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January 22, 2014

Agnieszka Radwanska


A. RADWANSKA/V. Azarenka
6‑1, 5‑7, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  It's been a long time since you beat her, you've had struggles against her.  Seemed like today you had more faith in yourself.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, yes, I think it's hard to play someone I lost so many times before.  I knew she's great player.  Especially here, she's playing amazing tennis.
On the other hand, I really have nothing to lose.  She was defending the title, not me.  I was really trying to play my best tennis, go for every shot I could.
You know, I'm just very happy because I really was playing great tennis.

Q.  You're praised with being very intelligent on court with your tactics.  How did you break this down, what was your game plan going out there technically?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I think it's hard to talk about the game plan against someone that can do everything on court.  Pretty much everything is going back.  Not really much mistakes.  So I think I was just trying to play aggressive, not in the middle.  I think focus on the serves as well.
I think you really have to do everything to beat those kind of players like Vika.

Q.  Did you notice at some point that her forehand was off, that she wasn't having her best day?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I don't know about that.  I think you should ask her about this.
But I'm just very happy I could really play great, playing much better tennis, because otherwise I wouldn't win that match.

Q.  You didn't lose confidence after the second set even though the last game was not great for you.  Did you tell yourself something between sets to stay there strong?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Yes, it's always tough to come back after the set, especially that I have some chances to win.  I thought, you know, will be very tough because I think she was more confident in that third set, after the second set.
I think the key was also the beginning of the third set.  Long, tight games.  In the end of the games, I had some great shots.  The beginning was good for me.  Then I was just, you know, keep going.

Q.  How good does it feel to reach a semifinal here, having played so many quarterfinals?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Great.  I'm so happy and pleased, especially that I beat one of the best players in the world.  Was not easy draw, not easy quarterfinal.
I'm very happy that I made my first semifinal here.

Q.  You've made it to the semis and a final at Wimbledon.  What did you learn from those defeats that will help you this time around in the latter stages of a major like this?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I think every semifinal, every final is a huge experience with tennis.  Those experience I just had from Wimbledon.  Of course, I'm just very happy, you know, to reach the semifinal at other Grand Slam.
So I think this is the level everybody playing great tennis.  Well, it's a bit more pressure.  This is the semifinal of a Grand Slam.  Especially here, first time for me.
Hopefully I will play the same tennis as today.

Q.  What do you think about your opponent for the semifinal and how do you prepare for that?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, we played so many matches against each other.  A couple last year, as well.  I think the last one was the final at Stanford, which I unfortunately lost.
But, well, I saw her matches here.  She was really playing great tennis, especially today.
Going to try my best, for sure.

Q.  You seem fairly calm now.  You sent a tweet that was just exclamation points after you won.

Q.  How excited are you to finally beat her now?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I mean, this is for sure one of the greatest matches at the slam, especially here.  I did couple times quarterfinal.  Few times was pretty close, even against her few years ago.
Like I'm saying, she's playing great tennis here.  I think, you know, especially the third set was unbelievable.  I really cannot complain about anything.

Q.  Are you going to go back and watch it a few times?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I don't know about that.  Especially I don't really have much time.  I'm playing tomorrow.  For sure just a lot of treatment, massage, rest.  Have to be ready for tomorrow.

Q.  Keep the DVD for the future?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I'll watch something in the evening.  It's always good.

Q.  You hit some pretty incredible shots.  There were some good rallies in the third set.  What was the favorite one that you hit?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Yes, well, a lot of good rallies definitely, amazing points, and running forward, backwards, side to side for so many times.
Well, I was really feeling good on court today.  I think, you know, I was feeling I could really do everything, trying and fighting for every point, every ball.
You know, finally semifinal (smiling).

Q.  You had the very difficult loss to Lisicki at Wimbledon.  Talk about the process of putting those big losses behind you and looking to the future.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, of course, losing matches like at Wimbledon, it's always disappointing.  It's kind of painful, as well, especially that it was the semifinal of a Grand Slam.
But I think, you know, you're playing so much tournaments, so much very important matches, that it takes really not much time to forget because so many other matches, other Grand Slams after that.
I think every Grand Slam is different story.  I'm trying not to really think about other matches, especially tough matches that I lost.

