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Alicia Molik defeated Silvija Talaja

6-1 5-7 7-5

18 January 2000

Q. You must be happy with the way you thrashed it out?

A. Yeah, for sure. I mean, the last couple of weeks of singles, I have to admit, has been struggling. Two first round losses and I think I was capable of wins in previous weeks, but to come out and to play a player that's in form. Silvija won the tournament on the Gold Coast, so I really had to step it up today and I managed to get through it, which is good.

Q. How does it sit with you that you could end up being the only Australian woman left in it by tomorrow?

A. Well, I mean, it's great. The crowd were behind me today and I'm sure they get behind every Australian player, but it's unfortunate that a few of the other Aussie girls haven't made it. Who have we got playing tonight? Is that Amanda Graham?

Q. Yes.

A. A buddy of mine. I wish her luck for tonight. But it's good. It's great.

Q. What did you think on the second serve on match point?

Did you just take a deep breath and go for it?

A. Yeah, I think the whole match, that was my plan and that was my game plan. I couldn't hold back. I had to really get out there and I really had to take the game to Silvija, so I just had to do my stuff and keep playing my style, which I did. I think that's the only reason why I did pull through that match.

Q. Do you think you served extra well today?

A. Sorry?

Q. Do you think you served extra well today?

A. I think I served very well today, yeah, a lot better than I have been serving in previous tournaments and previous matches and I did have to serve well today, I think, to really have a chance and I think - I think I served smartly today, a lot better than I have been, so I think it showed up. I'm not sure how many aces I served today, but I think my percentage was definitely up there. It helped my game out a lot, took a lot of pressure off the other aspects of my game.

Q. How dependent are you on the serve? If it's not working like it was today, can you still get through those sorts of matches?

A. For sure. It just makes it all more difficult. I don't think anyone can complain with a few aces or a few free points off the serve.

Q. I asked your opponent before, if you keep serving like this, how far you can go. She say you can go very far.

Do you agree with that?

A. I think so. The courts are definitely playing a bit faster this year. I've read in the paper there's been a few complaints, but I'm certainly not complaining and I'm sure a lot of the other Australians aren't. The courts are that little bit quicker, which I'm using to my advantage.

Q. When she served for the match at 5-3, she said she thought you put a lot of pressure on her. When you're in that situation, that's what you have to do?

A. She was absolutely right there. 5-3, I needed to break, and I wasn't going to walk off the court without putting the pressure on, without hitting the ball, and that game - I knew I had to break her and I knew I really had to take it to her and really press an attack and I did that. If I didn't pull it off, if I'd lost that game and still came in, I still would have been happy, but I just stuck to my style and managed to pull it off.

Q. At 5-5 you broke her to love. Same thing, just kept the pressure up?

A. It was the same thing, you're right. I felt that, I think, in previous matches, both on the Gold Coast and in Hobart, I think I haven't been aggressive enough and I think I've sort of been just content, you know, making the return. That's something that Roger, my coach and I, we've really been thinking about and working on. It's good to be able to go out there and really put what I've been practising into play and into a match like that.

Q. At 5-6 in the second set sort of serving to stay in it, pretty loose game. What did you --

A. Right, extremely loose, you're right. Well, I mean, you're right. It was a loose game, but I think after that, I did trail in the third set, but I think it really brought my focus in, having that one loose game and I think my decision making was a bit all over the place in that one game. But after that, I think I really brought it together and I played a lot smarter.

Q. Is that just all part of the learning curve, getting in that situation and living through it and then learning from that for next time?

A. I think so, definitely. Certainly in that situation, for sure.

Q. Have you always been like a serve volley, Alicia, serve volley?

A. Yes, I always have had an aggressive style of play, attacking style. I've always been encouraged to do that from younger.

Q. Roger's brother Craig, does he coach Andrew Ilie?

A. That's right, he does.

Q. Do you ever sort of come across him in training or don't

get the chance?

A. No, no, I haven't. I see Andrew and Craig around a lot and I'm a big fan of Andrew's as well. He's great.

Q. Do you take anything like his - like he's a never die type player?

A. Yeah, yeah, he puts on a good show as well, doesn't he? I think he puts on one of the best shows. I actually played - I didn't play against Andrew, played on the court next door to Andrew's court in the French Open and I think he was playing Bjorkman, that was the first round, and the crowd was just going wild. I've never seen anything like it, so.

Q. With your game, have you been sort of told to be patient because it takes a bit longer for a serve volleyer to mature and you see what Jelena Dokic has done atWimbledon and that sort of thing. Have you been told to be patient and take your time?

A. I think with my game style, and certainly there are a lot of things that are there that I have to work on, both the serve volley and both at the back of the court and the rallying and all that, so there's a lot that I am working on and have had to work on. But, in the past, I think a lot of things haven't matched up. One part of my game has really excelled, whereas others have lagged behind, and I think it's a matter of matching all that, also mentally matching things up. I think my game has really got ahead of my thinking and I think as soon as I bring those two together, which I think I did a lot better today, I think the results will come and my game will start coming together a lot more.

Q. This time last year, were you working a little bit with Nicole Bradtke?

A. Yes, that's correct.

Q. How long did you work with Nicole for?

A. For the year that I was in the Institute of Sport, Nicole worked with the institute.

Q. This is here in --

A. In Melbourne, that's right.