Question: What happened today in the match?
Daria Kasatkina: I think, Natasha was a little bit nervous in the first set and she made some unforced errors that helped me take a lead. But after that she found her game and improved a lot. Today she was playing better than me.
Q: Yesterday you were playing an evening match, today a daily one. Was it a factor?
DK: No, I felt myself well and I don’t think it was a factor. Sure, if I had a day-off, it might have been somewhat different. But I don’t think it played a big role.
Q: You have the same age as Natalia. Have you met before?
DK: She is not quite my peer – she is one year older than me. We played once in juniors.
Q: What are your impressions on St. Petersburg?
DK: I like it a lot; it is a very beautiful city. I was happy to come back this year but unfortunately it didn’t last long. Hope next year is gonna be better.
Q: Last year you were a rising star, now we could say Natalia is in the same position. Are there many good young players out there?
DK: Yes, you know, we have a good young generation. There are many good players of my age: Belinda Bencic, Ana Konjuh, Jelena Ostapenko. Thanks to this rivalry we are improving and growing.
Q: You have good results, what do you need to achieve even better ones?
DK: I think, I have to improve my mental side. My first year was easier as I was a sort of an underdog, no one knew me. I didn’t need to defend my rankings. But now everything has changed. Players know me better, they prepare before the matches they play against me. I feel a little pressure on me because I should defend my ranking points. But it’s fine, I will get more experience and it will be just fine.
Q: How do athletes work on their mental side?
DK: Everyone has his own method: someone can go visit a psychologist, someone meditates. There is no universal recipe for everyone.
Q: Have you found your recipe?
DK: I am still looking (smiling).
Q: What is the reason of your today’s loss? It was all mental?
DK: No. Today I felt fine and I wasn’t nervous. My opponent was just playing better than me today.