August 27, 2002
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK, A. MOLIK/P. Wartusch 6-4, 6-0
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You really didn't waste time out there.
ALICIA MOLIK: No, it was -- went according to plan, that's for sure. I wrote down my game plan before the match. I hit the ball well, I served well. From the start I went out and really didn't hesitate at all.
Q. Did you say you wrote down your game plan?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah.
Q. So you actually had it physically written out?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. It's something, you know, I always do.
Q. How long have you been doing that?
ALICIA MOLIK: A long time.
Q. Can you tell us what was written down?
ALICIA MOLIK: High percentage of first serves. Just, you know, tactics and things that I'm going to remind myself of out there on the court.
Q. Do you come back and check them (laughter)?
ALICIA MOLIK: I haven't done that yet, no.
Q. Seems to work for you.
ALICIA MOLIK: It worked today, yeah. But, I mean, anything can help - something that's going to stick in your mind maybe when your mind is wandering out there, something to bring your focus back. I think it helps me out anyway.
Q. What will you write down against Venus?
ALICIA MOLIK: I'll probably write down that Venus isn't going to lose to anyone, you got to go out there and beat her. She doesn't have too many weak points, that's for sure. You know, she's a great player. Like I said, she's not going to let anyone -- or she's not going to lose the match. If anyone's going to beat her, they've got to get out there and physically beat her. That's the story with her.
Q. Are you one of those women who says she's unbeatable?
ALICIA MOLIK: No. But I think that -- I mean, if she's unbeatable, she would have a pretty clean record. I'm pretty sure she's got one or two losses on the board. I'm not sure which ones, you could probably tell me that.
Q. Four, I think.
ALICIA MOLIK: She's not going to lose to anyone. She's a great player.
Q. Have you played her before?
ALICIA MOLIK: I think I did play her I think going back about three years ago, three and a half years ago. I think I played her at the French Open. I don't remember what year.
Q. How did it go?
ALICIA MOLIK: I lost. I think -- I don't even remember the score, but I remember the court. We played on Suzanne Lenglen there.
Q. How did the game go? How did the match go?
ALICIA MOLIK: She was a very powerful player. She returned well, she served well. That was the first time I'd ever really played against her. Definitely took me by surprise. She's a powerful player. She really didn't miss too much. I think my groundies have got a little bit bigger over the last couple years, and I'm going to go out there and go for it.
Q. Are these the type of matches you really look forward to?
ALICIA MOLIK: Well, now I do, yeah. I spoke to my dad. Like he said, it's an opportunity, absolutely, if I can go out there and perform well. Tennis is a game where there's one winner, there's one loser. But until you walk off the court really, and you've left everything on the court, I mean, anything can happen - absolutely anything.
Q. We spoke to Nicole Pratt yesterday. She said she was disappointed there didn't seem to be more Australian women coming up behind the two of you. You have any thoughts on that?
ALICIA MOLIK: I don't know a lot of the young, really young girls, junior girls. It's a completely different tour. But, I mean, last year -- I think we finished the year with I think three or four in the Top 50, 60. That's not such a bad record. As far as the Juniors go, I don't know if any have such a high ranking. I wouldn't know the 12- and 13-year-olds, that's for sure.
Q. The way you played today, in terms of the way your year's gone, is it real important for you to finish off the Slam calendar year in a good way?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. You know, I've been trying to play like that -- I have been playing like that all year. But, you know, it's -- other reasons have sort of made it difficult to win, you know? I've been putting myself in good situations. I've let my mind wander a few times, haven't got out of a few matches that I should have gotten out of. I guess today was an example where really I concentrated for the whole match. I guess that's why I got the result that I did really. But, you know, it's difficult to put everything together constantly and consistently when you're out on the court.
Q. To what do you attribute that, that you let your mind wander? How do you keep it in one place today?
ALICIA MOLIK: Well, every day is a different day. I mean, I guess every tennis player lets certain things wander into their mind, might be something you watch on TV the night before, might be your next match, next opponent, what court you're playing on, whether you're hungry, thirsty, tired, or you feel energetic. All these things come into your mind. I guess it's a matter of channelling it. It is difficult for me, but I've been working on that and it is getting a lot better. So I'm happy about it.
