19 January - 1 February 2015
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Casey Dellacqua
Casey Dellacqua bio
Transcribed Interview Transcribed Interview

Start of Transcribed Interview


Q.  Did you think you'd be back here in the fourth round?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Not really.  I don't know, I guess, you know, when you work hard each day and you hope that you can be.  You work hard, yeah, to try and get as best as you can.

Yeah, but no, it feels great to be back here.  Obviously I made the fourth round here in '08.  I definitely feel like a different person, different player at this point in my career.

Feeling, yeah, like, you know, just rewarded for all the work I've done pretty much.


Q.  Can you quantify the differences between you in '08 and now?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  I just think maturity.  I just think growing up.  When I made it in '08, it was such a whirlwind.  It was like a bit unexpected, it was, Whoa.  I didn't get much time to take much of it in.  I was also struggling with injury.  The year was a bit crazy.

Now, you know, obviously, yeah, I've had to work really hard and I'm a little bit older and a bit more mature and able to take everything in a bit more.  Definitely feel like a better player tennis wise now than probably back in '08.  Played some really good matches over the last week.

So, yeah, that's about it really.


Q.  The fact you've done it in straight sets three matches in a row, how much more does that help you confidence wise?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, it's good.  I've beaten some pretty good players, you know, in straight sets.  Haven't felt easy by any means.  Still felt like, you know, I've had different challenges within each match.

But, yeah, I felt like the game plan that my coach provides me gives me a clear understanding of each opponent and what I need to do to win.  I've been able to go out there, control what I can control, nerves, heat, everything else, and execute what I need to do.

So, yeah, I know they've been straight sets, but they haven't felt like all easy matches.  I feel good they have been straight sets and my body is feeling awesome at this point in time, too.


Q.  What do you know of your next opponent, Bouchard?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  I know she's a very quality player.  She's seeded here.  First Grand Slam she's seeded in.  She's young.  She's on the rise.  She's going to be tough.

She's got a great serve.  Yeah, it's going to be another challenge for me.  I haven't actually seen a lot of her play.  I know that we'll probably grab some footage and have a bit of a watch.

Yeah, so I just look forward to another opportunity, another challenge.  Yeah, I know it will be tough against Eugenie.  Hopefully the work I've put in, the matches I've played, the way I'm hitting the ball, would put me in good stead.  It will be a good match, a good fourth round.


Q.  And are you concerned that the temperature will be under 40 degrees?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  A bit (laughter).

I don't mind the heat.  I've kind of said that.  Yeah, it already feels like it's dropped 10 degrees out there now.  But, you know, we're used to playing in all different conditions as tennis players.  We wait around at Wimbledon when it rains all the time, windy conditions.  We deal with everything.

I'm sure when we play on Sunday, it will be really nice conditions.  Yeah, probably a really good feel out there.


Q.  Did the heat play a bit of a part?  Your opponent almost collapsed at one point and it didn't affect you at all.
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, no, I felt great.  I felt really good out there.  When I saw her laying down, I thought, okay, she's struggling, this is good.  I mean, that's what you kind of want to see with your opponents.  You're always looking on the other side of the court to see even if they're getting angry.  That's what you look for.  You kind of feel like, Hey, I've got them.

When I lost the game at 4 3, I was like, No, you got to switch back on, really knuckle down here.  I know she's struggling, but I didn't want to be like too excited.  I was trying to force it a bit.  I took my time, relaxed.

But, yeah, the heat was great.  I love it.  It makes my body feel good, too, the heat, the warm.  Yeah, I really enjoyed it out there.  Yeah, it would be nice if it would be a bit hotter for the next week.  I'm sure everyone else will be over it.


Q.  Are you crazy?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  I don't know.  Like I just grew up in this weather.  I grew up in Perth.  We had summers like this all the time.  So I totally understand there is a point where it gets ridiculous.  Like yesterday, obviously it was just too hot to play.  For doubles matches, probably fine, but for singles it does take it out of you.

I just guess I'm lucky that I've acclimatized to it.  If you spent a couple months, I think you'd be all right, too.


