Do you think you could have won this match in two sets? Or it was necessary to play your game till the end during three sets and wait for your opponent to give up?
– Of course, I had chances in the first set, a lot of chances to be honest, but, unfortunately, I did not take advantage of these chances. I’m glad I was able to get back into the match and didn’t give up. I continued fighting and in the end I had enough stamina for two more sets.
– Could you, please, compare your today’s match against Kristina Mladenovic and the one you recently played against each other in Lyon?
– I didn’t play my best tennis in Lyon. I do not know why but I elt kind of weird there. I did not fight at all and tried to finish the rally as quickly as possible. Today I set before myself a task to fight for every point. We also discussed some tactical moments with my coach and I succeeded.
– How do you explain today’s motivation? You encouraged yourself very emotionally both in Russian and in English.
– First of all, I play at home. I really enjoy playing here. I love playing in front of the home crowd and I really wanted to show good tennis. I try to enjoy every match, so I actively support myself.
– You have been bothered by injuries for a long time. How are you feeling now? Have you fully recovered?
– Unfortunately, injuries have been bothering me all my career, but I try to cope with them. I do my best to recover quite quickly. Now I feel pretty good, so I hope everything will be fine.
– You showed excellent tennis in this match. Do you expect to consistently demonstrate such a game? And what are your goals for this season?
– To be honest, I don’t set any goals for the season. I just want to play from match to match. Probably, like any player, I want to show consistent, good tennis. I am getting there, so I hope that in the next match I will play well too.
– Your next opponent is Katerina Sinyakova. The score of your head-to-head is 2:1 in your favor. What are your expectations from the upcoming match against her?
– To be honest, I don’t remember my matches against her at all. I’ll have to watch them. I watched her match today, she played just before I did. She played very well: she was quite aggressive and active. She supported herself very well, so I think we will have an interesting match.
– You mentioned earlier that your coach would not understand you if you played defensively. What did Sergey Betov say to you that made you play so agressively in the last two sets?
– He didn’t say anything to me during the match, but we set up a goal for me to play more actively. And I was trying to achieve that goal. I am not always able to do that, sometimes I rush too much or choose the wrong moment. Today in the second and third sets I tried to focus on being more active, but not only to hit one or two strokes, but rather to choose the right ball and position.
– How long have you and Sergey Betov been working together? And considering that he is from Belarus – do you usually practice in Moscow or in Minsk?
– We are working together for more than a year now and I mostly practice in Minsk. And even there we are not seen often, because we are always on the move.
– Can you, please, evaluate the results of your work together. How it affected your game?
– I think that it is not the game that has been affected, but mostly my mindset. Going on the court nowadays I want to show active tennis and attacking play. As I mentioned before I am not always able to achieve that, but I hope we are moving in the right direction and it will bring results.
– On the one hand, we wouldn’t want you to change the technique of your strokes, for them to be set in some way. These are spectacular strokes and the match we witnessed today was a beautiful one. On the other hand, today your coach pointed out to a low ball which required more spin.
– Yes, this is exactly the element that we are working with now. I don’t want to unmask my weak points here, but these are the balls we are working on at the moment. And even though today I didn’t achieve the desired technique, I hope that we will bring it to perfection in the future.