Roland Garros

Friday, 2 October 2020

Paris, France

Caroline Garcia

Press Conference

C. GARCIA/E. Mertens

1-6, 6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to get that kind of win in front of a crowd that came in after the rain started? Amazing moment for you.

CAROLINE GARCIA: Yeah, for sure it was a great feeling out there, and especially the match was a big fight in the second and third sets.

So to be able to live this kind of moment, first of all, because we didn't know what was going to happen, first of all, to be able to play French Open it's a great feeling, and to have some crowd to be able to share it with, it's even more special, especially as they were really cheering for me. And I think Elise lived the moment like me (smiling).

Q. Can you just talk through that match, and especially after the first set kind of? It looked like Elise was playing very well and you were trying to find your rhythm. How did you turn that match around?

CAROLINE GARCIA: Yeah, the first set she was really playing good tennis, really playing every shot. Was a good one, and she was a little bit -- you can feel she was like fully confident and I was not really in the match. My legs was a little bit slow and I was going a little bit too much for my shots.

So I didn't know if I could raise my level, but at least I wanted to fight and stay positive and try on every single point to do something better.

One point at a time it got better and better. You know, after it got good tennis I think from both, and I was more aggressive with my forehand. I started to serve very well.

To be able to win the second set was very -- few games was very important. And then in the third set I was up always and then I got stressed in the worst moment (smiling).

But, you know, she went for it on the match point, and I was a little bit more conservative. You know, she's a champion, so she fight until the end.

Q. I believe you got to the quarterfinals here in 2017. I just wondered whether you believe that you're at that level now or how far you're off that level.

CAROLINE GARCIA: I don't know. It's hard to say. You know, it's always different from one year to another.

I think I have learned a lot since these times, but also when you're younger you think less, so it's kind of both. You know, you learn from both situations.

I think I played some good tennis so far in this French Open. It's not always great scenario, but I fight until the end, and step by step. Now I'm in the second week, and I had some good three matches.

So I'm curious to see how it goes against Elina Svitolina, who is a very solid player and in full confidence now. So I don't know if I'm as good or better or whatever, but I'm just the Caroline Garcia of now, 2020 (smiling).

Q. How did you come up with the "Fly With Caro" celebration slogan?

CAROLINE GARCIA: Oh, my God (smiling). It started in 2014, and it was just in a practice with Fed Cup team. One of the coaching was just saying, you know, I was coming from Bogota and I was in full confidence, winning my first title. I was playing some great tennis. And he just said to the physio of the team that I was just flying on court, and it started as a joke in the team for the whole week, you know.

After my first-ever win in Fed Cup against U.S., I just did it for fun. Then the fan created the hashtag, and I just thought it was fun and a little bit different. I kept doing it.

Unfortunately the physio who was with us at this time passed away two years later, and it's also a way to remember him and because he was always very positive and giving us so much smile and energy.

So I think this celebration match him a lot.

Q. To beat Kontaveit in the first round and now to beat Mertens, they have been pretty on fire since the restart and even before. What do you think you have been doing in particular this week so far in Paris that's getting you these very, very impressive wins?

CAROLINE GARCIA: Yeah, for sure they played a lot of matches, winning a lot of matches since beginning of the year and since we started again, as well.

You know, I played some good tennis in U.S. I think, and I lost against a good player like Azarenka and Brady, so after, when I came back on clay was not as great, but I kept walking out. I think everything it's possible.

I can do some good damage with my forehand and with my serve, and I train a lot on clay courts before the U.S. swing, and I think I'm more confident on this surface now.

You know, I enjoy the moment as well. I think it's -- I mean, the court is amazing and brand new, so brand-new memories. So it's good.

Q. Obviously we have to talk about the match points. What went through your head when you lost the first and the second one, one of those trying to shoot overhead. Obviously these are difficult moments for any player especially on match point. What went through your head? What mental exercise did you do in that short moment in order to get back in the game and close the match?

CAROLINE GARCIA: Yeah, on some of the match points I had some balls, I did unforced error and I could do better. And some of the others she went aggressive and I was a little bit too passive.

I really tried to stay in the present. I was, like, Okay, I lost that one. Now I can focus only on the next one. What can I do better on this one?

Just one point at a time. Of course when I was at like 5-4 40-15 I got super stressed. You know, either it's a way you go for too much or you go for not enough. She's a good player. If I go for not enough, she's going for it.

You know, the balance is always very hard to find, and of course I was starting to -- actually at 6-5 I was a little bit stressed and just focusing on every point. What can I do what I like to do and also she's under pressure so I don't need to go for crazy shot.

It's always kind of balance. Sometimes you find it right away; sometimes not. But I think it's the spirit of the game and what I can improve even more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
102119-1-1063 2020-10-02 16:35:00 GMT

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