Daria Kasatkina: “Today My Opponent Played Better Than Me”

>Daria Kasatkina: “Today My Opponent Played Better Than Me”
1 February 2017

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.

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