March 13-21 2021, SIBUR ARENA


– On the court you complained that you didn’t serve well. What is the reason? Maybe something was wrong with your toss or the lighting stopped you from serving better?

It seems to me that everything with the light was fine. It suits me. Due to the fact that the match was intense and nervous, I did not serve as I would like to serve. Sometimes I looked at the speed of my serve and I was not glad about it. I’m happy that for the last couple of games I could focus and served well.

– You had quite animated conversations with your coaches on the stand. Have you complained or just asked for more active support. Some players often ask for this. What were you looking for?

There were no complaints at all. Everything was fine with me and the support was great but sometimes I need to vent off my emotions that are accumulating inside, so from time to time I do things like that.

– From our side it seemed that you won quite confidently. Could you, please, elaborate a bit about intensity of this match?

Probably, there was no intensity today, if we compare this match with the first one. In my first match (against Kristina Mladenovic) we had long rallies, we had rhythm. And today Katerina tried to change the rhythm, playing with both slices and topspins. Because of this the match seemed intense.

– During the last press-conference you said that the coach’s assignment was to play as actively as possible. How did you prepare for today’s match?

I am always told to play actively but today I was told to play in a certain corner of the court and be patient.

– In St. Petersburg you won the title in doubles with Ekaterina Makarova. Do you have any thoughts of winning the singles here?

In Tashkent I played the final in doubles, and the next year I won that tournament in singles (in 2018). And when I arrived there again, I thought: “Well, I have already won the title in doubles, now I need to win it in singles.” The same thing happens here. These thoughts crossed my mind, of course, but let’s see how everything goes, because all girls play well, and I need to tune in to every match.

– Who taught you and then perfected such a beautiful one-handed backhand of yours?

– To be honest, it was a long time ago. Since childhood, I had been playing with a double-handed backhand, but all my life I wanted to play with one hand, and my coaches said that I wasn’t ready for it physically. Therefore, I was waiting for the moment when I could start playing with one hand. This happened at the age of 12-13 years old. And I don’t regret that I made such a choice.

– Denis Shapovalov has his signature one-handed backhand in jump. Would you like to try such stroke? You played at the same time today: he is in Dubai, and you are here in St. Petersburg.

– No, I don’t think I have enough strength to hit a jumping backhand like that. I saw Denis at the training camp in Dubai, it so happened that we met there. He has incredibly beautiful technique both on his forehand and backhand. When he hits, the ball flies with crazy pace.

– You participated in the Tennis Talk (activity with the fans) and there were many philosophical questions some of which you skipped. Maybe you gave them some thought yesterday and would like to share something with us?

No (laughter). I forgot them as soon as I left the studio and if you ask me again today I would also be unable to answer.

– It is most likely that you will play Ekaterina Alexandrova next; do you have any thoughts on the upcoming match?

I have yet to face Ekaterina on the court. I know she is in perfect shape. In the last two years she’s been performing very well and consistently at the tournaments. It is going to be an interesting match. The only thing I know – she is a very active player, she tries to step into the court and play closer to the lines. I will need to watch more of her matches, but I hope we will have a good tennis.

-Yesterday we asked Svetlana Kuznetsova who designed her tennis dress. Do you have a favorite couturier or fashion designer? And who is your uniform sponsor?

It is FILA. I like that brand a lot, they treat each player reverently. I never have any problems with them. They did everything I asked them for. Maybe if I will play better in the future, we will be able to do a design together.

– And what did you ask them for if, it is not a secret?

To send me a different size, for example. I had contracts with other brands before and often there were some troubles with delivery, I had to wait for some skirts. And FILA is sending them to me to every part of the world in huge suitcases. As far as I know, most brands communicate through agents and so the fact that they are replying to me personally and we can always stay in touch is a rare thing.

– If we are talking about brands besides sports clothing, which couturier do you prefer?

I mostly enjoy French brands Sandro, Maje. I am not too interested in high end luxury fashion.

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