4 February 2018

– Congratulation on this great week of tennis. Were you surprised by Petra’s spectacular comeback, especially taking into the consideration that terrible incident she had?

– Yes, we can call it a comeback, because she had this horrible thing that happened to her, but she has been playing for quite some time already, so she is not very recent. But anyway, I’m actually not surprised. We all know that she is capable of playing like this. That’s why she is a great player, the great champion. There is absolutely nothing you can do, when she is playing like this, no matter who she plays against. I think I played almost all the best players in the world and no one smashes only the winners like this for one hour. Also her serve, even the second serve, that’s going at the speed of 150 km/h in average. So there’s nothing, congratulations to her.

– Could you share with us your game plan? Obviously Petra played great, like you said, so maybe your game plan didn’t work? What was your game plan after you lost the first set?

– The game plan is pretty easy: whenever you are going to the rally you have a lot of chances to win the point, but the thing is that when she is serving like this, you have to return and I couldn’t return. Also the goal was to serve well, which I think I did: I had only four double faults today and risking everything in second serve that was going actually quite fast, I was mixing up all of her shots and she was responding all the time, but winners. So even when I found something good, it was a winner from her side and then I never get to the winner. And we know that she is well-known for this kind of game. My game plan was just to survive these first two shots. But there’s nothing I can regret or say, because she is really playing out of this world: this is way too fast, way too strong and too in a corner. So there’s not much of the game plan against her.

– You played here 2 times in finals in a row and you won the final last year, so could you compare the game you played this year versus the game you showed last year? The level of the players was a little bit higher this year, wasn’t it?

– Well, yes and no, I know (laughing). There were tough matches last year I played. We are not allowed to forget the opponents I beat last year. You know, I beat… I’m not going to repeat all of them. We all know these girls and we all know where they are now: Roberta, Venus, Mertens, and many other. Of course maybe the lineup seemed a bit stronger this year. As for me I think that my level was very improved compared to the last year. The funny thing for me is that I’m going back as the last year winner. But once again even today wasn’t because I played badly or I wasn’t prepared, she was just too good. Overall I think this tournament is very successful. It’s been an amazing week of great tennis. And I’m just very happy and prond of my week.

– Well, you didn’t win, we wanted you to do more, to achieve more in this final, the support was really great, but you lost. Do you think you’d rather forget this final completely or you’d rather make some conclusions? And what would be these conclusions?


– You know, I’m here in front of you and I’m speaking proudly of my week once again. Petra just played unbelievable today, there’s nothing I can say, I just feel sorry for the crowd and for you that it was not entertaining, it was very fast. Anyway, with her it’s always pretty short, the points are running. It couldn’t be as entertaining as it was yesterday with Daria Kasatkina: running a lot, playing slices, variations, spinning flat shots. There’re different kinds of players and games, it’s a big event as you said, lots of top players. I don’t want to forget it for sure. It was only positive.


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