Interview: “Everything here suits my game”

Looking at the score it seemed like it was pretty easy for you. Was it truly like that?

I don’t think so. From the beginning of the match when I was facing two break points it was a very important game for me to hold serve, then I started to play a little bit better. In the second set I think it was pretty close and tight at the beginning, when I broke her and I held serve, at 5/2 it was very important game. But obviously it’s not an easy match to play against Ostapenko, she is the champion of the French Open, I knew I have to play well against her.


Jelena Ostapenko is famous for her comebacks. She can win 4-5 games in a row. Did you feel in the 7th game of the second set that she could turn the tide? 

I didn’t know she is famous for her comebacks, I know that she is famous, because she is a great fighter and she never really gives up, which I could during the match for sure. I didn’t think that she would still come back, but I was just telling myself that I need to keep myself up and head up and still play well, because I know that she can start playing much better suddenly. Normally, when girls are down they are playing a little bit more freely. That’s, probably, how I was thinking in that game. It was very important and also a long one, there were a lot of deuces, so I just tried to be there and serve well.


Statistically, you are the best indoor player here. I’m just kind of curious. Does it give you a psychological boost when you enter indoor tournaments?

Not really. Maybe it’s better when I’m coming to the tournaments like that before and, probably, it’s good for the first match of the tournament. I’m kind of trying to  the confidence from the past and play well indoors. But if I’m in already in the draw playing a little bit better than before, then everything is a little bit easier, then I’m not thinking about indoor in this way. I think I’m serving very well, which is really helping and that’s probably, the case.


Your next opponent [Julia Goerges] is also famous for her indoor matches. What do you expect from this match?

I know that she is in a very good form. Since the end of the last year she really has been playing well, she didn’t lose many matches. I know that she’s on fire right now. I’m guessing that she likes indoors as well and has a good serve and a good forehead. She is playing aggressive as well, which I need to play as well, so I hope that the game I played today will be there as well. And I will try my best. I know that she is playing really well. So, we’ll see.


You have been playing really well these 3 matches here in St. Petersburg. Don’t you think that St. Petersburg can be not only the city of the Peter the Great, but also the city of Petra (in your honor)?

Well, that would be very nice. You know, it’s my first time here and I obviously like the city. I like to play indoors, I like the venue, everything is so beautiful. I’ll do my best to play well here, but I’m not sure how far I’ll get. I’ll try. I like it here, it suits my game and that’s all I can say.


During the match you wore a tape. Did it bother you? And how do you feel now?

I felt it a little bit yesterday, but today was fine. I just had it as a protection, but this morning I felt like a 60-year-old woman, that’s why I put it, just in case something happens, but it was fine today.