Thursday, August 30, 2012
Li Na US Open Day 3 Interview | Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Q. You were saying the other day you're feeling more comfortable this year than you have in the past on American hard courts. Is that feeling continuing?
NA LI: I mean, like you say, today is another story. Yeah, I mean, I was feeling like first set was okay, like normal. But after first set, I was follow the rhythm of her. I was follow her, what she does on the court. Suddenly 4‑Love down, I was feeling, What happened? One second, 4‑Love down already. (Snapping fingers.) I was like, Okay, don't think about how is score. Just try to keep going. If I lose second set, it's still like one set all. I still have chance.
Q. You're happy with the way you were able to get out of trouble?
NA LI: I mean, I sure happy I still in the tournament. I didn't play best tennis today. At least I can stay in New York. I don't need fly back to China, yeah.
Q. When is the last time you felt this good about your tennis?
NA LI: Last year in the French Open. (Smiling.)
Q. That's a long time.
NA LI: Because after I win a Grand Slam, you know, I was feeling actually the same. But I think I am totally wrong because I couldn't concentration on the court anymore. I don't have experience anymore. I have to do so many things on the court, off the court. I was thinking, I'm still athlete or not? Last year after French Open I didn't do well on the tennis court. So, yeah, I was happy I can have very good winter training and start beginning of this year.
Q. After you were on the court after you won the French Open not playing well, were you actually thinking about things off the court, getting your picture taken, or I have to go do a commercial? Why did it distract you so much?
NA LI: I'm not movie star. I'm athlete. I have to do good job on the tennis court. So I was feeling if I can't doing well, why the sponsor should come for me? They can come for another athlete. I really wanted to do well, but sometimes didn't work. I think I was make a lot ‑ how you say ‑ pressure for myself. I was feeling after I win a Grand Slam, against some player, face to face, they are feeling they nothing to lose. They come to court, boom, boom. Suddenly I'm losing match so easily. It's not still strong in mind.
Q. In some ways you had to improve your game this summer so the players don't come to the court and, boom, boom, win?
NA LI: It's totally different story because I was used to one year to learn what I should do. Time can change everything, yeah. So right now I was think, Okay, I need take all pressure out. I win French is last year, so nothing worry about what I should do. So right now just continue. I was feeling I still love my tennis life, so I really want to challenge one more time to see how far I can get.
Q. If Kim advances, you would play her in the next round. Talk about what you would anticipate from that matchup. You could be her last professional match.
NA LI: It was really tough. I was play Kim this year in Australia, so I think both of us play very good in the match. But for me is the worst because next day is Chinese New Year. After I lose the match, I was like, What was going on? Everyone was so happy without me, so I was like, Okay, just take the beer and totally drunk. Next day I wake up, I was like, Okay, forget what I do yesterday. (Laughter.) You know, in China, how you say, if you lose the day, they are feeling a whole year is not so lucky. So I said, Okay, c'mon. I have four match points. Suddenly I was lost. I was like, Okay, totally lost. I just drink all the time, yeah. (Smiling.)
Q. Will you drink if you win the next round?
NA LI: Fortunately I not do the same. Maybe a couple of the beer, but not all the time. But for me I was feeling it was very tough match. I think it's tough ever. If Kim's win today, I mean, she's very like good player, a tough player, a very good athlete. It's really tough to play her. I know, because this is her last professional tournament. I mean, I really want to beat her. But if I beat her she has to left, so, you know, is really tough to find balance.
Q. Feels a little strange?
NA LI: Yeah. Why should she retire this one?
Q. You would feel bad if you beat her because you would be the bad girl who beat Kim Clijsters in her last professional tournament?
NA LI: I mean, if I can beat her, I would like to beat her. I mean, if I didn't beat her, I have to go home. So is very tough. But for sure it's good match.
Q. Plus two Australian Opens you were very close to beating her, no?
NA LI: Yes. So I didn't want to replay again from Australian Open. So I will try my best.
Q. We're playing here in New York. There's so much media. Could you step back and say the one or two things we Americans don't understand about your country, what would that be?
NA LI: Why Chinese still use chopsticks? Why Chinese have to put the family name first, right? I think lot American people couldn't understand, yeah. Two thing already. I couldn't find a third one.
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