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September 2, 2013

Daniela Hantuchova


6‑3, 5‑7, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Good comeback in the third set.  At the end of the second, she played pretty well to even it, but then you got control again.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Yeah, she did.  She played extremely well at the end of the second set.  Just really proud the way I fought back into it in the third, raised my level when I needed to.
Obviously the serve was working really well today.  I think that was the main difference.

Q.  When was the last time you served so well?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Couldn't really remember.  I guess 11 years ago (smiling).

Q.  Do you know the ace count?

Q.  When you think of the US Open in general, you've had high moments and moments where you ended up out in the first round.  What does it mean to you when you look at the US Open on the calendar every year?  Is it something you look forward to?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Definitely, mainly because I love New York.  I could live here in one second.  I just love the city.  It's got so much energy, atmosphere.  It's the last Grand Slam of the year.  Obviously you always want to finish on a high.
I was really glad I was able to do that so far this year.  This tournament is only starting now for me.  It just means the world to me to be again in the quarterfinals.

Q.  It's been a tough singles time for you after Birmingham.  Did you expect to do so well coming in here?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Not really.  But I guess the best things happen when you don't expect them.

Q.  Talk really about why.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Yeah, just fighting like crazy, really leaving everything I've got on the court.  Really putting my heart into it because it means so much to me.  I guess, you know, sometimes you keep trying, keep trying, and then you don't know why, but it just comes all together.

Q.  How did you handle the rain delay?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Yeah, I mean, it's never easy, especially when I had those chances early in the second set to kind of forget it and get ready for whatever was coming.
You know, we were ready to go couple of times.  But was the same for both of us.

Q.  Did you nap or eat?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  I did all of that.

Q.  A lot of women you played against when you were in the quarterfinals here last time are no longer playing.  What is it about you?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  No, actually they're still playing.  I played I think a hundred times Serena and Venus.  It's actually nice to see all of them still playing.

Q.  Many of the lower‑ranked players have come and gone.  What keeps you on the tour?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Just the love for the game.  I love doing what I'm doing so much that I wouldn't change it for anything else in the world.  That's the reason why I'm here.

Q.  Do wins and losses matter less than they did, say, 10 years ago?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Yeah, definitely.

Q.  Because?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  I just appreciate everything a lot more.  I appreciate just being able to be a tennis player, be healthy, doing what I'm doing, because it's a big privilege to be in this position, to be so lucky in my life.

Q.  What has the process been like playing with Hingis?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  You know, we had so much fun.  All the matches were really great here.  Really unfortunate with the draw, but I still think it was a great match.  We really enjoyed it.  Had our chances.
The biggest chance we had was in SanDiego in the second round.  I think if we would have won that, it would make a big difference.  But we didn't.
Still, you know, coming back after so many years off it's never easy.  I think she handled everything really well, and I really enjoyed it.

Q.  Even though you're veterans, you still need the confidence of a second‑round win in SanDiego to build on things?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  No, because then we saw them winning the tournament.  We were like really almost winning that match.  That's what Martina felt like, that that could have made the difference.
Doesn't matter what ranking you are.  You always need to have the confidence and the momentum.

Q.  Do you feel like that partnership with Martina has helped your singles game at all?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Yeah, I mean, it's always great to have someone like that around.  She understands the game so much.  Like I said, once you are a champion you will always be a champion.  I think it's great that she's back.  I think the fans enjoyed it.

Q.  You are 30.  Do you have the same motivation on the tour right now?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Yes, I do.  Even more.  Like I said, I just enjoy every single moment being able to be out there and compete.  Doesn't really matter which way it goes.

Q.  What is it like on your nerves?  You played Alison twice before on grass, but when you go out there in a situation like this, you know she's playing kind of above her ranking, is it particularly nerve‑wracking to go out against somebody like that?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  Not really.  Absolutely not.  I treat every match the same, so it doesn't really matter who is on the other side of the court.

Q.  Is it strange when you come into these press conferences to be told over and over you're older when in real life you're so young?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  We always feel so much older in the tennis world than we do in the normal life.  I'm so happy there's so many girls of my age and older around.  I think we keep pushing each other.  I think it's great for our generation.
I mean, I'm actually pleased with it, that I'm able to compete at the highest level and really enjoy it.

Q.  Why do you think there are more women playing into their 30s now?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  I think it's the experience, that we've been through so much, we know exactly what to do.  Sometimes we don't do it, but we know what we should be doing.

Q.  For women you have your fitness training that you do, weight training.  Probably more than men you're also judged maybe on how you look.  How tough is that to deal with?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA:  You know, 14 years, 15 years on the tour, I think I got used to that a while back ago.
So, yeah, I think it is the way it is.  I don't really pay too much attention to that.

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