Can you share your memories from St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2018, which you won, in what mood did you come now and in what form?
In fact, after winning here, I come to St. Petersburg every year. I really like it, I feel good now, I have no injuries. I arrived only yesterday and immediately got to the gala evening for the players. I play here as a seeded player, and I am looking forward to my first match at the tournament.
Last year, you did not manage to defend the title. You were tired after the AO. Now there was more time to recover. Did you manage to acclimatize after the flight from Australia to Europe?
A year ago, I had only a couple of days for adaptation, there was little time, first I was in Australia, then Shenzhen. Now it was a pleasure to spend a week in Europe. At some point I didn’t feel very well, but now I’m fine, I am very ambitious about the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy. There are lots of amazing players here, the rivals are strong. I watched some games of the first round, the struggle is very stubborn. It’s hard to predict something. I will try to play good here and I will prepare for the match.
Today you visited the Diamond Room of the Hermitage museum, and at the same time you are the ambassador of a jewelry company, so this is a topic close to you. How did you like the tour this morning?
I am one of the ambassadors of a diamond manufacturing company, and today I was at the Hermitage, I really liked it there. I can’t call myself an expert in the field of diamonds, but I understand a little more than others, because I have a diamond sponsor. I enjoyed the beauty, and it doesn’t no matter whether you are an expert or not. I saw rings today and everything else, it was something amazing. I had great feelings after today’s tour. Last year I visited the Hermitage, got acquainted with classical art, and today there was only a room of diamonds, and I really liked it.
Two years ago, when you won this tournament, you said that you were enjoying the game, did you still have this feeling?
Of course, I enjoy staying here and I really like the lights, the show on the court. This is very unusual for us.
What will you do with that beautiful vase you received at the gala dinner as the champion of the tournament?
I hope I will put flowers there.
Who was a designer of the beautiful dress you were wearing?
I really like it, but I will not disclose the name of the couturier.
What do you think about the next rival – the Belgian Alison Van Uytvank?
I watched their match with Mladenovic. She shows good tennis, both showed strong game. Alison is good in technical terms, her drop shots and slices are good, she hits the ball hard. There will be a stubborn match, I will be ready for it. I have never faced her and we did not even have a hitting session together. But I like to face a player I haven’t met before.
You can watch live broadcasting of matches here http://tv.formulatx.com/. The broadcasting is available only in Russia.
The tournament WTA St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2020 takes place at “SIBUR ARENA” from 10 to 16 February. The tournament is supported by the title sponsor “Gazprom export”.