ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: «I WILL RETURN THE FAVOR TO KIKI BERTENS»
1 February 2019
You managed to beat Kiki Bertens in Australia. What did go wrong today?
Today the shoulder was bothering me more than yesterday. And I don’t know why… Unfortunately it didn’t help me today. My serve was not really good. It also had an impact on my game as Kiki is playing aggressively, without making big errors and that means if you have no service it is very tough to play. Simply put, she had fewer unforced errors in the third set and she served better and played better as well.
It felt like after losing the second set Kiki was still upset and you had a chance to break her at the very beginning of the third set. If you could do that the result could have been different. Right?
Maybe. As I have already said, my serve wasn’t at its best level today so it is difficult to say. Over the last days here I didn’t have a good feel on my return well, the same thing happened yesterday. There were a couple of things about my return.
It felt like when the score was 0/4, you stopped fighting. Is it true?
No, not at all. I kept on fighting till the end. You can rally from any score. During today’s match I felt really tough. It seemed the third set played its role. She returned easier and in general she was playing better.
After the first match you have played there, you said it’s good to have one day-off. Now you were playing without having any day-off. Maybe that made a difference?
I don’t think so. That was fine. There is always one day-off at any tournament and after that you play every day. The surface is a little bit tricky here. When you play tough matches here it is tough to recover after them. But I don’t really think it had an impact on today’s result. I have just lost.
People say hard courts are the most traumatic surface. Which one do you prefer?
I am afraid to play on grass courts because it’s slippery, I prefer clay courts. Though most of the tournament are played on hard courts, so we get used to it. There is no need to think too much about hard courts being the most traumatic as professional sport per say is not really good for health in general.
What positive things will you take from the tournament since you reached quarterfinals here? Will you come back here next year?
To reach quarterfinals is not a bad result at all. For sure you do want to do better. But I came here straight after the Australian Slam I didn’t practice that much and I think I played well here. The draw wasn’t the easiest for me, especially in my R1 match. I returned the favor to Jelena Ostapenko. It is always a pleasure to pay back one’s debt. I was fighting today and even in a tough situation I gave all I could. Next year I’d like to come back.
And would you like to return today’s favor to Bertens next time?
I think I have already done it, in Wuhan and at Australian Open, but for today’s loss I should also do that so I am going to prepare for that.