PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 16, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Must have been pretty satisfying today to win pretty
well against a top player.
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Yeah. I mean, it was -- I played much
better today than I did against Safarova because the
conditions were so much easier and Safarova's match was
blowing like 30 miles an hour.
Tonight or today was cool but no wind, so I was able to
serve better and just play my game, so I'm pretty satisfied
Q. Seems like you were riding that momentum from towards
the end of last year and this year and the Fed Cup...
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I changed racquets, also. I changed from
the Babolat to the Prince, so I feel like I have a little
bit more control. I started doing better once I switched to
that racquet. I feel like I've improved my game also in my
mind. So just as I get older, I feel like I'm improving.
So, yeah, I am kind of riding, you know, with some
confidence, especially coming off of Fed Cup.
Q. Do you feel like you're kind of coming into your game
and yourself as a player out here?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Yeah, I'm definitely coming into my game.
I know what my game is now. I have a game, actually.
It's easy to go out there when you have a plan and you know
what you're going to do day in and day out and you know what
you have, you know what your strengths are and you know --
you know, like I said, you just have a plan.
So it's working well with me, and I think that as I'm
getting older, I'm just maturing mentally, so I'm able to
handle certain situations better, too.
Q. Somewhat unusual for a player to switch racquets in
mid career. Why did you do it?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Actually, it's not that unusual. I think
a lot of players have been doing it lately, but I did it
because I felt like the Babolat I've had for seven years,
and sometimes that racquet is so powerful that when I was
young and I didn't have much strength it was good for me.
But as I got older and I got stronger it was almost too much
power, and sometimes I couldn't control it. I need to make a
lot of balls, so I switched to the '07 Prince, which has a
lot of power but control at the same time.
So I feel like I can swing out on the ball and it not --
it's not going to fly on me like it did with the Babolat a
Q. Does it affect your serve a little bit?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Little bit, because it's a half inch
longer. Maybe a little bit.
But more so, just returns and volleys and just overall
consistency plus power.
Q. A lot of really rough storms in Atlanta the other day.
Have you heard anything from back there?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Yeah. It's unfortunate, but I'm like an
hour and a half north of Atlanta, so I think -- I know that
all my family and everybody is okay, but the weather has
been pretty bad there. That's pretty much all I know.
But we're closer to Chatanooga, Tennessee. We're about 15
minutes away from there.
Q. What's your hometown?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Chickamauga, Georgia. Five miles long --
it's just like 5, 10,000 people. It's pretty small.
Q. Are you the biggest news, biggest star out of there?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Oh, yeah. (laughter.) But, you know, I'm
just like 15 minutes away from Chatanooga, Tennessee, so...
That's sort of a pretty big tennis town or whatever, so they
keep up with me.
Q. It still goes to your head that you're such a big idol
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Oh, yeah, for sure.
No, no. I just know that I get little writeups here and
there, but I don't get to go back there much. I live in LA
Q. In what town?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: L.A. I'm big time now, in L.A.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about your next round? I
didn't get a chance to hear who you play next.
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I think Radwanska. I think that's who it
is. I think we kind of have similar games. We're both pretty
quick. I know she's a good player. She's young. She's been
But like I say, I go out there and I play my game every day,
and I just want to do the very best I can, always.
Q. When you were playing, it seems as if you and Safina
were getting upset with the line calls.
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I think sometimes you just get frustrated
and maybe we take it out on whoever's calling the lines, but
I felt like the line calls were pretty good. Maybe a few
serves here and there, but there's no soft spot out there,
so sometimes it's difficult to see exactly if the ball was
in or out or anything.
But I think she was getting a little more upset than I was.
But I thought they were fine.
Q. I know you were getting about your confidence getting
higher and higher with the success you've had these last few
months. What does a win like today do for that confidence?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Well, it just continues to grow and I
continue to be more comfortable with my game, and just out
on the court, handling certain situations. I mean, you're
going to feel pretty good each time you have a good win and
you, you know, get to the next round or whatever.
Like I said, I mean, I've had some confidence now for like
four months or so, especially since changing to the Prince
racquet and able to feel just like I can hit out on the
ball. It's just growing kind of every day.
Q. Maybe I should know this, but what's the lay of the
land on the upcoming Fed Cup? Are you in or out or part of
the picture or you don't know or...
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I don't know if I'm supposed to say, but
it looks like I'm in, like I'm going to Moscow, so -- I'm
getting my visa. I'm headed out.
Q. Getting your visa?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I have to get a visa to go there.
Q. You didn't have your visa before traveling?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: I don't always have to have one
everywhere I go, but I have to when I go to Russia. This is
my first time to go. It's my first time in Moscow, so it
will be fun.
Q. On a scale of 1 to 10, how did you like San Diego for
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: San Diego is beautiful. I mean, La Jolla,
the place we stayed at is right on the water, so -- it was a
good experience for me all around, because I got to practice
and kind of hang around Lindsay Davenport, Lisa Raymond.
These two girls have had phenomenal careers, and I kind of
learned from them.
So it was just a great experience overall for me, and I was
just happy with the way I performed, as well. I'll be
excited to go to Moscow.
Q. Did you guys celebrate at all? Did you guys as a team
like go to Sea World or...
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Did we go out and party? No, we didn't,
because Sunday got rained out so we had to play Monday. I
had to get on the airplane the next morning and go to
another tournament, so there wasn't much time for any, like,
hoopla or anything. We just kind of -- we had to go, you
But we were all excited, for sure, and we were excited -- we
were excited to go to Moscow at the same time, and I've
never been, so it's a good opportunity.
Q. Is it special having those courts right by the ocean?
Is that a pretty nice combination?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Oh, yeah. I mean, it's just kind of
something about the water is peaceful, you know. And I live
on the ocean, too, so, right now -- so there's something
about living near water and you can see water that's kind of
peaceful, I think. So I was pretty relaxed the whole time.
Q. Did you spend time with Lindsay's son?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Of course. Jagger.
Q. What was that experience like? What was he like?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: Oh, he's super cute. I mean, he's a baby
still. He's got a cute personality. He's always smiling and
he's laughing and he seems like he's a happy baby. So she
seems like she's doing a great job balancing out her career
and being a mom. I mean, she just does it perfectly. It's
Q. No crying and yelling?
ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: No, he has a nanny, too. So, yeah.
End of FastScripts