You became the second player to reach the quarterfinals of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy and, like the first one, you made your way into the main draw through qualification. What has helped you win so many matches here in St. Petersburg?
I’m not participating at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy for the first time. Before today, I had already played three matches, and this helped me a lot, because my opponent was playing only her first match. I managed to find the right rhythm in my game, which allowed me to win.
You beat a Top 20 player. How many similar victories do you have and how important are they for your career at this stage?
I don’t remember exactly, but it seems to be my second victory over a Top 20 player. As far as I remember, the first one was over Cibulkova at the tournament in Madrid.
We still know very little about you. How did you start playing tennis?
My dad brought me to tennis, he is a sports teacher as well as a tennis coach. My whole family is keen on sports; they all play tennis, so I have been in tennis since childhood.
How can you explain the fact that you have dropped a lot of spots in the rankings recently and now you have to enter tournaments via qualification instead of getting to the main draw directly?
I didn’t play tennis for almost a year and a half, I was forced to take a break. There was [a problem with] internal dizziness. In April last year, I nearly out of the Top 600 of the WTA rankings, but now I am returning to my [previous] position.
Is St. Petersburg a lucky city for you, since this is not your first time performing at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy?
Absolutely. This is a magnificent city, I’m happy to be back here. I hope that there will be time to see the beautiful sights of St. Petersburg. As for my performance here – so far so good.
Could you tell us more about your comeback after your problems with health?
It was difficult to come back. Today’s win is probably the first [important] one since I’ve returned. It was difficult to regain my former confidence, but slowly I’ve started getting it back.
Could you comment on the last game in today’s match? Why did you make three double faults?
I was very tense in the last game. I served well before, but then I started with a double fault and became even more nervous. Then I did a double fault on match point, and completely lost it. And then I tried to forget about the match and about what was going on at that moment and it helped me to win the match.
How much did your forced break allow you to rethink your career and your tennis?
It can sound odd, but the break turned out to be very useful. Of course, I was disappointed to watch matches on a laptop’s screen instead of participating. But it allowed me to rethink a lot of things and become more confident psychologically.
You have a beautiful and unusual name – Océane. What does it mean?
I’m being asked this question a lot. I’m asked if my name is connected with an ocean. But in my French name the final letter “n” is silent, unlike “n” in the word “ocean”, so it has nothing to do with the ocean!
You can watch live broadcasting of matches here https://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”.