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January 25, 2014

Na Li


N. LI /D. Cibulkova
7‑6, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please, for the champion.

Q.  Does it get the monkey off your back a little bit?
NA LI:  I mean, at least, you know, I make it.  Not like last two times, you know, always feeling one more step.
But this time I really, so proud myself.

Q.  Were you very nervous at the beginning when you were missing all the forehands?
NA LI:  I didn't miss all of the forehand, okay (smiling)?
Of course beginning of the match I think both of us was tight, nervous.  Also like I don't think I have very good first serve, as well.
But I really happy.  I try to do the best on the court, to try to hang in there to see all what I can do on the court.
But I think after I win the first set, start much better.  At least I tried to hit the ball on the court.

Q.  How important was the first set?  Did you feel like you broke her?
NA LI:  No, it's not like a broke her.  It's like after if you win a very tight first set, you think, Okay, already one set in the pocket.  Like feeling one feet already touching in trophy.
So, yeah, of course if you have one set in pocket, second set you can play more aggressive, attack her.

Q.  In the last two finals you did win the first set, but lost in three.  Did you ever think about that at all?
NA LI:  I think if I thinking maybe it's the same situation coming again, I didn't think about that.  This is my fourth time to play final.  I got more experience.  I have to think about what I should do on the court.  I don't have to think about what I do in the past.

Q.  What was going through your mind in the middle of the first set when things got a little bit tight?  You could see you were getting a bit nervous.  What were you thinking?
NA LI:  I was feeling I didn't show up.  I was nervous, you know.  I tried to hang in there till end of the first set or end of the match because I really didn't want to show her or show myself.
You know, this is tennis.  If you show something to opponent maybe she will get the chance.  So I really tried to stay calm and to hit every point.

Q.  Was it hard to keep swinging on your forehand in that first set?
NA LI:  No.  I mean, at least I can hit a lot of winner, you know, in the second set, so I was pretty happy.

Q.  You didn't really celebrate when you won.  Was it because you were relieved?  What was the feeling?
NA LI:¬† When she serve, it was like 15‑40.¬† I was think, Okay, after win match, what should I do?¬† It's amazing, I already thinking about that.
But after I lose the point, I like, Okay, don't think.  Just focus in this point.  How you say?  After I win the match, I really, really exciting.  I think I have drops still coming down, you know.  I try to have hug with the team, but is too high.  I cannot catch it (laughter).
So, yeah.

Q.  You are the oldest winner of this tournament.  How proud are you of that record?
NA LI:  I'm not old (smiling).
Yeah, start of tournament everybody talking about the age.  I would like to say age is nothing.  Still can win the Grand Slam.  So pretty happy about my age.  I got more experience on the court.

Q.  Our sport had few top stars who are funny.  When did you realize that you were funny?  Talk about the joy of making jokes.  Does your husband ever say, That's enough?
NA LI:  If he said, Enough, I think we will divorce (laughter).  You know, I will keep my way.
Yes, he used to do that.  Actually, I didn't feeling I was very funny when I was speak.  I was feeling this is normal, is the way I have to thank for the team.
But after finish they say, Oh, we love your speech.  I say, Okay, maybe I make the funny.

Q.  But you like to hear people laugh?
NA LI:  You know, why not?  Everyone be happy for every day.  Of course, I think especially in this tournament I can feeling even more the crowd stay behind me to supporting me.  Yeah.

Q.  Dominika said you came out and dictated play.  Did you feel like your aggressive game plan was effective?
NA LI:  Today?

Q.  Yes, today.
NA LI:  Today in the beginning was little bit tough because more tight.  Before come to the court I was tell myself, Don't think about.  Just play your game.  Don't think about the final.
But the situation, you cannot thinking this is normal match.  Final is the final.  Beginning was little bit tough.  But I think I was start when the tiebreak start.
I was thinking about, Okay, now you have to go, otherwise it's very tough for you.

Q.  Compare this win with Roland Garros.  You always said that the French Open was maybe too fast, unexpected.  This one you've been chasing for three times now.
NA LI:  I would like to say I prepare this one really.  How you say, I prepare this one for already two weeks.  You know, every round, every day I was think about what I should do.
I prepare if I play semis what I should do, if I play final what I should do, because I already have twice in the final up here.
Also in the French I was feeling I just go for it.  I didn't think about win or lose.  But this one, I really wish I can doing well.  And also maybe you guys didn't know how hard I was working for the mentally to make this one.

Q.  Not many people win Grand Slams after saving match points in a match.  Are you proud of that, as well?
NA LI:  Yeah.  I think I should send email to Safarova.  Sorry about the (indiscernible) and send smile to her as well.

