PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 18, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. So Sania didn't work you out hard enough, you had to
go hit, huh?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: It's kind of my routine. I always do
that after every match. Doesn't matter if it's easy or
Q. Does it work well for you, or are there sometimes
after a match you think, I'm not going to do this?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: If it's really long and my coach sees
I'm exhausted then we don't do it, but usually it's nice to
clear the game and get the rhythm back again.
Q. You didn't need too much cleanup today? First set was
great, and the second set was pretty good moments and the
big points and played well.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Definitely. I thought it was a great
match. Sania is a great hitter. I was expecting really a
tough one, and just being able to be in the quarters without
losing a set feels really great.
Q. It's not that often you get to the quarters without
losing a set, huh?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I know, that's why it feels so
Q. She says that because you hit a little flatter she
thinks that the climate here and the altitude and the courts
suit your game really well because your balls go deep and
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Actually, I would think on this court
I'm actually able to hit with a little more spin than I'm
normally used to, and I think especially also my kick serve,
I think the court takes the bounce very well.
I think more than the air is the bounce of the court that I
like so much.
Q. Can you talk about the potential challenge ahead
potentially facing Maria.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, it's going to be an exciting
match. She's playing obviously in great form, so it will be
a good test for me. I feel like I own this place. I'm here
and anything can happen. I'm confident, but obviously if I
want to win I have to play my best. Let's see if I will be
able to do that.
Q. You've talked about this before, but just a little bit
about your forehand, which over the last couple years, maybe
since you started working with Sanchez-Casal, seems to be a
bigger weapon and more consistent, too.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Definitely. I feel I've improved it so
much since I started to work with Angel, and I've been able
to put more spin on it, especially when I needed to. I was
able to, especially today, to just make it to the quarters
before where I made mistakes and make it more difficult for
myself in the matches.
Having a bigger forehand definitely takes the pressure from
my backhand away. So I want to swing out more, and it's just
a nice, nice balance to have.
Q. I presume you're going to represent your country in
the Olympics; is that right? Can you understand players that
don't want to do it?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, I guess when they have different
priorities probably, you know, playing for the country is
not as important. But personally it's going to be the
highlight of my year. Olympics are actually the reason I
started to play tennis, because it was the first time I saw
tennis on TV when Miloslav Mecir won gold medal for my
I asked my parents what kind of sport it was and I asked
them to buy me a racquet so one day I could make it to the
Q. That was your first conscious memory?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I was five years old. It was '88
Q. Have you ever told him that, that he was your
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: He knows, yeah. Yeah, he was in Athens
with me, so it was kind of special moment.
Q. Can you talk about Maria's intensity level on court
and how it can be difficult to match that, not just balls
and where you're hitting it, but just how she stays in?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think mentally she's one of the
toughest players. Even though sometimes her game is not
there but she never fights against herself. She is always on
her side, and that's what makes her so strong.
Q. At this point in this tournament, compared to your two
championship years, do you feel you're playing as good or
maybe better than you were in those two tournaments at this
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: It's tough to compare. I mean, every
year is different, but I feel like I'm hitting the ball well
again. I'm doing it the same way as last year, so those two
are pretty good signs. We'll see what's going to happen.
Q. You said this is sort of your magic court and you own
the place. Are there tournaments you go to and you think, No
way can I win on this court?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, there are a few places that are
just so, so tough to play. Some places you just feel so, so
great about. Nothing that's better than this one here,
that's for sure.
Q. Watching Monica tonight?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, for sure. I'm so happy I finished
early so I can stay quiet and watch it for sure. What time
does it start? 8:00?
Q. Probably 8:00, yeah. Do you dance?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Little bit, and it's actually something
I so much wanted to do one day. They did it in our country,
but obviously you have to stay there for I think a month or
two, at least, to be able to train and everything, so it's
impossible. But I love the show.
Q. So they have a version in Slovakian?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah.
Q. Would you do it?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I would love to. It's fun.
Q. Would you do it with Matt? (laughter.)
Q. You're going to have to give me lessons. I'm the less
than professional one. Who was the last big celebrity in
Slovakia who won? Do you remember? Or anyone who
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Well, all of them I think are
Q. A lot of hockey players?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, it was -- yeah, there were a few
athletes, then kind of also like TV commentators and stuff.
I don't remember.
Q. Any of the hockey players get up there and dance?
DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: I think so, yeah. Because we already had
two years of this. I'm trying to remember. Yeah, there were
a few athletes for sure. I don't remember the names, but it
End of FastScripts