time, does it show you how close you are?
ALICIA MOLIK: You know, 7-5, 7-5 is a close score. Yeah, I guess.
Q. And pushing her as you did for so much of the match.
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I mean, I expected to push her. And so I should have been pushing her with the way I've been playing. But it's one thing to create opportunities, which I did today. But there's almost no point if you don't take advantage of them. It's one thing get there; it's another thing to do something about it. Like I said, yeah, next time I'm in that position, I won't let it happen again. I'll change a few things around. I won't let it happen, yeah.
Q. You made quite a lot of unforced errors. Was that through being under pressure to try and hit winners all the time?
ALICIA MOLIK: No, I don't think unforced errors were an issue today because I wanted to hit as many winners as I can. When you take a bit more risk into your game, of course you're gonna make more errors. Execution was poor at a few times, but, you know, most of the time I did, you know, what I planned to do. So, you know, the plan was to be out there and be aggressive. I think a lot of times probably I wasn't aggressive enough early enough. As long as my winners were as close to the unforced errors, that's fine.
Q. Much was made of you being the last Australian woman in the tournament.
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah.
Q. Does that add to the pressure, or once you're on court does that mean nothing at all?
ALICIA MOLIK: It means nothing at all, really, before I step out on the court. So, no, there's no added pressure.
Q. What is your program from here, your ambitions sort of in the next few months?
ALICIA MOLIK: Set out early for Japan. I've got another event. So a couple days off, then I'll get started and get training for Japan. You know, friends and family are in town, so I'll have a few days to enjoy myself. Then, yeah, just get back in training for a couple of days before leaving for Japan. That's my next big event. I'm playing some good tennis. I want to continue it there. Then home for a short break, then away again. The cycle begins again.
Q. Would you be disappointed to not be Top 20 by the end of the year?
ALICIA MOLIK: I don't know. I've never finished Top 20 or just outside of it. I think if I play more of the tennis that I played today, and maybe a touch better, then, you know, I think I'm gonna have a really good year. But, you know, I've said in the past, numbers really complicate things. So I try and stay away from them.
Q. On that surface. Does the sort of spin that she puts on the ball, does it get even more purchased (sic) on that surface?
ALICIA MOLIK: Anyone that hits the ball heavy, I think, you know, the type of court, the Rebound Ace helps. I think I hit it just as heavy today - probably at times heavier. So, yeah, it's a good surface if you hit the ball heavy.
Q. When you were trying to consolidate the break, was that probably the most important game? If you had been able to do that, could you have pressed on?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I think so. Probably hitting two or three first serves in instead of none for six probably would have helped as well. But, yeah, that's a time that I've got to, you know, knuckle down and not let her get back into it. Yeah, that's probably the most important game. The most important games in matches is when you get the break, and you have to consolidate.
Q. Is that the toughest things to do in tennis, to follow up after a break in serve and take advantage of it?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I mean, today it was tough. A lot of times it's the easiest thing to do. It's obviously something I didn't do as well as I should have today. You know, will just be working on that, you know, probably next week in Japan. I'm sure I'll be in that same situation. Every match you play, you try and improve. So when I go and play there, I'll try and make amends, I guess.
Q. Feet fine?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, no problems whatsoever. I don't think moving was a problem today. I felt like I was feeling the court and moving fantastically. I just have to keep what I been doing and really looking after it.
Q. What exactly have you been doing and what will you do to look after it?
ALICIA MOLIK: Plenty of massage. Getting my joints mobilized constantly. You know, icing. Stretching all the time. Warming up before practice sessions, warming down. Stretching after practice sessions. Basically all of that. Repeating it most days or every day for, you know, a number of times.
Q. When you say the tour starts all over again for this year, that wasn't, "Here we go again," you're not getting bored with the whole thing?
ALICIA MOLIK: No, absolutely not. Everyone gets wrapped up in the Australian summer. There's the rest of the year ahead. I'm finished here, so my mind's set for the rest of the year. Japan is my next event, so that's my next focus. It's been a great summer for me. I can't complain too much. But, yeah, I want to get going and I want to get ready for the rest of the year. I have stuff to show and play some great tennis. I'm looking forward to getting out there and continuing that for the rest of the season. In starting again, it's 2004, so couldn't start in 2003, yeah...
Q. Some time in the next day or two will you sit down and watch a tape of that match, or is that not something you want to do?
ALICIA MOLIK: No, actually, that was a match I'd like to get the tape of. Yeah, no, I'd definitely consider watching it again. I think it would be a really good sort of learning tool for me.
Q. Is it a hard thing to do? Can it be frustrating?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, but -- yeah, it can be frustrating, I guess. The past is the past. I can't change it. What I can do, the next couple matches I play, the next time I'm in that situation, I can change it. That's probably the reason for watching it. I do watch some of my matches and sort of evaluate them. There's a few points here and there I take note of or my coach wants me to take note of. Sometimes it's different sitting in front of the TV watching yourself than being out court. It's a completely sort of different perception of probably what you're feeling and what you're doing on the court. No, I think it will be good for me to do that.
Q. Could you do that before you go to Japan? Would you do it after you come back?
ALICIA MOLIK: I could do it before but I don't have a video player. I might go to a friend's house or I might watch it when I get back once I've bought one.
Q. How many breaks would you take during the year and actually come home?
ALICIA MOLIK: Depends. When you say "breaks," I probably come home five, six times a year. I come home after every single trip. But in terms of breaks, I don't know what you mean by "break".
Q. Being away on the road.
ALICIA MOLIK: I'm going away. I'm going to Japan, and coming home. That's one week. Then I go away for six or seven weeks and then I come home. Sometimes it's three or four weeks, then I come home. It's a lot of travel, but I don't mind it. I enjoy coming home, recharging the batteries. I guess I get my eagerness back to get out on the road once I've come home and enjoyed myself a bit.
Q. You're obviously disappointed. The fact that you could take No. 4 in the world so close, does it give you hope that you're close to that next level?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I don't know about hope. It gives me incentive, yeah. As I described, she's where she's at because of what she was able to do. She's No. 4 and I'm 40. You know, it was a 7-5 and 7-5, not much in it at all. Yeah, I think it's a good indication, you know, of where I'm at.
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