DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS WOMEN
February 19, 2013
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
C. WOZNIACKI/L. Safarova
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. That could have been a lot tougher, couldn't it?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It definitely could. Last time it was a lot tougher, 7‑6 in the third, and I lost.
In general I felt the ball pretty well. I feel the ball sometimes fly here a little bit, but I thought that it was okay today.
The serves maybe ‑‑serves and returns were quite tricky. I found they're going a little bit far, but I don't know. Probably just the first match, need to get into the rhythm, and, yeah, I mean, no matches are easy here. The draw is pretty packed with good players.
Q. Generally there is a wind factor here, but today do you think that it was calmer and easier?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Today was perfect to play in. It was not too hot, it was not too cold, it was not windy at all. There was no sun disturbing, so you couldn't ask for better conditions.
Q. Vika had to pull out today because of a bone bruise. It's sort of taken it a step further the thing that Rafa keeps banging on about, too many tournaments on hard courts. You love hard courts. What's your view on them?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I love hard courts, and I think hard courts, it's great. I don't think they should change anything. Maybe put extra few tournaments on grass, as well, which is gonna happen.
But Vika pulled out of this tournament last year, as well. So, yeah, she's had a good run so far this year, so I think she was tired, as well, and maybe needed a little break.
Q. Do hard courts beat up the body, though? You don't appear to have too many problems with it.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I'm fine. You know, as long as you watch out for your body and as long as you do a lot of work to prepare for yourself, because obviously ‑‑I think the worst thing is when you change surface, when you go from hard court to clay, or the worst is when you go from clay court to grass, because your butt and your legs and everything is so sore afterwards, your lower back.
I think once you're on hard court and you keep playing on it, I don't feel really a difference. Plus they put a cushion underneath the court, which helps it a little bit, I guess.
Q. You will play Jie Zheng next round. Can you talk about the matchup?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Who am I playing?
Q. Zheng Jie.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Okay. Yeah, I mean, a player who plays flat, fast, returns well. You know, she played well in Australia, at the Australian Open. She beat Sam. I watched that match, and, you know, I was impressed by the way she was playing.
You know, I know that I have to be on my toes, on my feet all the time. That's it, basically.
Q. You seem very fit. Am I correct in saying that you've lost some weight?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: You know, it's funny, because everyone keeps telling me that, Oh, you look so skinny, you look so skinny. I'm starting to think if I was fat before.
But, you know, I just take it as a compliment. I guess it's good when people think you lost weight and look fit. I have worked a lot off the court.
Definitely it's a lot of hard work. It doesn't just go off because I don't eat. I love food too much.
Q. Do you monitor your weight?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, in periods. In periods it's important, especially in the offseason, seeing how your body reacts to the training. And also, sometimes if it's extremely hot out there, just to see before and after the match how much you have lost.
But usually I don't really‑‑ other than that, I don't really monitor it. You feel‑‑ you know with your body how you feel, if you're in a good weight for playing tennis, because obviously, you know, if I wasn't playing tennis, then maybe I would have been skinnier because you don't do anything because all the muscle would come off. You have to think about being a tennis player first out there.
Q. What's the most weight you have lost during the match?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I mean, I have tried to lose a couple of kilos, which is bad because you should basically just keep the same weight. So keep drinking.
The last few years I have been really good and just, you know, keep refilling. Usually it stays pretty similar.
Q. We have seen pictures and tweets of you at Wild Wadi. Apparently there was a bet going on or a dare or something. Have you decided on the next one?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, I just think I'm competitive. And, you know, I knew that Rory hadn't tried the new slide, so I was like, Okay, I have to do it first. I know he would be a little bit scared to do it, so don't tell anyone. Or actually, do. (Laughter.)
Q. And you weren't?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, I wasn't scared at all. I just did it, jumped at it.
Q. How is tonight's match? How do you feel for the rest of the tournament?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It's nice to be in the tournament, and, you know, Lucie is a tough opponent. She tries to take the ball really early, really fast. It's tricky to play a left‑hander, as well.
So for me I'm just happy to be through, and I felt that there was quite a few positives to take from the match but also a few things I can improve.
Q. What are they?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: The serve and the return a little bit today. Could maybe have improved a little bit.
Q. You obviously won here two years ago, semifinalist last year. Does that sort of history, when you come back, does that sort of give you confidence knowing you've gone deep in this tournament twice before?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, definitely. You know, it's a great tournament for me. I really enjoy playing here, and I think Dubai is a great place. I have quite a few friends here, as well, and just ‑‑yeah, I enjoy it. I think that's the most important thing is that you enjoy to go some places.
There are a few places where I just know, Okay, we have to go there again. You know, it shows in the results as well. If you're not 100% ready and rested or happy, everything annoys you, and then you can't do well.
Q. Where are they exactly?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: You know, if you look at my results, I think you'll have a pretty clear view. (Smiling.)
Q. What's it like for you at the moment seeing Serena and Vika sort of jousting for the No. 1 spot? Not much more than a year ago you were there yourself. Do you look at it or put it out of your mind and think, I'm focusing on my game and want to get better?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: For me, I just focus on my own game. I think it's great that Serena, you know, is back at No. 1, the oldest No. 1 ever.
So, I mean, after everything she's gone through, you know, I think the fighting spirit she's shown and, you know, she almost didn't lose a match the second half of last year. You know, it's impressive.
Vika has been playing well, as well. So I just focus on myself, basically. I do what I want to do out there, and right now I'm not really close to that No. 1 spot, but, you know, you never know with tennis. In half a year maybe I will be; maybe not. You never know.
Q. Besides the ranking, do you feel your level is close to them?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I haven't played them for a while, but the last time I played Serena I beat her. No, I didn't, actually. I got completely killed at the Olympics.
I'd rather forget that.
Q. You almost did.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It's tough to say. They obviously play well because they're winning a lot of tournaments. Their level of play is obviously very high.
For me, I'm just really enjoying the tennis and happy to be out there, basically, you know. I think at one point it was just a job and going and playing, but I feel like I've gotten that hunger back and that enjoyment of the game.
Q. When exactly was it a job and you just went out there and...
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, at one point, it was like, Okay, you have done so much in such a short time. Every camera and every person's eyes on you all the time, and there's media, there's sponsors, there is fans, there's everything. You want to please everyone and do your best out there on court.
You know, all of a sudden I was going to practice, and I was like, Okay, I'm winning almost everything at the moment, you know, and you need to motivate yourself, and all of a sudden you don't win as much. You're like, Oh, it's not as fun as it used to be. You just need to step up and say, Okay, you do what you love and you enjoy what you do.
You know, I just feel like I have really gotten that hunger back and that enjoyment of the game like when I was a little kid. You know, I just wanted to play. I just wanted to be out there.
Q. This is the first time in four years that you've played the first round here. Before it's always been you have had a bye. Did that work to your advantage that you're not being sort of inserted into the tournament pretty cold, as it were, and you have actually had a game beforehand?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I like the bye. I like playing bye. I have positive records with byes. (Laughter.)
If I could, I'd play byes until the finals, but unfortunately that's not possible.
Obviously I would have preferred to have a bye and just, you know, get into the second round. If you win one match you're in the quarters already.
But saying that, seeing Kuzy or Daniela, they have to play three matches and then they're only in the main draw and then they have to play another I don't know how many matches if they keep winning.
It's like just be happy and play one more match. It's fine. I won, so that's okay.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports