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Na Li
Na Li bio
Transcribed Interview Transcribed Interview

Start of Transcribed Interview

Q.  You've been in the final before.  Do you feel you've learnt different things in different finals over the past three years?
LI NA:  Of course.  If you got more chance come to the final, you got more experience, yeah.  So, you know, at least me and Dominika, 50/50.  Everyone have chance to win the title.

Just come to the court, just play, don't think too much.


Q.  Do you think it's helped you prepare, the last couple years?
LI NA:  You will see tomorrow (smiling).


Q.  Does it matter to you this is the first final where everyone expects you to win?  Do you feel more pressure?
LI NA:  I feel last year is the same, you know.  You never know what happen during the match, so yeah.


Q.  Doesn't change the way you prepare for the match?
LI NA:  I think I'm ready.  Same like her.  I think both should be ready.  After six matches, everyone has more confident to prepare for the final.


Q.  You beat her four times.  She has never passed the fourth round here.  All of a sudden she's beating all the big players.  Why do you think she improved so much?
LI NA:  Why?  She have press conference?


Q.  Yes.  But I'm asking you.  I was told that players study each other, follow each other, see the results.  Do you follow her?
LI NA:  I'm sorry, I'm not follow.  For my tournament, I even didn't see who I should play next round.  I only follow what I should do on court.


Q.  She's the smallest height in the top 100.  Does that present any different way you approach the game?
LI NA:  I think I will still try to play the same like what I'm used to play because, how do you say, I never change the program or change the plan to see who is the opponent against me, you know.

Tennis is the sport you have to play, how you say, not only against opponent, you have to see what you should do on the court.  More important is yourself.


Q.  It obviously gives hope to small players.  Doesn't mean you have to be big, strong and powerful to succeed in tennis.
LI NA:  No.  Tennis match is not care about how tall you are, how short you are.  This is the game.


Q.  It's her first Grand Slam final.  Do you remember how you felt before your first Grand Slam final?
LI NA:  I was so exciting, yeah.  I never think about like nervous, you know.  Just exciting to saw myself, yeah, first time in the final.


Q.  Do you think it's helpful to accept some of the excitement and nerves?  Do you think that helps to play better in the final?
LI NA:  I think everyone will be exciting, nervous every match.  It's not only about the final.  You have to face to do that.


Q.  Is it possible to put into words how much you want to win this title, what it would mean for you to win here?
LI NA:  Is a lot because I was doing well in here.  I really wish I can win the title in Australia Open.  How you say, I always looking forward to play back here.


Q.  I read some article which says you changed your grip when you are serving and hitting the backhand.  Is that true?
LI NA:  Yeah, yeah.  I was change a lot after season of last year.


Q.  Could you explain a little bit how it helps on your serve and backhand.
LI NA:  You can see now on the court (laughter).

Of course, beginning was tough because I have to forget like old thing maybe I used for 20 years.  Of course, first couple days or first week is terrible for me because I always think about the new one or old one.

I think now at least I try to change something.  Now I use on the court I think pretty good.


Q.  Many players as they get older maybe don't try and improve as much, don't make major changes to their game.  You have under Carlos.  At what point in your mind did you think, I can't keep playing the way I always play, I need to actually improve?
LI NA:  You on the tour so many years, everybody know what exactly you play on the court.  Of course, if I didn't change I can keep in the top 10, top 20, but I cannot be the best in the world.

So I really want to push myself to change a little bit, to see.  It's very tough to thinking first because if you change maybe you lose old thing.  How you say, I still trust myself, trust Carlos.  I believe after change is help for me.


Q.  You now look very natural at the net.  Is that a surprise to you?
LI NA:  No.  I think I have very good volley, yes (smiling).

When first time Carlos is telling me, You should come in more on the volley.  I was like, What this guy talking about?  In the beginning, I was thinking, Huh, why?  I will stay baseline for maybe 100 years, never try to come to the net.

But after he tried to say the good way for me.  I try.  I was feeling well.  Is not bad.  Especially in Wimbledon last year, I was feeling, if I lose the match, at least I try.  I find the new thing for myself.


Q.  Do you enjoy that style more now than you used to?
LI NA:  Yeah, I think now is much better than in the beginning.


Q.  You have quite an aggressive game style.  Do you anticipate any changes against Dominika tomorrow?
LI NA:  You'll see tomorrow on the court.


Q.  You're not giving away anything today?
LI NA:  Not now (smiling).


Q.  Are you surprised she made three upsets in four days in Rod Laver Arena where she never won a match before and with such an impressive score?
LI NA:  Everyone has first time, right?  You couldn't say, This player can never win three matches in Rod Laver Arena.  Everyone will be pass if you want to win the Grand Slam title.


Q.  What do you do tonight to help yourself relax?  Meal with your team, go to bed early, watch a movie?
LI NA:  I mean, I just normal person so I just do the normal way.  Not special for me.  Just one match, one more to go.


Q.  Do you believe in third time luck?
LI NA:  In China 6 and 8 is lucky.  I'm not sure.  I try to find the lucky way, yeah.


Q.  So no thoughts of retiring, win or lose tomorrow?
LI NA:  No.  If I lose, I just continue until 6 or 8.


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