Q.  How important was it for you to use a lot of variety today?  In the past when you've lost to her, you would get stuck in a lot of baseline rallies.  How important was it to mix it up like you did today?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Yes, definitely I was really trying to mix up everything and, you know, going down the lines as much as possible.  Just make her run.  She's very consistent player.  She's pretty much, you know, putting everything back the other side.  Dropshot, lobs, of course.  I think this is my game, and it was working really well today.

Q.  Do you have any favorite color you wear for success?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Color?  Not really.  Not really.

Q.  Not white, red, black?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I like colorful stuff.  I don't mind changing.

Q.  You are a great shot‑maker.  You have great anticipation.  How do you read your opponent's serve and shots?  How is it possible?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, I think something that you practice for so many years.  Of course, maybe I was born with that, not serving 200 per hour.  You're just winning the game, mix up everything, run a lot.  I'm just kind of play like that.

Q.  You don't show too much emotion on court.  Are there more things going on inside you or do you just feel like you need to stay calm or you're not going to play well?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I think I prefer to stay calm and just focus on every point, especially matches like that.  If you're not focused for one moment, the match can turn around very quickly against you.
I always trying to really think about the next point.

Q.  Can you win the Australian Open?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, I hope so.  I will do everything in my power to do that.

Q.  Do you like the fast courts?  Does that help your game?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Uhm, I don't know about that, about the courts, faster.  I didn't feel like it.  Especially it's really hard to say, the conditions are very different every year.
I remember I think one or two years ago it was so windy every day, playing on a bit smaller court like Show Court 2, 3, it was pretty much impossible to play.  Now the heat.
I didn't feel like the courts are different than before.

Q.  Do you think you've learned something from Wimbledon last year where, again, the draw kind of blew up, Serena lost early, a bunch of top seeds lost early, it looked like a great opportunity?  It seems like a little bit of the same situation here this year.  Did you learn from that experience of taking it one match at a time, can't look at the trophy?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Yeah, of course.  I mean, of course, a couple seeded are out.  Doesn't mean it's going to be easier and you have a title right away.  It means that other players are playing great tennis this week.  That's why they beat the top‑seed players.
Of course, maybe top seeds are players who are more confident, especially in a Grand Slam, they make much more the semis and the finals.  But it's still tough.

Q.  Do you remember the first time you met and played Cibulkova?  Must have been a long time ago.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  We the same age.  I really played a lot of tournaments in Czech and Slovakia, as well.  Probably a tournament under 9 or 10.

Q.  Do you remember who won or what the match was like?

Q.  You were both like this tall (indicating very short)?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I think we were even smaller than that (laughter).
For sure, we played so many tournaments together when we were juniors and kids.  But first match I have no idea.

Q.  Were you still pretty much the same players back then:  you with the variety, her short but powerful?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I think it's always tricky to play someone that you know for so long, play so many times, as well.  Like I'm saying, every match is a different story, especially when it's a semifinal of a Grand Slam, the first semis for me and for her as well.  Well, we'll see.

Q.  I believe you're always saying you push yourself quite a lot in the off‑season back in Poland.  Don't you have the fear you won't be able to recover in time for the new season?  How do you balance that?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, uhm, yes, after holidays, it's pretty much half of November, so it's just six weeks.  Well, not even, because most of the tournaments are starting already in the end of the year.  It's just five, six weeks you can really practice.
I was really practicing and doing a lot of work, a lot of fitness.  I think now we can really see that, that I'm feeling good on court, wanting to go for the next one.

Q.  You did university in the winter?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Yes, I did.  I did my fourth semester.  I just missed one exam to finish the second year.  So one exam to be in the third year.

Q.  How important is mental toughness at this stage of the tournament?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, uhm, of course going on court, don't be nervous, it's tough.  I think in the beginning of the match it's always a little bit tough, especially it's the first semifinal.  But hopefully after few games I'm going to be myself and play my best tennis.

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