March 13-21 2021, SIBUR ARENA


– What didn’t work out in the match today? By your standards you made way too many errors today, usually it doesn’t happen to you. What didn’t work out?

– Well, basically nothing worked (laughter). The serve didn’t work, as well as the return, and there were a lot of unforced errors during the rallies. I couldn’t find the rhythm, I couldn’t catch some right moment for strokes, because I was either too close or too far away. Somehow one piled on top of the other, and in the end it didn’t work out very well.

– And yet, at the end of the match, there was a moment when it seemed that you were starting to play your own game: you served well, you showed your signature ground strokes with sharp angles. Why was it not possible to continue like that?

– I wouldn’t say that something went well. I tried to impose at least some semblance of a struggle, because I know that everything can always change at any moment. But there were still too many errors, and with such a game it was hard to win anything.

– Didn’t the fact that you saved the match-point inspire you? Didn’t it cheer you up?

– Not really. Of course, it gave me some kind of drive, but it didn’t bring much inspiration. When there are so many unforced errors in all aspects of the game, one saved match-point doesn’t help.

-You mentioned that the first seed status is weighing on you, did that pressure reflect on today’s match? Surely you understand that as you move up in the rankings you will have to be first seed quite often.

-Yes, I am aware of that and I am trying to work on it. All in all I am nervous before every match – sometimes more, sometimes less. Today it didn’t work out from the beginning and I couldn’t manage it, couldn’t do anything about it – so it went as it went.

– This is probably not the first match where everything is not going according to plan. Do you have a solution for this kind of situations and why it didn’t help you today?

– No, there is no particular solution. It is always specific. Usually I am trying to pull my opponent more into the game to feel the shots, feel the rhythm, but today that didn’t work out so well. Margarita didn’t give me rhythm, played sometimes short, sometimes long, mixing up slices and top-spins. Whatever I tried I couldn’t find my rhythm and the serve didn’t help me at all. I made too many errors.

– There is always a foul mood after losing. What do you usually do to forget a disappointing match? Maybe, shopping or eating something sweet?

– I can’t go shopping anywhere in these conditions. I am doing everything as usual – stretch, change, have some lunch. Trying to think about it in general and concentrate on the things that I need to improve on and the errors I should not make in the future. 

– Did Margarita surprise you today? She played with backhanded slices today really often which she does not always do.

– I did anticipate she would play with the slices. Margarita played quite well, but I think that I made too many errors in today’s game.

– Let me ask you not a tennis question. During the other Russian tournaments, we asked you about your media life, including the social media. You said at first that you didn’t want to do this. Then you said that your sister made you run the social media. Now you are quite active in your accounts – you try to update information more often. Have you got used to this? Maybe you already enjoy being active on social media?

– I can’t say that I really like it. I am asked about this during every interview. I thought that if I start using social media, they will stop asking me about it. But it doesn’t help (laughter). I’m pretty indifferent to this. But if I started, I have to do it.

– You and Margarita Gasparyan your opponent in today’s match have the same outfit sponsor – FILA. Yesterday at her press conference Margarita said that she really likes the way FILA works with the players – she said that she had no problems with the outfit – everything was delivered on time, in the right quantity. What can you say about cooperation with FILA?

– I have been working with them for the second year, and everything suits me. There is always enough outfits but to be honest it is always not easy to take away your uniform from the tournaments, because it is always delivered to America or Australia. Then you always have to pay for extra luggage, but I have no complaints.

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