Q.  Victoria Azarenka was going on last night on how much she loved her grandma.  Your grandma, talk about her, what makes her so special in your life.
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, she's a beautiful lady, my Nan.  She's the eldest of 10 kids.  She's been there, care for her brothers and sisters.  She has four daughters, like 12 grandkids and great grandkids now.

She's a beautiful lady, loves everyone one of us equally.  Goes to my cousin's amateur footy games, watches them, cheers them on.  She loves it.  She's so proud of all of us.

As you get older, you realize the importance of family.  You understand and appreciate when they can be around and to watch you play.  I feel grateful that at this point in time where I'm at that she can sit in the crowd and watch me play.

Those are the things that, you know, I want to make my family proud.  It's awesome that she can be here, just enjoy watching me play.  I think it's pretty special.


Q.  A lot has been discussed about the partnership you have with Ash on the doubles court.  Has she had any influence on your singles career?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, I guess I've spent a lot of time with Ash.  We're good friends off the court.  It's a tough world, the tennis world.  I'll be honest, I don't have a lot of friends out in the tennis world.  I can count on one hand the girls I talk to, and Ash is one of them.  We're very close.

Yeah, I said it last year when we were making Grand Slam finals, I've got experience and she's got youth.  It's great to have someone like her around.  I can't wait to see her journey unfold over the next few years.

It was great to be back on the doubles court with her yesterday.  I look forward to, yeah, hopefully sharing our careers over the next few years together as well.  She's a really good kid.


Q.  When you made the solar power comment the other night, did you use that before or was that spontaneous?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, it was a bit spontaneous.  I'm actually honestly not sure where that came from.


Q.  Last year Heather Watson was saying how tough it is out on the tour, rough to have to go to the hotel, kind of lonely.  We see tennis players in the arena, it's glamorous.  Talk about the grind side, what it's really like.
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, that's the reality of elite tennis.  I know there's been a few articles out there that I've read lately.  It rings a bell with my head so much because it's a really tough sport.

A lot of the girls out there are either traveling by themselves or without coaches.  It's an expensive sport for yourself, not to mention to travel with entourages and stuff, unless you are in that top caliber of players.  I've been ranked 150 to 180 for the last year.  It is tough.  You're worrying about money.  You're trying to survive each week.  There's not a lot of money for players ranked from 150 to lesser.  It's a tough sport and it's an expensive sport.

Yeah, it's a bit of a grind.  I've been in both kind of areas.  I've been in the lower level.  Even eight months ago I was playing a couple 50,000s in Bendigo.  You're paying for your hotel, nothing gets paid for, and you're not making much money.  But that's what you do to get to these moments.  But it's tough.


Q.  Last week you received heaps of support on Twitter.  The support from the Carlton Footy Club.  You're a Western Australian girl.  I would have thought you would have been Fremantle or West Coast.
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, no, Carlton.


Q.  How did that come about?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  When I was growing up in Perth, the Dockers went around, and the Eagles had just kind of just started.  I was a big fan of Stephen Silvagni, Kernaghan.  They won the Grand Final in '95 and just became big fans and stuck with them ever since.  With my cousin Kayla, we're big Carlton fans.

I have a soft spot for the WA Teams, it's hard not to, because I'm a WA girl obviously, and I would have loved to have seen them win the flag last year, but, no, I'll always be a Carlton girl.


Q.  Is there something else you felt besides injury that held you back since you were here last?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Probably a couple of elements, probably mentally.  We can all see how tough tennis is mentally.  I think sometimes it's the difference, I think.  I think I have a lot more self belief.  That probably comes from doing the hard work off the court, to be able to take that into matches, knowing I've done the work.  I deserve my spot, I deserve to be playing in these matches.

So probably mentally and physically.  Yeah, the tennis has never been a problem.  I've had other things to work on.  That's what I've done since I had my couple of surgeries.


