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Yanina Wickmayer, Australian Open, Janaury 18, 2010

An interview with:



Q. Can you tell us, one set down, 1‑6 in the first set, then you came back to win two tough second sets. How did you do it?

YANINA WICKMAYER: Well, I must admit, it wasn't my best match today. I made a lot of mistakes and never really came into the match where I played aggressive. Played a lot of rallies behind the baseline and made a lot of mistakes.

But I must admit she played well also. She made me work for every point. She made me play really well.

Well, I know it wasn't my best day today. I know I wasn't playing great. So the only thing I could get through this match was to fight for every point, just be ready for a long fight, just try to improve every point, and try to play more aggressive.

The rain delays were not that easy, but tried to kept hanging in there, just tried to do what I had to do.

Q. Would have been very disappointing to have lost the match after having come through the qualifying.

YANINA WICKMAYER: Well, I mean, losing a match is always disappointing, if you've gone through the quallies or not. I know she can play really well. It's not the kind of game I play against very good.

So, no, she really made me play really well today, and I think she did a great job.

Q. What did you do during the rain delays?

YANINA WICKMAYER: Well, the first one, well, it wasn't too long, so I just try to stay warm and go on court again. The second one I ate something, since it was a long time I haven't eat.

So I went to get some treatment for my back, which was hurting a lot. Warmed up again and went back on court.

Q. How difficult was the preparation, coming through qualifying, with the controversy with the suspension?

YANINA WICKMAYER: You know, it was a tough time. I've been through a tough time. It was tough for me not knowing when I was going to play again, not knowing what the future will bring.

But I kept on practicing, working hard, and trying to put a goal for myself. I was really happy to be back on court. I had a great week last week, won my first title of the year, and played some great matches in the qualifying, which I really enjoyed playing.

It was tough, but I think it made me strong. Yeah, it made me a little tougher maybe. Today was a tough fight again. It's only good mentally to get stronger and get tougher also as a person and an athlete. It just makes you stronger.

Q. Did you resent having to play qualifying?

YANINA WICKMAYER: What does 'resent' mean?

Q. Did you think it was wrong you had to play qualifying?

YANINA WICKMAYER: Well, I'm 16 in the world, so I think I should be main draw. I mean, I've asked myself that question a lot of times. I knew I was going to have to play quallies. I knew it a couple of weeks before, so I could prepare myself for the qualifying matches, which was, in a way, positive. I knew I was gonna play them and I could prepare myself mentally.

Had a great preparation in Auckland and was playing well. I had a good few matches here. I rather had them in Sydney, but I had them here. When I played them, I really enjoyed being on court, and I just played my matches the way I wanted to play them. It all came out good.

Q. Did you think a little while ago that you'd get here, play the Australian Open? Were you always confident you would get here?

YANINA WICKMAYER: Well, first of all, I didn't know what was gonna happen when I got suspended. I didn't know if I was gonna be here. But then when I hear I could play again, I got a wild card in Auckland, which was great. Those people gave me the chance to compete again. That was great.

And I understand in a Grand Slam it's really hard to get a wild card. I asked for it, but I understand that that's really hard for a tournament director to give a wild card to a non‑Australian player. So I accepted I had to play quallies.

I think for me mentally, yeah, it was good playing them. I got a little stronger, a little tougher mentally. I think it's gonna serve me well in the future.

Q. With all you've been through, made you more determined to do well here?

YANINA WICKMAYER: Not really. I'm just trying to play my best tennis and stay strong on the court and physically stay healthy. I think those are the two most important things.

But I'm really glad the way I handled the quallies and the way I handled my mental on the court. I'm really happy to be in main draw. I'm really glad to pass the first round. I'm really happy I'm still here.

Q. Do you feel fresh physically, having played quallies?

YANINA WICKMAYER: Well, maybe if you ask me that question tomorrow I'll tell you a different answer, but for now I'm pretty tired (laughter.) Had a long day.

Had a long match. Have a day off tomorrow. I hope will be fit to start again in two days.

Q. What are the other players saying to you about the suspension? Anybody saying anything?

YANINA WICKMAYER: Not really. Everybody is pretty supportive of me. Everyone knows how hard I work, how hard I work on court, how hard I practice. So I think everyone has a lot of respect for each other.

I think everyone is happy I'm back and I'm playing again. I think I would have the same with anyone else. So I think everyone is really supportive and has shown a lot of respect.



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