Q.  You made a lot of changes in your game.  You said it was because you wanted to be a better player, a great player.  Is this a great reward for that, that you made the right choices?
NA LI:  Until now I would like to say yes.  The choice always right, because if I really want to prove myself, I have to change something, otherwise I will stay the same level forever.

Q.  You're only 11 points from Azarenka, No. 2 in the rankings.  Is that your next goal or do you have others?
NA LI:  Yeah, why not?  Of course.  I will try to improve my ranking, yeah.

Q.  You've won two of the four Grand Slam titles.  Is it realistic for you to win all four in your career?
NA LI:  That would be the best.

Q.  Is it a target for you now to win Wimbledon and the U.S.?
NA LI:  Of course is very easy to say I want to win another one.  But I think if you are tennis athlete, you have to know how much working have to be done for only to win the Grand Slam.
So of course if I want to win another one or two, I have to go back to court hard working and also even more tough than before, otherwise no chance.

Q.  You said Max Eisenbud made you very rich.
NA LI:  Yes.

Q.  How do you think he did it?
NA LI:  At least I have over 10 sponsor, especially after French Open.  I think it's little bit tough for him as well.  China and American have jetlag.  China company didn't care about that.  They just call him middle of the night, so it's very tough.
But it's very good for him.  Try to lose the weight.  Sorry about that (laughter).

Q.  You had a bit of a tough time after winning the French Open.  Do you feel now you're much more ready to deal with this?
NA LI:  Yeah, because, you know, first time to win the French Open I really didn't prepare for that.  I didn't know what I should do after the win.  Also nobody tell me what I should do.
I think now is different because I prepare to win the Grand Slam.  Also Carlos, he has a lot of experience because before he was coaching for Justine Henin.  How do you say, we will talk about what we should do, of course.
Because this time I was think about if I win or if I lose, what kind of life I have.  So for sure it's different than last time.

Q.  When you decided to hire Carlos, did you genuinely believe that you would be here, or did it take time to believe it actually?
NA LI:  You know, when like last year I say I want to be top 3, nobody believe.  Beginning this year I say, I want to win another Grand Slam title.  Nobody believe.
More important is I believe, he believe, my team believe.  That's all.

Q.  You prepared everything very well.  Do you prepare also your speeches or do you just go there and they come as they come?
NA LI:  I didn't prepare for the speech because I was come there, how you say, because we working a long time I really want to thanks for them.  So that's why.
I was thinking maybe I speak too much (smiling).  No?  That's good.  Maybe next time I should speak even more longer.

Q.  Carlos was here 10 years ago with the champion Justine.  Did he have any special advice for you today?
NA LI:  Today?  Maybe no.  Maybe not.  I don't know, because this is my first time to win Australian Open title.
Yeah, I think he also busy, you know, after match.  So many journalists was catching him.
Yeah, when I saw him, he will say so proud for me.  Of course, he always believe me I can doing well.

Q.  You're making money for three or four generations for your family.  Where do you put all this money?
NA LI:  Secret.

Q.  Where do you go from here?  Such a high.  Do you go back to China, back home for a couple days?
NA LI:  You know, this year Chinese New Year's was 31st of January, year of the horse.  I go back to my home with my mom, with my family for a couple days.
Of course, have to go back to court for hard training, otherwise I will drop my ranking.  Then just continue for the schedule.

Q.  Does your mom watch the matches?
NA LI:  No.  I don't think she can watch.  She say if I play, make her nervous, you know.  Even now she didn't send me text message, call me.  So I will try to call her after press conference.

Q.¬† What are the Chinese characters on your T‑shirt?
NA LI:  My heart has no limits.

Q.  You talked about making the changes to your game.  Do you feel like you can still improve in your game, other changes you can make?
NA LI:  Of course.  I think I can do.  So many people think about, Maybe she will stay the same way forever.  But I will change.
I was taste, was pretty good, so I will continue to try the new thing if they can help my game.

Q.  If you had to summarize the two weeks in one word or one phrase, what would that be?
NA LI:  Tough.  No, it is.  If you see in end, Oh, she's got the title, but the people didn't see how tough working I have, how tough job I was do.
Also, you know, is very tough like if I play Safarova, 43 degrees, and we play three hours on the court.  It's very tough to hang in there and finally win the match.

Q.  Your toughest moment in the training, when was that?
NA LI:  When first time I have the training with Carlos, I think, Okay, no more next year.  Last year I was working with him I was thinking about, Okay, no more next time.  If I was hang in there, try to use to.  If I saw the result right now, I think I improve a lot myself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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