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Australian Open: Casey Dellacqua, January 16, 2008

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Casey Dellacqua
Australian Open Interview
Wednesday, 16 January, 2008

Q. Well, how are you feeling?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Uhm, yeah, I think I've had a shower and been able to calm down a little bit, but I'm still ‑‑ I'm over the moon and absolutely excited.

Q. What was it about your game today that you felt allowed you to win from matches in the past?

CASEY DELLACQUA: I think there's a few things. I think mentally I was strung out there today, even if I was 6‑4, 3‑Love down I kind of went off my game plan I have been through with my coaches, with Dave.

I said to myself, Just go back to basics. Let's go to the process. So we spoke about what I needed to do. Yeah, I pretty much went back to that, and then I should have just stuck with that the whole time and, yeah, it worked.

In the end I just mentally hung in there as tough as I could, and was able to eventually get the break and then serve it out.

Q. You were very aggressive in that last game. Players can normally sort of push you around and you just try and hope for an error?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, well, in the past like I've played heaps and heaps of three‑set matches where I've eventually lost because I haven't gone for it and I've kind of held back a little bit.

Today I just had nothing to lose. I didn't want to walk off the court and have any regrets and say, Oh, I wish I had hit that forehand.

So in the end I went for everything. That's my game style anyway, so I thought, Well, why not? This is the best opportunity I'm going to have. I put myself in a position to win. Let's go for it. Don't hold back.

Q. You played like you have more belief in yourself it seems.

CASEY DELLACQUA: I think I've done the work, that's the thing. I've done the hard work and I've done the training. There's no reason for me not to back myself. Yeah, I feel really good out there and I feel like I'm hitting the ball well.

Yeah, I do believe in myself a lot more than I have in the past, for sure.

Q. Have you had a bigger win than that one?

CASEY DELLACQUA: No, definitely not, especially 8‑6 in the third, because my last match was 8‑6 in the third, as well. Yeah, it was so amazing. The crowd was great. As the match went on you could feel they were getting into the match a lot more. Yeah, it was an amazing feeling.

Q. Would you have had the legs to run two 8‑6 in the third sets out in the past?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Definitely not, and that's something I've worked on. I guess it's something that when I've had a chance like this it's paid off. I knew that I've been doing the fitness work and the running and the hard yards, so when it came to the crunch I never ever once felt tired out there.

I guess I'd often sometimes get physically tired, therefore get mentally tired. I think it works hand in hand. I felt really good physically out there, therefore I felt really good mentally. I think that was a good thing today.

Q. Is that the main difference from 2006 to 2008?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, absolutely. And I've never denied that, and that's something I've always knew that I needed to work on. Because people have always said, Look, you hit the ball well and you strike the ball really well. It's something I've needed to do, and I've taken it all on board.

I've matured a lot more, I think, in being able to know what I need to do. I've done it and it's paying off, and hopefully this is just the start of a great ‑‑ hopefully a lot of years on my on the WTA circuit.

Q. What's your ambition in tennis?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Well, obviously to ‑‑ well, for me, I like to set short‑term goals for me. Obviously everyone has this dream of becoming a top 10 player and being No. 1 in the world.

But I think for me I have to be realistic. And if I finish 2008 top 50 in the world I'll be super happy. And then hopefully I'll keep progressing. If in a couple years' time I'm top 20, that would be awesome, but I'm not going to set any unrealistic goals.

You've got a dream and you've got to have goals.

Q. Going back throughout memory banks, was it this time last year that you talked about having to go to a department store and get yourself kitted out ahead of the Aussie Open last year?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, I think I've struggled. I think it's not just me. I think you'll see a lot of players out there. And some Australian players out there I guess are struggling for an opportunity to get sponsors and stuff.

And, yeah, my favorite shop has always been Target, so I've always ‑‑ I like their tank tops and they're comfy to practice in. Usually you can get deals for like three for 30 bucks or something. I mean, it's just reality of it. It's not something ‑‑ because that's just the way it is and it's just something I've always done.

And, yeah, but I always had a great opportunity to obviously get some stuff from Nike yesterday, and I really appreciate that.

Q. It's been a different approach and not a Target approach this year, it's actually been a Nike approach?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, from my Monday match I wore stuff I had bought to play Maria Sharapova at the US Open, because you don't want to go on Arthur Ashe wearing a Target top, so I went out and bought something. So I did that.

There's stuff that I wore on Monday was from that match, and then yesterday I picked up some stuff from Nike. The outfit was from what I picked out yesterday.

Q. Having to do your own washing, as well?

CASEY DELLACQUA: No, we actually get laundry provided here. Yeah, I don't have to do that, but I do that throughout the year anyway, so I don't mind.

Q. Getting through the third round provides some realistic dollars. Is that going to change those sort of things?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, I think it just ‑‑ it just takes the, I guess the weight off your shoulders in terms of knowing I guess you have some money to pay for a hotel. You don't have to share. You can do your own thing. You can have your own room.

You can you kind of go eat dinner at a nice restaurant and not go to the supermarket and cook some pasta up. Just little things. I think playing at the next level. I played at the second tier level at challengers and satellites for a lot of years now.

I think it's just the little things like airport pickups, getting your hotel paid for and stuff, things that you get at this next level, which is a huge help.

Q. Is that part of the driving ambition of being able to get out and enjoy those luxuries?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Absolutely. I think you appreciate it when you haven't had it, and I do really appreciate it now, having the drivers pick you up and having them ‑‑ there were volunteers taking you here and there, and people doing laundry. The locker room ladies, everyone, you really appreciate all of that.