Q. Is it going to be more difficult playing on one of the two big courts with all the people? Does that make it more difficult? Are you ready for that sort of test of your composure and concentration?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, well, we'll see I guess. We'll see in two days' time.
Q. The way you said you analyze yourself before you go on the court, things went incredibly well today. Will you sit down and analyze what you did today and work out what went right so you can apply that again?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, today my coach and I really spoke about that already, yeah.
Q. What did he say?
ALICIA MOLIK: He said I moved well today, I definitely defended well. He's very impressed with the way I moved and with the way I defended. He was happy with the way I stuck to my game plan and didn't let my mind wander, yeah. That was another thing. And that was it really.
Q. How do you pull your mind back when it does start to wander, like if you're thinking about something you saw last night on the tele?
ALICIA MOLIK: Maybe the next point, what you plan to do. I mean, it's simple stuff. It's not complicated. But like I said, you just got to -- you got to make it work out there.
Q. To beat Venus, knowing your game and knowing hers, to beat Venus, what do you need to do? What needs to happen?
ALICIA MOLIK: I think anyone that's going to beat Venus needs to serve well. I think I need to return well. I need to hit, you know, bloody well off the ground. I think they also need to mix their game up, I need to make her think. That's it. If you can do all that, you know, maybe you're giving yourself a good shot.
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah.
Q. Did you see what happened to Mark in his game just before?
ALICIA MOLIK: No. What happened?
Q. He went up for a smash, came down very hard on his left leg. He's retired.
ALICIA MOLIK: I didn't know that. I didn't know that. Wow. That's unlucky. He's had a rough run, hasn't he?
Q. Have you spoken to Jelena since you've been here?
ALICIA MOLIK: What do you mean "here"?
Q. In the locker room.
ALICIA MOLIK: We said hi, yeah.
Q. Is your relationship with her good?
ALICIA MOLIK: I mean, Jelena doesn't live in Australia. Don't really see her often. We wouldn't anyhow, we don't keep in contact or anything. I have another set of really close friends.
Q. Nicole was in here yesterday saying she doesn't talk to her or have anything to do with her. She gave us the impression Jelena wasn't very keen on dealing with any Australians at all.
ALICIA MOLIK: No, I think maybe -- I'm pretty sure that that is the case. But, you know, it's -- you know, everyone's got their own choices and mind to make up. I guess she's made her mind up.
Q. You find it sort of strange that she's just not going to play the Australian Open? Pretty much she's basically saying, "I don't think I'll ever play."
ALICIA MOLIK: It's strange from a tennis perspective, yeah. All the top players play all the Slams. But then again, I mean, there's always reasons behind that thinking, and I don't know those reasons. Obviously there's a lot going on there. But I don't know Jelena or her family well enough to even begin to imagine why they've chosen to go on that path anyway.
Q. Did you say before that you had spoken to your dad since this game?
ALICIA MOLIK: Oh, no, I spoke to him a few days ago.
Q. He's not traveling with you though?
ALICIA MOLIK: No, no. My parents don't travel with me.
Q. Some players are intimidated by the speed which is generated by Venus.
ALICIA MOLIK: Speed of...?
Q. Her shots. Do you think you're one player who, because you play the way you do, that you can get into her game better than some?
ALICIA MOLIK: I give myself a shot, definitely. I mean, there's a lot of girls out there that play a very similar style, and I think the top players get used to that style. I mean, you had a lot of hard, flat hitters on the tour. I guess I'll try and mix it up. I try and play a different way so girls don't get used to the same type of ball coming at them and the same type of rhythm.
Q. What's your goal for next year?
ALICIA MOLIK: Haven't thought about it. Haven't thought about next year yet. But beginning of this year my goal was to get inside the Top 30. It's going to be a tough road to get to there where I am at the moment. I think I'm ranked 60 or 70. Haven't even thought about next year. Too much going on in the rest of this year.
Q. Are you going to play Asia?
ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah. After the US Open, I am going to go to Shanghai, Tokyo, Bali then Tokyo. There's four tournaments there in a row. So, yeah, I'm playing those four. I actually go back to Asia again later in the year to Indonesia, I think.
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