Q.  Are you more ruthless now?  You said you enjoyed seeing her lying down.
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, probably.  I'm pretty competitive.  I've always had that.  But I don't think I've ever let that competitiveness out much.  I think each match, you know, I'm really focused.  I'm here to do a job.  I love it.  I love what I do.

But I want to see girls crack it at the other end of the court and I want to win.  Yeah, I mean, I want to win, I want to play well and all of that.  At the end of the day, if I don't win it's okay because I know I've given it a good shot.

But, yeah, probably.  Probably a lot more ruthless in my old age.


Q.  With that old age...
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Now you're going to use that, aren't you (laughter)?


Q.  Guys mature later on tour.  You missed a couple years.  Are you just starting to come into your form now?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah.  Everybody peaks at different times in their careers.  You see it in the guys, 25, 26.  But even the girls, like Serena, she's playing her best tennis and she's 32.  I think you see that a lot more because it's a tough sport, it's mentally tough.  It has so many different elements.  As you get older, I think you cope with a lot of that stuff better.

I feel definitely at 28 I'm playing my best tennis.  I wish it was 22 or 21, but at this point in time I'm happy to be in the fourth round, and I'm happy at this point in my career I am playing my best tennis.

When I finish, whenever it is, I can say that I reached my potential, I did what I could, and I'll be happy with that.


Q.  Do you think until now you've underachieved, or is it a matter you had to get to this point to be this player?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, I think everyone has their journey.  If I had to self reflect, I definitely feel I had underachieved, there was more in me.

When I was 21, I probably wouldn't have realized that.  So that's all part of the journey.  Everyone gets to a certain point where they go, Okay, this is what I'm capable of, this is what I have to do.  I'm glad that I've got to that point.  Some players may go through their whole career and never reach their potential, or have regrets.

I can honestly say, sitting here each day since I've come back from my surgery, that I've worked hard and I've done what I can.  Yeah, I'm happy to sit here and say that.


Q.  In America probably the foremost sports poem is called Casey at the Bat.  Have you ever heard of that?  Do you feel this is your Casey at the Bat moment in your career?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Is it baseball?


Q.  It's baseball.
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Sorry, can't say I've ever heard of it.


Q.  It's a great poem.
CASEY DELLACQUA:  I'll have to Google it.


Q.  What do you think is possible over the next few days for you, given your great run already?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Tomorrow I've got doubles with Ash.  It's great for me.  I'm focused on the doubles as well.  Singles is my priority, but doubles is a main focus as well because Ash and I have a good shot of doing well here at the Australian Open.

Tomorrow it will be good.  I would practice anyway, so why not get out and play some doubles.  We played a great match yesterday.

Tomorrow it will be about the doubles.  I still have some mixed to play, but I'm not sure when that will be as well.

On Sunday when I get to play in the fourth round, yeah, I guess I'll leave it all on the line again.  My body feels great.  I've been doing all the recovery and stuff.  Yeah, hopefully I can keep my roll going and have another win.  That would be nice.


Q.  On the doubles, what were you thinking when Venus and Serena pulled out?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  I didn't know they had.  Yeah, you always look in the draw because you know they're not going to be seeded so you're always hoping you don't draw them.  Now that they've pulled out, I know we're playing Mladenovic and Pennetta, so they're probably quite happy that they didn't have to play Venus and Serena, because they're two of the best players in the world.

Yeah, looking forward to Ash and I's doubles match tomorrow and keeping that going, too.


Q.  Are you enjoying the fact that we are no longer asking you whether singles is a priority?
CASEY DELLACQUA:  Yeah, and maybe how long I think I've got to play, stuff like that (laughter).

But, no, I love playing singles.  I love the challenge of singles.  I love working hard for singles.  The training for singles as well.  I couldn't be just a doubles player.  It would do my head in if I had to travel on tour and just play doubles.  I'd be, yeah, feeling a bit guilty being away from home and stuff if I had to do that.

No, singles is definitely a priority, but there's a big focus for Ash and I to still do well in the doubles as well.  The fact that I'm healthy and I'm feeling great, I can play both events.  That's not a problem.  Hopefully look forward to a lot more tennis over the next week as well.

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