Because playing at ITFs, I've played in Perth, Kalgooly and Dendy Park, and you don't get that definitely.

Q. What about taking on Amélie Mauresmo in the third round? It's a real possibility.

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, I haven't seen much of her play. I think she's playing at the moment, isn't she? For me, yeah, I've got nothing to lose, again, and obviously I'm hitting the ball really well and I feel really good. I've got to make sure I do the right recovery now and get the right massage and feel good.

Yeah, you never know. Hopefully I can keep this run going.

Q. How many outfits did you pick up yesterday, one or two or a different number of them?

CASEY DELLACQUA: I might stick to the same. I'm a little bit superstitious like that, even though I changed from the other day. I've been having the same shower in the same locker room every day, so I've told the locker room lady to stock that shower up because I'm not moving from that locker. But, yeah.

Q. Just to be clear, did Nike hook you up with the gear this time, or did you just buy it?

CASEY DELLACQUA: No, no, Nike provided me with some product, yeah.

Q. What about the pepper spray incident last night? What do you make of that?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Oh, I don't really know what happened. I haven't heard, sorry.

Q. With the pepper spray being used at the Chilean versus the Greek guy.

CASEY DELLACQUA: Was there a mishap? Sorry, I haven't watched the news or anything this morning so I have got no idea.

Q. Three people were thrown out. Yeah, police used pepper spray to control the crowd.

CASEY DELLACQUA: Okay. Yeah, I guess that's a bit of a sad mishap for something like that to happen. But I think the crowds have been pretty good this year and hopefully that's just one little incident and the tournament can move on and have no other incidents like that.

Q. I notice you've got V8 Supercars down as one of your favorite sports. There wouldn't be too many women on tour that would put that on the list.

CASEY DELLACQUA: No, they probably don't even know it, I guess. Yeah, I've always loved it. My dad's an automotive mechanic so I've grown up around cars, and I've always had a passion for V8s and been out to Barbagallo in Perth and seen them there. That was my always one of my dreams, to get a Monaro one day, so maybe hopefully that will happen.

I'm still driving my '91 Commodore at the moment, though. I'll stick with that for the time being.

Q. You have enough money to buy a new car from the third round here, won't you?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah. But like tennis is such an expensive sport. I guess you don't realize we have a lot of expenses as well. I'm grateful to be part of an Australian Institute of Sport program where we get coaches provided. I really appreciate that support.

So, yeah, but tennis can ‑‑ when we're traveling the world so much the money, it's, yeah, you've got to watch it sometimes.

Q. Just on a different note, were you surprised by Nicole Pratt's announcement? What did you hear about that?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, it's sad, isn't it? My dealings for me personally dealings with Nicole have been amazing. Throughout Wimbledon, as you probably know, she helped me throughout qualifying and then Ironically I drew her first round.

But she's been amazing. Someone that I look up to. She hasn't got all the weapons, but, I mean, what an amazing competitor, amazing mental strength. She really deserves a lot of accolades for how well she's done throughout her career, absolutely.

Q. Is she an example you could follow on how to dedicate and commit yourself, do you think, to the sport?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Absolutely. She's professional. Everything she's done she's done it 100 percent, whether it's her fitness, you see her around the courts. She's always well‑prepared, well‑organized, and it's something that I think every player should aspire to be like her, for sure.

Q. She said last night that there was a real opportunity now for an Australian woman to step up. Is that the way you girls are thinking?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, absolutely. I think there is a huge opportunity. We've seen Sam Stosur. I mean, before her illness she was 28 in the world, and she's really made some steps. Alicia is in great some form.

Hopefully I can keep my ranking moving up and do hopefully I can Australia proud and keep going up the ranks and do Australian women's tennis proud. We have Jess Moore, as well. We've got a couple girls around the 150 mark, which hopefully they can break through because I was at that mark for a while, as well. I think we're all on the right track for sure.

Q. Can you imagine getting paid to wear free clothes as opposed to people giving them to you? Can you imagine if Sharapova gets millions and millions of dollars to wear free clothes, is that something you've thought about?

CASEY DELLACQUA: No. Even when if I picked up my stuff yesterday I got heaps of shoes. I got like six pairs of shoes, like a whole range of clothes, new socks, sweatbands, things you don't even think about really.

I got more stuff yesterday than I had in my original suitcase like. I called dad and I said, I'm going to have to get you to take a fair amount of this stuff back to Perth. I can't carry all this stuff. I it was like a second Christmas.

Yeah, I really appreciate it. It's important to feel good out there, and I think having a new outfit makes you feel good.

Q. How did that come about? Nike just called you after the first round or...

CASEY DELLACQUA: I think it came about through Tennis Australia. Sandon Stolle, he kind of rang me and said, Do you want to come down and meet them? I went down there and I was grateful enough and they said, Yeah, look, we're happy to give you some product.

They give gave me a huge bag and said, Good luck. We hope you play well. That's good.

Q. You were saying your family's over, or your dad is going to lug your stuff home.

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, I have a lot of family over. I haven't even actually had a chance to catch up with any of them yet. I like to do my own thing a little bit. Yeah, they're all here and they're amazing. I've got both my nans and my mum and dad and my sister and two of my aunties and my uncle and some cousins.

Everyone's over, and I have a great support group from Perth, as well. I really feel the Perth people are behind me. Yeah, it's awesome. Good feeling.

Q. Do you have tickets for them all, or is that a struggle?

CASEY DELLACQUA: Yeah, I think a couple people had to buy a couple because Vodafone you need ticketed seating now. I asked a few players but couldn't get enough tickets, but they're happy to buy them. I think it was worth it today.


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