23/01/2011 07:28 CEST - Interviews

Na Li

b. Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-3

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Q. Could you tell us what you thought of the match and why you won.
NA LI: Because I'm better, so I won the match.

Q. What was the difference between you and Victoria today? Was it serving? You served better?
NA LI: No. I mean, I couldn't say exactly which one is better, but maybe I just play more ‑‑ today I was playing better than her on the court. So this is the key I can win the match.
I mean, you couldn't say, Oh, today I have a good serve, I have a good forehand. This is not a tennis game. You have to prepare for everything together.

Q. You were more consistent then?
NA LI: Maybe I have more confidence.

Q. What were the conditions like out there, the weather conditions?
NA LI: Not bad. Okay.

Q. Does it worry you, her screeching and grunting? Did that put you off or worry you at all?
NA LI: No. I mean, it was not first time I play against her, so I know which way she was play because we play many times before. So I know.

Q. Was her game different today?
NA LI: Not much different. I mean, the player couldn't change like after three months. I mean, the player always like the same continue to play, yeah.

Q. What about your play? You now have a new coach. Are you changing your game?
NA LI: Maybe not changing the game, but I was feeling right now we have a good communication. So I was feeling more happy on the court, yeah. So, like, during the practice, if I feeling like some ‑ how you say ‑ I like it or I didn't like it, I can just directly say to him.
Also, for right now, I mean, for the team, we have good energy, good communication. Always a positive thing on the team.

Q. Is your husband a good coach to work with?
NA LI: Yeah, until now. I think yes, yeah.

Q. You have a lot of fans here in Australia because you've done so well. Do you wish you got a bit more praise in your home country? Do you wish more people took notice of you?
NA LI: I think right now was change a little bit, because, you know, Chinese people everywhere. I was play tournament whole of the world. Of course many China fans come to say (speaking in Mandarin) or something.
So right now I was feeling like ‑‑ not like before. I only play myself, only my coach come with me. But many fans stay behind me, so I was feeling more ‑ how you say ‑ great or more positive thing.

Q. Everyone wants to win a Grand Slam tournament. Is that desire stronger for you because no Chinese person has ever won a Grand Slam tournament?
NA LI: I mean, this is a dream for me. I mean, until now I still just ‑ how you say ‑ follow the dream, yeah. I mean, like last year, I need two more steps. So hopefully this year I can do better, yeah.

Q. I saw the tattoo today.
NA LI: Nothing special. I think it's cool so I just make it.

Q. What is it?
NA LI: The rose with heart, yeah.

Q. How old were you when you got that?
NA LI: 10 years ago. So 19, yeah.

Q. What did you say it was?
NA LI: A rose with hearts, yeah.

Q. Do you ever have any regrets that you separated from the state sport system, or do you feel that allowed you to flourish?
NA LI: I mean, I'm not say good or bad, because always one thing always have good positive or bad thing. I mean, I'm happy right now because I have my team around with me. So, yeah.

Q. What are the good things and the bad things?
NA LI: I mean, if you stay in the national team you don't need to take care of anything. They pay fly ticket, book the hotel for you, find the coach for you. They do everything for you. This is good thing, of course, you don't need to take care about that one.
But right now I have my team around with me. Like if I'm lazy, I want to rest, I can say, Okay, now stop; I want to rest. Before if I stay on the national team, I have to follow the team because I couldn't do many thing as one because we are the team, yeah.

Q. In China where does tennis rank in popularity of all sports?
NA LI: Third. I wish it could come to be the number one. We try so hard, all the tennis player.

Q. If you walk down the street in Beijing or anywhere, do you get recognized by people?
NA LI: I mean, someone, if they watch tennis or they know the sport, of course, they know who they are. But they are so nice; they give you the space. Not, Okay, can I have your autograph? If you're walking the street, you need the time for yourself. They're so nice, yeah.

Q. Can you talk about growing up, I think it was in Wuhan, right?
NA LI: Yeah.

Q. You seem to be very mentally tough and have a lot of confidence. Where does that come from?
NA LI: I think everything, you know. Because my city, how you say, my home city, they have a lot of good tennis player, yeah. I mean, maybe not on the tour, but in China they have many, many. So that's why, yeah.

Q. What about your parents, can you talk about what they taught you that helps you play tennis now?
NA LI: No. They just, Okay, you can choose whatever you want. You know, my mom, she didn't watch play tennis. She's so nervous watch, yeah. I mean, sometimes I just feel like she totally forget me, yeah (smiling).

Q. She still doesn't watch you?
NA LI: Now she want me, but she can't watch I'm play tennis. I will ask her many times, Please, travel with me. She say, No, I want to stay because I don't want to watch. Yeah, I mean, this is tough.

Q. Last week you beat Kim Clijsters in Sydney. What can you tell us about Kim?
NA LI: Good player. I mean, everyone know that. And also she's nice. I mean, out of the court she always say hello to everybody. Yeah, I mean, I can beat her; yeah, of course, I have more confidence to play in Melbourne, yeah.

Q. Justine Henin opened an academy in Beijing. What kind of impact does it have for Chinese tennis?
NA LI: I think it was good. She seven times in Grand Slam title, yeah. I think after, if she come in Beijing, if sometimes she can come to Beijing, of course many player want to come to academy to see, I mean, how she practice, how she do business, yeah.

Q. When will you open your academy?
NA LI: I don't think I have this level. I have to keep going, yeah.


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