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Wednesday January 19, 2011


Anne Keothavong's interview after her lost to Andrea Petkovic at the Australian Open 2011

By LadyDragon

Australian Open 2011

MELBOURNE, Australia--( Keothavong's interview after her lost to Andrea Petkovic at the Australian Open 2011

Q. Disappointing.

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, it is. No doubt I had my doubts in this match. For a set and a half I definitely felt I was playing some good tennis. I really did what I intended to do out there and took my game to her and was hitting out a bit more.

But it got close. I felt like I had to win that match in two sets. You know, I've played Andrea before. When she's got a bit of momentum and confidence she's a tough player to pin down. But overall I've had quite a few matches here. You can't underestimate how mentally draining coming through qualifying and everything else is.

Q. Do you feel that you'd had a good chance if you managed to hold on that last game in the second set and take it into a tiebreak?

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: I think that was a clear turning point. I got myself back from 5 3 down to 5 All, and 15 30 she just kicked a serve in and I kind of hit a nothing return. Just went into the bottom of the net.

You know, had I hit out like I was doing in the first set, who knows what could have happened. But I'm human; I got a little bit tight. The opportunity was there, I just didn't take it today.

Q. Is it difficult playing in that twilight with the lights on?

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, it is. You know, when I warmed up for my match this afternoon the conditions were completely different. It was sunny and quite warm. You can use the same racquet in the heat this afternoon and the ball feels like it's flying. You can use the same racquet in the evening and you feel like you can't hit the ball past the second serve line sometimes.

You know, throughout my career, I can't say I've played many night matches under floodlights. I did a lot of that as a kid after school, but not too many matches.

Yeah, it's tough. I really felt like I had to hit through it.

Q. Regardless, you must feel it's been a really good tournament for you. Four wins and getting close tonight.

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, Andrea is a very good tennis player. She had a great year last year. Compare it to my match against her last time where I found myself 6 Love, 5 Love down in no time. You know, 2011 is a fresh year for me. Definitely I can still take a lot positive from this tournament. I feel good.

Like I said before, physically for me the main thing this year is to stay in good shape and be as injury free as possible. And, you know, I do believe I can get back to where I was.

Q. Did you get the sense that she was hindered by that ankle before or afterwards?

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Was it her ankle? I thought it was blisters. But I don't know. I didn't pay too much attention. Andrea is one of the fittest girls out there. I don't think in the third set she had any problems moving.

Q. You mentioned later in the second set you felt was a turning point to you. Did you think a turning point for her was when she broke back at the start of that set, that shot you put in the net at 1 Love?

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, the third set I was very aware of that in the back of my mind. You know, I felt like I had the chance to close the match in two sets and didn't quite happen.

You know, the third set she didn't make many mistakes. I just tried to do a bit too much, and found myself just making too many errors. I can't afford to do that against players who are higher ranked than me. It's something to work on, but I think as the year goes on, I'll definitely improve and feel better about my game.

Q. When you play, win a good first set like that, and your opponent is struggling a bit, do you almost now assume they're going to go off for a toilet break?

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Um, you know, it's within the rules of the game. If you need the toilet, you need the toilet. I can't control what my opponent does. I can only focus on my own game and do what I can to stay focused throughout the match.

Q. Doesn't both you either way?

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: There's not a lot I can do about it, so you can't let it get to you.

Q. Did the thought occur to you that you might be playing Venus in the next match?

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: I was watching with a lot of other girls in the locker room Venus' match this afternoon. I didn't realize who the winner of my match played until this afternoon.

Yeah, Venus looked a little vulnerable this afternoon. I could only focus on tonight's match, though. It's a Grand Slam. Anything can happen. You've seen a few seeds go out today. I felt like I could have put another one out today, but it didn't happen.

Q. Going forward, I think you said in your press conference the other day that you were going to be back in the top 100 from next week. You said before that you don't really play in challenger events. Does that mean you'll still be qualifying for WTAs?

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, someone just said that to me. I haven't double checked it. Is that right?

Q. Yes.

ANNE KEOTHAVONG: Yeah, I would like to play that's where the best players compete. That's what I play for, to be on the WTA Tour. I played my fair share of ITF challengers throughout my career. Still a lot of the competition out there.

After Fed Cup there is one in Memphis, and that's what I'm planning to play. Big challenger events are just as tough as the WTA events. There's a lot of competition. You just got to try to win as many matches as whatever level you're playing at.




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